Ideal Christmas Gifts On A Budget

Christmas Gifts On A Budget

Have you been stumped by what to get a friend or loved one this Christmas?
Have you shopped around – like, really shopped around and are still stuck?
Have you ever considered making something unique?
Ever thought of a Subscription Gift?

If the answer to any of those is yes, then please keep on reading because I might just have some Christmas tricks and tips for you! And hopefully a huge array of ideas too!

What To Get For Those Who Are A Little Picky

Subscription Boxes are a great way to give a gift that keeps on giving, and for anything between £12 and £30 you can subscribe a loved one to something amazing. Some companies that I have tried also offer up deals where you to pay for three months upfront for example, and it gets delivered to the recipients home. There are also brands that do one off Christmas Boxes too, pay for a one off box and that also gets delivered through the door.

Try and think about what someone loves, and then go from there…

Here are some places that I have tried personally, and if you want to read any of my reviews on any of these then just look for the categories off my main page. There are loads more out there too, just google subscription boxes for more ideas if none of these take your fancy.

Not all of the companies below are Subscription Boxes, but some of them provide presents within presents and gift boxed items as part of their service. This saves you time this Christmas too!

Artemis and Xena – for those who enjoy meditation, positivity and relaxing boxes.
Birchbox – for makeup and cosmetics lovers!
Cherry Diva – for Jewellery lovers they have something for everyone’s tastes.
JewelCandle – Any Candle and Jewellery Lovers in the family?
Jewellery Box UK – A company who have amazing jewellery choices and great gifts.
Secret Scent Box – for people who love to try new fragrances.
Treatbox – literally a box of treats that you can either subscribe to or you can make your own unique box!

Artemis and Xena (above) are offering a special box this Christmas, it’s a 12 days advent box for £19.99. The 12 items wrapped individually in Christmas wrapping paper numbered 1 -12  These items will vary per box so that no individual will receive the exact same items making this a unique gift.

Some things you could find include: Makeup, Stationary, Skincare, Cards, Creative Activities, Nail Varnish, Organisers, Keyrings, Soap, Bath bombs, Notebooks, Planners, Postcards, Sticky Notes, Masks, Body lotion, Lipstick, Glitter, Eyeshadow, Perfume, Hair care, Temporary Tattoos, Stickers, Organic products, Local products, Nail art, bags, purses and more!

They are also offering a special Mystery Box in December. On their website it says this… “Find 5 random items in your box. Each box will be unique so you won’t receive the same box as anyone else! There are NO spoilers so it’s perfect if you love surprises!” Because these are one-off boxes there is no subscription and they make great gifts.

Mystery Box Link Available In December

Birchbox

Birchbox is usually a monthly Subscription service for makeup, cosmetics and beauty lovers. They offer some boxes for December and arriving for Christmas so it might be worth a look if you are gifting to someone who loves this stuff!

Here is their page for anyone wanting to know more about Gifting a Box for Christmas.

Birchbox Gifting Boxes

JewelCandle is a company who specialise in jewellery hidden inside candles.

You can find out all about these gifts within gifts over on their website. They have a range of flavours of Candle and also a range of jewellery types that goes in them.

JewelCandle Website

Secret Scent Box is a company based in the UK which allows the subscriber to discover new designer fragrances each month. Every box you subscribe to you will get 3 designer perfumes or colognes delivered through your letterbox from just £13! If you know someone that adores smelling good then perhaps this is a great Christmas idea for them…

Secret Scent Box Website

Treatbox – Christmas Box or Subscriptions

I am currently subscribed to Treatbox and receive a box each month through my door. They are always themed and can be literally anything! Homeware, Beauty, Edible Treats, Creative Items, Wearable Items and so much more.

In the Treatbox shop the owner also creates special boxes and one off boxes, as well as build your own too! This is worth a look at the website if you think you could be in the mood for choosing items for your loved ones to open up in a box.

