student life

Christmas Presents: Why buy when you can make them?

Written by becky leach

Christmas is almost here and that means it’s time to start Christmas shopping. I love giving presents, but it just doesn’t have that personal touch.

Christmas is almost here and that means it’s time to start Christmas shopping. I love giving presents, but it just doesn’t have that personal touch. I often have a rough idea of which gifts to buy but end up buying something mediocre. That’s fine for Co-workers but how about close friends and family? No, you should get them something unique and special, which is why I’ve been making Christmas presents.

Now I’m not talking about homemade perfumes and glitter covered pasta necklaces you made when you were five. I’m talking about the thoughtful, personalised presents that you have to put time and effort into.

Here are five of my favourites:

Home brew/Raspberry gin

Although it takes months of preparation, even longer depending on how strong you want it to be, it’s worth it. We made Raspberry gin for the family last year using empty pop top glass bottles and completing the gift with a homemade label. Perfect. So perfect that my Brother is now heavily involved in his own brewing. (which tastes more like a thin stout). You do have to buy specialist equipment and ingredients and the taste is not always guaranteed, however loved ones will be impressed at your brewing skills.

Hand-sewn stockings/bags/purses

Looking for something unique? Try making hand embroided silk gifts, each one as individual as your family members. These beautiful creations have always gone down well, after all who wouldn’t like to receive a gift which is also useful?

Hand made jewelry

Bead and craft shops are becoming more of a common thing, sprouting up everywhere thanks to the hipster culture. Earrings, necklaces, bracelets; all easy and fun to make. All you need are pliers, wire cutters, chains, charms and patience. It is fiddly work, but relaxing and rewarding; there’s nothing nicer than seeing someone wear something you’ve made them. Jewelry is so personal, that’s why hand making it is perfect.

Home made cake

Not just your straightforward Victoria sponge the classic Christmas fruitcake? The alcohol inside means they keep for months, perfect for giving to a friend before Christmas. Wrap them in a layer of marzipan, top off with solid icing and decorate. Add some holly on the corners, add a simple Merry Christmas across the top to ensure holiday cheer.


Now I know the elderly family member knitting you a scarf, jumper or pair of socks has been done to death but why don’t you give it a go? What with the weather getting colder and colder it’s always handy to have a knitted jumper or scarf plus knitted jumpers are bang on trend right now.

Try a local craft store, or even search online for a pattern which will tell you what size needles and which type of wool to get. If you’re a beginner knitter why not start out with something simple like a scarf, build yourself up to jumpers with patterns.

I knitted my best friend a scarf last year and it took months. It was the first thing I’d ever knitted and I ended up taking it everywhere to do. It turned out to be more of a very thin blanket, so not really wearable, but he loved it because I had made it.

Simple, cheap and all from the comfort of your sofa. There really is nothing nicer than knowing how much thought and effort someone has gone to for you. Presents should be special and not just commercialised tat. Don’t forget to hand make the card, Christmas just wouldn’t be Christmas without glue and glitter.