DIY gift ideas | Erasmus tips
Making homemade gifts is not also cheaper but it is always unique and more personal. There are tonnes of ideas on Pinterest and Buzzfeed, but the ones I described below, I find to be the simplest and cheapest. The materials can be found easily and the gifts look great.
All you need to make one of these, is a bit of patience and an eye for design. They are such a nice gifts to give, knowing that you created it all yourself. They’re different and the colours and style can be altered to suit the person’s personality.
- Whoever it is for, brainstorm all the words that remind you of this person, i. e. their hobbies, their family names, quotes…
- Next, open a word document and start to write some of the names down in text boxes.
- Change the sizes, font and colours of the different words, the more important words can stand out more.
- Rotate some of them.
- Print it out. You could even buy some embellished paper to make it look really special.
- Buy a frame that fits the size and done, easy!
One of the most satisfying gifts to give someone. You can buy a cheap baskets on Amazon or probably from your local DIY store. You can get some tissue paper to decorate the inside and hold the gifts in a more stable position. If you can’t find a basket, you can use an old shoe box or anything else you have in the house that could be used to hold some items. With a shoe box, you can use wrapping paper to decorate the outside and some ribbon to secure it afterwards. Buy some of their favourite food, toiletries, a can of their favourite drink, fruit, a box of their favourite tea, some homemade cookies… whatever you want! Leave a little note inside for the final personal touch.
Get some empty lanterns and make this cute little present. Depending on the individual, make a ‘kit‘ for them. It can be a cocktail kit and you can put in it a mini liquor, mixer, pieces of fruit, cup, some straws etc., or a bath kit with some soap, shower gel, sponge, bath hat etc.
Tie a gift tag on the top with some ribbon and write a personalised message. It looks nice and can be customised to whatever you like. Option on a budget would be to fill it with some sweets or chocolate and it will still look great!
Coffee or tea lovers kit
It is similar to the lantern. You can use a tin or a shoe box again and fill it with coffee or tea, biscuits, syrups, a tea cup or a mug, some sugar cubes, coffee beans. It will go down a treat and is one of the cheapest ones to make. Decorate it with some tags and ribbon, you can even include a gift voucher for their favourite coffee shop. Add a mini liquor for an Irish coffee alternative, or some coffee flavoured chocolate.
Lemonade making kit
This is a very unique and nice gift for the summer months. You need a pitcher, a few lemons, sugar, a card and some ribbon.
Print out some instructions on the card and cut it to match the size of the pitcher. Tie it to the jug, put all of the ingredients inside and that’s it! Great for a girlfriend or a BBQ host.
Homemade body scrub
These are easy-peasy. Get some old sugar or salt from your baking cupboard and whatever other ingredients you have lying around. There are all sorts of combinations. All you have to do is mix them all together and put them into a glass jar with a lid. Label it and you’ve got yourself a gift ready for the next time you need it.
- Banana – 1 ripe mashed banana, 3 tbsp granulated sugar and ¼ teaspoon of pure vanilla extract.
- Coffee – 55g ground coffee, 55g sugar, 2 tbsp of extra virgin olive oil.
- Coconut – 115g coconut oil, 115g brown sugar, ½ teaspoon of pure vanilla extract.
- Citrus – 115g sea salt, 115g grape seed oil (jojoba, almond, olive etc. ) 1 teaspoon of citrus zest.
- Lavender – 115g sea salt, 75g grape seed oil, 1 tbsp dried lavender, 16 drops lavender essential oil.
Knitting is usually something we associate with our grandparents but a lot of young people are now trying their hand at it. There are all sorts of online tutorials on Youtube and I’m sure someone in your family can help you! If you’re a beginner, start off with a scarf. Do a little bit every day and you’ll soon have the final product. The great thing about it is that the quality is amazing and your friend will always have a part of you close to them!
Chocolate bar bouquet
Great fun to make and the end product looks pretty impressive. You need an empty, washed out can, some floral foam, glue, lollipop sticks and some ribbon to decorate… and of course lots of chocolate bars!
