Ideas - Food and Crafts
By Cheryl Sandberg
every time we turn around, another gift-giving occasion is here! And yes, it's here
again! And of course we run frantically around looking for good gift ideas. I don't know about you, but my friends and family run out of
ideas on what they want. They always love something
homemade from the heart, and I do love doing it!
The tradition in our family is to
have my kids help. Many hot glue gun burns later, and we are
still doing it! I'd like to give you this "Homemade"
fantasy picture of our kids sitting around a table being nice to each
other and working cooperatively. A calm mother looks on with
glee, while Mozart is playing in the background (you know, to help the
In our family, it's really not that way! It's
chaotic and crazy, and we are blasting "The Chipmunks" because DARNIT that's what I used to listen to when I
was a kid! We eat popcorn and get messy and have a great time. They
love getting down and dirty. Homemade gifts are the way to
go. The kids love giving things to the neighbors!
We have come up with so many ideas. Food,
crafts, you name it, we've had the idea!
We've linked this year's favorite homemade
gift ideas right here for you. We feel your pain when you
make them with us. Enjoy!
Homemade Gift Ideas Food and
Food and Crafts -
Scroll to see all of the ideas!
Homemade Gift Ideas - Food/Candy -
Chocolate Spoon Flavored with Amaretto with Decorations
molding chocolate in 30-second intervals to
avoid scorching. If
desired, add Amaretto
or other flavoring to enhance.
bottle with your
favorite chocolate. Use squeeze
bottle to fill
the spoon mold just to the edge.
Place a mocha
spoon handle into
the middle of the chocolate and
turn to coat
While still wet,
layon and Nonpareils.
in freezer for 15
finished mocha spoon in the spoon
bag and tie bows,
using wired ribbon for best
Homemade Gift Ideas -
Food/Candy - Molded Truffles
Fill the entire
cavity of the truffle mold with the
chocolate of your choice:
chocolate. (In order for the truffles to be shiny and beautiful,
it is best to use the chocolate expressly for molding. It has the
ability to harden and become beautiful and shiny.) Let the chocolate
sit inside the mold at room temperature (not in the refrigerator or
freezer) for 5 minutes. After the 5 minutes is up, dump the
out of the mold and remove the excess chocolate, leaving a
firm shell of chocolate. Place this shell of chocolate into the
for 15 minutes. Fill the cavity with truffle
ganache. Backfill the bottom of the truffle with extra chocolate
to cover the bottom of the ganache, and place the entire creation
back in the freezer for
another 15 minutes. Remove the molded
truffle from the freezer and drizzle
with white or other contrasting chocolate, or add an icing
layon. Place truffles in a single
box, a triple
truffle box, or a clear
oval box that holds 4 truffles.
Homemade Gift Ideas -
Food/Candy - Long Stem Chocolate Rose
For the white
chocolate (purple) rose: Melt Guittard white chocolate in
30-second intervals. After the chocolate is melted, add a few drops of the
candy coloring to change
the color slightly. You are going for a pastel color, not a dark
Too much coloring will affect the taste. I also added
some raspberry flavored
oil to make a purple raspberry vanilla chocolate rose! Use this
chocolate rose mold.
ribbon to decorate.
Homemade Gift Ideas - Food/Candy - EASY
Chocolate/Caramel Dipped Pretzel Recipe
Melt 1/2 pound of
bulk caramel in microwave
in 30-second intervals. To
stir at each interval to distribute
Melt 1/2 pound of
molding chocolate in
the same way.
pretzel into the caramel and
use the dipping tool to
make sure the entire pretzel is covered,
or only cover part of it for an artistic look. Let cool for 2
coated pretzel into
the chocolate, and coat the same way
you did with
waxed paper and place in refrigerator
to cool for a nice shiny appearance.
While the chocolate is wet, add confetti
candy to the top for a dash of color.
Homemade Gift Ideas - Food/Candy -
Chocolate Dipped Strawberries, Decorated.
Melt Guittard chocolate in 30-second
intervals to prevent scorching the chocolate.
Grab a fresh strawberry by its stem.
Only buy A+ quality strawberries for these;
WILL make a huge difference! Dip the strawberry into the
from side to side to make a V-shape of chocolate around
the strawberry. Lay on waxed paper. Immediately move to the
to get the shiny chocolaty look.
Drizzle with a different color chocolate
bottle. You can use white chocolate, or
add some color by adding the candy
food coloring. It looks extra special
with pink! Be careful not to
use regular food
coloring with chocolate; the water in the coloring you
buy at the grocery store will ruin the chocolate!
half the strawberry in white
and half in dark
Dipping the front in white chocolate
then dipping the sides in milk chocolate to make a tuxedo
While the chocolate is still wet,
sprinkles, nuts, coconut, granola and much more!
will look the best
on the day they are made.
