Our Advent Calendar of DIY Gift Ideas: Part One

Christmas can be an expensive and stressful time of year when it comes to finding presents. Here at Oxfam we’ve hunted through our archives to find you 24 affordable crafts you can create to give your friends and family a gift that shows how much you care without breaking your pocket! Many of these crafts use upcycling to make them simple and easy for even beginners. Head to your local Oxfam or the Online Shop to get the tops, hats, bags or scarves you need to make any of these fab

This Cabuchon Embellishment  Technique is a great and easy way to glam up your gifts for that personal touch. Can be done on sunglasses, clothes, photo frames, the possibilities are endless. Find out how to do it here: https://oxf.am/ZuRT

What better way to tell someone how much you love them than to sculpt it in wire so they can wear the reminder every day? Find out how to make bracelets and rings here. https://oxf.am/ZuRN 

This simple scrunchie sewing project would make a fun gift for someone whatever their age. https://oxf.am/ZuRN

A chain bracelet will satisfy even the most fussy of fashionistas.  https://oxf.am/ZuRf

Keep your loved warms cosy and warm with these winter hat add-ons – pom-poms and bows. https://oxf.am/ZuRg   

Learn how to upcycle a blouse to beaded glory here: https://oxf.am/ZuRM  

Teach yourself a new skill and make a fab present without needing to buy anything other than wool with this finger knitted scarf. Keep an eye out for odds and ends of yarn for this project in your local shop https://oxf.am/ZuRQ

Can’t sew? Don’t worry you only need to stick to make someone this fabulous sparkly glasses case. https://oxf.am/ZuRA

Another way to show how much you love someone is with these homemade heart earrings. https://oxf.am/ZuRd

We all know someone who is one of a kind and an off-the-shelf gift for them just won’t do. Instead transform a t-shirt to make this funky unique piece for the individual in your life. https://oxf.am/ZuRP  

This sweet little apron will protect the foodie in your life from all kitchen mishaps. Make it from an oversized shirt or a child’s version from a tea towel from our Online Shophttps://oxf.am/ZuRW

Send your mates a message – by t-shirt! Get a plain one for this craft from our Online Shophttps://oxf.am/ZuRm  

We’ve reached the end of our first twelve DIY gifts – check out Part Two for more inspiration.  

You might also like:

An Oxfam ChristmasDIY Gift Ideas

An Oxfam Christmas                                             Part Two: DIY Gift Ideas

Go to the Oxfam Online Shop

Styling Tips for the Season Change

As the seasons are changing soon and we are approaching lovely spring, the start to our warm weather, it’s time to change your wardrobe around and make it spring ready! Put away those warm wooly knits and heavy coats, store your boots and scarves in a safe place and bring out the shirts, light knits and warmer weather clothes. If the concept of reviving your wardrobe is a little bit scary for you, I have some tips on how to make a start below!  

One thing I love to do myself so I know where I am with my clothing is rotate the seasonal pieces. When it comes to autumn, I put away my summer clothes and bring out the warmer pieces, but now spring will soon be here, it’s time to put your colder month clothing into storage or at the back of your wardrobe and make sure your spring items are easily accessible. This is something that many fashion lovers who own a lot of clothes do, so you aren’t distracted by half of your wardrobe that you can’t wear. It makes sense to hide it from view and give yourself more

Lighter Colour Palette

The one thing that spring oozes is a lighter and softer colour palette. You want to think about making sure you have shades of rose, lilac, peach, mint green, lemon and lots of white, keeping it fresh and airy, perfect for the spring weather. Nothing says it’s spring like pastel tones and you definitely can’t go wrong with them. Muted cardigans with a hint of colour work harmoniously over a summer dress or even with jeans.  

Get Your Florals On

What else says it’s spring? Florals of course! It’s the time of the year where the daffodils are blooming and the blossom is forming on the trees, so it’s the perfect time to break out your floral print. Make sure you have a garden party inspired dress with a pretty floral print or a skirt in something similar, but even a light daisy print shirt can work perfectly. The combination of pastels mixed with florals is gorgeous too, it’s the ultimate combination.  

