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Make your own homemade gifts

If you struggle to find a gift to give a friend then why not make your own? Giving someone a homemade gift ensures it will be both personal and unique. Knowing you have spent time making a present with them in mind will be sure to put a smile on anyone’s face. Try out these next time you have a birthday or other special occasion to mark.

Rustic photo frame

This gift is perfect for any occasion for any person. The rustic look is kitsch, attractive and is easy to achieve. First find an old photo frame or buy a cheap one from a hardware store and wipe it down with a damp cloth to remove any dust. Apply a coat of wood primer to the frame and then two of undercoat paint. This is the colour that will show through from white so make sure it is at least a shade darker. Once dry, apply one coat of creamy white paint.

Next rub the frame all over with the bottom of a plain candle. This gives a slippery surface, which will make it easier to remove later. Apply a further two coats of the lighter undercoat paint, making sure that the first one is completely dry before starting on the second. Next comes the fun part!

Rub the frame with steel wool to remove flakes of the topcoat and to give it the distressed look. After going over once, decide how distressed you want the frame to appear and if necessary, carry on!

Make your own perfume

The simplest and cheapest way to create your own scent is to use water and flowers. This is an easy and effective gift that your friends are sure to treasure. Pick a few pungent flowers that you think will be the right mix of smells and leave them to soak in warm water for at least eight hours. Next put them in a pan and simmer on a low heat to reduce the liquids. Pour the scent into an attractive bottle, available from most homeware stores, and tie a ribbon around the neck to add a pretty finish.

Teacup candleTeacup candles

An adorable and original idea is a candle teacup. You can use a tea cup or anything decorative that could hold the wax for a unique gift. To create the candle you will need craft-store wicks, wax that can be melted down and maybe a fragrance to add a pleasant aroma. For the wax, either buy new candles or use leftover ones. Melt the wax in a double boiler and add the fragrance. Next support the wick in the cup and carefully add the wax, ensuring the wick stays vertical. For a marbled effect, add a second coloured wax.

Personalised gifts

Why not design your own personal gift online? You can get everything from T-shirts, mugs, calendars or even books using your own pictures. These are all reasonably priced.

more gift ideas

14 Great homemade gifts to make with your kids
Homemade gifts from the kitchen
Food for friends: Homemade gifts for every season

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