As we all know when giving Christmas gifts, people (especially my parents) always say “it’s the thought that counts”. Well, how about making your own gifts for your loved ones, because then the thought really does count.

I’m not saying that the gifts you give can’t be store bought but I have given homemade gifts for the past two years and have discovered that they are more precious than anything I have ever bought. So here are my tips on how to make cheap and easy gifts for your loved ones.

Sharpie Mugs


Sharpie mugs are a great gift. They are easy, cheap and full of sentiment. I made these last year and I plan on making them again for my loved ones.

What you need:

  • An array of Sharpies. (I know they are not cheap, but you can buy a small one for just over £1).
  • A plain mug. Again this is a really cheap option – I get mine from Wilkos for £1.

How you do it:

  • Write your own personalised message on the mug (or get one from Pinterest)
  • Place in the oven for 30 minutes at 200c. Be very careful when removing them, because the whole mug will be hot!
  • Let the mugs cool fully before even contemplating wrapping them.

They are so quick and simple! Last year I filled my cups with sweets for that added surprise.


Homemade Hot Chocolate Gifts

Okay, so your not actually making the hot chocolate (unless you are really talented) but these homemade hot chocolate gifts are a brilliant idea for those hot chocolate lovers in your life (or yourself, if you’re like me!)

What you need:

  • Hot chocolate Mix
  • A round tub or a small jar
  • Mini marshmallows
  • Chocolate chips
  • A small, treat size chocolate bar (I recommend a flake or a twirl)

How you do it:

  • Fill the tub with the hot chocolate mix until about ¾ quarters of the way up.
  • Use a sandwich bag and fill about 1/5 of the bag with mini marshmallows. Do the same with the chocolate chips.
  • Place the marshmallows and chocolate chips on top of the hot chocolate mix and then place the treat size chocolate bar on top of that.
  • Seal tightly

Using white sticky labels and some pretty, coloured pens write your personalised message on one of them and place that at the front of the tub. Then write the instructions for making the hot chocolate on the back (You can get this from the packet)

Wrap and watch them enjoy!


Personalised Hampers

So I’ve never made these for Christmas, but I have made these for my mums birthday and she loved it.

What you need:

  • A empty medium sized crate/basket
  • Tissue Paper
  • Transparent film
  • Items to fill the hamper

How you do it:

  • Scrunch the tissue paper up to create padding and place inside the empty basket.
  • Carefully place the items which you want to fill the hamper with in the basket. These items can range from smelly items, such as shower gel, or even a selection of the receiver’s favourite chocolate and sweets.
  • When filled roll out the transparent film and wrap the hamper up tightly.
  • Place a big bow on top and give to your loved ones.


I know this one was particularly easy, but I found that my mum loved it so much more than she would have if I had bought her an already made one.


Snow Globes 

Okay so this isn’t actually DIY, but it is personalised. In my first year of university I decided to make each member of my family a personalised snow globe, with a picture they hold close to their heart inside. It also happened to be the year my beautiful and adorable nephew was born, so each member had that special photo where they held him for the first time and I decided to use this photo.

I went to a photo shop and the original plan was to get the photos on keyrings, but then I saw that they had snow globes on offer so I decided to personalise a snow globe. I asked the assistant what size I needed and they helped me by choosing the correct size and even placed the images in the snow globes for me!


I filmed the moment they opened them and the joy on their faces was amazing! I felt so happy that they all loved their gifts, so if your not as creative as me this is the ideal present to show your loved ones how much you actually love them.

By Anne-Marie Lees