Display Your Accessories 

During the colder months we often tend to long for the days when we can wear our sunglasses and statement jewellery again, and now you can! One thing that makes me feel really inspired everyday is having my accessories on display. I have hooks and hangers for my favourite jewellery and little ring pots, then I hang my sunglasses on the wall too, so you can feel inspiration when you see them. I always feel a little disheartened in the winter months as jewellery is one thing I love to wear, so putting it in eye view everyday really cheers me

Change Your Make-Up

Much like rotating your wardrobe, it’s important to change up your make-up to match. Winter means a lot of darker eye colours, heavier and bolder lipsticks and more of a thicker foundation, but when the spring hits, you want to think about coral and blush tone lip glosses and a lighter, less intense eye shade. It really matches your new wardrobe theme and it keeps things lighter on your skin for when it heats up.  

– With these 5 tips for getting your wardrobe spring ready, you will definitely be ahead of others!

Written by,

Lorna Burford of Raindrops Of Sapphire 


You might also like: 

Light Layers For Spring5 Reasons To Love Charity Shops



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Festival Take Over: What’s In My Glastonbury Rucksack

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Its official, the festival season has begun!!! The first stop on the Oxfam Festival Team summer tour, is none other than Glastonbury (exciting, right?), with the festival just around the corner it’s time to start thinking about what to pack and strategically (or chaotically if your anything like me) stuff into your trusty rucksack/festival wardrobe.

In order to de-stress your rucksack packing challenge, I’ve put together a list of my favourite festival essentials, and fashion picks inspired by the Oxfam Online store.

You never know what mood Mother Nature is going to be in at a UK festival so remember to pack for all outcomes; my top packing tip would be to LAYER! Then you can easily add/remove items depending on the weather, vintage chunky knits are great for layering, I usually pack a printed jumper (metallic of course), and oversized cardigan to throw on if the weather turns nippy.

Sunglasses are a festival essential. Not only do they protect your peepers from the sun’s glare; they also offer a great ‘morning after the night before’ eye cover up. Perfect after a late night, dancing away in magical Shangri-La. I’ll be taking two pairs of sunglasses my favourite tortoise shell vintage pair and some awesome cat eye Whistles ones, I snapped up from the Oxfam shop at, the Royal Windsor Horse Show.

Wellies are the festival essential (duh, I know), I usually opt to wear them travelling to a festival, freeing up essential packing space in your rucksack! As well as classic wellies I will be packing my Whistles ankle boots, bought from the Oxfam Royal Windsor store – perfect for jiving around in to your favourite band – and a pair of Birkenstock style sandals, the shoe of the summer.

I’m a sucker for an over the top printed shirt, Glastonbury is a great platform to debut any out there attire anything goes! The Oxfam Glastonbury Glade shop has been transformed into a ‘Tropical Paradise’ for this year’s festival, make sure to pop down and grab yourself on trend Hawaiian themed shirt (who knew!) or beach worthy floral dress, oh and don’t forget to check out our two resident parrots, watch your fingers, they have a tendency to bite!

Go to the Oxfam Online Shop

I love finishing off an outfit with a seriously stylish jacket, preferably vintage! I will be packing my all-time favourite snakeskin print oversized blazer and an uber practical waterproof wax jacket, it is a British festival after all. Pop by the Oxfam’s boutique style Park stall to snap up a one of a kind unique vintage find!

A hat is my true festival saviour (and dry shampoo). For Glastonbury I plan on packing my oversized, floppy felt hat and a vintage scarf. A versatile piece that can be worn as a headscarf, belt or scarf for when the temp drops at night. Bag-wise? I always opt for a ‘Mary Poppins’ style bucket bag with a secure fastening and a 90’s classic festival bum bag!

Jewelry is a tough one at festivals; you don’t want to take your most valuable pieces, at the risk of losing them, but you still want to finish off your outfit with a bit of bling. For Glastonbury I’ll be taking a selection of fabric chocker’s to add a 90’s vibe to my look, you can pick these up nearly anywhere on the high street at the minute, or simply make your own using a length of ribbon and a hook and eye fasting – DIY chic!