Treatbox Main
Treatbox Specials
Treatbox Build Your Own

So You Have Started Christmas Shopping, But Have You Shopped Around?

So most people tend to go to the same old places year after year for their presents, they don’t try anything new. I know people who have never done a search on Amazon, or gone to their local town and searched for independent stores.
Have you ever tried looking for self employed people on Facebook as well?
I have bought things from British businesses for many years now, it’s a good deed and keeps money within our economy. You’re also helping a small business keep going and there are so many talented folk out there doing all sorts of things.

Here are some Facebook businesses that I have ordered from either this year or the past two years while I have been blogging. I recommend the service from each of them. But you’ve got to be quick, a lot close their order books at the start of December.

The Laser Boutique – Wooden Toys and Gifts – Personalised
The Crafty Giraffe – Personalised Engraved Gifts
Awesome Wooden Gifts – Now has her main page over on Etsy so check it out if you want gifts about Mushrooms, Unicorns and Magic…

Don’t be afraid to search for what you want using google and/or Facebook there are so many talented people out there. Check out some of my reviews on my categories too!

Have You Considered Making Someone A Unique Gift?

Sometimes the best thing to do, when you cannot find what you’re looking for, is to make it. You need to decide your budget and then figure out what you will spend on each item.

I once designed photo frames for friends, these days you can buy frames for as little as £1 and then all you need is some paint and added details like sequins or stickers.

I have a How To Make section on the blog too go check it out after this post!

Here are a few ideas on simple things that you could make for a friend or family member this year.  Check out the posts under my “Christmas” category as well for more Christmas gift ideas too! And check out my “Sabrina’s How To Make” category too!

Bracelets or Necklaces
Photo Frame Designs
Trinket Boxes
Memory Boxes
Candle Pots
Makeup Pots

If you have any questions about how you would make something then please get in touch. If you cannot find it already on my blog I will be making lots of gift related posts that will go up in the coming weeks, watch out for those “How To Make” pages!

Hopefully you’ve gotten some great ideas from this post, if not though don’t despair, there will be loads more of my Christmas Gift posts coming up throughout November.

 Sabrina 

Sabrina’s How To Make Your Own Christmas Boxes

✩ Welcome to Sabrina’s How To Make Your Very Own Christmas Boxes ✩​ 

I know that so many of you will be thinking, but why don’t I just buy a Christmas box? Well if you don’t have much time then of course by all means do just that. But let me first explain to you why I think you should give this little craft project a chance.

Having browsed the internet for other kinds of Christmas Boxes I was astounded to find that they can range between £5.99 to £15.00 for just an empty one! And if you wanted gifts inside it too? Well you’re looking at around £25.00 and upwards for boxes with items already packed.

It sounds like a lot to me and honestly it is, when you add in a delivery charge too. I think that companies like these are great if you don’t have any time or creativity, and the money to spend, but this craft project is so easy to do, why not try and make just the one box with me?

I will now tell you how much it has cost me to make one of my basic boxes… So nothing inside it, just the box all done up pretty and ready to be used…

Each Box has Cost me Around £1.50 to make! Yes just £1.50!

Here is how I worked it out… I bought a roll of 12 metre Christmas wrapping paper from Primark for 90p, the boxes themselves were free because I picked them up from my place of work and supermarkets, and the only other things that you’ll need you probably have in your house already, but in case not here is the list…

You Will Need✩ A Ruler ✩ A Pencil or Pen ✩ Sellotape ✩ Stickers 

You get the idea. You will also need some bits to decorate after and (if you’re gifting this box) a Christmas Tag. These are the things that make up the rest of those £1.50 worth of spent pennies! I have now made 6 boxes for my family, using half of two rolls of paper, one roll of sellotape and 6 gift tags… So you get how cheap it is right? Now you need time!

Is this an easy craft project? Yes it is, providing you have around an hour to two hours spare and all of the items mentioned. Children would need adult help and supervision with the cutting but they could do the sticking into place with some guidance. It’s more fun for them to decorate their boxes, add in some paper to the mix and they could do festive drawings that you could then cut out and stick on top of the box even!

