Chocolate is my fall-back. Cheap, lovable and easy to wrap, this sweet treat has filled family stockings for years. While living in New Zealand, everyone received blocks of Whittaker’s. From Switzerland, I shipped out logs of Toblerone – entirely unaware it could be purchased just as easily at the neighborhood supermarket.
Being away from home during the holidays doesn’t mean you can’t do presents. These last-minute DIY gifts can be made while you’re traveling – with just a few dollars and the things you probably already have in your luggage. (Or can find in an Airbnb cupboard/local corner store).
- Remember, it’s not the size of the present but the thought behind it that spreads goodwill this season. Why not send a hand-lettered, homemade card? The Postman’s Knock has all sorts of examples that use common supplies – like maps, fabric scraps and markers – to spruce up someone’s mail box.
- Don’t stop there! Pop that card into a hand-folded envelope like The Crafty Blog Stalker. Pick a design from her roundup, fold and embellish with whatever decorative bits you can find. (Stamps, stickers, tickets, magazine scraps…)
- Or use Infarrantly Creative’s cereal box postcards to send family and friends a bit of recycled flavor. If you’re not a cereal eater, try using snack boxes or other packaging from a place on your travels.
- If you’re thinking distinctly Christmas (+ tree), send an ornament. It All Started With Paint uses festive paper in dangling cookie cutter frames, but maps or photographs would also look cool hanging from a pine bough.
- Boxy Colonial turns salt dough ornaments into travel souvenirs. Can’t find a cookie cutter in the shape of your current country location? Draw out a paper shape and cut the dough around it.
- An old hardcover book from a local market or dusty hostel shelf turns into a clever keepsake box by Key Lime Digital Designs, shared on How Does She? Stuffed with mementos from your trip, it may make someone back home feel like they’re traveling, too.
- A little thread and ribbon transform a washcloth into a handy travel pouch for toiletries. While WhiMSy love made hers with a sewing machine, you can try a simplified version with a travel sewing kit. (And then make a second one, to use during the rest of your trip).
- If a card is too long, simplify your message with a word garland like How Do You Make That. Spell out whatever your heart wants to say and cover the letters with used maps or funky paper.
- And no matter what you create, make sure the gift’s just as attractive outside as inside using Paper & Stitch’s postage stamp gift wrap.
Don’t have access to all the necessary supplies? You can always substitute:
- scissors for hole punches and X-acto knives
- normal craft glue for Modge Podge
- recycled paper (maps, brochures, newspaper, magazines, etc) for art paper or stationary