Don’t forget to pop by the Oxfam Festival shop this summer; it’s a great place to stock up on anything you might have forgotten! Track our festival adventures on the Oxfam Fashion Twitter and the Oxfam Shop Instagram, see you at Glastonbury!

– Chantelle Mallin

Go to the Oxfam Online Shop

How voodoo you do it?

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I think it’s fair to say that Halloween is becoming bigger, better and more popular each year, coinciding with costumes becoming wackier and more original. However, ready-made Halloween costumes can be very expensive, and I’m sure I’m not the only one who doesn’t want to fork out for a costume which I will more than likely be getting just the one wear out of.  You may not know, but as well as being for sale on the Oxfam Online Shop, many of your local Oxfam shops
will have an array of Halloween costumes on sale too.

As a volunteer at Oxfam Bold Street (Liverpool) I get to see first-hand Oxfam’s build-up to Halloween each year.  Halloween is generally Oxfam’s busiest time which is carefully anticipated throughout the rest of the year. As soon as the Halloween of the previous year is over, the Oxfam Bold Street get to work saving any fancy dress costumes we get donated and put them aside for next year’s Halloween. It is also a great time to be a volunteer in the shop; we all dress up on the Saturday before Halloween, and I’ve had some
hilarious moments helping people find last minute Halloween costumes, including a bloke who wanted to be a geisha girl!

This Halloween I am going to a voodoo themed ball at The Kazimier (tickets cost £6 if any readers from the Merseyside area are looking for something to do for Halloween). Where else but Oxfam would I be able to get the ingredients to create a Halloween costume fit for a voodoo priestess ?

You will need

  • A tribal style gown/ dress or the fabric to make one –  I purchased mine from Oxfam Bold Street
  • A packet of plastic skulls – I purchased mine for ¬£2 from Sainsburys
  • A ball of string
  • A wooden modelling figure (optional)

As I already had my African style dress, all I needed to complete my voodoo look was a skull garland.


Step one

Drill holes through the plastic skulls. I got a pack of 8 skulls but only drilled 7. Odd numbers work better as they allow one of the skulls to hang in the middle. 

Step two

Measure the string to your desired length to create a necklace. Leave a bit of extra string on the end as you will need to tie knots along the necklace. You can always trim it down a bit after.

Step three

Tie the first knot in the string (I used a triple knot otherwise the knots would be smaller than the drill holes and unable to secure the skulls into place). Then feed the first skull onto the string. I used a plastic needle to feed the string through the skulls. Tie a knot on the other side of the skull to secure. Tie another knot about a 3 inch gap away from the skull ready for the next skull. Repeat this process with however many skulls you wish to have on your necklace.

Step four

Knot together the end of the string and cut off any excess. Then ta-dah! You have your voodoo garland!

DIY Chain Bracelet

Shop festival fashion


Round nosed pliers
Chains used for jewellery making
Wire cutters
A Lobster Clasp

Begin by cutting your chain into smaller more manageable lengths.

Select a piece and measure it around your middle finger.

After measuring, cut the chain to the length that fits around your finger comfortably.

Use your pliers to open up one of links and hook it up to the other half forming a complete loop. Remember to try it out; making sure it fits snugly, but not tight enough to be uncomfortable.

Select another length of chain, this one will run from the ring finger to the wrist.

Attach this piece of chain to the ringed chain you made before.

With a final piece of chain measure around your wrist to find a length you are comfortable to cut it to.

Then get out your lobster clasp, it should come with two jump rings, select the one that is located at the top of the clasp.Open up this jump ring and attach it to the end of the chain that you measured for your wrist.

Do the same with the other end of the lobster clasp creating a complete bracelet

Finally, attach the main part of the chain that leads from the finger, to the middle of the bracelet you just created to complete it.

Feel free to adjust this in any way you want so that it falls higher or lower on your wrist, or even shorten the length of the chain. Why not try doubling the chains up for an interesting look.

