How to do Christmas presents as a student

Holly Smith·11 December 2016·5 min read
How to do Christmas presents as a student

If come December you’re still ballin’ and haven’t delved into the depths of your overdraft, you’re doing something wrong at uni.

The pressure of having to source a collection of Christmas presents whilst you’re counting out your last coppers can seem daunting. But this is the season when you’ll become thankful for all those years of ‘design and technology’ lessons. Handmade Christmas presents sound like a naff idea, but with a bit of time and effort they can actually turn out to be just as special.

For the grandparents


Nothing says “I’m a good granddaughter/ grandson” like a homemade gift. Food is without a doubt a way to one’s heart: you could attempt mince pies, a Christmas pudding or any festive related baked goods.

If you think your grandparents would turn their noses up at your culinary skills, you could stick to a classic photo-album or photo-frame. If you’re feeling creative, you could try and paint something, perhaps a Christmas scene or a place in the world that is special to them.

You could even attempt to learn knitting or crochet. If you’re sat there thinking you’d never be able to do that, a knitted gift would look all the more impressive, am I not right?

A simple handmade gift is Christmas tree decorations which you could make with basic bits and bobs like cardboard, glitter and some nice bits of paper.

Handmade bookmarks are also a nice idea. Have a look on websites like pinterest for inspiration!

For the parents


Of course, all of the ideas above could work well for parents. However, your parents are likely to know the real you: that lazy student who thinks beans on toast is Michelin star worthy.

Surprise your parents with your cooking and baking skills. Why not attempt truffles, jams or even chutneys? If you’re feeling lazier, you could put together a cheese board for Christmas day. Likewise, making your own spice-mix could be exciting. This mix could be Indian, Moroccan or even Christmassy-spices for a cosy glass of mulled wine.

Something that went down well with my Mum last year was a home-made recipe book. It looks like a lot more than it is, which is basically a plain A4 bound book with a decorated front and the words “recipe book” written on the front. Simple, but you can’t really go wrong.

Homemade CD’s are always a classic, and especially good for those technophobic parents who secretly want CDs but can’t bring themselves to buy them.

For the friends


Gone are the days when you’re spending hundreds on your besties. Luckily though, most young people are in the same boat and so they’ll acknowledge the effort you’ve gone to. Photo albums work well every time and can easily cost under £5 to put together.

Candle holders or pen pots are could be made decorate from empty glass jars and a bit of nice fabric.

Anything alcoholic is also bound to go down a treat, so you could make mulled wine or even spiced-apple cider.

For the boyfriends/ girlfriends


These are always the presents you dread buying on a tight budget. Anything photo-related can be turned into a romantic gift. All you need to do is write on the back of pictures some sweet messages in a fancy gold pen!

Cooking and preparing an intimate sit down meal with candles and music would be special. For those cheesy couples, you could make a memory box or jar. This just entails decorating a small box and putting in bits of paper with your favourite memories and any other sweet remarks.

If all else fails, I’m not sure this counts as “handmade”, but you could make a cheap bouquet of flowers by nipping into your parent’s or grandparent’s gardens…