DIY and Crafts

10 DIY Christmas gifts to make and give your loved ones this year

Article by Homes to Love

Stuck with what to give your friends and family this year? Save the time scouring the shops and spend it making your own DIY Christmas gifts 

1. Tile planter box

Got a plant lover in the family? Make them a chic planter box using contemporary, stylish tiles and if you’re feeling particularly generous, gift them a new plant too. Here’s how:

You will need:

  • 5 tiles per box – ours were 20cm square. (The 5th tile is the base so this doesn’t have to match the others)
  • Liquid Nails glue
  • Plants and potting mix

How to make:

Run some Liquid Nails glue down the edge of 1 tile. Stick tile to the back edge of another tile to create a right angle (ensure any pattern is the right way up). Press and hold tiles together for a few seconds until glue firms. Repeat until you have made a box with 4 tiles.

2. Canvas floor cushion

The perfect summer accessory for poolside relaxing or beach lounging.

You will need:

  • Canvas
  • Sewing machine
  • Zip
  • Beans

How to make:

Cut 2 pieces of canvas 73cm square. Cut 4 strips of canvas 73cm x 15cm. (When sewing, allow 2.5cm seam allowance.) Right sides together, sew 1 strip along each side of 1 square. Right sides together, sew 2nd square to 3 of strips, leaving 1 side open. Sew up all 4 corners. Turn right side out and stuff with filling. Hand-sew to close. Optional: zip and handle.

3. Coat rack

For the minimalist, you will need:

  • A concrete-look pot
  • Paint
  • Quick-dry cement
  • 3 x 1.8m dowels

How to make:

  • Paint pot in your chosen colour and let it dry.
  • Three-quarters fill pot with quick-dry cement (don’t add the water).
  • Stick 3 x 1.8m dowels into pot and arrange in your desired formation.
  • Pour in water according to the cement instructions and leave to dry completely.

For the colour-lover, you will need:

  • 4 lengths of 35mm x 1800mm dowel
  • Paint brush
  • 4 testpots in colours of your choice
  • 2m thin rope (ours was a metallic style from a $2 shop)

How to make:

Step 1. Paint dowels using a different test pot for each one, then leave to dry. You may need a couple of coats depending on the colours you choose.

Step 2. Group the dowels together so you have 2 on top and 2 underneath.

Step 3. Make a light mark about 40cm from the top of 1 dowel. Starting just above the mark and working downwards, wrap the rope around the dowels about 10 times. Secure with a double knot and trim off excess.

Step 4. Stand dowels upright and then gently splay out to make a tepee shape.

Step 5. Place in your entrance or hallway or in a corner of a bedroom (make sure the knot is at the back so it can’t be seen) – all ready for hats, scarves, coats and bags.

4. Canvas storage bags

Make these cute storage bags and fill them with chocolate, sweets or the favourite food of your gift-ee.

You will need:

  • Canvas
  • Sewing machine

How to make:

Cut a 30cm x 62cm rectangle and a 20cm-diameter circle.With right sides together, fold rectangle in half and sew along 30cm edge to form tube. With right sides together, pin circle to bottom of tube and sew together. Turn right side out. Fold over top edge twice to form 5cm cuff.

5. Chunky wool wall hanging

Choose the colours of the wool especially for the person you’ll be gifting this to.

You will need:

  • 2 gold rings
  • 2 spools of chunky wool
  • Scissors

How to make:

Take 2 gold rings (17cm and 30cm) and tie together with embroidery thread as per photo. Cut 5 x 60cm lengths of chunky wool, 4 in one colour and 1 in another colour. Fold in half and place loop ends (pointing up) over small ring. For each, take bottom ends under ring, thread through the loop and pull down. Cut 7 x 80cm lengths of wool in a single colour. Loop onto big ring in the same way.

6. Mobile

The perfect gift for new parents.

You will need:

  • 4 pieces of 8mm dowel at varying lengths (we cut ours to 5cm, 10cm, 25cm and 40cm)
  • 8 ping pong balls
  • Paint
  • Fishing line

How to make:

Cut 4 pieces of 8mm dowel at varying lengths – we cut ours to 5cm, 10cm, 25cm and 40cm. Find a drill bit the same diameter as your dowels and drill a hole into 8 ping pong balls. Paint the balls in a colour that suits your decor and leave to dry. Attach the balls to both ends of the dowels and secure with glue. Using thin fishing line, tie the line around the middle of each dowel, allowing 12-15cm of line between each. Make a loop at the top for hanging.

7. Suede clutch

This can be made at any size to be a tablet case, phone case or wallet.

You will need:

  • Suede
  • Dome and pocket

How to make:

First, decide on the measurement, then double it and mark a rectangle to these measurements on your suede, adding an extra 10mm or so to each side. Add a triangle to this shape on a short side (this will be the flap). Fold the rectangle in half and sew down each side. Separate a dome and attach the top part to the flap and the bottom part to the place where it meets the pocket.

colourful storage boxes, create your own, DIY

8. Colourful storage baskets

These will add a fun pop of colour to any home.

You will need:

  • Straw (or similar) baskets
  • Paint testpots (thick house paint works best)
  • Sturdy paint brushes
  • Chalk
  • Drop cloth

How to make:

Check the area of the baskets you wish to paint for any loose threads or unwoven pieces of straw. Using chalk, map out a pattern on the basket. Larger simple shapes are more forgiving! Leave a gap between each shape so that you don’t have to be too perfect with your brushwork. Paint the outline of each shape using a smaller brush, and then fill in the shape with a larger brush. You will need to apply a couple of layers of paint, and be sure to fill in the areas between ridges on the baskets.

9. Colourful trays

Give plastic trays a quick and easy designer update using fabric and glue.

You will need:

  • Plastic tray (ours are from Look Sharp)
  • Fabric – a fat quarter (45.5cm by 56cm) is the perfect size (ours is from Spotlight)
  • Mod Podge (available from Spotlight)
  • Paintbrush
  • Scissors

How to make:

Cut a piece of fabric big enough to wrap around entire tray. Paint the Mod Podge glue on the top and inner sides of the tray. Carefully place the centre of the fabric over the centre of the tray and smooth fabric into place, making sure there are no wrinkles and the fabric sticks well to the top and sides of the tray. Flip the tray over and paint the bottom with Mod Podge. Wrap the fabric around the bottom. Trim excess fabric or fold over like a present. Use a brush to cover the top and inner sides of tray with Mod Podge. Allow glue to dry completely. Repeat step 6 for the bottom of tray.

These trays will end up with a waterproof textured surface great for both indoor and outdoor use.

10. Rope placemats

So simple and so cost-effective, these fun placemats are an easy way to add some texture to your decor.

You will need:

  • Round MDF board
  • Glue
  • Rope

How to make:

As a base for the rope to sit on we used an MDF coaster and placemat. Apply glue to MDF and, starting at centre, wind rope around itself to make a spiral. We used 1.3m rope for coaster, 7.7m for mat, but depends on thickness. Tuck end under coil or seal with clear craft glue.


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