Last Minute DIY Christmas Gifts

We’ve all been there. You think you’re all done with shopping, all the presents are wrapped, and then BAM! Either you’ve forgotten someone, or someone you weren’t expecting got you a present and now you have to return the favour, but whatever the reason, suddenly you need to magic up and extra present.

DIY Gift Ideas

Now you could risk throwing yourself back into the hoards of Christmas shoppers, but your credit card bill is longer than Santa’s beard, but shopping has lost its appeal, so why not show how much you care by putting a little bit of time and effort into a handmade gift.

I’ve got you sorted!

Recipe in a Jar

Find a fab recipe, layer the ingredients in a pretty jar and decorate! Print cute instructions and you’re good to go!

Homemade candles

You can pick up candle making supplies from most craft stores, or even just melt down other candles to pour into new moulds! You can make crazy colours using food colouring, or set them in something cute like vintage teacups or large seashells!

Water marbled mugs and plates

Remember when nail marbling was a big thing? Well you can now create unique and stunning gifts by dunking crockery instead of your nails! Little saucers make fab jewellery dishes!

Infused Olive Oils

For your foodie friends, infused oils are a great gift, and they’re surprisingly easy to make. Simply pour oil into a large saucepan, and add the infusion ingredients (garlic cloves, or chilli flakes) then slowly heat the oil over a low-medium heat for 15-20 mins. Let it cool, then pour into bottles!

Mini Terraniums

Pop some little succulents in a jar with some decorative stones, or even some glitter!

Hopefully this has given you a little inspiration for those last minute panic moments, but check out my Pinterest for more!

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My Creative Space

Something that has been making me really happy recently has been my return to the world of crafting. I’ve never been artistic, but I’ve always been creative, so while I can’t draw or paint, other activities like sewing and papercraft are absolutely my jam.

In the last month, I returned to the world of sewing, and my desk is once again being used for its proper purpose, rather than a dumping ground/photo space, so I thought today I’d share my little creative space, and the supplies I keep on hand for those crafty moments!

my craft drawer

craft drawer

craft drawer

My craft drawer is in no way Pinterest-perfect, but there’s a place for everything, and everything’s in its place. I use this plastic organiser tray to separate out my little bits – buttons, patches, spare bobbins, elastic etc – as well as washi tape, bias binding and ribbons, with zips tucked in the front and spare little boxes at the back. To keep my thread spools tidy, I used wooden dowelling and Sugru to create little stands for them, and I’ve also got a stash of fabric paint, paintbrushes, pens and pencils, as well as my fabric scissors and all my stickers.

creative space

On the shelving unit next to my desk, I keep a small selection of my fabric, although there’s almost always a load of it stacked up on my desk too, depending on what projects I’m in the middle of! I also used more wooden dowelling and Sugru to make a little shelf for my bigger rolls of tapes.

sewing area

sewing space

For prettiness, I’ve got my Ikea gerberas tucked in the corner, and my watercolour castle print to match my pastel pom poms! My desk area is probably my favourite part of my room, which only adds to the happiness that being creative gives me. Watch this space for some of my creations!

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DIY Travel Memory Frame

I’m a crazy sentimental person; I keep all kinds of silly things that remind me of certain places or days, and this is multiplied by a billion whenever I go on an amazing trip. These items will normally end up stuck to the fridge, or on a noticeboard, a great talking piece when people come round, but only occasionally glanced at the rest of the time, so when I came back from my recent trip to New Zealand, I knew I wanted a way of being able to keep the memories so that they didn’t end up as fridge fodder.

Taking inspiration from the lovely Kayley (@kayleymills89 on Twitter), I set about creating a shadow-box style collage of my trip!

DIY Travel shadow box fram

I used a Ribba frame from Ikea, but any deep photo frame would probably work. What goes in the frame is entirely up to you – they’re your memories! I’d already had some of the photos from the trip printed by Sticky9, and saved my boarding passes and tickets to places we’d visited, so I set about arranging these on the backboard of the frame and made sure I was happy with everything before sticking them down, then trimmed any overhanging bits.

DIY Travel memory box

Inside the frame, I stuck the little penguin USB stick that we got as part of our penguin experience, and added some confetti from my birthday present. I also bought a few stickers from Redbubble, and used the New Zealand silhouette sticker on the outside of the frame.

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Pop the backdrop into the frame, and voila!

