Crafty Christmas ideas on a budget

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Create some extra festive cheer without breaking the bank

As we all know, it’s so easy to overspend when the holidays roll around. Once Halloween is over, we're bombarded by adverts for Christmas gift ideas. The temptation of treating all your friends and family, and turning your home into a winter wonderland, can be too much to resist. We often have a difficult start to the new year, trying to get back on track with our finances – an extra stress which doesn’t make the coldest and bleakest month any more fun.

But if you have a bit of time to spend planning and DIYing, you can create a wonderful Christmas without breaking the bank. You don’t even need any specialist skills – we’re not all master craftspeople after all! Here are a few ideas for things you can try making at home, to ensure this year’s celebrations are extra special.

Homemade cards and labels

Keeping Christmas cards received the year before is always a good idea if you like getting crafty. Cut out the shapes from the front of old cards to use as labels on presents – saving money and also reducing waste.

You can also make your own cards at home, and you don’t need to be an artistic genius. A pressed leaf can create a beautiful and unique print – simply paint it and press it onto the front of a blank card. For an even more festive design, use different leaves to create printed Christmas trees. Leaf prints can also make lovely presents when inserted into a second-hand frame and given to a loved one.

 A Christmas card on a table with a miniature Christmas tree behind

DIY gift ideas

There’s nothing better than homemade gifts to make a friend or family member feel special this holiday season. Here are some of our favourite easy DIY Christmas gifts, which can be made by complete beginners and will help you to save money. No painting or sewing skills needed, and you don't need a hot glue gun!

  • Jars of roasted nuts. Choose from sweet varieties, such as maple roasted almonds, or go for savoury – spicy cashews are delicious.
  • Homemade spa night treats. These can include bath bombs, sugar scrubs, lip balms and more, and can be made with a few simple ingredients such as coconut oil, bicarbonate of soda and essential oils.
  • Infused olive oil. One of our favourite flavours is garlic and rosemary olive oil. Simply add your flavours to a Mason jar, top it up with oil, leave it to infuse for a couple of weeks and add a homemade label. The perfect gift for a food lover.
  • Framed photos. So many of us fall into the pattern of taking hundreds of photos, and never printing any off. Why not surprise a loved one with a printed photo from a special moment, presented in a picture frame? Charity shops are fantastic for frames of all sizes.
  • Chocolate bark. Melt a plain bar of plant-based chocolate, spread it on baking parchment and add in roasted nuts, vegan marshmallows, dried fruit and anything else you can think of! You can even melt different kinds of vegan chocolate and then swirl them together for a beautiful marble effect. Once solid, wrap the bark in baking paper and tie it up with string for a rustic effect.
  • Pressed flower art. Pressing flowers can take several weeks, but you can use a microwave to speed the process up. Displaying the flowers in a frame can make a wonderful keepsake for someone.
  • Gin, whiskey and rum bottles are often miniature works of art. Cleaning them out and adding a rechargeable string of fairy lights as a cork can make really classy handmade gifts.
  • Hot chocolate. Why not treat your loved ones to a tub of their favourite vegan hot chocolate to stay cosy during the winter months? Accompany this with a decorative mug from a charity shop and add some tasty vegan biscuits for the perfect winter treat!

Homemade Christmas gifts, wrapped up in brown paper with sprigs of greenery and stars

DIY Christmas decorations

Bringing the outside in will make your home feel extra Christmassy. Collecting natural materials such as branches, foliage, berries and pine cones from the garden or on a winter walk will give you all the materials you need. Use these as table decorations, tuck sprigs of greenery behind mirrors and pictures, add them to a mantelpiece or windowsill, or even have a go at making your own wreath. You don't even need to buy a Christmas tree – if you have a small potted tree in the garden, bring it inside and decorate it with your favourite ornaments.

Making snow globes with little ones can be a fun festive pastime. All you need is a jam jar, glue, a collection of small kids’ toys such as Lego figurines and some glitter. Assemble the scene by sticking figurines to the inside of the lid. Once it’s secure, add water and glitter to the jar, screw the lid on, turn it upside down and display!

Newspaper or magazine pages can be used to make streamers or paper stars. You can string these from lampshades, up the stairs or on the wall to add an extra festive touch.

  A Homemade Christmas decoration made with sprigs of greenery and baubles

Explore our Live Vegan for Less resources, including delicious budget recipes and more blogs. Look out for #LiveVeganForLess on socials. This festive season, why not treat a loved one to a Vegan Society gift membership?

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