Strawberries only last 1-2 days after being
it takes about 1 ounce of chocolate to cover one strawberry.
Homemade Gift Ideas - Crafts - Making Your Own
Making your own gift baskets is easy and
numerous items on clearance racks, dollar sales, etc. Keep them
stored where you can easily get to them when a gift is needed. The time after
the holidays is a great time to find deals for items for the
following year's gifts. There are several different things you can use
as your "basket" to hold all the goodies: wicker baskets,
large plastic bowls, large decorator platters, decorated bags, etc. I
have used large plastic containers in a red or green color. After the
gifts are all removed it serves as a popcorn bowl, fruit bowl, mixing
bowl, etc. I have used wicker baskets which can double as a small
trash can or a planter. Plates or platters will have another use
afterwards. The list can be endless.
Here are some ideas of items I have put in my
Christmas baskets: hot chocolate mix packets, candies, coffee mugs,
embroidered fingertip towels, calendars (full size and pocket),
decorative and scented candles, flavored coffees, flavored coffee
creamers, ornaments for the tree, coloring books and crayons (when
the family has smaller children), bubble bath, flavored crackers,
mints, potpourri, decorative nick knacks, coasters, pot-holders,
dishtowels, dishcloths, incense, decorative containers for cooking
oil or dish-soap, decorative soaps, ink pens, pencils, gifts in a jar
items, note pads - the list goes on and on. Useful everyday items can
be great fillers.
to put the gift basket in are another item that you can get a good
deal on after the holidays. Christmas seems to be the best after
holiday sales for this item. They can also be found at some of the
dollar stores. There are decorated ones and plain ones, and some that
shrink to fit with a little heat from a blow dryer. Simply tie them
closed with a pretty ribbon (which can be found on those holiday
clearance racks, too).
A laundry basket filled with measuring cups,
spoons, can opener, spatulas, wooden spoons, aluminum foil, plastic
wrap, plastic zipper bags, dishcloths, dishtowels, maybe a duplicate
of a particular item you have found indispensable in your home, etc.
And then there's the baby.... a diaper bag filled with powder,
lotions, baby wipes, disposable diapers, rattles, bottles, etc.
You decide how much
you want to spend on a basket. If you collect items all through the
year, it is much easier on your wallet come time to make up the
Homemade Gift Ideas - Crafts -Making Handmade Candle Melts from
by Stephanie Davies
Recycling old candles serves the purpose of
using old candle wax instead of throwing it out. At the same
time you are scenting your home with delightful fragrances.
Old used candles
stove pans, one larger than the other
A mold for your melts - this can
be a metal mini-muffin pan, thick
plastic ice cube tray, or any other small metal seamless container
that won't leak.
A fire extinguisher (NEVER
make candles without having a fire extinguisher handy in case of
A few drops of the fragrance oil of your choice
Add your chunks of used wax to the smaller
pot. Be sure to remove the wick, and remove all foreign
objects. Next, fill the larger pot about 1/4 full with water, and
place it on the stove. Set the smaller pot inside the larger pot to
form a double boiler. IMPORTANT: Never, ever, heat wax directly on
the stove - always use the double boiler method as wax can reach
flash points very rapidly.
your stove onto medium heat, and allow the water to heat up and melt
the wax bits inside the smaller pan. This process takes about 15
minutes or so. During the time it is melting, stir the wax
frequently and continue to check the temperature of the wax, which
should never go higher than 180 degrees. Once the wax is entirely
melted, add a few drops of essential or fragrance oil of your choice
to the melted wax and stir it well. Make sure you only use
essential oils or fragrance oils (fragrance oils that are made
especially for candle making). Potpourri oils, lamp ring oils and
other products are not suitable for use in candle
As soon as you have
mixed in the fragrance or essential oils, immediately pour the melted
wax into your molds. You can use just about any type of metal mold
as long as it is seamless and doesn't leak, however mini-muffin pans are ideal! Make sure that the mold is small enough so that the
finished product will fit inside of a potpourri warmer.
After pouring your wax, allow the melts to cool completely which
takes up to 12 hours. You can speed this process up by placing the
melts in the freezer for about 30 minutes after they have hardened a
bit at room temperature. Once they are completely cooled, remove
them from the molds by turning the mold upside down and tapping on
it. And there you have your finished candle melts which you can use
at any time!
Homemade Christmas Gift Ideas - Crafts -
Homemade Christmas Reindeer T-Shirts
Paint the bottom the child's foot brown and
have them step on the
middle of the
clean with baby wipes.
Paint each hand tan (or any color you wish) and
press them onto the
T-shirt above the
footprint to make antlers.
Use fabric glue to attach wiggle eyes and a red
or black pom pom nose.
Use fabric paint pens to write the child's name
on the shirt.
