Shopping for Christmas gifts need not be an expensive activity, in fact it it an opportunity for a having little thrifty fun. It’s often the case that the best presents are not very expensive, but are chock full of sentimental feelings; something that can help to bring up funny memories and remind you of beloved relatives. So instead of shopping for new items, see what you already have at home that might made a charming gift with just a little tweaking. Upcycled milk crates and wine boxes work well to form makeshift hampers, and you only need a couple of mason jars to create everything from wall sconces to air fresheners. Here are three things that everyone needs but that you can create by hand.
The patchwork poncho
If you have loads of old clothes that are too worn to give away to the charity shops, but yet you can’t stomach the thought of just throwing them out, this next project is just for you. Being able to sew a throw pillow would be an accomplishment for most, but the patchwork poncho is even easier to make. The idea is to take as many different colored squares of fabric from old shirts, pillow cases, winter jumpers and any other clothing you don’t want. If you remember to sew all of the patches on the same side, your stitch work can be ‘rustic’ but your poncho will still look chic.
The denim shoulder bag
The sooner that you admit that you no longer fit into your favorite jeans, the faster your beloved dungarees can enter the next stage of their life, and become something use rather than just cluttering up your wardrobe. From a single pair of jeans, you can make a unique and clever shoulder bag. Use the legs of your old jeans to make long straps that attach to a bag that has built-in pockets, storage compartments, hardware and even a zipper. This project doesn’t take long to sew together, but makes a really impressive gift for girls of all ages.
Shoe box storage
Everyone can benefit from having more storage containers, organizers, file cabinets, shelves and totes to declutter their life. However, buying storage systems are expensive and they aren’t always the right size, shape or function for your needs. All three of these projects would be ideal for a student, whether they’ve gone away to university to study (and are just home for the holidays) or even if they’re studying a distance learning course such as the social work masters from Rutgers Online. The shoe box storage solution entails taking a bunch of shoe boxes, and wrapping them in festive paper to turn them into a useful storage box for files, paperwork, essays and textbooks etc. Alternatively you could paint them with an acrylic based paint or make a personalised version using maps of places that your friend has visited. They’ll love receiving a practical yet personal gift, and can get a head start on that January clear-out!
I hope these ideas will help you if you’re thinking about making some last minute Christmas gifts for your friends and family this year. Best of luck with your crafting and upcycling efforts!