What tips can I give? Take your time, cut correctly and carefully with the scissors. Remember you can do any sized box, so it could be really large to house a massive present, or you could make a jewellery box size one instead of using a gift bag. Write down a list of what you would use the boxes for and also what sizes you may need. Gather everything you will require to do this before you start, and make sure it’s somewhere flat surfaced and comfortable – we don’t want any bad backs!

Here is a photograph of some of my finished boxes, you could make one even better using your imagination.

I think the best thing for you all to do is watch my video first, and then come back to the blog to go through the step by step. It’s easier than you think, plus then you can have the time to gather what you need (if anything) and work along with the post.

✩✩✩ SABRINA’S HOW TO MAKE YOUR OWN CHRISTMAS BOXES VIDEO ✩✩✩

✩ STEP BY STEP MAKING YOUR BOX GUIDE ✩

Step 1. Lay out your paper on a flat surface white side up, using a piece of scrap paper and a pen, take the box measurements.

Step 2. With a Ruler and Pencil mark down on the paper (with the white side up) what pieces you need to cut. (If you have a no hinge box you could draw around its lid and base and then just measure the sides).

Step 3. Carefully cut out all the paper parts and label the white side in pencil which part will stick to which part of the box.

Step 4. Begin to stick your pieces in place, remember the parts that need some over hang are the parts you stick on first (sides and top in my video).

Step 5. Once you have all the paper pieces in place, trimmed any over hanging parts and neatly taped it all on the box, you will be ready to decorate.

Step 6. Decorate depending on the theme you have chosen for your box.

Step 7. Fill your box accordingly… Enjoy!

✩✩✩

✩✩✩ HOW TO MAKE PAPER SNOWFLAKE DECORATIONS ✩✩✩

The most popular snowflakes are the six sided ones, follow this guide to make them, but remember that there are many folds, so don’t make your starting square too small or you’ll struggle to cut any pieces out of it…

Here is one of my designs (below) and it was fairly easy to make… this image on the shows you what the design would be (on the left) when you have cut the paper but not yet opened it and then (on the right) the finished paper snowflake…

I would love to see what you come up with, tag me on social media if you decide to make any snowflakes after seeing mine…

✩ WHAT CAN I USE MY BOX FOR NOW THAT I HAVE MADE IT? ✩

Why Make Them? 1. As An Alternative to a Stocking on Christmas Day
Why Make Them? 2. Use A Box Instead of a Gift Bag for Gifts
Why Make Them? 3. To Store All This Years Cards and Tags Inside
Why Make Them? 4. Use As A Christmas Eve Box For The Family

Christmas Boxes for Christmas Day – Sabrina’s Ideas

While making these boxes I had an idea, a great one if there are arguments between siblings on Christmas morning… I thought about putting all the families names in the box, the youngest of age picks out first and whoever gets their name pulled out gets the first present. Mum or Dad would have to count the gifts though and obviously write out the names corresponding to those gifts, but that way there would be no arguing. You could design the box as if it came from Santa, saying there will be no arguments and my magic box will decide who gets the next gift… It may have a treat inside too at the end of it… Think of it as a Pass the Parcel idea but with names relating to presents…

What to put Inside your Christmas Day Boxes

Mixed Festive Treats and Snacks
Game/s to play in a Group/s – Mini Jenga is great! Dominoes or Card Games!
Christmas Baked Goods from Christmas Eve if you made some!
A Festive Film to Watch together
Festive Coloured Paper so you can all make some Snowflakes
A Present or All Presents – Depending upon Size

If You Would Prefer To Make A Christmas Eve Box… designed for Families, Here are some of my ideas for putting inside yours…
A Christmas Book to read together – I loved the Snowman growing up!
A Christmas Cuddly Toy for each Child
Some Christmas Festive Snacks or Baked Items (1 per person)
A Game to play together – Junior Scrabble but you can only use Christmas words!
Christmas Cookie Cutters – if you’re bakers why not make something for Santa today
A Festive Film to watch before bed – there are so many now!
A New Decoration for each Family Member to put on this years Tree…
Food for Santa and his Reindeer – the kids can set it up on a plate before they go to bed

