6 DIY Christmas Projects

Don't blow your bank this Christmas. Instead, check out these six creative do-it-yourself gifts and projects that are both festive and wallet-friendly

Make merry this Christmas with these fun do-it-yourself holiday projects

A year ago, strapped for cash and looking for creative inspiration, I had a revelation: Why buy my Christmas stuff when I can make my own? And, why keep it to myself when I can share it?

In the giving spirit of the season, I would like to share six fun DIY Christmas ideas that hit all the necessary marks of the holidays: gifts, food, and decorating.

For more festive fun, check out BC Home and Garden’s Festive Decor ideas.

Make a 2D Christmas Tree Out of Tinsel

Determined to pinch as many pennies as possible, last year I made an outline of a Christmas tree with gold tinsel on our living room wall, affixing it with tape and decorating it with red and gold dollar store baubles.

With a bed of gold tinsel and presents underneath, I made a truly original and inexpensive Christmas tree.

This year, I went all-out and graduated from a three-foot tree to a seven-footer, complete with fake pre-wrapped presents and a sparkly bow tree-topper. The dollar store is your best friend in this endeavour, as well as a decent understanding of symmetry.

Make Your Own Chocolate Truffles

Forget about Purdy’s, Pot of Gold, and even Thomas Haas. Making your own chocolate truffles is surprisingly easy, and an impressive gift that people will remember.

Follow this seriously simple recipe for mascarpone truffles. Tip: Make your own mascarpone substitute (fancy ingredients are expensive, a DIY Christmas shouldn’t be).

Set aside a lazy Sunday afternoon to make the goodies, and eat them (I mean, gift them) within the next day or two, as they don’t have a long fridge life.

Credit: Craft Fancy

Re-purpose Old Christmas Cards into Gift Boxes

I actually feel my heart hurt when I finally decide it’s time to throw away those old, beautiful Christmas cards from years past. Luckily, you can give them new life as Christmas gift boxes.

If you’re a DIY creative that needs to follow a solid set of directions, The Idiot’s Guide has a great set of instructions for this DIY day of Christmas (with diagrams, too!)

Credit: Mikaela D

Swap Clothes and Baked Goods

If there’s any one activity that makes me squeal like a Valley Girl, it’s swaps. Small, intimate exchanges with friends are my favourite. Instead of doing the usual clothing swap, I suggest adding baked goods to the mix.

After all, it is the time of year when butter, sugar, and eggs (or your vegan and gluten-free alternatives) reign supreme. Keep it small, no more than 10 people. Everyone brings a “bag of swag”, and a dozen of their favourite baked goods.

Once all the clothes are swapped and many a goodie have been eaten (and washed down with a glass of eggnog), divvy the rest up for everyone to take home and enjoy. Make sure to have vegan and gluten-free options available. I recommend The Slow Roasted Italian’s vegan, gluten-free peanut butter cookies or these classic sugar cookies.

Make an Ugly Christmas Sweater

No, I don’t mean knit your own Ugly Christmas Sweater. Instead, get your hands on a monochromatic red or green sweater, gather some cheap craft supplies and Christmas decorations, then snip, glue, safety pin, tape, and tie away!

Last year, I made white paper snowflakes and affixed them with safety pins to a plain red knit sweater. This year, the sweater’s decorations will be glittery Christmas baubles and Christmas tree cutouts.

Wear it to a party, wear it at home, wear it anywhere!

Credit: jinjasi

Make CD Mixtapes

One of my all-time favourite gifts was a mix CD complete with a hand-illustrated paper case.

They are my gift of choice this year because they fulfill all of the key parts of my DIY checklist: cheap, personal, easy, and fun.

I use blank CDs with cases from the dollar store, and I like to make my own album jackets. All you need is paper, scissors, glue, and some felt pens.