In this last weekend just before Christmas, some of us are still behind on gifts, and often there are extra friends, family and such who would appreciate a heartfelt, handmade gift. Thanks to the internet, there are loads of ideas on making quick and inexpensive DIY gifts, and more importantly, there is still time to put some of these together before the big day!
1. Bath salts, this is so simple, all you need are some smaller mason jars with lids, some epsom salts, food coloring and essential oils in wonderful scents. Pour your epsom salts in a large bowl, add food coloring and as many drops of essential oil as you like and stir until everything is thoroughly mixed. Pour into clean mason jars, pop on a lid, label it and voila, you are done.
2. Kiss gloss, this is very simple, you get some small bead organizers with good lids, some oils, oil based food color and flavoring, you can make up lots of different flavors for all the ladies on your list. Here is the link to learn more about how to make these http://www.cheekykitchen.com/2011/11/homemade-kiss-gloss.html
3. Vanilla sugar, how easy is this? It only takes 2 ingredients! Sugar and vanilla bean pods, well you do need some containers, but it’s super easy, you can find the recipe here
4. Warmers, this is super simple, find some cotton socks, the thicker and longer the better, fill loosely with rice, stitch the end closed, now heat this in the microwave for a minute (+/-) or carefully set it on a warm woodstove (not too hot!), now drape it around your neck for instant warmth. Don’t over fill the sock, less is better so it will drape around your neck. You can make smaller ones for handwarmers. Throw in some dried lavender as a sleepy scent. BTW, I’m sitting here now with one wrapped around my neck and another one heating on the woodstove, they work very well.
5. It’s not too late to make up some handmade cards, using Zentangle methods, it’s easy to whip up a few handmade cards that people will appreciate.
6. Coffee liqueur (Kahlua copycat), it’s something I generally make every year, I just purchased 2 more bottles of rum, I should have made it before now, it tastes better when it has had time to mellow out, but it’s still good fresh. It’s simple:
4 cups white sugar
4 cups water
3/4 cup instant coffee granules
2 tablespoons vanilla extract
4 cups vodka (or rum, or everclear)
1. In a 3 quart saucepan over medium heat, combine the sugar and water. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer for 10 minutes. Remove from heat, stir in instant coffee, and allow to cool. I always skim off the foam that forms on top when it’s cool, before adding alcohol.
2. When cool, stir in vanilla extract and vodka. Pour into clean bottles. Close bottles tightly, and store in a cool dark place.
One thing I have found is you have to shake it just about every day, the sugar wants to crystallize, so shaking it helps keep everything together.
7. Chocolate covered pretzels, get a bag of good pretzels, the smaller crunchy ones, get some good melting chocolate and go to town, if you don’t have time or the inclination, you can cheat and buy some chocolate covered pretzels and repackage them, place them into pretty cellophane bags and give them away, be sure to make enough to satisfy your sweet tooth AND give some away.
8. Gardener’s hand scrub, again another simple one with only 2 ingredients, sugar and liquid hand soap, you can find the recipe here
9. Money origami, this is super super simple, everyone likes cash, why not make it look interesting! My favorite design is a shirt
This next one is a bit more complex but very cool, turn a dollar bill into a F-18 fighter jet
I wish everyone a very merry Christmas. :)
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