Pen and Paper – Get everyone to write down a wish for next year, roll it up and leave it for Santa to take with him…

Dependent on their age “A Project” – Writing A Wish / Thanking Santa for Something…

Here is one of my finished boxes… You can make the box any size you like! Perhaps you want one to hold a small present, perhaps to put some jewellery inside? You can use these boxes in so many ways, and you can make them whatever sizes you choose or need for your Christmas.

Remember you can decorate the top of it depending on what you decide to do with it. You can cut out letters or numbers that might be relating to your family, for example “Smith Family Christmas Eve Box” or “Christmas Memories for 2017″…

I know I keep explaining it but the possibilities are endless and I would personally have a little think as a family and jot some ideas down. It would make a lovely project to complete once school has finished too!

Christmas Boxes for Children instead of a Stocking – End of the Bed or By their Bedroom Door

If you have young children you might encourage them to stay in their bedroom on Christmas morning until a designated time. The best idea I had was inspired by something my mum did one year. That was to put our stocking in our room and tell us that we could have what was inside it, but we were not to go downstairs until a specific time on the clock. This keeps the child occupied for a while and allows the parents to get a well deserve lie in… hopefully! Here are my “Stocking Box” ideas…

An Edible Treat
A Short Game to Play
Christmas Drawing or Craft – Print off a Christmas Image and give them colours
A Recipe to Bake with Family Or Something You Can Use To Decorate from C-Eve
A Small Toy – Parents Choice
A Pack of Cards or a New Game – Teach Each Other Something New
One Small Present to Open in Bed
Instructions for the Day – Go Downstairs at a Certain Time…
A Fun Riddle or Quiz they have to get correct…

Here is one set of my Christmas Eve Box ideas, a pack of playing cards that have animals on them to teach your children while you play. Junior Scrabble is another great game for children! You could play but they are only allowed to put down Christmas related words! Cadbury Festive Friends are tasty chocolate biscuits shaped for the festive season that children can share. And the adults have to have something… Lindor Chocolates perhaps?! Festive Pens for some colouring thrown in there too… The box possibilities are as much as you can imagine!

Some Little Extra Traditions That Are Fun

Ideas to make your children believe what happened the evening before…

Use flour or fake snow on the kitchen floor to make Reindeer and Santa footprints like they came in at the back door OR if you actually have a chimney then do it there, and don’t forget to take bites out of all the food before the kids see it! They will be amazed!

What Is Still To Come On Severn Wishes…

I have a ton more blog posts to bring you this month, many are Christmas related, Gift related or Craft Related! I hope that you’ll come back to Severn Wishes soon for the next latest installments.

If you enjoyed anything in particular on this post and plan to use any of my ideas practically this Christmas then leave me a comment with what you loved, it would make my day if I helped you out.

I really hope that you’ve enjoyed this special blog post today, and perhaps I’ve given you some inspiration for making something too! Please let me know in the comments either on here or on my channel if you do decide to make a Christmas box. You can tag me in images on social media too I would love to see them! Happy Crafting!

 Sabrina 

Makeup Revolution December 2016 Advent Calendar, Unboxing and Full Review

The Makeup Revolution 25 Window December 2016 Advent Calendar

I think I underestimated how long it would take to photograph, test and evaluate all of the products contained in the December 2016 Makeup Revolution advent calendar. Saying that, not only have I thoroughly enjoyed trying things out and learning more about them, but it’s been fun to open something other than tiny chocolates on the run up to Christmas!

