With just a little thought and effort, and A LOT of Google, you can make great homemade gifts for everyone on your list. Here are a few ideas to get you started. I've been making various homemade gifts all week and I'll post more once I get finished with them. I won't get into all of the tutorials, but links to the tutorials I used will be included in each idea. Enjoy!
Sometimes it seems like our Christmas gift list is never-ending: family, friends, neighbors, teachers, youth leaders, Bible study group/youth group members, coaches, scout leaders, music instructors, babysitters, co-workers, bosses, school bus drivers, mail carriers, roommates, school staff (office, nurse, etc.)... but look on the bright side. That just means that you are blessed by THAT MANY people in your life! So here's a way to show them how grateful you are for them.
For the adults in your life...
First up, we have Sugar Scrub. Easy to make and people LOVE them!
|recycled artichoke hearts jar|
Here's the basic recipe I use for sugar scrub:
25% vegetable glycerin
25% carrier oil (almond oil, avocado oil, extra virgin olive oil, grapeseed oil)
5 - 10 drops essential oil (peppermint, lavender, orange, vanilla, lemon)
5 drops vitamin E oil (optional) this is great for skin and also acts as a preservative, making the scrub last longer
For one batch (approx. 4-6 oz.), start with 1/2 cup white granulated sugar, then add 2 tsp. of vegetable glycerin, and 2 tsp. of carrier oil. Stir the mixture until you get a good consistency (not too dry, not too oily.) Add more sugar, glycerin or oil as needed. Add vitamin E and essential oils and mix well. Scoop into jar and add a tag with instructions. I also threw in a pinch of red sugar crystals for color.
Tip: Oil separation in these homemade scrubs is normal. Sometimes it just needs a quick stir before using. Also, it can make a tub slippery if used in the shower so use caution.
Here's the tutorial I used to decorate my jars. I saw it on Pinterest and just knew I would use it for my jar gifts this year.
Another great gift-in-a-jar are homemade mixes such as Ranch, Taco Seasoning, and Onion Soup Mix.
The homemade versions of these are much healthier than the store-bought ones. The recipes for all of these 3 can be found here. The Ranch recipe is a good basic one, but I also like to throw in some dill, basil, and black pepper as well. Just mix your ingredients in a measuring cup and use a funnel to pour it into a cute jar. I used a baby food jar. I also printed up the mixing directions and decoupaged them onto the back of the jar. I used the same method as I did on the sugar scrub jars to decorate it. (See above)
Next, we have an all natural, homemade vapor rub. 'Tis the season to be sick, so bless your loved ones with this wonderful aromatic, soothing remedy.
It's very quick and easy to make, and does not contain harmful petroleum jelly like that other kind. I used the recipe found here. I don't have a double boiler so I just used a pint-sized, wide-mouthed Ball jar in a medium sauce pan of water. As it turns out, this stuff works wonders on your skin too! Once you get a whiff of it, you'll never buy "Oh, what's his name?" in that little blue jar again!
For the (female) tweens, teens, college students & adults in your life...
How about some fun, wearable gifts? You won't BELIEVE what these are made from, and they are so easy and quick to make!
I know! Can you believe it?! Just trace your washer onto some scrapbook paper, fold in half to cut out your center (or use an Exacto knife,) and decoupage it onto your washer. Put a layer of Glossy Accents (usually found in the scrapbook section of craft stores) on top and you have a very attractive necklace! And it's SO INEXPENSIVE! The larger washers were 19 cents and the smaller ones were..... wait for it....... 13 CENTS EACH!! The small ones are great for tweens. Here's a tutorial on how to make them.
Here's another very cool necklace. This one is somewhat more difficult to make than the last one, and does require drilling a hole, but I wouldn't call it complicated, just a little more involved.
I just LOVE these fragments by Tim Holtz. They are just clear acrylic pieces that you can do lots of fun stuff with. Here's the tutorial for the necklaces. These make great teacher gifts!
These cozy, fleece tie blankets make excellent gifts for tweens and teens, and even on down to tiny newborn babies! (Just use less fabric.)
I made this one with my 11 year old. She comes out of her room almost every morning with it wrapped around her. She absolutely loves it. Fabric stores like Hancock's, Jo-Ann's, and even Hobby Lobby will often have fleece on sale for 40% - 50% off, making the cost for these blankets between $20 and $25 for 1 1/2 yards of each color. (For a baby, use 1 yard. For an adult, use 2 yards.) There are so many different prints of fleece, it's easy to find a style that's perfect for your gift recipient. Here's a tutorial on how to make them.
How about some festive, edible treats? Here we have Marshmallow Peppermint Pops. It is marshmallows on a stick, dipped in white chocolate, and sprinkled with crushed peppermint. MMMMmm.
These are very quick and easy, make a fun presentation, and no cooking skills are required! I like to use the Wilton Candy Melts (available at craft stores). They're very easy to work with and stays melted long enough for you to do an entire batch without it getting hard. To crush your peppermint, you can put candy canes or peppermint candies in a thick ziploc bag and beat it with a rolling pin, or use a manual food chopper. OR... you can
Here's a quick and easy idea for a homemade gift bag... from your recycling bin!
Take an empty cardboard box and cut it open along one of the side seams. Now you have this:
Now cut off one set of flaps, like this:
Now just fold your box inside out and use clear tape to tape the side that you cut. Use your box as a tracing template, and trim a piece of scrapbook paper, wrapping paper, or even fabric to cover the front, back, and sides of your box. You'll also want to tape your flaps ones you fold them in for extra support. Punch 2 holes near the top, on both sides and attach a ribbon handle. Voila! An adorable gift bag.
I'll be back with more ideas!
Disclaimer: Although these gifts are individually very inexpensive to make, they do require purchasing supplies and ingredients that may not seem so cheap. However, all of the ingredients and supplies used for these items have a decent "bulk" price, and you will have plenty on hand to make lots of multiples of these gifts, AND you'll have everything you need for a nice, last minute gift down the road, or just to whip up something for yourself. ; )
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