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A Little Early... DIY Christmas Presents - Page 2

post #21 of 177
i have made bath salts, bath tea bags, candles, etc. for presents before, always looking for new ideas i would love to sew some things this year.
post #22 of 177
I have made my kids "sensory boxes." I bought three tupperware like shoeboxes with lids. Put different colored rice in one, pinto beans and pasta spirils in another, and sand in the third. Add to each box marbles or small balls, cotton balls, fake bugs, etc. Anything that has a different texture. I put a small cup and some kid friendly tweezers in each box. My kids will sit still for at least twenty minutes and and play, try to pick things up with tweezers, count, hide toys, etc. It's great for fine motor skills and sensory discrimination. It's a neat idea that doesn't cost alot and preschoolers love it.
post #23 of 177
Quote:
i have made bath salts, bath tea bags, candles, etc. for presents before
That sounds really nice. Last year I made homemade cookies for everyone, and realized that everyone was on a diet or trying to lose weight
So this sounds like a better idea this year. Have you got any recipes? And is it reletively inexpensive? I like the idea of homemade candles, is it messy?
post #24 of 177
Hmmm. I might make one of the I spy bags for my son this year -- or maybe I'll save it for a car trip.
post #25 of 177
You could make a collage frame for you DH with pictures of you and DD. I did this for hubby one year and he LOVED it. It's displayed on his desk. If you search the web there are great poems you can do with it.
post #26 of 177
subbing....

A couple of years ago I made a fairy bower for my sil's boyfriend's dd. I just used pink tulle and attached it to a large metal wreath frame, then decorated the top with lots of silk roses and greens and ribbons. Very pretty! I'm thinking about making an ocean-themed one for my ds!
similar to this:
http://hearthsong.com/hearthsong/pro...bc=1005&pgc=94

I'm thrilled that this thread got started! I usually forget to think about this until Dec., when I don't have the time or money to make the things I really want to make!

Kristen
post #27 of 177
Thread Starter 
Here's a good fudge recipe that I'll probably make for Christmas;

Decadent Fudge

Ingredients

1 1/2c Decadent chocolate chips
1 1/2c sweet Swiss chocolate pieces (about 2 chocolate bars)
1 jar marshmallow creme
4 1/2c white sugar
1 pinch salt
2T butter, plus some for greasing pan
1 can (12 oz) evaporated milk

Instructions
  1. Butter two 9x9 baking dishes, or one large one.
  2. Place chocolate chips, pieces and mallow creme into a large bowl.
  3. In a large saucepan, combine milk, sugar, salt and butter.
  4. Cook and stir over low heat until the sugar disolves.
  5. Bring to a rolling boil, from there cook for 6 minutes.
  6. Pour syrup over chocolate/mallow and stir until chocolate is melted and mixture is uniform.
  7. Pour into pans and refridgerate until firm.
  8. *To make cutting the fudge easier, run the knife under hot water before slicing. Clean and wet again after each cut. This also works well for cutting most desserts.
post #28 of 177
Every time a fruit has come into season this summer, I've made a batch of jam or jelly, so I'll make gift baskets with them. Last year, I made homemade flavored creamers and sugars for the coffee drinkers. In years past, I've bought grapevine wreaths when they were 50% off at Hobby Lobby and decorated them to match people's homes, made pine cone Christmas ornaments, and baked big plates of cookies. I also give DD's grandparents a calendar of her pictures, but I order them when Shutterfly has their 50% off sale; I have known people who made them themselves, though.
post #29 of 177
Quote:
Originally Posted by genifer
So this sounds like a better idea this year. Have you got any recipes? And is it reletively inexpensive? I like the idea of homemade candles, is it messy?
i use a very basic castile soap recipe, (i will find a link if you want, i just googled a bit, or your local library probably has a book or two about soapmaking) with olive oil,goats milk & ess. oils. (and you can add herbs, etc. you can really be creative here) i had leftover goats milk, got the oil from a thrift-type grocery store, the lye from a science supply and i use ess. oils for cleaning anyway. of course be safe, lye is a chemical, and will burn you, but don't be afraid like i was (it took me almost 4 years to get over it!) you can buy molds, or make your own. i think when you compare it to going out and buying presents, it is inexpensive. homemade candles, i have just one medium to large size pillar mold-working on gettting more (around $10, you can maybe find cheaper) wick, bulk beeswax ( i got raw unprocessed beeswax, (cheaper) sometimes it needs to be strained, true but the smell was stronger which i love) and an old thrift store pan, it probably is the easier of the two (candles, soap) to make. one beeswax candle the size that i make would be $$$ bought in the store, so i just gift one per person. (or household, when we are invited to someone's home i will bring one, they are always loved, and it is consumable, meaning it doesn't sit around gathering dust like many gifts)
go for it! its fun! good luck!

oops i forgot, the bath tea bags and bath salts i think i found on http://www.pioneerthinking.com/
post #30 of 177
post #31 of 177
I made gifts last year and would like to do that again this year.

What I made last Christmas: fleece scarves (for my mom, dad, and brother), bath salts (for mom), chocolate-covered pretzels (for my aunts, uncles, and cousins), various cookies (for my grandparents and dad). I also gave my brother a daily Christian devotional book I had and it looked new. He really liked it! Gifts for ds and dh were purchased.