So it’s taken me a while to write this post and complete all the images I needed for it (and by a while I mean it has taken weeks of photograph, both taking and processing and swatches and product testing). Weather (for lighting) and health (I have had two very nasty bouts of colds in the last 6 weeks) have also been against me.
So I do apologize now for the video that I made, I am still uploading it because I put so much effort into it!!! But the quality isn’t that good, so you have been warned! I wish I had a soft box! I will place the link at the end of the post for those who want to see it. But the main thing is that I truly hope you like my photography, I have spent many hours on these images…

Where to start! I will begin by telling you all how impressed I was with the way in which the products were packaged, and how fabulous the design of this calendar was, even though there was nothing hugely special about it. The black and rose gold colours made it stand out and it wasn’t over the top like some brands are. You would have thought it would have been heavier too, but the whole set was contained in a large stand-able box, with a fold in the centre so it could be stood up or lain flat as well.

The nature of the rest of my post will be to go through the items within this years calendar (2016) and to give each item the attention it deserves. It will be numbered by how it came out of the box, and if I have used it the item will be reviewed individually. Any product information will be contained in the photographs, if you would like further information on anything please leave me a comment declaring the question and which number of item.
After all of the 25 items have been listed, I will give an overall impression and opinion of the best products. And finally I am going to end with some swatches and colour correct photographs for you.

Full ​List Of 25 Items

1. Lipstick – Beige in Colour

A very nice colour of lipstick, one I will use again.

2. Brush – Foundation

This brush can double in use and is easy to store and clean because of its size. It has white bristles with a subtle hint of pink from the centre. Looking more glamorous than you would think for the price, it’s an ideal item for handbags.

3. Anti Shine Balm

4. Strobe Balm

5. Lipstick – Hot Pink

6. Brush – Face Brush

This brush is great quality and has lovely soft bristles. Great size for your handbag or for taking on holiday. The rose gold is a lovely addition for a little glamour.

7. Baked Blush – Hard Day

8. Lipgloss

9. Lipstick – Nude in Colour

A great neutral shade of lipstick, ideal for many looks.

10. Mono Eyeshadow – Paper Luxe

A wonderful pale eyeshadow which is ideal for layering looks and a great base coat for eyelids.

11. Lipstick – Purple

12. Eye Primer

13. Bronzer

14. Mono Eyeshadow – ‘New Tral Red’

Such a nice shade of red, it had great staying power through a whole day and I was impressed with the quality.
2g Pot of Eyeshadow.

15. Compact Mirror – black colour with slogan ‘join the revolution’

16. Baked Highlighter

17. Lipgloss
A nice girly pink shade of lipgloss, easy to apply.
18. Brush – Eyeshadow

A lovely little brush, great size for doing eyeshadow on eyelids.19. Mono Eyeshadow – Velvet Luxe

A beautiful deep purple shade which is glittery.
Great travel size.
2g Pot of Eyeshadow.20. Mini Angled Brush

Perfect travel size brush, soft bristles.

21. Baked Blush – Bang Bang You’re Dead

22. Liquid Highlighter
23. Lipstick – Deep Red
24. Lipstick – Cherry Purple

25. Redemption Palette

Contains 12 Colours ranging from a silver/white through browns and golds to black (see swatches below).
Staying power was very good, tested over an 8 hour day. The darker colours were more visible, easily blend-able.
Contains a double brush inside the palette.
Only weighs 14g so ideal to carry around or on holiday.

There was only one thing missing from this wonderful variety of makeup items, and that was a makeup bag to put it all into!

The Items I Am Most Impressed With

The three items that I have enjoyed the most from this advent calendar are the Redemption Eyeshadow Palette, the Mono Eyeshadow Pots and the Mini Brushes.

You cannot go wrong with Eyeshadow Palettes and I love that the pots are small enough to go in my makeup bag when I travel. Being brunette I wear a lot of dark coloured clothes, so the Mono Eyeshadows I received within this calendar are perfect for me to use with my regular looks.
The brushes are ideal for travel and handbags due to their length and the quality is very good. Not only are they soft but they are also firmly set in shape. A regular use for when out and about, two of them can also double in uses for both face and eyes, very handy if you’re short of space in your bag.
Overall these items have been the best in my personal opinion, and I’m still working up the courage to give the balms and the highlighters a go.
Two of the lipsticks aren’t the appropriate colours for my skin tone, but could be ideal for fancy dress parties, so they won’t go to waste.

