Its TEE again, one of your YP Influencing Committee Representatives and a Young Consultant here at CREATE foundation.
I’ve got some DIY gift ideas here for our younger readers.
Candy cane sleighs
Make it as a gift or you CANE use as a cool way to dress up your gift! (See what I did there? I’m already using Christmas puns hohoho)
- Candy canes
- Sticky tape (double sided works best but clear tape is fine)
- Kit-Kat bar
- Other small chocolate bars
- Wrapping paper
- Optional: small jewellery pouch to act as santa sack
- Optional: hot glue gun to keep things from unsticking
- Measure the wrapping paper to wrap all the small chocolates and carefully use the scissors to cut any excess. Using a bit of tape, wrap the small chocolates. If using a jewellery pouch put them in, if not go to the next step.
- Use tape to attach the candy canes to the underside of the Kit-Kat bar. The candy canes are the “sleigh runners.”
- Tape the bag or little presents onto the sleigh and add ribbon to finish
Use a jewellery box in place of the Kit-Kat and put handmade or store-bought jewellery inside or take out the cushion and add small trinkets etc. to give as a super cute gift.
Plastic cup heated gift tags
Get creative AND recycle! These are gloriously simple yet stunning tags!
- Plastic bups – clear
- Sharpies or posca pens
- Baking sheet
- Hole punch
- Parchment or greaseproof paper
- Draw with your pens however you like on the plastic cups.
- Punch holes into the cup as desired. Important to do before you start to melt them because it’s extremely difficult after melting as the plastic will be hard and thick
- Place on cookie sheet lined with greaseproof paper, parchment paper or baking paper will work too, and put in 250°C oven.
- Turn the oven light on and watch until the cup shrinks down to a flat circle.
- Once flat, remove them from the oven, make sure to do it quickly or they’ll burn and turn yellow. Allow to cool completely before handling.
- Thread a string through the hole and write the name of the receiver.
- Attach to gift by tying or taping the thread.
You may find that only the one in the middle of the cookie sheet will be completely flat if you are melting a few at a time. Doing them individually or in pairs is, in my opinion, the best way to ensure they’re all flat. Using a longer string, thread multiple tags to create festive bunting for around the house, or tie the string and you’ve got super quick, easy and cute tree decorations that don’t break and take up less space.
Personalised plates, bowls and mugs
Make individually or decorate a whole dinner set for fabulous one-of-a-kind dinnerware.
- Plain white mugs, plates, bowls
- Posca pens, oil based Sharpies or any paint markers or acrylic paints
- Porcelain specific markers and paints are ideal but not essential. They decrease the probability of scratching or peeling.
- These quick and easy personalised mugs, plates and bowls start with plain ceramic dishes. Either freehand or use an image as a guide to draw, write and colour your desired design with porcelain markers and/or paint. Don’t worry if you make a mistake—the ink can be washed away for up to 72 hours.
- Once you’re happy with your design, allow at least 24 hours’ drying time.
- After the ink is dry, bake the items for 35 minutes in a 180°C oven.
- Let cool completely, and then wash with HOT water.
The ink should be dishwasher safe but do a test to make sure with one first!
Tee's famous shortbread fingers
I LOVE to bake. Baking is my vice when I’m stressed, happy, sad, and is my way of saying thanks or I appreciate you, and around Christmas these are my staple. I’ve spent years tweaking and perfecting the ultimate shortbread biscuit. They’re the perfect mix of crumbly, soft, buttery, sweet and moist. It honestly wouldn’t be Tee’s Christmas list without some of Tee’s famous Christmas shortbread fingers.
- 250 grams unsalted butter, softened
- 1/2 cup (75g) caster (superfine) sugar
- 2 cups (300g) plain (all-purpose) flour
- ½ cup (90g) rice flour
- 1tsp vanilla extract gel
- 1 tbsp water
- Optional: raw sugar to roll the biscuit in
- Optional: decorative gift tin.
- Beat butter and sugar in a medium bowl with an electric mixer until pale and fluffy. Stir in the water and vanilla into the butter. Then sift in the flours, in two batches, and stir or use a dough hook on an electric mixer, until combined.
- Transfer dough onto a lightly floured surface; knead gently until smooth. Divide dough in half; then half again. Loosely wrap each portion in plastic wrap. Refrigerate for 30 minutes.
- Preheat oven to 160°C. Grease two large oven trays and line with gaking paper. You may need to bake in batches.
- Roll one dough with a floured or non-stick rolling pin. Alternatively, you can roll it out between two sheets of baking paper. Roll out in ONE direction, rotating 90° every time you complete one edge to edge roll. Repeat until 1cm thick.
- Lay on pre-lined trays and freeze for 15 minutes. After dough is chilled, roughly cut 4cm x 7cm rectangles from dough, alternatively use desired cutter shapes.
- Slide baking paper and rectangles onto one oven tray. Mark down the centre of each cut shape with the back of a knife not cutting just marking to leave an indent.; then using a fork gently poke the surface along the length using the line to guide you.
- Re-roll scraps and repeat with remaining dough until all the dough has been used.
- Place back into freezer and freeze for 15 minutes or until firm.
- Bake for 25 minutes. Remove from oven.
- Working quickly, use a palette knife to straighten the edges of each biscuit.
- Return to oven; bake for a further 15 minutes or until a biscuit can be pushed gently without breaking and are browned lightly.
- Leave on trays for 5 minutes before transferring to wire racks to cool.
- Roll in sugar if desired or place straight into an airtight tin or container.
As much as I’d love to go on, we have sadly come to the end of the blog. Don’t forget to share your photos with me and everyone else and leave a message of what you want to see more of in the new year!. There are many more DIY Christmas Gifts to try but I don’t have space to add any more (I’m pushing it already). But fear not, for if you want to find any more DIY’s and recipes, you can ask Google, Siri, Bing (sorry, there isn’t an ask TEE feature yet, I know, outrageous right! But if you enjoyed reading this then let CREATE know and maybe I’ll pop up again soon!). So, until then, you are stuck with searching the web for ideas.
I hope you all enjoy the breaks from school, work, uni etc, and unwind, catch up with family and friends and relax a bit before everything kicks back into gear in the new year. If the Christmas period is not so great this year for whatever reasons, don’t feel ashamed to speak up to carers, family, friends etc, or talk to a crisis line if you feel more comfortable.
On that note I want to wish every single one of you a Merry Christmas and a safe new year.
That’s all folks. Until next year,
Written by Tequeah (Tee) Iglesias
CREATE Young Consultant
CREATE Influencing Committee YP Representative
If you need assistance during the holiday period:
www.lifeline.org.au 13 11 14
www.kidshelpline.com.au 1800 551 800
www.beyondblue.org.au 1300 224 636