Christmas is fast approaching. For many of us, that usually means rushing around the shops in search of presents for our family and friends, but there's another way to beat the crowds.

Why not have a go at making your own homemade gifts? Gifts you've made yourself offer something a little more personal and are also fun, affordable and save you traipsing around shops in search of the perfect gift. Take a look at our top homemade gift ideas for Christmas.

1. Homemade jam

If you’re a fan of foraging, now is a great time to wrap up warm and head out to forage for fruit to make some delicious jam – a great gift that is sure to be a hit with any foodie friends. Just make sure you take a look at our foraging guidelines before you head out.

Bullace, a type of plum, makes a delicious jam and is in season at this time of year, as is rosehip. Or, why not opt for a crab apple or rowan jelly? 

2. Bath bombs

Perfect for the bath lover in your life, homemade bath bombs are quick and easy to create and make a lovely gift. Simply mix bicarbonate of soda, cream of tartar, olive oil and essential oils in your chosen scent to make up your bath bomb mixture. Feel free to add in dried flowers and then transfer your mixture into some moulds – ice trays work well and come in a variety of shapes.

Leave your bath bombs to set for a couple of days and then carefully remove them from their moulds. Pop them in a box with some tissue paper and you’re good to go! Take a look at our guide to an eco-friendly Christmas for some more wrapping ideas.

3. Potpourri

Potpourri is really easy to make and you can tailor it to the scents your giftee likes, or simply create some festive potpourri. For a Christmassy creation, gather together oranges, cinnamon sticks, cranberries and star anise. Slice your oranges and dry them out in the oven along with the cranberries. Once dry, mix them in with your star anise and cinnamon sticks.

You can add some foliage to decorate – head to the woods and gather pine cones and fallen branches, as these work well. If you want to intensify the scent you can do this by mixing some scented essential oils into your potpourri. Then simply pop the potpourri in a fabric bag, tie it with a ribbon and add a label for your recipient.

4. Sloe gin

Gin is having a moment right now and so sloe gin makes a wonderful Christmas gift for the gin lover in your life. It’s simple to make, a great fruit to forage if you have any blackthorn trees or bushes nearby and an afternoon spent making gin is the perfect way to spend the run-up to Christmas.

If gin isn’t your thing, you could also try making sloe wine or vodka. Just make sure you follow our foraging guidelines.

5. Cookie mix in a jar

This is a really affordable but effective gift that is so easy to make and is a great way to recycle old jars. Simply grab yourself a clean jar and layer the dry ingredients to make cookies – so flour, sugar, baking powder, cocoa powder and chocolate chips – you can alter this to suit whichever cookie recipe works for you.

Add a cute tag with some instructions on how to make the cookies (remember to add information on the wet ingredients needed!), decorate the jar with a Christmassy bow, perhaps add a little candy cane and voila – you’re done. A really easy-to-make gift that won’t break the bank.

6. Homemade bird feeders

A bird feeder makes a wonderful gift for nature lovers, particularly at this time of year when food is in short supply for our feathered friends. Creating your own bird feeder couldn’t be easier too, just take a look at our guide to making easy homemade bird feeders.

Looking for that perfect Christmas gift?

From greetings cards and calendars to a range of gift ideas, we've got loads of ways to make the season special. And every purchase helps woods and trees too.

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