DIY Cabuchon Embellishment Technique

Cabuchons are everywhere this year. I’d never even heard of the word until the start of the summer and now these little resin flowers, animals and bows are attached to every piece of jewellery, every accessory and even on mobile phone cases on the high street. I think they are cute and kitsch and the colours are usually muted pastel tones. I love faded, sun-bleached¬†colours at this time of year! I want to add my own cabuchons to my accessories, such as these sunglasses below, to funk them up for the end of the summer and get a little extra wear
out of an old pair of sunnies. Plus, I want to get ahead of the trend and start adding cabuchons to my clothing too – so here are a couple of tutorials for adding these cute acrylic embellishments to your own fashion items:

SUNGLASSES: Super-glue or hot glue gun with glue sticks, Sunglasses, Resin cabuchons

I used super-super glue (or you could use a hot glue gun) to attach these cute cabuchon bows to the corners of my sunglasses – pretty simple, but just make sure you don’t try them on until the glue has completely dried/cooled otherwise you will get your hair stuck in the tacky glue! I got these resin bows from Wholeport [https://www.wholeport.com/] but you can find cabuchons of all shapes and colours from online haberdasheries and craft shops.


EMBELLISED T-SHIRT: t-shirt/top/cardigan, cabochon buttons, needle, matching thread.

I got an t-shirt in a floral print from the car boot sale (ready for autumn with the longer-sleeves!) but you can find similar tops ripe for embellishing in charity shops and online at Oxfam Online Shop. I chose some co-ordinating rose cabochon buttons and stitched them to the top at intervals around the neckline. You could use this same
technique with buttons and could add the embellishments to the neckline of dresses, around the edge of cardigans or on collars to funk up your wardrobe for autumn.

DIY Collar Chain

Shop festival fashion

This super cute DIY is perfect for adding something extra special to a standard shirt. There’s plenty of room to get experimental with your embellishments so, once you’ve got the hang of it, go crazy with your collars!


-A glue gun, or epoxy glue

-Memory wire

-A chain

-Miniature flowers and rhinestones, or any other embellishment you want.

-Earring posts and studs

-Wire cutters


Organise your embellishments/beads in way you like, and use your glue gun to firmly fix them together.


Make sure the back is glued securely.


Then use the glue gun, or epoxy glue, to attach the earring posts to the base.


Cut yourself a small piece of wire and cut in half


Then fold two small pieces in half to create hooks.


Loop your hooks through the end of your chain.


Alternately you can create hoops instead, there are harder to create but easier to secure to your collar posts.


Secure your chain to your embellishment by slipping your loop through the earring post and securing with your glue gun.


Secure these through your shirt collar in line with each side and they are ready to wear. The great thing about this DIY is that they can be attached to any shirt you like.

Shop for shirts to add this accessory to on the fabulous Oxfam Online Shop! Have you given this DIY a go? Tweet us the results at @OxfamFashion!

DIY Yarn Friendship Bracelets

Shop festival fashion

This is a very simple DIY just pick out the yarn colours you want for your bracelet and any embellishment and you’re good to go.


A bracelet charm or beads (optional)

Cut your yarn to the length you want, I usually use about 60cm so I can wrap the bracelet around my wrist several times. 

Tie a tight knot at one end of the yarns.

Find something heavy to anchor your yarn at the knotted end, or get a friend to hold it for you, then begin to plait the yarn, take your time and do it neatly. 

After a certain length, you can secure the yarn by attaching it to a hook or door handle, it helps to keep the yarn resulting in a neater bracelet.

Trim off any extra yarn.

And before the yarn starts to unravel, string on your chosen charm.

Cut off the knot from the other end, and tie the ends together tightly. 

You can use whatever charm you want, or not use one at all. 

I’ve been wearing the pink and purple bracelet for over two years, and all the extra fibre that makes them a little fuzzy fade away after a few days.

Festival Fashion Trend Predictions at Glastonbury Festival 2013

With the car packed and ready to go, Team Fash are off to the wonderful Glastonbury Festival for a few days of fashion fun and festival frolics! With three shops, a team of campaigners and hundreds of official Oxfam stewards, we are so excited to be part of one of the world’s biggest and best festivals ever!

