Don’t Let Supply Issues Get You Down! 5 Fun DIY Christmas Gift Ideas to Relieve Stress & Bring the Festive Joy

published Dec 08, 2021
3 min read

Never have we approached the run up to Christmas with more worry. Business supply issues and HGV vehicle driver shortages, hitting net zero and saving the planet, the money issues caused by the decrease of universal credit and the end of furlough – a seemingly never-ending list.

Not to mention juggling all that with the anxiety of giving the kids a great Christmas after another isolation-heavy year!

Woah, let’s just take a breath.

Presents do not need to be yet another thing weighing on our minds, nor does the phrase ‘DIY Christmas gift’ have to fill us with dread or the haunting memories of macaroni disasters from yesteryear.

In fact, these 5 DIY gift ideas are not only guaranteed to bring joy to whoever receives them, but they double up as fun and festive activities for you and the kids, or you and your friends.

1. Gingerbread in a handmade/decorative box or tin

Nothing is easier and has so much potential to look nice than baking some festive goodies and putting them in a handmade box.

Gingerbread is a particular Christmas favourite and adds the additional activity of icing your creations (especially great for young children).

If you’re a little older and want to go for a more sophisticated look and don’t want to risk a potential icing disaster, a patterned roller is a fantastic way to add elegance to your creations with relative ease.

The great thing is that if you’re really strapped for time, or your handmade box didn’t go exactly to plan, you can simply buy a festive ribbon and some wrapping paper and wrap an old tin or tub.

This is a great activity for kids and adults alike, just swap the accompanying mulled wine for mulled apple juice and you’re away with a seasonal Sunday afternoon favourite!

2. Christmas decorations

There is nothing more relaxing or inventive than a Christmas craft. Though there are too many to mention, here are two ideas especially suited to socialising/keeping little ones busy.

The Christmas wreath

You actually get two activities for the price of one here. If you want to pinch pennies, save the planet and enjoy a heart-healthy walk, you can collect most of the wreath ingredients yourself.

Holly, mistletoe, pinecones, and ivy can all be found all over the UK and make fantastic filler for your wreath.

You can even make a recycling-based creation. Excess plastic can make for a very ethereal, or underwater-esque design. While a great one for adults is a wreath made of wine corks, especially good after a messy Christmas party.

Essentially the sky is the limit and you can spend as much or as little as you like. However, if you don’t want to spend a hundred hours weaving your own base from twigs, it’s definitely worth investing in a good foam or wooden base. Be aware though, that the latter may require a glue gun.

The dip-dye ornaments

This is a bit of a quirky one, but one sure to entertain (and make presents guaranteed to look good which is always a result)!

It’s so easy all you need is some old nail varnish, a bowl of warm water, some parchment paper, and the ornaments you’d like to decorate – baubles work really well, with a pack of 3 from Hobbycraft only £3.

Simply fill the bowl with warm water, pour in your desired nail varnish colours, dip your ornament, set aside and enjoy the marble effect when dry. It really is that straightforward!

There are lots of videos on how to dip dye mugs and the same process can be applied to ornaments.

It’s worth noting that nail varnish is often plastic-based, so make sure you have used all the nail varnish on the surface of the water before throwing anything down the sink.

3. Pottery painting

Almost every town has a pottery painting café. It’s an absolute no brainer for a place to take the kids on a rainy afternoon and a fantastic 2-in-1 present and activity.

For adults who may wish to do some painting unencumbered by littlies, many of these cafés are now introducing boozy evening painting sessions!

So, whether you’re after a calming afternoons paint with friends, or an evening’s girlie prosecco-laden catchup, this could be the way to go.

Friends or family ‘What do you meme’

For those who haven’t heard of it, ‘What do you meme’ is a fantastic game where you have to match funny captions with memes. It has a similar feel to cards against humanity and a family version is available, so everyone can play.

While this is a great game and gift all year round, it lends itself really well to hilarious personalisation.

Spend an hour or so putting together an album of your friends or families most ridiculous, side-splitting photos from the last year, get them printed and give as a gift with the game, or as an addition to those who already have it.

The freeprints app is particularly good to use for printing your photos. It’s very cheap, you can upload photos straight from your phone and you can choose to have them packaged in a nice box, making it handy for storage and use in the game.

Smile jar

This is such an easy, lovely gift to give a friend or relative.

Reuse an old coffee or mason jar and fill it with handwritten quotes, promises, compliments positivity, jokes or I.O.U’s.

Simply get some lovely paper, pick a theme and fill the jar.

This is a deeply personal, inexpensive way to show someone you care.

If the person you’re looking to give to this year loves literature you could write quotes from their favourite authors or books, for someone who loves a laugh, a jar filled with jokes of the day.

Someone more spiritual may love daily affirmations or inspirational quotes and someone special you don’t see often may love the idea of an I.O.U (e.g., a trip to the cinema, or a catch-up cup of tea).

Finishing the jar off with a beautiful ribbon is all you need to make this a perfect Christmas pressie.

Giving responsibly

All the DIY gifts above are extremely easy on the planet and will help you cut your festive carbon footprint this year.

However, it’s easy to trip at the last hurdle and forget about the wrapping paper and Sellotape.

Research by Greenpeace found that 1kg of wrapping paper is responsible for more that 3kg of CO2 emissions during its production process – owing to the 1.3kg of coal needed to manufacture it. While Sellotape contains polypropylene (plastic) and cannot be recycled.

This doesn’t mean you can’t have beautifully packaged presents, however. If you want to go for a more rustic look, you can channel your inner Julie Andrews! Brown paper packages tied up with string can be entirely recyclable and biodegradable!

While many prettier wrapping paper can be recycled – just be sure to check that it contains no plastic before buying. Unfortunately, unless specified, glittery paper is a no no, as glitter is also made of non-biodegradable materials.

There are however, some truly fab eco-friendly alternatives to traditional plastic Sellotape, so your gifts can be well received by the planet, as well as their intended recipients.

For more tips on how to cut your emissions visit