Take control of the holiday period with some clever Christmas DIY ideas for food and decor and your guests will be blown away by the extra thought and effort.
Whether you're going for kitsch of kid's appeal, we have just the DIY ideas for recycling recipes and giving your event that personal festive touch. Even better, if you're busy wrestling a turkey into the oven why not delegate to idle pairs of hands.
From festive home and table decorations to quick appetisers and DIY Christmas gift ideas, here are the 25 Christmas DIY Ideas to win the toughest battle of the year.
1. Start with the Festive Welcome
Welcoming your guests is the first thing and after 8 hours in the kitchen your Christmas spirit might be wearing thin, so distract your guests from your waning patience with some quick and easy festive decorations as they enter.
Re-use leftover pumpkins from Halloween - paint them white, make them two blacks eyes and an orange nose, add a nice hat and, and while you're at, make a hole where you fit a pipe. Eh voila, everyone's dreaming of a white Christmas. (Photo: nolagirlatheart)
2. The Christmas Table First and Foremost
Going for the kitsch Christmas look? Take five minutes and, following the simple video tutorials, and turn your napkins into elves hats with a bauble on top. (Photo: goodhousekeeping)
3. Festive Napkin Folding
After all that present wrapping you're sure to have refined your skills sufficiently to tackle the meticulous folds of the Christmas tree napkin (the tutorial video is HERE).
4. Salt and Sugar Decorations for the Table
The table deserves more than a few red and golden decorations strewn across it: turn salt or sugar shakers into the perfect snowy mountain scene even if you're not having a white Christmas where you are (Via www.countryliving.com).
5. Festive Scent
The citrusy scent of a clementine or orange alone is enough to get our heads into a Christmas spin. So instead of leaving your abundant supply of citrus to go soft in a basket, turn those skins into beautiful oil burners instead. Peel your citrus carefully, fill them with a little olive oil and burn. Wow. (Photo: dailypicksandflicks)
6. Gingerbread Containers
A gift, a decoration or simply bringing a sweet touch to the table can make a great impression after dinner or lunch: These gingerbread containers are easy to make, yet impressive. Find further 'how to' explanations here.
7. Quick Christmassy Appetisers
After the decorations comes the food. The idea being, simply prepare the usual dishes with a festive touch. So for starters, cut pita bread into wedges, push a pretzel sticks into the base section and smother with guacamole or cream cheese mixed with olives and parsley and decorate with pieces of tomato. (Photo: bettycrocker)
8. A Sandwich Wreath
Along with the guacamole "mini christmas trees", even sandwiches can make for an easy starter. Present them like a Christmas wreath and no one will even notice each sandwich is identical. (Photo: betterecipes)
9. Antipasto Tree
Lazy to the enth degree? Leave it to the diced cheeses, tomatoes, croutons to do the Christmas talking for you. Present them at the table arranged on a beautiful platter in the recongisable form of a small festive tree. (Photo: cabotcheese)
10. Make Mini Green Christmas Trees
These small green trees can be eaten as dessert as well as decorating the table: you have no idea how easy they are to make. Just get the strawberries (though out of season) cover them in green icing, followed by sugar balls and stabalise them on a base, preferably biscuit. Does this not just say "Christmas." Find further explanation on Lovelylittlekitchen.com site.
11. Jar Lids as Tree Decorations
Budget christmas baubles? The perfect solution is probably already lying around the house: Just take some spare jar lids and decorate them as suggested in this blog. You'll need a sharp knife, decorative paper or tissue.
12. Father Christmas Bread
So you've decided to launch head first into meal 100% made from scratch, even the bread. Why not go the whole hog and give your bread the Santa touch. For the hat use red dye. (Photo: tasteofhome)
13. Christmas Pizza
Christmas can go on for several days, and it can be hard to keep that festive atmosphere coming. It's time to get creative and turn pizza into a fun santa. It's as simple as that. (Photo: deliacreates)
14. Cake Design
Just an ordinary potato peeler taken to a bar of dark, milk or white chocolate can create beautiful shavings giving the most pedestrian of cakes a terribly chic touch. (Photo: winnerdinners)
15. Sweet Pastry
Here's a really easy Christmas touch. All you need are two pieces of dough cut into triangles with stalk. Season the first layer with ham and cheese, or spinach and ricotta or also hazelnut cream and cocoa for a sweet touch. Overlap the second puff, make parallel cuts, roll the strips and stick in the oven for twenty minutes. (Photo: lericettedimamma)
16. Sweet Pretzels
Do not be afraid, sweet pretzels are really easy to make. You just have to melt the milk chocolate, make the pretzels and then create eyes with chocolate drops and the nose and mouth, and use fruit roll ups for the scarves. (Photo: hungryhappenings)
17. Festive Brownies
Your favorite dessert is chocolate cake of the brownie variety? No one will stop you proposing this, even at Christmas, but instead of baking it in the usual rectangular pan, pour the mixture into molds for Christmas biscuits. Decorate with colorful chocolate buttons and deceive your guests into thinking they are enjoying Christmas cookies whose secret recipe has been handed down 3 family generations. (Photo: the36thavenue)
18. Hot Chocolate Lids
For a snack with friends, instead of the usual hot chocolate, try adding in the hot chocolate tart. If you don't have time or the desire you can make simple pastry discs, but if you do, the right size round biscuits sat on top of the mug would be just dandy. (Photo: asubtlerevelry)
19. Festive Hot Chocolate
Carve a heart out of marshmallow using a cookie cutter, or try freezing whipped cream and cutting out heart shapes to kick up your hot chocolate. (Photo: thesweetestoccasion)
20. The Quickest Christmas Dessert in the World
As with the puff pastry tree, this Christmas star is guaranteed to make hearts beat a little faster. The dough must be generously covered with hazelnut cream or jam and closed with another layer of dough, cuting out the star points, leaving the centre intact, and twist each point. An impressive centrepiece that will even have scrooges gushing. (Photo: beautifulshoes)
22. The All American Breakfast, Only More Beautiful
Turn breakfast pancakes into the start of the festive experience by cooking them inside cookie cutters.
23. Glamour Cookies
This hack life is really precious, particularly for those that have lost their beautiful cookie molds. The brilliant hack uses the bottom of a glass to imprint an elegant collection of cookies for your more discerning guests. (Photo: creationsbycindyphotography)
24. Chocolate Muffins with Pretzel
Turn your standard chocolate muffins into a fabulous Christmas reindeer! All it takes is some extra pretzels, chocolate buttons, biscuits and food coloring. (Photo: withsprinklesontop)
25. The Gift of Giving
Been busy baking cookies in the kitchen? No problem, decorate a chips tube with wrapping paper and rippon fill them with cookies and give them to your loved ones. Happy Christmas!
Francesco Martucci from I Masanielli in the Campania region of Italy has been named the best pizzaiolo in the world for a third year running. See the full list as well as all the international winners.