Homemade Gift Ideas
- Crafts - "Crazy Crayons" By Stephanie
Get all of your
old broken crayons from the couch cushions and out from under the bed,
and don't forget about the car!
Take a metal muffin type tin and dust with baby powder, then
arrange crayons "standing on ends" till the tin is full,
but not taller than the sides. The crayons do not have to
be the same color.
at 400 degrees for 2 minutes. That should be enough time to for them
to melt together. Then let cool. Pop them out and you can color the
world all at once!
make great stocking stuffers and party favors.
Recycling is fun! Can you dig it???
Homemade Gift Ideas - Crafts - Unique Glass
Christmas Ornaments Ideas Made by Children
by Michell Custom Bracelets
Supplies: Round Glass RED ornaments
Black, orange and green sharpie fine point markers
Directions: Have your little ones place one
hand in the white paint. Cover the whole
palm of hand. Then, with your help, have them place their hand under the ornament. Have them wrap their fingers around towards the top,
so their small fingers are what you see on
the sides. Gently press each finger and
thumb to make sure the white prints are good. Remove hand carefully.
Hang ornament to dry. After the white paint is dry, take the black
sharpie and turn the 5 finger prints into snowmen! Each finger print
makes the shape of the 3 parts of a snowman. Place black hats, eyes,
smile, and buttons on the
snowmen. Use orange marker
for carrot nose and green for scarf! On the bottom, place name and age
for future reference!
Homemade Gift Ideas - Crafts -
Angel Sachets By Elaine
Metallic Pipe Cleaners
Small Glue Gun, Small Glue Stick
Ink Fabric Pen
Cut 12" round from white lace. Place a small amount of potpourri
in center. Cut 2' gold ribbon. Raise lace up and tie ribbon just
below the potpourri to form a ball at center of lace which is the Angel's
head. The tied ribbon is her neck and the remaining lace is her gown.
Continue with ribbon by tying a double bow to create the Angel's
wings. Let the remaining ribbon fall to the bottom of the lace to accent
her gown. Cut a small piece of gold metallic pipe cleaner and form
into a circle. This is the Angel's halo. Glue the halo to the Angel's
head. With marker, write what ever you like on ribbon tails, for example, "Merry
Christmas to Mom" (Sister, Best Friend, Aunt, etc.) to personalize the
Angel Sachet gift. I like to make 3 Angel Sachets
per gift and wrap in a white gift box with gold ribbon and name
Gift Ideas - Crafts - There is a great Yahoo Group called Crafting
Friendz. Crafting Friendz is a group of crafters in all stages
from beginners to pros that love to help each other on ideas and
projects. We post numerous craft pattern and recipe links on a
regular basis - it's a pretty high volume group. Every Wednesday is
Christmas Craft Day, although they get posted more than that. If
you're looking for great patterns and networking this is a great
place to be.
Gift Ideas - Crafts - Cinnamon Scented Shapes or Ornaments By Gayle
1 cup cinnamon
1 tsp nutmeg
3/4 cup applesauce
2 tbsp white glue
Mix all together until smooth. Cut cookies
or shapes to 1/4" or 1/2" thick.
Use a regular drinking straw to put holes in top if you want to hang
with ribbon, yarn or jute.
Make without a
hole at the top and glue a magnetic strip to the back to make a
Dry at room
(I dry them on a wire rack and
flip often for more even, quicker
drying....since children tend to roll their dough very thick.)
Be sure to buy the cinnamon and
cloves in the dollar store...otherwise this project could get expensive.
Cut a gingerbread man
shape, decorate with white puffy paint.
look pretty hanging on a wreath or tree.
to paint them when dry - a litter glitter is nice too.
Gift Ideas - Crafts - Scented Stones
These could be cute for ornaments or just to give to someone to
food coloring of your choice
1/2 cup flour
1/2 cup salt
approx. 1/2 tsp scent (i.e. fragrance oil)
2/3 cup water (boiling)
First you mix all dry ingredients in a bowl. Next, add the water and
scent. Add coloring if you choose, until desired shade is created.
Mix all ingredients and form balls (or other shapes you desire).
Allow to dry at room temperature.
Gift Ideas -Handmade Soap
By Cindy Freland
Purchase molds, fragrance, colorant, and soap base from me or any craft store. Cut soap base with knife or soap blade. The amount of soap base will be determined by the size of the mold. Place base into a glass Pyrex measuring cup and microwave for 30 seconds with additional 10 seconds as needed. Add 1/2 teaspoon fragrance and colorant one drop at a time. You can always add more colorant but you can't remove it. Pour the soap base into the mold. Let set at least 6 hours and remove. Wrap beautiful soap in clear plastic wrap and tape ends or tie with a ribbon. These make very cute gifts.
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Title: Homemade Christmas Gift Ideas Food and Crafts