Sweet DIY gift ideas for Christmas

It’s always wonderful to receive a handmade gift for Christmas, and if you’re planning to wrap up some home-made pressies for under the tree this year it’s definitely not too soon to start planning. Our range of craft books offer inspiration, tips and techniques for everything from knitting and sewing to woodworking and even taxidermy (if that’s your thing). Find some of our favourites below.


Piñata Party by Kitiya Palaskas

Kitiya Palaskas is ‘professional crafter’ from Sydney, and her debut book has 30 DIY projects including photobooth walls, table decorations and, of course, piñatas! Seriously, how much fun are piñatas? They’re brightly coloured, you whack ‘em with a stick, and eventually you end up with lollies or treats. They’re great for keeping kids entertained on Christmas Day, or for adults wanting to work off their turkey lunches. And piñatas aren’t just for Christmas – they’re perfect for birthdays, housewarmings, weddings, divorces… pretty much anywhere there’s kids, or adults with access to liberal amounts of alcohol.


The Wild Dyer by Abigail Booth

In The Wild Dyer Abigail Booth teaches readers the fundamentals of natural dying using foraged materials including leaves, roots, flowers, fruit and vegetables. This satisfyingly rustic book also contains 15 projects to make with your new textiles, including blankets, bags, and aprons, because you’re definitely going to want to show your new fabrics off.


DIY Dollhouse by Alexia Henrion

If you’re thinking of making a gift for a young friend, DIY Dollhouse has some beautiful and easily achievable projects for making your own dolls, dollhouse, and miniature furniture out of everyday household materials like egg cartons, fabric offcuts, and toilet rolls. Better still, sit down with the child in question, and craft together – all of the projects in this book are suitable for ages 8 and up.


Sunshine Spaces by Beci Orpin

Designer Beci Orpin is Melbourne crafting royalty. Sunshine Spaces is her fourth book and applies her recognisable and contemporary aesthetic to simple projects designed for use within the home and garden – from stylish cushions and hammocks, to pet kennels and building blocks. The projects use a variety of materials like wood, cloth, stone and recycled objects.


Roped In by Gemma Patford

The rope vessels from Melbourne crafter Gemma Patford have become a favourite design icon worldwide. In Roped In, Patford shows you how to make them, along with a variety of other projects such as macramé plant hangers, pet costumes, mobiles, and clothing. These hip items are very on-trend and make excellent gifts – assuming you can bear to part with them.


Handcrafted Soaps by Cox Janice

Handcrafted Soaps is a starter kit that contains everything you need to make your own bars of soap, including moulds, dyes, the glycerine base, and even gift boxes so you can wrap them up afterwards. The book has 12 simple recipes with step-by-step instructions, plus tips to help you tailor your soaps according to preference. Once you’ve got the basics down you can start experimenting with herbs, aromatherapy oils and other materials.


Flowersmith by Jennifer Tran

Jennifer Tran is the Sydney-based creative behind Papetal, a business that handcrafts remarkably life-like flower arrangements out of paper and card. In Flowersmith, Tran teaches readers her techniques for creating, arranging, and displaying squillions of different varieties of flowers through clearly illustrated instructions. You can use these glorious creations for decorations, weddings, wreaths, or just to give someone a bouquet that will last forever.


Macramé by Fanny Zedenius and Kim Lighbody

Gone are the days when macramé was considered a daggy remnant of the 1970s. Today’s macramé is a bit edgy, a bit cool, and very modern (in a retro kind of way). Fanny Zedenius is a Swedish artist who specialises in the art of knotted yarns, and her book has 22 brilliant homewares projects like wall hangings and table runners. The book also shows you how to do ombre dying, fraying, working with beads, and other techniques that bring the craft out of the past and straight into the new millennium.


Reinventing Ikea by Isabelle Bruno

There are a lot of good things about Ikea furniture – it’s cheap, easy to transport, and you can use the process of building it as a kind of litmus test for how your partner will cope in a crisis. But one of the very best things is that it’s a bit of a blank slate, and the flat-pack nature of it means that you can actually get adventurous and mix and match pieces to create something truly unique. Reinventing Ikea presents 70 easy DIY projects to do just that – from the straightforward (adding a stylish leather handle to your wooden cutting boards), to the complex (turn a couple of stools into a children’s bicycle).


On the Loom by Maryanne Moodie

Similar to macramé, weaving is undergoing somewhat of a renaissance, helped in no small part by Maryann Moodie, the Brooklyn-based Australian artisan who has been featured everywhere from Design Sponge and The Design Files, to New York Magazine and Grazia. Her most recent book has a variety of absolutely gorgeous modern projects to wear or use around the home.


No Patterns Needed by Rosie Martin

Learning how to sew is one thing, but learning how to make clothes is next level. Patterns can be expensive and bewildering, and the instructions often sound like they’ve been written in a foreign language. Rosie Martin’s brilliant No Patterns Needed shows you how to make your own clothes using a tape measure, a sewing machine, and some basic geometric shapes. Every garment comes with a few different variations, meaning that you can sew an entire wardrobe tailored to perfection for size, shape, and personal taste.

Lian Hingee is the digital marketing manager for Readings.

The Wild Dyer

The Wild Dyer

Abigail Booth

$29.99Buy now

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