Christmas is just around the corner and is sure to be here before we know it. It can be an expensive time of year after you've picked up all your presents, decorations and food, which means you're probably looking for ways to save on funds over the next two months.
A really great way to cut down on costs while still enjoying the festive season is to make as many things as you can by hand. Not only does this add a nice touch to Christmas, it also makes gifts more personal.
Here are some great ideas for having a happy handmade Christmas:
Photo tile coasters
If you want to give a gift that is sentimental and practical this Christmas, photo coasters are a great idea. They are also easy to make, meaning you don't need to spend a fortune getting them printed.
All you need to do is find some plain tiles with a matte finish - these tend to be pretty cheap - before printing off your chosen photos to the right size. It is best to make the photos slightly smaller than the tiles to create a border. You should also print them on photo paper.
Use PVA Glue to attach the photo to your tile and allow to dry. When totally dry, paint PVA glue in an even layer over the top of the photo and tile to seal the edges.
Then all you have to do is wrap your selection of tiles up ready for Christmas day.
Ceramic tea set
Hand-painted tea sets can cost quite a lot, which means you can be out of pocket if you choose to buy one for someone this Christmas. However, plain tea sets or individual pieces work out much cheaper and can be livened up a bit with ceramic pens or paint.
Even if you aren't great at art, you can still add a personal touch to teacups, saucers and a teapot, creating a unique gift for a much lower price.
If you haven't done this before, ceramic or porcelain pens are a good way to go as they allow you to have more control, wipe away easily if you make mistakes and are often water and dishwasher-proof after being allowed to dry for 48 hours (it's best to check the packaging).
For those who are feeling brave and who have a steady hand, porcelain paint allows for finer details - depending on the brush you use - which means you can create more intricate designs.
However you decorate your tea set, the person you give it to is sure to love it.
A hamper is a lovely way to give someone a truly personal gift, as you can select each item to include in it depending on their tastes. All you need is a box or a basket to put everything in and you can start creating a lovely Christmas present.
You can put almost anything in a hamper, from handmade things like cookies, mulled wine kits or chocolate truffles, to small items you buy. Products like our traditional soaps make a great extra gift in a hamper and are a lovely way to give a little bit of luxury this Christmas.
It might also be a nice idea to create a hamper for a cosy or romantic night in. This could include everything a person or couple might need for a nice evening at home, including a DVD and bottle of wine. Popping in a candle in a tin will make the perfect finishing touch and ensure they enjoy flickering candlelight and a beautiful fragrance.
Of course, if you know someone will love a gift that includes just Heyland and Whittle products, we have a lovely selection for every budget that could take some of the stress out of Christmas. Find our full selection of gifts here.