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Saving money & being more sustainable

Celebrating Christmas on a student budget

It's officially the most wonderful time of the year! December is the month to fill your free time sipping hot drinks, watching festive shows and pantos, revisiting your fave Christmas films, gliding around ice rinks and having a proper knees-up at all the parties. However we know the holidays can be heavy, especially for our wallets on a student budget... So we're celebrating 10 DAYS OF CANVAS CHRISTMAS CRAFTS to help save money and be more sustainable this Christmas.

🎁 DAY 1 🎁

For the 1st day of Christmas crafts, why not have a go at making your own Christmas cards this year? Order some cheap craft paper from AMAZON or re-use anything that you already have lying around. We're sure your loved ones will appreciate the efforts and they should be fully recyclable. Check out some of these TIKTOK VIDEOS for inspo.

🎁 DAY 2 🎁

For the 2nd day of Christmas crafts, don't stop at homemade holiday cards... why not make your own Christmas decorations as well? It's a great way to avoid forking out money for flashy decs and will give your student room that homely Christmas feel. Here's our top 3 homemade decorations to try - get the gang together to all chip in and make an afternoon of it!


🎁
DAY 3 🎁

For the 3rd day of Christmas crafts, choose some holiday essentials that you could swap out for second hand items. Whether it's looking for a Christmas party outfit on DEPOP or grabbing some stocking fillers from ASOS MARKETPLACE, it's a great way to save some cash. Plus, if you didn't feel confident in your homemade decs, you could always pick up some second hand ones from your local charity shop to also ensure you're giving back over the holidays.

🎁 DAY 4 🎁

For the 4th day of Christmas crafts, suggest starting a Secret Santa with your group of friends, flatmates or family members. This way you'll only need to buy for one person rather than the whole group. Use this SECRET SANTA GENERATOR to enter everyone's names and randomly assign the presents - plus, you can each have a wish list to ensure you're all getting something that you want or need, rather than leaving it up to chance.

🎁 DAY 5 🎁

For the 5th day of Christmas crafts, if you're struggling for gift ideas or want to make your Christmas prezzie budget go further, try making up your own. While there are tonnes of pre-made hampers out there, this is a super easy swap to pull together your own with items from your local supermarket. You can even personalise them for each recipient and we're sure your loved ones will appreciate the extra effort. Here's some ideas to get you started:

  • MINCE PIES
  • BISCUITS, SWEETS OR CHOCOLATE
  • CHUTNEYS & MARMALADES
  • TEA, COFFEE OR HOT CHOCOLATE
  • CANDLES & SMALL DECORATIONS


🎁 DAY 6 🎁

For the 6th day of Christmas crafts, avoid buying any new wrapping paper or gift bags so that you can recycle anything you already have. Whether it's from a gift that you've been given, or odd bits left over from last year, it will save you some cash and help you be more sustainable. If you're feeling extra creative, you could freshen up some of the old wrapping paper or gift bags by adding your own designs - check out these TIKTOK VIDEOS for inspo.

🎁 DAY 7 🎁

For the 7th day of Christmas crafts, batch cook some tasty goodies to enjoy all the way through the holiday season. Check out our simple gingerbread person recipe to try - you can even freeze them or use them as Christmas tree decorations if you don't end up eating them all.

  • Gingerbread person/shape cutter
  • 175g dark muscovado sugar
  • 85g golden syrup
  • 100g butter
  • 350g plain flour, plus extra for dusting
  • 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 1 tbsp ground ginger
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • Ready-made writing icing
  • Chocolate buttons or small sweets (optional)

STEP 1)
Melt the sugar, golden syrup and butter in a saucepan, then bubble for 1-2 mins. Leave to cool for about 10 mins.

STEP 2) Tip the flour, bicarbonate of soda and spices into a large bowl. Add the warm syrup mixture and the egg, stir everything together, then gently knead in the bowl until smooth and streak-free. The dough will firm up once cooled. Wrap in cling film and chill for at least 30 mins.

STEP 3) Remove the dough from the fridge, leave at room temperature until softened. Heat the oven to 200C/180C fan/gas 6 and line two baking trays with baking parchment.

STEP 4) Roll out the dough to the thickness of a Β£1 coin, then cut out gingerbread people or shapes with a cutter. Re-roll the excess dough and keep cutting until it’s all used up.

STEP 5) Lift the biscuits onto the trays and bake for 10-12 mins, swapping the trays over halfway through cooking. Leave to cool on the trays for 5 mins, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. Use the icing to decorate the biscuits as you wish, and stick on chocolate or sweets for buttons. Leave to dry for 1-2 hrs.

🎁 DAY 8 🎁

For the 8th day of Christmas crafts, Thursday 8th December is CHRISTMAS JUMPER DAY! If you don't already have a festive fleece to show off, or your one from last year is looking a bit sad, why not accessorize your own jumper? It's likely you'll only wear it once a year so you might as well save your money. Here's some things you can use to jazz up your holiday sweater:

  • TINSEL
  • RIBBONS & POMPOMS
  • GLITTER & SEQUINS
  • BEADS & BAUBLES
  • MISTLETOE

We personally think the jazzier (and uglier) the better... Plus, don't forget to donate to SAVE THE CHILDREN!


🎁
DAY 9 🎁

For the 9th day of Christmas crafts, make the decision not to buy Christmas cards or presents this year and make a charity donation instead, to give the gift of giving - check out some charities to donate to HERE. Or if you still want to gift something physical to your loved ones, why not buy a CHARITABLE GIFT so that you're still giving back this holiday season.

🎁 DAY 10 🎁

For the final day of Christmas crafts, why not host a 'bring and share' lunch with your friends, flatmates or family members? Assign a dish or themed food board for each person to bring, which means that everyone only needs to buy or prepare the one item rather than worry about cooking or paying for a whole meal. Check out these TIKTOK #FOODBOARDPARTY VIDEOS for inspo.
There we have it, our 10 DAYS OF CANVAS CHRISTMAS CRAFTS, so you're all set to save money and be mores sustainable over the holidays. Got any other suggestions? Let us know @canvas_studentuk.

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