If you’re feeling the pinch this festive season, it’s time to embrace the art of DIY Christmas gift ideas. Show someone you care by taking the time to create personalised gifts, and best of all, if you’re looking for a budget Christmas gift these ideas will keep the money in your back pocket. From Secret Santa to your mum, grandparents, your other half and everyone in-between, it’s time to get crafty with these projects.

Pudding Coasters

A gif of a DIY Christmas gift idea featuring coasters painted like Christmas puddings being placed in a muslin bag, tied with a red bow and featuring a ‘Merry Christmas’ tag.

They’re the tasty treat everyone loves to eat at Christmas, so why not turn a classic fruit pudding into cute and festive coasters? Made of a lightweight wooden base, they’re easy and affordable to make, so you can create sets for your whole family. 

What You’ll Need

An image of art supplies needed to make pudding coasters; including a muslin bag, green ribbon, acrylic paint, wooden coasters, paint brush, varnish and paint markers.


A rotating gif showing a wooden disc designed to look like a Christmas pudding, coated with brown paint, with white paint marker added for icing and green/red mistletoe and berries added with paint markers. 

Step 1: Give a wooden disc a coat of brown paint, mixing in some white to create your desired shade. 

Step 2: Take a white paint marker and outline your icing, then fill it in. Once dry, add another coat until your white shade is opaque.

Step 3: Add black dots (or multiple shades!) to create your fruit bits.

Step 4: Draw a little sprig of holly and berries with paint markers.

Step 5: Wait until all paint and marker designs are completely dry and very lightly brush acrylic varnish over the coaster. Once dry, repeat if needed (remember to keep the varnish coat light).

Step 6: Once dry, pop them in a cute calico bag before tying with a ribbon.

SEE ALSO: Easy Christmas Crafts to Makeover Your Home

Leopard Print Tote Bag

A gif of a DIY Christmas gift idea featuring a printed white tote bag with orange, black and aqua leopard patterns, wrapped in green tissue paper as a bonbon and tied with red twine. 

Who doesn’t love environmentally friendly Christmas gift ideas? This DIY present will be loved and reused by your friends over and over (and over!) again. Choosing a non-Christmassy print in festive shades is a great way to tie in the season, while still making it wearable year-round. While this print may look tricky to achieve, the loose style of the leopard spots means you really can’t make a mistake. This project can take up to an hour or more (you don’t want to rush and smudge), so settle in somewhere comfy before you begin.

What You’ll Need

A light green tissue paper bonbon tied with red twine, alongside a plain white tote bag with a black, red and green marker on top pictured on a pale green background.


A gif displays a white tote bag, with a waterproof package inside. Hands drawing on a tote bag with black, red and green markers to make a leopard print pattern. Ironing the tote bag and folding it.

Step 1: Wash, dry and iron the tote bag before beginning for the freshest surface possible.

Step 2: Place something waterproof inside the bag before beginning the design – plastic packaging can be a perfect size and will stop markers bleeding through the fabric (and a good way to reuse plastic that would otherwise end up in the bin). 

Step 3: Use green, red and black fabric markers to create your leopard print design. It’s as simple as making large green and red blobs of colour, then outlining them with black, either with two rough jellybean shapes or one larger rough horseshoe shape. Once you’ve done a few bigger blobs, make some smaller ones and some plain coloured dots around it and continue on.

Hot Tip: Fabric markers do dry quickly but not as fast as permanent markers, so be careful not to smudge the design with your hands as you work your way across the tote bag. 

Step 4: Once the design is complete, allow it to completely dry before removing the plastic and turning it inside out.

Step 5: Slip a tea towel between the layers and use an iron to run over the inside of the design, making sure it’s not on the steam setting. The heat will help infuse the ink and make it more permanent.

Step 6: Once completely cooled, flip it back and wrap it up for a lucky friend! 

Macrame Initial Decorations

A gif series showing letters T, E, I and L wrapped in different coloured macrame thread with a loop for hanging. Finished off with a star gift bow on the letter T.

Nothing says ‘I love you’ like the effort that goes into creating a personalised gift. Choose your favourite person’s initials to make this decoration they can hang on their tree or mantelpiece for years to come. Take it slow and steady as you wrap, and you’ll be left with a gift so cute you’ll wish you made yourself one, too.

What You’ll Need

Capital letters I, E and T surrounded by red, green and navy macrame thread, a hot glue gun and scissors on a pale green background.


A gif showing wrapping and glueing a letter T with blue macrame thread using a hot glue gun. Finished product showing the letters T, E (green macrame thread), I (red macrame thread and L (beige macrame thread).

Step 1: Measure out your thread, leaving around 10cm extra; leave that extra thread hanging before you begin gluing. This will act as your ‘hook’ at the end.

Step 2: Once you have your thread in place, add a small line of hot glue to the letter before pressing down the thread. 

Hot Tip: The thinnest amount of glue is best so it doesn’t appear between the lines of thread as they ‘squish’ together.

Step 3: Work around the letter, using glue where needed. If you hit a spot that doesn’t seamlessly work with the one continuous thread, use a separate smaller piece and wrap it into the space, slowly and gently pressing it down. This is the technique used for the underside of the T bars and the top and bottom of the shape as well.

Hot Tip: Before you begin, take some thread and practise without glue, winding it around your letter. Each one will require a slightly different take, and it’s best to know ahead of time if you need to cut any thread for extra gaps before you begin.

Step 4: As you go, check the front and back to ensure the thread is sitting snugly.

