Sunday, December 5, 2010

Homemade Holiday gifts

All of the big shopping sale days are through, but if you are still looking for ideas for gifts this year you could try making something yourself.  This doesn't have to look like a kindergarten class project so check out some of these ideas for homemade gifts:

Food gifts:
If you have a special talent for baking or crafting, why not share your skills with others this holiday season?
For the baker, make: breads, cookies, cakes, or pies and include a serving knife or spatula tied with ribbon around the jar or container.
For the cook, make: jams, marinades, salsas, or infused olive oil and include a serving spoon.
Try making kits in a jar to make cookies, cakes, soup, etc.
You could also make a meal for someone, or even compile your favorite family recipes into a recipe book (if you add pictures you can do this on any photo website, such as Shutterfly).
Don't forget to include recipes for any treats you make so the recipient can make them again.

For the crafty:
If you're good with paper: make a pack of embellished notecards, cards for special occasions (like birthdays, anniversaries, etc), bookmarks, or a birthday calendar.  Include a nice pen or pencil and wrap in pretty ribbon.
Make a scrapbook where the recipient only has to fill in the photos, or include the photos yourself.
Decorate a photo frame for a special picture, or make a wreath (either real or artificial, or even one made of ornaments).

For those good with needles:
For sewers, make: doll clothes, aprons, special monogrammed things such as pillowcases, napkins, towels, or baby burpcloths.
For knitters, make: scarves, sweaters, mittens, stockings, winter hats, etc.

Homemade spa treatments:
Put together some bath salts, aromatic oils, make soap or candles.  Craft stores have kits to make the soap and candles, and also sell jars and bottles for the salts and oils.  You could also find jars & bottles at The Container Store, thrift store, or antique store.
Martha Stewart has good recipes on how to make good bath salts.  Here's a site for easy to make bath oils:

Other ideas:
Put together a family tree for someone who's really into their genealogy.  Or make a CD of favorite songs for your kids or for that special someone.  

Get creative.  There are a million ideas out there for ways to use your talents to make gifts that your loved ones will enjoy.  Be sure to package these goodies in an eco-friendly way (tins, special dishes, reused pasta sauce jars, etc).

Happy Holidays!

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