If this year has taught us anything it is that it really is the thought that counts. Expensive gifts are great, but the best part of receiving a gift is knowing that someone is thinking of you and nothing says that more than a home-made DIY present. There has been a huge boom in crafting since March, and if you are someone that has a renewed interest in such things, then a home-made gift will give you all the flexibility to design the present just how you want it.

Here’s three unique gift ideas that you can do yourself with just a few materials you can pick up at the supermarket or online and some mason jars – so all can be made within even the tightest budgets.

Cake mix jars

Everyone loves a piece of cake, but it can be a hassle to dig all the ingredients out of the cupboards and weigh them for the right proportions. How great it would be if someone had already done all this legwork for you, so that you can just add some wet ingredients, mix it together and place it in the oven for a warm fresh cake in under an hour – and that is what these cake mix jars offer.

To put together the mix, simply choose your favourite cake, cookie or other treat recipe, and weigh out all the dry ingredients – flour, sugar, oats, chocolate chips, and the like. Then pour these ingredients into a clean and stylish mason jar one-by-one so that the colour patterns appear in layers, and you have a great DIY present ready to go. Just remember to give a recipe card along with the jar so the recipient knows what wet ingredients they need and how long it should be in the oven!

Personalised candles

Candle-making is simple and only requires a few relatively cheap materials, so can be a great DIY gift, especially for those on a budget. There are a few stages to candle-making the process, but once you get the hang of it you can make your own unique scents of the season, such as orange and pine, to get in the Christmas mood. And with an old mason jar, some glue, and a few decorations and you can make the candles look like a luxury gift you might find in Harrods or Fortnum & Mason.

BBQ dry rub

Creating your own dry rub could be just the ticket for a DIY gift for your favourite foodie or difficult-to-buy-for Dad. There are some great dry rubs on the market from the likes of Plowboys or Gringos, but they are easy and cheap to make yourself and make a great gift, especially alongside some hot sauce or other chili goodness. Mix these dry ingredients together, pour them into a clean and dry mason jar and you have a unique gift that people will be using for months to come.

Exactly which spices you want to add will depend on your taste, but it is always good to include sweet, savory, and spicy elements within the mix. In general, you might want to use cayenne pepper for the heat along with some chili flakes, and then savoury ingredients like alt, black pepper, onion powder, and garlic powder, alongside some aromatic herbs like cumin and coriander, and of course a little paprika – preferably of either the smoked or sweet varieties.


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