In this blog I intend to prove to the world, in true man fashion, that last-minute, impromptu gifts can also be as special as those that are planned with navy seal precision. So if you think you’ve got the creativity, Christmas spirit and last ditch festive push it takes, go ahead... Read on!
1.) Chalkboard mug.
This one is simpler to create than it is to wrap. First grab yourself a porcelain mug. (Not from the cupboard!). Masking tape is the second part you’ll need if you wish to create something more aesthetically pleasing. You’re also going to need some porcelain chalkboard paint (available at all good DIY stores) and a soft bristle paint brush, such as a watercolour brush.
Now make sure the mug is clean and dry. Secondly, masking tape the half of the mug that you don’t want to paint (you could just paint the whole thing, however, I think it looks better half and half.) Paint away, if you mess up you can just wipe it off and start again. You must let your mugging masterpiece dry for at least 24 hours. Take note, this IS NOT a gift you should start on Christmas Eve. For the next step I would recommend baking the mug for around 30 – 35 minutes in the oven at 300 F. After baking, be sure to leave it in the oven while the whole thing cools to room temperature. Baking your mug will ensure that it is dishwasher and microwave safe. Now all you need to do is write a name or witty Christmas ditty in chalk.
** XMAS JOKE – What would you get if you ate the Christmas decorations – Tinselitis.**
2.) Chocolate Christmas Dipping Spoons –
That joyful season would be nothing without chocolate. I’ve seen this idea being flogged nationwide in shops and on Christmas markets. It is however, extremely simple to do. For this one you can repurpose those old vintage spoons in the bottom drawer of the sideboard.
• Ingredients and tools needed: These include vintage spoons, a squeezy bottle of caramel, hundreds and thousands, crushed candy canes, marshmallows, milk chocolate chips, white chocolate, cellophane bags or wrapping, scissors, ribbon and baking paper. Of course you can add whatever you like to make these dipping spoons your own. This for me is a perfect activity to do with the kids and get them involved in festive giving.
• Melt the chocolate – dip – decorate – set – Now add Christmas glitz and glamour and wrap in that handy cellophane, tie off with a nice red bow of noel ribbon.
Now share these chocolates round at Christmas, perfect with a cup of hot cocoa.
The perfect impromptu gift for a dinner party. This is probably the easiest one on the list to do. It’s also probably the one that the men are most fond of. All you need to do is grab some beers from the shop. Let’s not kid ourselves... there’s some in the fridge already. Pop some brown pipe cleaners round the tops for antlers, add some googly eyes and a fluffy red pompom nose. Now to sit back and enjoy the iciest Christmas tipple this side of the North Pole.
4.) Christmas 2015 Celebratory Handprint Plate
Another simple one that can be done with the kids. I love the idea of this one. All you need is some porcelain paint, a sharpie and of course a hand. This is a great present for Grandma and Grandad. Get a shallow tray and empty some paint of your choice of colour into it. Now make sure the little one’s hand is coated all over in it. Carefully get them to pop their handprint down in the centre of the plate. The next bit is up to you. I’d suggest you let them write their name, and then you can write ‘Christmas 2015’. As with the mug, follow the same steps to bake the design on. A great way to spice this one up is to paint a reindeer face in the centre of the plate and do two handprints in brown paint on either side as the antlers.
5.) Easy Gifts
• Coconut oil and peppermint extract mixed with sugar make for an amazing body scrub. Pop it in a jar for perfect stocking filler.
• Fill a traditional jam jar with some special sweets and chocolates for that important person in your life. This also makes the perfect centrepiece for your Christmas table.
• Not a whole gift but a great way of giving your presents that little more impact. Try adding a bauble to the wrapped present. Why should they just be for trees?
• Up cycle vintage tea tins by filling with a candle. The perfect hostess gift.
**XMAS JOKE - What do you get if you cross Santa with a duck? - A Christmas Quacker!**
Hopefully these last minute DIY gift ideas can help bring a smile to the faces of your loved ones. If not used for Christmas gifts these are a great set of things to do on these dark boring December nights whilst watching that rerun of the two Ronnie’s that you watch every year.