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I’m so happy with how it turned out, and I definitely think I’m going to be making this a holiday tradition from now on! And if you love this idea but don’t fancy making it personal, check out Sammie’s Autumn inspired shadow box tutorial here!

How do you keep your holiday memories?

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Friday Favourite Five – Upcycling Products

While it may have lost a little bit of momentum after a huge upsurge a few years back, upcycling is still a really great way to transform something unloved into something fabulous, especially on a tight budget!

It doesn’t have to be a huge furniture project, it can be as small as just being a little crafty with everyday objects, and there are a tonne of great (and affordable!) products that can give you the Etsy-worthy edge!

1. Valspar Chrome Enamel spray paint

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I have a lot of love for spray enamel paint because it has such a good finish and is so easy to use, but the chrome effect from Valspar (exclusive to B&Q in the UK) is incredible! With just 1-2 coats you can give anything an almost mirror-effect shine.

2. Rustoleum Chalky Matt furniture paint

This Rustoleum paint is what I would describe as a classic shabby-chic furniture paint; its a budget equivalent of the well know Annie Sloan range, but still works really well. You can paint it on normally for a flat matt finish, or take some sandpaper to give it a worn-down effect

 

3. Glitter paint

Glitter paint comes in so many variations now – spray paint, regular brush-on, silver, gold, rainbow, I could go on.. You can use it to give a subtle shimmer to craft projects, or make it look like a unicorn threw up – totally up to you!

4. Ceramic paint pens

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Less upcycling and more crafty, but ceramic/porcelain pens are great for making personalised mugs, plates etc.. Because they’re in pen form, it makes them really easy for kids (and adults!) so hello perfect school holiday projects!

5. Dremel 3000 multi-tool

Ok, so this is more of an investment item, but if you love upcycling, I would 100% recommend you look into getting a Dremel. I’ve had my 3000 for two years now and I use it all the time for sanding, drilling, cutting and engraving, and there are so many attachments available, you could probably use it for anything! The cheapest Dremel model is about £25 and the 3000 is around £40-45 – well worth it if you’re a keen upcycler!

Have you been swept up in upcycling?

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Sea Shell DIY

In keeping with this week’s Little Mermaid theme, I’ve been crafting away with sea shells.

Shells are a great craft supply; if you live near a beach, you’ve basically got a free supply right there and a lot of fancier seafood you can buy from the supermarket comes with shells now too. Cleaning them up is easy enough with hot soapy water in the sink, but you can also put them in the dishwasher too!

So here are just a few quick little DIYs to add a little under the sea to your home!

 First of all, you could spray paint them..

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Or turn them into cute hair accessories..

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Or miniature trinket boxes..

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Or fill a decorative vase..

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Or make into cute little tealights..

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And large shells would make a great jewellery dish..

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Or key dish..

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Or even a soap disc..

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Marie Inspired DIY Tank Top

This week for my DIY I took inspiration from one pretty kitty..

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Transform a plain old white t-shirt into a cute little tank top perfect for the beach in just a few simple steps..

1. Take a pair of scissors to your t-shirt, cutting off the sleeves, then cutting across the stitching at the top, separating the neckline.

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2. Flip the top over, and make bigger cuts across the back to make a racer-back.

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3. Fold over the hem of this back section and stitch it down. Depending on your strap material, you may want to feed it through before you sew it down.

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4. The strap is a single strip of material; I used Boodle textile yarn for my straps, but you could use whatever you fancied really. Controversially, I believe there is a thing as too much pink, so I chose blue to reflect Marie’s eyes. Once you’ve fed it through the back, pin it into place at each side of the front, and sew into place.

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5. Using fabric paint, I decorated the back of my top with a large pink bow, and put a few little paw prints on the front.

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Ta-da!

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DIY Tangled Inspired Lampshade

This has been a working progress for months now, only cos I can be lazy and unmotivated, but I’m so happy to have finished this..

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I’ve also really struggled to get a good photo, but it looks better in person, promise!

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It was super easy to make, all you need is a lampshade (preferably a plastic lined one), a needle, and a template/artistic talent!

I printed off the images that I wanted, and while holding them in position with sewing pins, used the needle to make holes along the outlines.

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Although its a little fiddly, you’ll get the best results working on the design from inside the shade (poking the needle through to the outside) because the lining will pucker outwards, making the light shine through better.

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With no light, it looks pretty sweet..

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And then BAM!

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