- Cut the foam to a good size so that it fits the can.
- Glue some chocolate bars around the can if you want, or just glue them onto the sticks and arrange them in different heights in the foam.
- Glue some curled ribbon onto the sticks and use the rest of the ribbon to wrap around the rest of the bars and can.
- Leave a little note somewhere inside if you like.
Great present for family members at Christmas.
- You will need some muslin paper, 85g brown sugar, 1tsp ground ginger, ½ tsp ground nutmeg, 1 cinnamon stick, bottle of red wine, 8-12 cloves, an orange and a box, string, some shredded paper and a card.
- Put the muslin paper on a flat surface and place the sugar, ginger and nutmeg in the centre. Tie into a pouch with a fine string and attach to the neck of the wine bottle. Then attach also the cinnamon stick.
- Stick the cloves into the orange and pack into a box lined with shredded paper together with the wine.
- Tie the card to the wine bottle with the following instructions: ‘Tip the contents of the muslin bag into a pot with the wine, orange, cinnamon stick and 300 ml of water. Simmer for 5 mins, then serve’.
Cookie and brownie ingredients layered up in a jar make a present that any home baker will love.
All you have to do is get a jar, some patchwork material, some straw ribbon and a label.
- Layer all the different ingredients, separating different colours to create the best visual effect.
- Write the instructions on the label, as well as the type of the cookie and attach it to the lid of the jar with the straw ribbon.
- Close the lid and put the patchwork on top and once again secure with the ribbon.
- You can use some sticky labels to decorate the jar too, it’s up to you.
- You could do it for savoury recipes too such as bread or cheese scones.
Either store them in jars, or homemade boxes. Here is a link to create some homemade cardboard boxes useful for any homemade treat.
- For a simple recipe you will need 300 g dark chocolate, 300 ml double cream and 50 g butter.
- Chop the chocolate and put it into a large bowl.
- Put the cream and butter into a saucepan and heat gently until the butter melts and the cream reaches simmering point.
- Remove from heat, then pour over the chocolate. Stir the chocolate and cream together until obtaining a smooth mixture.
- Add flavourings to the truffle mix at this stage, or leave it plain.
- Cool and chill for at least 4 hrs.
- After decorated, store in the fridge in an airtight container for 3 days.
- To give as presents, place 8-10 truffles in individual foil or paper cases inside small, lined boxes tied with ribbon. Keep in the fridge until you’re ready to give them.
Bottle of cranberry lime vodka
A great way to add some extra Christmas flavour to a bottle of vodka. A little more expensive, because of vodka, but still a great party or birthday gift for your good friends.
- Take 1 bag of cranberries, 1 lime, 2 tbsp of sugar, and a bottle of vodka.
- Peel the rind of the lime.
- Poke a hole in each cranberry (I used a prong of a fork).
- Drop each cranberry into your an empty bottle or a jar and add pieces of lime rind.
- Add the sugar.
- Using a funnel fill the bottle with as much vodka as you can. Seal the top of the bottle/jar. Leave in a dark place for 7 days.
Homemade milk and honey soap
It smells divine, and there are loads of skin benefits from the honey – it’s moisturising, clarifying, soothing, and also naturally antibacterial. They’re a great gift for teachers or to sell at college fairs!
You’ll need some goat’s milk soap base, organic raw honey, silicone mold, and some food dye.
- Cut the soap base into cubes and microwave until completely melted.
- Stir in 3 tablespoons of honey and a few drops of yellow and one drop of red food dye to make a golden colour.
- Pour the melted soap into the mold, and allow to sit undisturbed until cool.
- The cooling process can take anywhere from 30 minutes to 2 hours.
Definitely, one of the most personal gifts you can give. Print out a lot of photos, get some coloured pens and patterned paper and enjoy. There are all different styles of empty scrapbooks you can buy, even just notebooks can be revamped into a funky scrapbook.