Learning how to make candles will definitely help in the future when you are looking around for Christmas presents. These are easy to make, and you don't need a lot of equipment either.

You can choose between beeswax, soy or paraffin. If you want give your candles a nice scent and a pretty color, then skip the beeswax. Paraffin is also known not to be that good for the environment, so that is why soy is more popular these days.

Get a double boiler going and start to melt the wax. Put the wick in the container and attach it with a little tape at the bottom, along with a skewer at the top. When the wax has melted down, you can add the scent as well as the color. Pour this in your containers or moulds.



photo credit:

Homemade Scrubs

There are all sorts of scrubs that you can make which will make great DIY gifts. These have become really popular over the years. You can make something for the body, or something specialized like for the feet. You could make an exfoliator.

Something like sugar and olive oil or a salt scrub are some of the scrubs that are popular at the moment. Put this in a nice jar with a label and a pretty flower with a ribbon and it will be one of the perfect DIY gifts for friends. This is a million times better than some sort of hand cream you get at your local store.


photo credit:

Flavored Sugars and Salts

Flavored sugars and salts are great to use on your food and in the cooking process. It's nice to sprinkle a little chili salt over your potatoes to give them that extra kick. Vanilla sugar in your coffee is not too bad either. 

For the salts, use 1 part of the ingredient and three parts of the salt. Make sure that everything is dry. For example, if you are making chili, then dry this out completely so that there is no moisture in the salt.

vanilla sugar

photo credit:

For the sugars, just taste as you go - you can also use food colorings. For example use green for mint sugar as well as mint.  For orange sugar, use 1 orange, adding in the zest, along with a cup of sugar. Grind everything together well.

Jams, Relishes, Preserves

The thing about these sorts of gifts, is that you really have to make them different and original. Anyone can go and buy a jar of homemade strawberry jam at the stor. Marmalade is really old school. However, if you think along the lines of red onion marmalade, a caramel sauce or a lemon syrup that you can use in many forms of cooking, then you will start to get a lot more unique with your gift making.


photo credit:

Wall Art

Everyone has different tastes, but most people enjoy wall art. If they know it was from you, and you took the trouble to make something special for them, then it will really put a smile on their face. Only you know what your friends and family enjoy, and they will surely find a space in their home to display your work of art.

wall art

photo credit:

You may be artistic, in which case you can reveal your hidden talents. However, you don't have to be Pablo Picasso to come up with something extrodinary. Think of different textures, like nails and string creating a nice pattern. You can use typography in an interesting way on a canvas. The use of scrabble pieces on a board have also become popular.

A Clock with a Theme

If you know that someone is really crazy about a certain band or even some sort of hobby, then you could dedicate this gift to that. Making a clock out of an old record is not difficult to do. Get yourself an image and put that on the front of the record.

Get hold of a cheap clock, and take the mechanism. Now insert the shaft into the hole of the record and tape it down. Put the hands back on the shaft. This is great for any occasion, but it particularly stands out as a good choice should you be looking for  DIY birthday gifts to choose from.

Picture Frames

There are so many different types of picture frames that you can make that special someone. Of course, it depends on who you are making it for, and the place where it is going. If you know that your brother has a beach house, you may want to make him a rustic wooden frame, painted in white. Something fun could be made out of a variety of mosaic tiles, and darker woods could be reserved for a more formal setting.

Tote Bag

You can be creative as you like with this. These bags are cheap, so buy one of these and decorate them as you like. You can use materials in different ways. For example, if it is a child deciding to make something for Granny for Christmas, then fabric markers are all you need. Something free and expressive is best in this case. However, to take the more professional approach, you may even want to screen print it. You can do this yourself by making a stencil. You can add on rhinestones, buttons or other types patchwork, depending how elegant or rustic you want to go.

Double Pocket Canvas Tote, Natural
Amazon Price: $7.99 $7.97 Buy Now
(price as of Aug 22, 2013)

Personalized Coffee Mug

This is something that is dead easy to make, and is really great because you can customize it. It's a nice project for kids to do and give their grandparents. All you need are a couple of sharpie markers. Once you have finished designing your creation, pop your mug into the oven for 30 minutes at a temperature of 350 degrees F. For this, it is best that you hand wash your mug so that it does not fade.

Sharpie Fine-Tip Permanent Marker, 24-Pack Assorted Colors
Amazon Price: $28.99 Too low to display Buy Now
(price as of Aug 22, 2013)

Soap Making

This is something that takes time to learn and you may be put off by the chemicals used, but there is an easy way of doing this. Simply use soap that you buy at a craft shop, melt this down and add coloring and scents. It still looks great anywhere in the home.

Read more about the process here

It is worthwhile learning about this if you want to start learning how to make your own soap.