It doesn’t take much effort to pop into the high street shops or log on your computer and buy a gift for a friend’s birthday or other special occasion. There’s nothing wrong with bought gifts of course, and many of us don’t have time to consider any other options for our present shopping. It’s far more personal though to take the time to create something truly individual for your friend by making a gift yourself.
If You Can’t Stand The Heat...
Homemade edible gifts always go down well, and many can be made with ingredients which you already have in the kitchen. Cake or cookies is a great choice for a gift for people of all ages, and for the more confident cook, macaroons have become very fashionable in recent years. Chutneys and jams can be made when fruit is in season, and stored throughout the year to form part of a hamper gift. Fudge is trickier to make, but is a very impressive gift when packaged prettily in a box tied up with ribbon.
Get The Needles Out
Crochet, knitting and other traditional crafts are eternally popular and are a great way to relax after a hard day. Even beginner knitters can create beautiful gifts for friends and family if they choose the right sort of yarn. Noro yarn from Japan is an ideal choice as it is made from natural fibres, is multicoloured and lends itself easily to lots of different types of projects. Scarves, hats and gloves can all be made from Noro yarn, and the more confident knitters can even create a pair of handmade socks which will last a lifetime. Noro Yarn also works well for crochet, and the effect when it is made into a large blanket or throw can be stunning.
Everyone has unwanted presents which are just gathering dust at the back of the cupboard, and there is nothing wrong with recycling these into gifts for other people. An unattractively packaged toiletry set can be unboxed and repacked into a wicker hamper with some handmade soap, or some expensive looking bubble bath. Farmers markets are held every day of the week up and down the country, and many of them have stalls selling beautiful soaps and natural body washes. Make a stockpile of different varieties and sizes to make up your pamper hampers with.
By Sigalit Alcalai (Jewellery artist designer)
Jewellery and Trinkets
Jewellery making is a popular craft but is not a cheap one to take up for the beginner. There are many jewellery makers who sell their handmade items online, and buying from one of these stores guarantees an unusual product which cannot be bought in any high street store. Kits are also sold, and these kits contain everything which is needed to make a bracelet, pendant or pair of earrings, along with full instructions. As a gift for a craft loving friend, a kit is an ideal gift. Jewellery making skills are taught at classes across the country, and the ability to make personalised jewellery gifts will ensure a steady supply of gifts for years to come.
You'll find quality wools such as Noro Yarn and knitting accessories at Pack Lane Wool.