Shop festival fashion

With an amazing line-up- The Rolling Stones, Arctic Monkeys and Mumford & Sons to name but a few, fantastic sights to see and plenty to do we have stuffed our suitcases full of on-trend festival essentials and are ready to go! Having had such an amazing time at the Isle Of Wight Festival and spotting some great styles, we’ve selected hot trends we foresee becoming big at Glastonbury.


Denim is always in style- yet this Spring/Summer see’s a surge of denim cropping up, with the return of the ultimate 80’s trend- double denim! Whether it’s short shorts or a jacket, denim is back and looking fab!

We spotted Daisy at the Isle Of Wight Festival wearing this gorgeous denim dress and met the beautiful Sara who snapped up this fab denim jacket at our Oxfam Festival Shop at the Isle of Wight festival. We love that she teamed it with some turned-up denim shorts and tights- perfect festival attire and rocking the double denim trend! Shop the look and find something similar- both the denim dress and jacket are available to buy now from our Oxfam Online Shop, here.

Shine Bright

From sequins to sandals, standing out from the crowd is vital at a festival and this summer see’s the return of a spectrum of rainbow colours and even neon making a welcome return.


We spotted Beth at the Isle of Wight festival, who mixed bright colours with earthy natural accessories, and Olivia who stood out in her vibrant striped top and purple jacket- blending both the print and bright colour trends seamlessly and stopping us in our tracks!

Prints Galore

From Aztec to animal, stripey to circular- prints are back and have returned in vast and varied ways. Teamed with bright colours, clashing print is the fashion don’t that everyone is doing, and it looks awesome! Have a look for yourself with our style spotting at Isle Of Wight Festival, here.

One of our style fave’s was Liz, who worked a clashing of prints but blending of bright colours and added a well-known festival feel by including a flower crown, which fits perfectly with our next trend…

Floral Fancy

Whether it’s flowers in your hair, on your hat (see our own DIY one here) or on your dress- flowers are everywhere and it’s brightening up the British Summer weather!

This is the lovely Megan who totally rocked the floral trend- with pretty floral sunglasses and a flower crown standing out against her crochet floral tee, she looked perfect for a warm summer day. With jacket, tops and dresses galore- if floral is your thing then have pick from our floral festival selection, here.

Well, our rucksacks are ready for Glastonbury, are yours? Get packing and come and find us at one of our Oxfam Festival Shops to get your festival fashion essentials. See you soon!

DIY Wire Bracelets

Go to the Oxfam Online Shop

Colourful bracelets are the perfect accessory for the Spring/Summer season so why not make your own…


Memory wire of your choice
Wire cutters
Round nose pliers/ pliers 
Embroidery thread
A nail file
Curved Tube beads (optional)

Cut yourself a piece of wire, about 40cm, you can add more or use less, depending on your wrist size. Then cut a length embroidery thread, approximately 180cm long, and double it over itself.

At about 4cm in, bend the wire around the base of round nose pliers until the short end of the wire is facing you. Then bend the wire so it faces downward.

Wrap it once around itself, then get your embroidery thread, and loop it around the wire base. You can also tie a knot here then continue to wrap the wire around itself, making sure to properly catch and secure the embroidery thread.

Separate the embroidery thread halves and begin wrapping one half over the other. Continue to do this until you reach a length you’re happy with, I stopped at about 20cm. Tie a knot where you stopped, to prevent the thread from unravelling.

(Optional) Get your tube bead out and feed the bracelet through, it’s best to trim the thread this point, to make this stage easier.

About 4cm from where the thread stops, bend the wire over itself and squeeze the wire together until the bend meets, use your pliers for this.

Use the pliers again to hold the bend together and wrap the extra wire around the bracelet, making sure to wrap around where the embroidery thread ends in order to secure it. 

Cut off any extra wire and file down the left over edge so it doesn’t scratch you, or catch on your clothing. (Do the same to the other side). Also, cut off any extra thread, as close to the base as possible (you might want to use a scalpel).

Fold the bent wire at about half way. Use your pliers to bend the looped half of the bracelet so it no longer points to one side.

And you’re done! You can clip the two ends together once the bracelet is around your wrist. You can make them with or without tubed beads as well as mix and match colours.