Christmas is just around the corner, and that means it's time to start preparing yourself, your home and your wallet for the silly season.
Everyone knows this time of year can be expensive, especially if you've got large families to buy gifts for. With that in mind, why not start planning some DIY presents you can gift to your nearest and dearest this year?
If your budget is tight but sentiment is high, one great idea is a photo collage or story board. Start with a pinboard, large frame or plain wood base, and then do a bit of DIY painting to make it the perfect shade for the recipient. While the paint's drying, dig through your photo collection and find the best snapshots to use for the project. Assemble them on the board or in the frame and you've got a thoughtful and affordable gift perfect for the young and old.
Once you've got your gifts sorted, it's time to turn to the house. If you're hosting Christmas celebrations this year you'll want to make sure your home is up to the task. Often you'll end up with more guests than you bargained for, so it pays to have extra seating available to avoid falling short on the day.
Rather than buying new tables and chairs, why not renovate some you already have? Dig out those old wooden numbers from the garage and get set to do some refurbishing. Dust, de-cobweb and clean them thoroughly before applying a stain or coat of paint to get them looking ship-shape.
If you're looking to take it a step further, you could completely refinish your wooden furniture to give it a rustic, shabby-chic appeal. This is easy to do yourself with simply a couple of coats of paint and some carefully applied candle wax.
Finally, take the time to prep your backyard for the influx of guests it will receive over the coming months. If you're a bit of an amateur carpenter, this is your time to get creative. You could repurpose old logs into homemade bench seats, or bust out your garden landscaping skills and build play areas for the kids and adults alike. A sandpit could double as a tool to keep kids occupied and as a petanque pit for those heated Christmas Day games.
What DIY projects have you got planned in the lead up to the silly season?