You might have made the list and checked it twice, but Christmas shopping doesn’t always go to plan.

Buying presents can feel overwhelming, even without potential pandemic-related delays and everything else going on right now. Luckily, there’s a solution: homemade presents. Your friends and family will love the thought and effort that’s gone into making something yourself, plus it can save you a bit of money along the way.

Bakeware, kilner jar and sewing box to hand? It’s time to get crafty…

1. Whip up a gingerbread cake

Gingerbread cake is a festive favourite (iStock/PA)
Gingerbread cake is a festive favourite (iStock/PA)

One of the sweetest things about making gingerbread cake is you can present it in the loaf tin, dressed up with a strip of baking paper, a little tinsel and a sprig of holly for some rustic charm.

Why not try this easy recipe from Only Crumbs Remain?

2. Make your own blackberry gin*

You might have missed blackberry picking season, but you can still grab berries from the supermarket (try frozen ones – they’re cheaper) and infuse some gin for your great aunt to enjoy in the new year. It only takes two cups of plump, juicy blackberries, a bottle of gin (nothing fancy) and half a cup of white sugar, left to steep for around a week. Strain and pour into a jar, before decorating with festive ribbon.

3. Bake gooey chocolate chip cookies

Cookies are delicious, irresistible and can be made with minimal fuss. You can package them up nicely too. Nigella Lawson’s recipe is a surefire hit.

4. Make tie dye t-shirts for teens

Who would have thought tie dye would be one of the biggest fashion trends of 2020? Tie dye t-shirts will fill you with nostalgia, and delight any teenagers in the house. Experiment by upcycling old items in your wardrobe (100% cotton works best) – the end result will be one of a kind.

5. Create jazzy DIY ornaments

Handmade Christmas baubles (iStock/PA)
Handmade Christmas baubles (iStock/PA)

We love the idea of making tree decorations from scratch, especially as you can have so much fun with coloured buttons, wool and cotton reels. There’s so much you can do, whether it’s making pom pom Christmas characters inspired by the blog Lovely Indeed, or festive shapes made using colourful yarn – as suggested by One Little Project. Your family and friends will appreciate the craftsmanship.

6. Make gift-worthy face masks 

You can never have too many face masks, can you? An essential piece of kit, you can make lovely reusable face coverings out of a dress destined for the charity shop – it won’t qualify as proper PPE, but if it covers your nose and mouth snugly it will suit a trip to the shops. You can find a handy guide for making your own here.

7. Make a paper cash envelope

Christmas Cash GIF by CBC - Find & Share on GIPHY

All you need is some pretty printed paper, scissors and clear sticky tape to pull this off. Using a template like this one from My Frugal Home, fold the paper into an envelope; the trick is to not seal it entirely, so the cash can peep out one end.