By Michael Deschenes (29422)

Handmade Christmas gifts can be not only cost-effective and a route to an inexpensive Christmas, but are a uniquely personal way to show friends and family that you care. People appreciate handmade Christmas gifts far more than shop bought – anyone can go to a shop and spend money – but something handmade has far more sentimental value to the gift recipient.

Which handmade Christmas gifts to make?

Well, firstly, your results need to be as professional as possible. So, it's probably inadvisable to make a handicraft item, if you've never made anything before and crafting isn't your strong point. You need to consider your skills and talents, and plan your handmade Christmas gifts accordingly.

Here are some handmade Christmas gifts you could consider turning a hand to:

Christmas food gifts – If you are reasonably competent in the kitchen, there are all manner of gourmet food gifts that you could make. What's great about food gifts is that aside from the cost of the ingredients, the only other outlay is to package your handmade Christmas gifts. If you plan ahead, you can save up any jars, bottles or baskets you may wish to use through the year and recycle them. These are also great for kids to get involved with making. For more ideas and suggestions, see this article, which also includes recipes for some delicious Christmas food gifts.

Handicrafts – If you're handy with a sewing machine, can knit, crochet or patchwork, or know your way around basic needlepoint techniques, then hand made clothes and accessories can be great handmade Christmas gifts. Also, take a look around goodwill stores – there may be something there, such as an inexpensive fleece scarf, that, with a little customisation could be turned into a beautiful gift. Hand made dolls and teddy bears make delightful gifts for children. The only limit is how far your imagination takes you.

Art – If you're a competent artist, why not draw or paint gifts for Christmas? From a full size painting or festive caricatures of the recipients, creating your own designs can be a lot of fun. Also look out for items in dollar stores that could be customized with some of your art working skills. For example, how about custom-painted wine glasses or small wooden trinket boxes? So many things can be brought to life and made uniquely personal with a paintbrush and a little imagination.

Woodwork/DIY – if you're a keen do-it-yourself expert, then why not put those skills to use? As well as creating your own mini-build projects to give as handamade Christmas gifts, you could consider giving the gift recipient a voucher that entitles them to some of your time. It may be just what they need to get some of those outstanding jobs around the home done.

These are just some of the handmade Christmas gifts that make wonderful presents for people of all ages – just get creating!

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