Mid-December is when shopping mania sets in. Frantic shoppers dash through stores in search of this year’s special gift. But, why put yourself through the trauma? An easy DIY Christmas gift can be even more special than its store-bought counterpart while taking up less time and much less stress. We’ve put together three quick go-to gifts to cater to any skill set. Dazzle your friends and family with homemade cookies, cordials or succulent planters!
Here’s what you need for three easy DIY Christmas Gifts
Time: between 5 – 30 minutes per item and 1 hour for all three
1) Mini Succulent Planters – for the Green Thumb
Give a little love the natural way!
- A wooden box *
- Potting soil
- A succulent or two **
- Broad ribbon
* You can use any container; old teapots, watering can, cookie boxes are just a few that come to mind.
** Pick a few succulents from your garden. Succulents can grow roots from their leaves, so, don’t worry about the plant dying.
Take a container (or make your own box), make sure it’s dust-free and clean, and fill it up to halfway with potting soil (you can use soil from the garden).
Nudge the succulents into the soil, softly and roughly in the middle of the container. Then add more soil to 1cm below the top of the container.
Make a festive bow with the ribbon, tuck it in at the side of the box then you’re done! Yay! Slide your Christmas card in between the ribbon and the box. Or, spike the card into the soil! It’s a gardener’s gift after all.
2) Rainbow Cookies – for the Sweet Tooth
Spread a little festive cheer with sweetness.
- 100s & 1000s Cookies
- A box with a lid
- Tissue paper
- Festive ribbon
You can use your favourite vanilla cookie recipe, bake the cookies, glaze them with icing/white chocolate and sprinkle with hundreds and thousands. Or, use Foodlover’s hundreds and thousands cookie recipe like we did!
If you have cookies, follow the steps, or scroll down to make your cookies first!
Line a cookie tin with tissue paper and leave enough paper to cascade over the sides of the tin.
Place your awesome cookies inside, (you can even add a few sachets of your favourite coffee or tea bags!). Bring the cascading tissue paper to the top of the cookies, and softly twist to cover the baked goodies.
Cover with the lid, add the ribbon and Christmas card and get ready to see happy faces!
For those baking from scratch, here are the ingredients:
- 175g butter
- ⅔ cup caster sugar
- 2 cups flour
- 1 egg
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 180g white chocolate, melted
- ½ cup hundreds and thousands
- Mix the butter, sugar and flour until it looks like breadcrumbs.
- Blend in the egg and vanilla until it forms a dough-like consistency.
- Lightly knead the dough on a floured surface, then place in a container, and refrigerate for half an hour.
- Preheat the oven to 170°C then roll out the dough between two baking sheets.
- Cut out your choice of cookie cutter shapes (a tree or star would be awesome!), then place the raw cookies on a lined baking tray.
- Bake for 8-10 minutes, take the cookies out of the oven when they are a light golden colour and let them cool.
- Spread the cookie tops with melted white chocolate and dip in or sprinkle with hundreds and thousands and let them set.
3) Rosewater Cordial – for the Life of the Party
A tasty cordial is such a simple gift idea. But, it’s so delicious you might want to keep it for a party yourself. Germarie made a pretty pink cordial, by modifying a tasty Woolworth’s recipe.
- Homemade rosewater cordial (recipe below)
- A glass milk jar, or a glass bottle with a screw top *
- Gift box (Optional)
* Pick a bottle with chalk paint square on it, or paint a small square onto the bottle. The chalk will help you to write on the bottle.
ROSEWATER CORDIAL INGREDIENTS:
- 1 1/2 cups sugar
- 300 g strawberries
- 1 lemon’s juice
- 2 tbsp rosewater
- 1 1/2 cups water
First, make the cordial. Bring sugar, lemon juice and strawberries to a simmer until the sugar had dissolved. Remove from heat, let it cool then add in the rosewater. Pass the mixture through a fine sieve for a clear cordial.
Pour the blend into your glass jar. Write “Rosewater Cordial” on the chalk bit, tie it with a pretty ribbon, place in a gift box/bag and it’s ready for mixing. Keep it light with soda and a dash of lemon; mix with bubbly for a version of Kir Royale, or if you want something stronger, spirits and soda!
That’s it – three gifts within an hour! You can have fun while making gifts for others. I find it way more therapeutic than running in a shopping mall, although I’m often guilty of sprinting through the isles on the 23rd!
Happy festive season, and remember to take it easy!