I will definitely make chocolate-covered pretzels again, but I need new ideas, too.
post #32 of 177
Quote:
Originally Posted by kristenok18

A couple of years ago I made a fairy bower for my sil's boyfriend's dd. I just used pink tulle and attached it to a large metal wreath frame, then decorated the top with lots of silk roses and greens and ribbons. Very pretty! I'm thinking about making an ocean-themed one for my ds!
Wow, what a GREAT idea!!! I'll bet my dd would love one of those, and the way you explained it makes it sound fairly straightforward. Thanks for the tip!
post #33 of 177
Thread Starter 
I'd like to make some kind of permanent advent calender, any ideas?
post #34 of 177
Quote:
I'd like to make some kind of permanent advent calender, any ideas?
It's cloth with a dowel throught the top and string for hanging. On it there are 24 felt stockings, each numbered. There are some felt aplique pictures on the cloth but can't remember quite what right now.

Each of the stockings gets filled with treats, I remember erasers, pencil sharpners, crayons, small tubes of glitter, nuts, dried fruits and usually a few swets too.
post #35 of 177
Jenisee, what an excellent idea! I'm going to add that to my list for next year--we're not so crafty, but we're very good cooks.
post #36 of 177
Love these threads! So many good ideas -- keep them coming, please. Here's another one from last year.

Last year, I knit several gifts. If you start looking now, you can often find very good deals on yarn and needles in thrift stores.

Also, I made eye pillows for several people on my list out of scrap material, some lavender EO, and flax seeds. You can use rice to stuff the pillows, too. I appliqued mine, matching each one to the receiver's tastes/hobbies/color scheme/etc. They were very easy and a lot of fun -- they'd be especially wonderful in a giftbasket with some of the bath tea bags and such that have already been mentioned.
post #37 of 177
Thread Starter 
I just made the best chocolate chip cookies the other day. They would make a lovely gift. This recipe can be made less chocolatey by taking out the cocoa powder and increasing the flour to 2 1/2 cups.

Double Chocolate Explosion Cookies

Ingredients

2c flour
1/2c cocoa powder
1t baking soda
3/4c white sugar
3/4c packed brown sugar
1t vanilla extract
2 eggs
1c butter or margarine
1-2c chocolate chips (Decadent) depending on the severity of your craving

Instructions

Preheat oven to 350F.
Sift together the flour, cocoa powder and baking soda.
In a seperate bowl cream together the sugers, butter, eggs and vanilla.
Mix dry ingredients thoroughly into the wet ones.
Fold in chocolate chips.
Drop spoonfuls of batter on a lightly greased cookie sheet and bake for 10-12 minutes.
Makes 2 dozen cookies.

*When you take the cookies out of the oven they should still be fairly soft. These cookies don't get hard like sugar cookies do. They maintain a soft crumbly texture even after cooled.
post #38 of 177
Quote:
Originally Posted by LaughingHyena
It's cloth with a dowel throught the top and string for hanging. On it there are 24 felt stockings, each numbered. There are some felt aplique pictures on the cloth but can't remember quite what right now.

Each of the stockings gets filled with treats, I remember erasers, pencil sharpners, crayons, small tubes of glitter, nuts, dried fruits and usually a few swets too.
we do this too -- although each pocket is filled with a note -- written on the note is something we are going to do to get ready for christmas that day. Some days are super exciting: getting the christmas tree for instance. Other days are go for a walk around the neighborhood at night to look at lights, or have a cup of hot chocolate.
post #39 of 177
Quote:
Originally Posted by snowbunny

Last year we did homemade organic soaps, massage oils and herbal teas for everyone and that was a huge hit.
recipes, please!
post #40 of 177
Well, so far here are the things I'm planning:

For my mother - a relaxation/beauty basket. I'm covering an old basket with satin-like material and tulle that I have leftover from other things. Then I'm filling it with herbal soaps like lavender, chammomile etc., each in its on little voile bag, tied with a ribbon or maybe raffia and dried flowers; some essential oils - some in undiluted strength, and a couple bottles of bath oil I make her that she loves (no real recipe, just oil and whatever EOs I think might be nice) - those will be in fancy bottles with ribbon or raffia and flowers around the top; a bag of epsom salts with a pretty voile/tulle bag over it, or maybe a nice jar to hold them; scented sachets to put in her drawers, and whatever else I think of along the way.

Also for her and DH's mom, I'm taking a length of ribbon and gluing several small picture frames down the length of it (after I've decorated the frames with ribbon and dried flowers). Then I'm putting in pics of the kids. I've seen these in stores and they range from cheap to expensive, but they look nice. They can hang it on the wall, and it's narrow enough to hang anywhere really. I will see if I can find a pic like what I mean. I also plan to decorate plain slippers with embroidery, crochet pot holders, and maybe make aprons. The kids will each decorate ornaments for the grandparents as well.

The men will get a handmade remote-control caddy, that hangs over the arm of the couch/chair, and has pockets for remotes, t.v guide, etc. And maybe one other thing if I can think of something.

The kids are going to get a box of dress-up clothes (old clothes I'll dress up with ribbons, sequins etc.) in a simple wooden box; DD is getting cloth diapers for her dolls, that she wants in a bad way, and I'll make some for my niece and son's dolls too. I'm making dolly slings for her and my niece as well. That's all I have for now.
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