When you look at how many items you receive for the price paid, I think the calendar is an excellent idea and a great way of trying things new. What you can use for the money as well, is pretty excellent, there isn’t anything that I definitely won’t use ever. And if I find I won’t I can always gift them away to friends and relatives who would use the products.

So let me talk about the colours in this calendar, I am now going to show some swatch photographs of the lipsticks and the eyeshadows. I know that some colours won’t be everyone’s cup of tea, but I think it’s important to outline what you are getting, and packaging sometimes gets in the way of that. I will show Lipsticks, Two of the Mono Eyeshadows, and the Redemption Palette.

My Overall Review is 4/5

Value for Money 4/5
Quality of Products 4/5
Variety Included 4/5

Thank you for reading this review today, I hope that you have enjoyed the post and the many many photographs too. I had a lot of fun making them!
Anyone who would like any further information on any of the products please leave me a comment. You can check out the Makeup Revolution website the link is below, as is the link to my video.

✩ Sabrina ✩

Check out the Makeup Revolution Website here https://www.tambeauty.com/en/Revolution-Makeup/b-6.aspx

Check out (sorry for the quality) the products video over on my YouTube here https://youtu.be/0LGSWk_3k0Q

Tanya Burr Cosmetics 12 Days of Christmas Beauty Advent Calendar Unboxing Reveal

At the beginning of December I was lucky enough to win a 12 days of Christmas beauty advent calendar from Tanya Burr on Twitter.

The prize arrived on day 4 of the calendar windows, so I made the decision to wait until the weekend came around, and then I filmed my opening of the whole cosmetics calendar in one go.

If you would prefer to watch my video on YouTube rather than read and look at my photography, then you can follow this link here to the unboxing https://youtu.be/8FeK72dnSo8

I was very impressed with the style in which this particular calendar was presented. There was huge attention to details and I liked the little touches that have been added to make it feel more special, such as the glitter and the silhouettes. Even the cardboard was decorated throughout to give a Christmas feel, such as the backs of the windows. With each day you opened you felt as though you would be getting a little present. It was exciting to open, and I also tried to avoid looking at other peoples on social media so my surprises were not ruined because I had to catch up on my windows.

On the back of the box it has the list of contents of what was contained inside, without any important details. So I will be giving you the individual products names and colours and more information, so if you like the look of something you can go and get it yourself and know what it is that you’re after.

Without any more rabbiting on let’s get to the full list of items that were found inside this fabulous 12 days of beauty advent calendar.

Tanya Burr Cosmetics – 12 days of Christmas Beauty Advent Calendar – full list of contents

Day 1 Lipgloss – Candy Cane – Sparkly Pink
Day 2 Nail Files 1 turquoise and 1 pink
Day 3 Compact Mirror in pale turquoise
Day 4 Eyeshadow Shimmer Pot – Champagne Sparkle
Day 5 Lipgloss – Berry Pavlova – Berry Red
Day 6 Nail Polish – Glitters and Gold (Gold)
Day 7 Glitter Eye Liner – Silver – Ice Crystals
Day 8 Eyeshadow Shimmer Pot – Snow Day
Day 9 Matte Lip – Christmas Stocking – Christmas Red
Day 10 Glitter Eye Liner – Gold – Treasured
Day 11 Nail Polish – Sleigh Bells (Red)
Day 12 Nail Polish – Glitter Rain (Silver)

I hope you have enjoyed the reveal of this advent calendar, and if I use and am impressed with any of the products in the future then I shall do a follow up post.

Wishing all of you who celebrate it, a very Merry Christmas.

Thank you for supporting the Severn Wishes blog.

Sabrina