6 Homemade gifts for the Emmaus Second Hand Santa Challenge

I’ve been DIYing again, and this time I’m making Christmas gifts. After the fun I had making my Christmas jumper bunting for Emmaus, I jumped at the chance to join in with their Second Hand Santa Challenge again during gift week. I decided to made gift boxes and frames that could be the ‘wrapping’ for my personalised gifts, which could then be reused as storage by the recipient in the future.The theme this week is finding and making hand gifts from the donations in Emmaus charity shops, and I actually came up with 6 gifts for my friends and family with the items I found in the Ipswich store. As soon as I walked into the shop I was inspired by their artistic window display and wanted to buy everything! I picked out a selection of boxes, tins, pots and frames to DIY into gifts. Here’s what I did:

what the items looked like before I started DIYing…


You know how much I love a can of spray paint, right? A quick coat of metallic paint can give anything a quick and easy makeover. I picked out this cute ceramic pot in Emmaus. I loved the shape and size of it – like a tiny casserole dish. I cleaned it thoroughly and allowed it to dry before spray-painting it with Rust-Oluem’s all-surface paint in gold. Once dry, I mixed up a customised seed, nut and fruit mix that I know my recipient will love – I’ve included all their favourites – including dried cranberries to make it feel even more festive.


You could make this gift using any frame. I chose a chunky wood one from the shop, and took it apart so that I was left with only the outer frame. I spray painted this in a metallic copper tone and left it to dry. In the meantime, I used the glass to mark around a handmade lino print – this artwork is from Etsy shop Unruly Print. I trimmed the paper to size and popped it into the frame, before adding the back stand.


This was a really easy project for me; I simply washed out the box with soapy water and used a ‘sticky stuff remover’ to get rid of any sticky residue from labels. Once the glass was completely dry I filled it with toffees, chocolate coins, boiled sweets and humbugs. A big organza bow finished it off. What do you think?


I began by washing out the tin and removing the seal from around the top. This tin took a couple of coats of gold spray paint to cover the word ‘tea’ so I had to leave it to dry between layers. When it was dry, I put the seal back on and lined the tin with a pretty napkin. I filled it with baked cheese straws, then sealed it up to keep them fresh. Of course, I added a bow on top of this one too.


By the time I got the lantern home, I’d somehow managed to crack the glass. I therefore removed the broken glass and decided to use it as a planter. I spray painted it with silver spray paint that’s suitable for using on metal. I found an empty jar in my cupboard (yes, I keep all the jam jars I use!) that would fit inside the lantern. I filled this with sand to made the exposed edges look pretty and then added a tiny plant in the centre. I popped this jar into the lantern and reattached the handle, adding a bow at the same time.


This gift is more of an assembly project rather than a DIY. I got the brand new LED candle and the star plate from the Emmaus shop and simply put them together. I wrapped it in cellophane (from the poundstore) added some star confetti inside the packaging. I gathered together the top of the cellophane and used white ric-rac to make a frothy bow. Done! So that’s 6 gifts all sorted for Christmas, and I know my family and friends will appreciate the effort I put into making them. I think that hand-made gifts are the nicest to receive. What do you think of these gifts? What would you use the items for? Let me know in a comment below 🙂

4 Responses

  1. Thanks so much Jane, I agree – the Emmaus campaign has been really inspirational! I too am planning to recreate some of the other bloggers’ christmas projects next year!

  2. Think this Emmaus Christmas second hand stuff campaign has been great. I’m going to try and remember some of it for next year! Xx

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Cassie is a freelance writer with a Masters degree in Lifestyle Promotion Studies and is trained in Personal Money Management. She loves to ‘get the look for less’ so regularly shares thrifty-living advice, DIY interior design ideas and low-cost recipes on her blog.

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