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10 homemade Christmas gifts people will actually use
By Tammy May

Crocheted doilies, cross-stitched handkerchiefs, little soaps in the shape of a rose—these are the sorts of homemade gifts each of us has received (and/or given) at some time or another. No offence to doilies, but let’s control-alt-delete the standard homemade gift list and replace it with cool items that people will actually love and use. Make sure you get the kids involved, too.

  1. Homemade Bailey’s Irish Cream over ice is a luscious way to end Christmas dinner or kick off festivities. (Adults only, of course.)
  2. Instagram or Facebook photo coasters are a great way to capture memories from the year. (A product called Mod Podge is mentioned in the coaster tutorial—it’s an all-in-one glue, sealer and finish available from most craft shops.)
  3. Festive tea wreath for the tea connoisseur in your life. Required materials: pegs, paper, cardboard, ribbon, glue and tea bags (the type that come in wrappers.)
  4. Make your own cool printed t-shirts with your favourite designs using iron-on t-shirt transfer paper. (Don’t forget to flip the image before printing it.)
  5. How about an iPhone book charging station for someone who admires neat cords? The example shown here was created by MyBudget team member Kylie. She said it took about 30 minutes plus a trip to her local secondhand book store.
  6. Decorated tea towels are a great DIY project for kids. Ikea tea towels (Tekla $0.49 each and Gunstig $6.99 for two) are like blank canvases begging to be customised with fabric paint.
  7. Personalise a piece of crockery for someone you love. Perhaps a coffee mug, Christmas dish or porcelain photo frame. Porcelain paint pens are available from Spotlight and Lincraft.
  8. Share your love of music by gifting an iTunes playlist. It’s not quite as romantic as making a mixed tape in the 80s—and not technically homemade—but it’s still very thoughtful.
  9. Home-baked cat and dog treats are a tasty way to say merry Christmas to four-legged friends and family members.
  10. Painted animal bookends are a cute way to decorate a kid’s (or big person’s) bookshelf. Plastic dinosaurs and toy cars would work great, too.
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