The world has gone home-made bonkers hasn’t it? You literally can’t move for articles on how to mill your own blimmin’ soap, and I have to admit, I’m guilty as charged for leaping on to this particularly crafty band wagon. When my broadcasting career floundered a few years ago, I had to find alternative gifts to give to all the lovely people in my life: thrifty gifts but also ones that still looked like I had taken time and energy to lovingly handcraft them. So far, so Kirstie, but how does a fiscally challenged and time-poor mum manage to do it? Here’s the Sarah Cawood guide to cheap but effective home-made gifts to give your nearest and dearest.

  1. Flavoured vodka. (obviously don’t go giving this to Uncle Malcolm, the recovering alcoholic, but anyone else over 18? Perfect!) You can flavour with whatever fits in seasonally for the time of gift giving. Summer? Limoncello it instead. Christmas? Orange and cranberry time. You get the picture. Google a recipe, make a big batch and make sure you dress it up reet pretty: the knack of cheap and cheerful handmade gifts is all in the presentation!
  2. Biscuits, in a nice box or tin. (Tiger or Ikea are the perfect places to find pretty, cheap boxes for your wares). Savoury, sweet, simple, or a bit more fancy: whatever you have the time and energy to bake. Line your box with pretty tissue paper, wrap your biscuits on baking parchment inside and voila! You are a crafty domestic goddess.
  3. Home-made body scrubs. These are really easy to knock up: just buy a big bottle of carrier oil (like almond oil), and some salt or sugar from the supermarket, add a few drops of essential oil, and put your scrub in a kilner-style jar then pretty the whole thing up. I added a mini wooden spoon the year that I did this. They looked very cute and I got maximum Crafty Kirstie points for relatively minimum effort. Google it for the exact ratio of oil to scrub and essential oil.

I promise all these ideas are kind on your time and wallet and if you present them with a ribbon, a bow, a tag and a flourish, you should get “oooo’s” and “ahhhh’s” all over the shop!

 

@mushmums @sarah_cawood