Do-It-Yourself Gift Ideas

So we are getting down to the wire with only 7 Days till Christmas.  I hope you are all ready for the holiday, but in case you need that last minute gift or you just want to do a little something extra this year for your friends, family, and guests, take a look at these Do-It-Yourself gift ideas below.  There are pictures and basic directions, but when it comes to homemade gifts, your imagination is your best friend and the more personal you make the gift the more it will mean to the person you are giving it to.  So take a chance, be creative and enjoy giving a gift this year from your hands to theirs!

From My Kitchen to Yours- Recipe Books

There are so many great holiday recipes out there and each family seems to have the few that mean the most to them and are never missing from a holiday party.  Why not put together all these recipes in a creative way for your family or to share with your friends (only if they are not a family secret!)  You can be very creative and create a scrapbook like book, with room to write new recipes, add photos, maybe even a journal page or two.  For a super simple, fast and easy recipe book, purchase a small 3 x 5 photo album (one where you can insert your own photo in the cover) and some holiday recipe cards.  I know this season both can be found at Target.  Fill the photo album with recipe cards instead of photos and create a fun cover from colored paper with a fun cookbook name.  Fill in some of the recipe cards with your favorite recipes and leave some blank so the receiver can fill in with some of their favorites.  It may just be the book they go to for recipes for many more Christmases to come.

Homemade Christmas Cookie Packages

I don’t know about you, but I make a TON of Christmas cookies and treats at the holidays approach, just for my family, so to make a few more as gifts is not that much extra work.  Wrap them up in some cellophane with a bow and a tag or fill a small Christmas tin with a dozen or so treats.  These make excellent gifts for teachers, co-workers, neighbors and just to have around in case someone stops in for an unexpected visit.  They are super simple and inexpensive.  This time of year you can find tins and cookie boxes all over for just a few dollars and then just fill with the cookies you made.  You may even include the recipe as a variation on the above idea.

Give the Christmas Scent

While you are in the kitchen why not take a few moments to make some homemade Pomanders to spread some Christmas scent this year.  All you need are oranges or apples, whole cloves and ribbon.  Start with the clean fruit.  Punch the cloves into the skin to create a festive design.  The more you use the more it will smell.  Add a ribbon for a bow or as a hanger and place in a warm place of the house.  You can use these as a special package decoration instead of a bow or package a few up together in a decorative bowl and give them as a gift in and of themselves.

Holiday Wreaths and Floral Arrangements

If you have a green thumb, consider sharing your talent with your friends and family.  Everyone loves a nice arrangement for their table or a good wreath to hang on their door. Incorporate some evergreen for color and scent along with red and white flowers to tie in the Christmas colors.  Add berries, or gems for a little texture and sparkle.  Fresh or fake, wreaths and arrangements add an extra special touch to your decorations.  Or get really creative, try using balls of yarn, ornaments, sticks, bells, etc to create a festive wreath.

Hand Painted Ornaments

While this idea might scare you as a little too hands on creative, there are many options from very detailed painting techniques to super simple designs.  Start with clear glass ornaments and glass paint.  You can either paint the outside or the inside.  The inside will give you a creative abstract design of strips or swirls of paint. Take the hanger off the ball and add drops of paint ( try not to exceed three colors as it may get muddy), letting them slide down the sides.  Don’t use too much or it will not dry.  You can roll or twist the ball to create designs as the paint slides down the inside surface.  You can then paint on the outside of the ball, a scene or polka dots, or strips going in the opposite direction.  You can also just paint the outside it you want.  Use small plastic cups or paper rings to hold the balls while they dry.  Make sure they are standing up right so the paint dries properly.  Place the hanger back on the ornament and either decorate your tree or box up a set of four or six as a gift set.  You can even add a little extra detail by using ribbon attached to the hanger instead of a metal hook. To package your ornaments as gifts, try to find a box that will be just right length, width and height to fit the ornaments.  Set the ornaments on paper discs to hold them upright and fill in around them with colorful tissue paper.  Look for boxes with clear tops so your ornaments are shown off and just tie with ribbon and a bow.   Add a little tag for a short Christmas note.

Christmas Crackers

I am not talking about eating crackers, but rather a holiday tradition made popular in the UK.  This small wrapped tube is usually filled with a small treat or toy and a Christmas wish for the person who receives it.  This small package makes a great party favor, stocking stuffer or place setting decoration.  Visit this website to see a step by step tutorial on how to make you own at home out of cardboard tubes and wrapping paper.  They are a fun gift and a great decoration at the same time.    Keep a basket of them by your door for carolers or guests that stop by.  Tutorial website :  http://www.oldenglishcrackers.com/make-your-own-crackers.htm.

Hopefully you have gotten some good ideas you can use to create one of a kind gifts for this holiday season.  I hope you enjoy making them as much as your guests enjoy receiving them.  Remember, with homemade gifts you have the opportunity to really personalize what you make to think of each person you are gifting this year and make something special just for them!  Enjoy!

 

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