Thursday, 1 December 2011

A DIY Christmas

It is December 1st, which means that even if you are a bit bah-humbug like me it's probably time to think about Christmas. This year I'm trying to save a bit and really think about what I'm spending my money on...and I'm sure I'm not the only one. My 7-year-old sister asked me for a Designafriend outfit yesterday and got a firm no. I refuse to spend over £10 on clothes for a dolly. Sorry little sis but it is not happening. In fact, even the presents I've agreed to will be sourced at the lowest prices.

What's more, where possible I will be doing it myself. I always end up buying lots of chocolates and treats for people and this year they will be getting a (probably slightly special looking) hand decorated box of handmade goodies. I'm thinking shortbread, peanut butter fudge, treacle toffee and maybe some handmade crackers. After all, what better time for crackers and cheese than Christmas? There are a whole host of recipe ideas on the BBC and Good Food, which is great as baking is something I can actually do.

My first attempt at shortbread using this recipe and sprinkled with caster sugar when still warm.
The rather rustic look is due to the fact they were cut with a glass due to the absence of a cutter.

Yes, I'm coming over all Kirstie Allsopp and whilst the media tries to portray her as some out of date anti-feminist. I think she's an inspiration for keeping crafts alive and giving them a go and sometimes failing. There are tonnes of craft ideas on Channel 4 and HobbyCraft's Ideas Library but I think I'll be sticking to baking this year. I may not be a dab hand on a sewing machine or with a flower arrangement but it's not about being amazing at everything, it's about putting your thought and time into what you give and making a box of chocolate mean more than you were running low on time and decided to pick up a box of Thorntons in the supermarket. (As lovely as Thorntons chocolate is!)

Kirstie herself says she "can't stand the idea of anyone feeling pressured to homemake, it's supposed to be fun and therapeutic!" I don't see this as being cheap/what I should be doing, but I like the idea of making the most of what I can do and still giving those around me gifts they will (hopefully) love. At the minute I have bags of time as I am one of the many recent graduates looking for a job. If you just aren't into DIY/don't have time/just love unique handmade goods by independent designers then this is the perfect time to browse Etsy, Folky or Not on the High Street (which is my favourite at the moment) for some unique handmade gifts.


  1. that necklace is GORGEOUS.
    And I've already done my Christmas shopping....!!!


  2. I love those quirky handmade stores too. So good for unique gifts!
    Thanks for the lovely comment on my blog. I am pregnany yes! Due in Feb 2012 and very excited.
    I graduated last year and spent the best part of 6months searching for a job. And then I fell pregnant. Typical huh? But its all good now. I know how annoying it can be, but you WILL find one!

  3. I don't think homemade gifts are cheap, putting your time and energy on the gifts is worth more than money :)

    To answer you question about the gingerbread houses; I usually make my own templates/patterns on cardboard when I make them (I try to make a new design every year). But this year I found these "cake cutters" in the shape of tiny gingerbread houses in a store and I couldn't resist them.

    There's a lot of patterns online too!

    Have a nice evening! //Niina

  4. Thank you for your comment!
    Your White Christmas seemed perfect & like you said, perfect timing as well! I'm getting some new wellies for Christmas so maybe a good White Christmas is exactly what I need!
    Regarding the present wrapping tips, I'm not sure if you were joking or not but I'm considering doing a post on it, haha. I'm not amazing but my mum always says I'm good (maybe this is just to make me want to wrap Christmas presents for her) so I may consider it!
    Thanks again

  5. awww love the pics!! good post!


  6. Thank's for the lovely comment :) That shortbread looks so yummy! Great idea to make your own gifts! x x x

  7. Thank you for your comment, and thank you for following! I'm planning on going very home-made this Christmas (basically everyone is getting a hat or scarf). I just posted a recipe for snowflake truffles you may like! I adore those notebooks, particularly "Husbands I Had and Liked".
    Mona x

  8. Love those 'I met and liked' notebooks! I love a bit of Christmas baking! I'm hoping to make some gingerbread men and have a go at making fudge! :) x

  9. great post!

    will be glad if you follow or atleast pass by <3


  10. Home-made presents have such a personal touch, it's a great idea (and who doesn't love baked goods?!)! xo

  11. A timely reminder that Etsy is a GREAT place for Christmas presents! Thank you! LLGxx

  12. I am absolutely rubbish at cooking or being domestic in any way! Hats off to you though because your first attempt of shortbread looks delicious!

    Etsy is an amazing place for a really special and unique present. Great finds

    Rianna xxxx

  13. I should point out I only started baking this summer. After a disastrous batch of cupcakes for my boyfriends birthday I decided to make up for it on his graduation. Since then we've got a new oven and I have been doing a lot better. A good workman never blames his tools...but it is so much easier now lol. Definitely far from being a domestic goddess though. Etsy will definitely be helping me to fill up the family's stockings. xx

  14. These look delicious! And I love the cute gingerbread men!