Step 5: Once completed, take the end of the excess thread you left at the top, and bring it back to the starting point, using a little glue to hold it in place.

Step 6: Hang directly on the tree or the mantlepiece as a surprise for the kids or a family member, or add a bow to gift it on Christmas Day. 

Clay ‘Stars and Wreaths’ Game

A gif series showing the creation of the Star and Wreaths game. Red stars and green wreath shapes made from air-dry clay placed on a white octagon board marked like noughts and crosses. 

Does this game look familiar? Of course it does; it’s noughts and crosses, the festive edition! Change your Os and Xs to suit the season by using cookie cutters in star and wreath shapes, or even trees and gingerbread men. But remember, thicker shapes are better as thin shapes will crack.

What You’ll Need

 An octagon board with tubes of acrylic paint, a wooden ruler, black Sharpie permanent marker and flat paint brush on top. A rolling pin, baking paper, a star and wreath cookie cutter, air-dry clay and painting palette are beside the octagon.


 A gif series showing a ball or white air-dry clay being rolled out with a rolling pin. Stars being cut out of the clay using a cookie cutter. Red and green paint in palette. On top of a white paper plate paint stars with red and wreath shapes green using a round, flat paint brush. 

Step 1: Roll out your air-dry clay onto a sheet of baking paper, making sure it’s not too thin. The thickness of actual cookie dough is a good jumping-off point.

Step 2: Press cookie cutters into the clay and gently press out onto baking paper or a plate. You’ll need five of each shape to play the game later.

Step 3: Leave in the sun (or use a hair dryer to speed up the process) and dry all the way through. Flip the shapes after an hour to make sure they are drying evenly on both sides. To be extra sure the shapes are dry, leave them overnight.

Step 4: Once dry, add a couple of coats of paint to your shapes and a light coat of gloss varnish for a super shiny finish.

 A gif series showing an octagon being painted white with a round flat brush. Noughts and crosses lines made on octagon with ruler and black Sharpie. Red air-dry clay stars and green air-dry clay wreaths placed on octagon in noughts and crosses squares.

Step 5: As the shapes are drying, paint your plywood board and add the four lines using a permanent marker and ruler.

Step 6: Now practise the game – do you have all the right pieces?

Step 7: Place your stars in one calico bag, the wreaths in another and wrap the whole set up in cellophane and ribbon.

SEE ALSO: 10 Festive Crafts That Double as DIY Christmas Gifts

Mini Cookie Pots

A gif series showing cookies wrapped in cellophane and tied with a white ribbon placed inside Rudolph, elf and Christmas inspired pots.

Christmas gift ideas don’t get much cuter than this. Tiny terracotta pots are already so sweet, but by adding your own design, then filling them with cellophane wrapped cookies, they become even sweeter. Straight onto the ‘nice list’ for you!

What You’ll Need

Two mini terracotta pots in packaging. One terracotta pot outside packaging alongside glue stick, paint brush, brown acrylic paint, scissors, brown board and white, red and black markers.


Painting a mini terracotta pot brown on a white paper plate. Use a red marker to draw a Rudoph nose on the front. Eyes drawn in, and cut out antlers. Antlers stuck on the pot. Cookies placed inside the finished Rudoph pot. 

Step 1: Paint the terracotta pot in brown paint, before allowing it to dry completely.

Step 2: Using chalk markers, add a big red nose, eyes and even a little smile to create a cute Rudolph face.

Step 3: Take a piece of brown cardboard and fold in half, then cut out one reindeer antler shape. When you open, you’ll have two identical pieces.

Step 4: Flip one over, then glue the two pieces to either side of the reindeer’s head.

Step 5: Wrap some cookies in cellophane and secure with twine before placing inside the pot. Add sticky tape folded over to the inside of the top to hold the cellophane in place.

Wooden Stick Frame

A gif series showing a Christmas gift bag with dark purple tissue paper placed inside and spilling over. A homemade wooden stick frame with a picture of a smiling little boy being held up by a man is placed inside the gift bag.

For the friend who prefers a more rustic aesthetic, why not craft a wooden frame made using small sticks and twigs. Collecting the right pieces is half the fun for this Christmas gift idea, then the satisfaction of making them all fit together will leave you feeling very merry, indeed. Perfect for young crafters though to grown-ups, this is an excellent activity for the family in school holidays.

What You’ll Need

A pile of twigs at different lengths sits alongside a wooden photo frame, hot glue gun, acrylic paint and paintbrush on a pale green background.


A gif series showing a pile of twigs that are beside a wooden picture frame are glued on with a hot glue gun one-by-one until the frame can’t be seen. Twigs covered with white paint. Image of smiling baby boy held up by man put inside the finished frame.

Step 1: Start by piling up your twigs next to you and sort through to find some that are the desired length of the sides of your frame. Then do the same for the bottom and top of the frame.

Step 2: Snap off any excess, and without gluing, place some on the frame to get an idea of how they will fit together. Once you have a handful ready, start gluing them down with hot glue.

Step 3: Don’t worry if there are gaps. Once you have most of the frame covered with thicker sticks, take thinner sticks and start to fill in the gaps, and layer some on top until the base is hidden.

Step 4: Using a touch of white paint dipped into water, brush the mixture very lightly over the sticks to give it a more beachy, bleached-wood finish.

Step 5: When this is dry, find your favourite photo to fill the frame, then wrap it up ready for the big reveal.

SEE ALSO: 10 Easy DIY Christmas Crafts for Kids To Try