6 easy DIY video ideas for Christmas

The closer we get to Christmas, the more I want to avoid shopping. The lack of parking, pressing crowds, and shelves full of generic gifts drive me crazy! If you’re like me, here’s an idea that solves that problem. You’ve spent all year taking photos and videos on your smartphone or camera. With a bit of tweaking, you can turn them into the perfect Christmas gift.

Of course, what that tweaking entails depends on your skill level, and available software. We’ll make sure that we include suggestions here for everyone—from the iPhoto novice to the After Effects expert. Ready? Let’s dive in!

DIY Video ideas for Christmas

1. Make a video of your year

If you haven’t already, grab some footage of your work Christmas party, family picnic or kid’s school concert. Are you making the most of your DLSR’s ability to take awesome high-quality videos?

If not, check out Knowing The Basics Of The Video Mode On Your DSLR Cameras on Envato Aetuts+. Then check out our ideas below for ways of sharing that footage with your workmates or family.


2. Create a photo slideshow

If video’s not your thing, do the same with your photos. Use iMovie to create an awesome DVD gift using photos from a school or work event, or just use the best random shots from your Photostream this year.

There’s a detailed tutorial for beginners on Tuts+ that guides you through the process: Creating a Slideshow With iMovie and Burning It to a DVD.

Image: Christmas Slideshow
Image: Christmas Slideshow

Once you get to the step about how to improve flow with transitions and music, it’s time to visit AudioJungle and pick the right tunes. Here are a few recommendations:

3. Send a digital postcard

If you’re holidaying over the festive season, send a postcard. A digital one.

Image: Christmas memories video project
Image: Christmas memories video project

Grab an After Effects project like this one, create your postcard, and upload it to YouTube or Facebook for your friends and family to enjoy.

4. Digitize old photos 

Think of all the money your mum spent on school photos when you were growing up. There’s a lot of memories there! Take them out of the drawer, scan them, and convert them into a slideshow that the whole family will enjoy.

Vintage Ink Slideshow
Vintage Ink Slideshow

It’s not just a great present for your mum—your brothers and sisters will love it too. And why not use some VideoHive magic to give them an appropriate vintage look with an After Effects template like this one.

5. Make a digital photo album

You’ve probably spent all year taking photos of your kids—performing in the concert, climbing at the playground, tearing around the house… and all those embarrassing moments you managed to capture. We normally think of giving photos to the grandparents, but what about using them as a creative gift for your kids.

Gather photos of their favorite moments, brighten them up with a kids-appropriate VideoHive template like this one, and put the video on your child’s iPad so they can enjoy it any time.

Don’t leave the meaning of your album unclear. Add a message!

10 Miniature Christmas Wishes

On VideoHive you’ll find almost 1,500 titles and 500 lower thirds to suit any style or theme. Here’s a lower thirds pack with lots of variety.

6. Turn your project into a DVD gift

Possibly the best way to share your video gift is on a DVD. Your non-technical relatives will know what to do with it, and so will everyone else. And it means you can give a physical gift, which may mean more to people. Well, don’t let the creativity stop with the video—make sure you personalise the DVD as well.


Tuts+ can show you how to do that, whether your favorite tool is Photoshop or Illustrator.

Another practical way to share your video gift is on a USB stick. Here’s a great way to make it special, and add a touch of class.

Next Steps

With so many ways to enjoy multimedia today, video makes an awesome gift. Are you planning to give video this year? Tell us about it in the comments.

Browse all Christmas Inspiration posts →

About the Author Adrian Try

Adrian is an Aussie editor, writer, musician, dad and computer geek. Follow him on Twitter or Google.