The holiday season can get expensive when you’re buying presents for friends, family, co-workers and loved ones, but it doesn’t have to break the bank. A quick trip to the craft store can supply you with all of the materials you need to create beautiful, stylish and useful handmade accessories.
These DIY projects are thoughtful and festive, and they can be completed in several hours at most, making them the perfect presents for anyone on your list.
For those addicted to their cell phones, craft a customized phone case to showcase a picture, drawing or pressed flowers. All it takes is a clear phone case, which are relatively inexpensive, paper or flowers and clear Mod Podge craft glue. For a photo phone case, print out or draw a picture on paper, and cut it to fit in the back of the case. Use the Mod Podge to glue it to the case and let it dry. For a floral phone case, press several small flowers like baby’s-breath or daisies, or individual flower petals of any kind. If in a hurry, the flower pressing process can be sped up using a microwave and some plates. Once the flowers are dry, use the Mod Podge to glue them to the case.
Jewelry is always a thoughtful present, but it can be quite pricey. A simple DIY friendship bracelet or beaded necklace makes for an affordable and beautiful gift. A friendship bracelet can work for both men and women, depending on what materials you use. For a more masculine version, braid a leather cord into a bracelet in a simple three-strand plait. You can also use embroidery floss in colors of your choosing to create a knotted friendship bracelet.
For a sleek and simple beaded necklace, start with a quarter-inch width grosgrain ribbon and a selection of bugle beads, which are usually tube shaped. Cut the ribbon to the desired length, but at least long enough to fit over someone’s head — 24 inches is a safe bet. Using thread of the same color as the ribbon, sew the beads in a line down the length of the ribbon. Once you’ve sewn on the beads, take the two ends of the ribbon and sew them together to create a closed necklace. It’s a fast and easy design, creating a pretty and wearable accessory.
Make a practical present using basic sewing skills by embroidering a plain canvas or fabric pouch, which you can find at a craft store or even make yourself. In addition to the pouch, all you need is a needle and embroidery floss. To make it easier to sew, sketch your design on the pouch with pencil so you can follow the lines and erase any visible marks later. Whether you choose to sew on someone’s initials, a floral outline or a simple pattern, it makes for a useful gift that can be a makeup case, pencil pouch or even a clutch.
Another easy sewing project is a personalized Christmas sweater. Start with a plain red cardigan or pullover, and sew on festive patches, which are available at craft stores, Amazon and Etsy. It makes for a thoughtful gift for those who love the holidays. By hand-picking the patches, you can choose the theme of the sweater and create a sentimental piece for the recipient.
Email Sophie Shaw at [email protected]