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Hand Made Gifts

post #1 of 21
Thread Starter 
What are you planning to make for the holidays? My dh and I are on a budget (if you concider almost no $ a budget, hee hee) and want to give some gifts. I have a hard time with Christmas and the comercialism of it all but our families just don't understand. Loosers .

Here are my ideas:

Home made salsa: for friends and family
Ordiments: ds foot stamped on paper and decorated for Grand parents
Plaster thingy: making a plaster mold of ds foot/hand (does this cost a lot?)
Soap: not sure about this one, still pricing it out.

We would love to have a foot theme: Our cards would be made at home. Picture it: ds foot stamped on outer, open to our christmas letter with Picture inserted. We would then give GP the ordiments with ds foot and date. The funnest part would be to find a foot mold and make soap in the shape of a small foot. Cute idea, but not sure it will happen.

Please forgive me if this thread has already started. I looked around and didn't see it.

What are your ideas?
post #2 of 21

homemade gifts

HI, we started making our homemade gifts a few months ago...we put up 2 dozen pints of raspberry jam (all organic and grown in our garden), to round out the gift baskets (which I collect all years from the thrift stores and yard sales) our other items baked or preserved from our garden.

My hubby grows 400 heads of garlic, so everyone appreciates a head or two of that, plus horseradish, dried or pickled peppers and we often make pesto (but the ingredients can get a little pricey). It truly is a pot luck because we never know what the harvest will be like. If I'm really ambitious I dry apples from our trees and add those (but my daughter and I usually eat them all before December).

Lastly, we add homemade potpourri, soap or candels (or we go to the local warehouse sales and buy them cheap). Our area has some great warehouse sales that I shop in quantity all year. So my spare room truly is filled with little items that have cost under $5 (most $1-$3) and we put together very expensive looking gifts for each family for under $10.

One last suggestion is to find tins and assemble like items if you need to ship or send them. The dollar stores are also good for those items.

Lastly, we get craft paper and make wrapping paper for all occassions to add to some gifts. We do birthday, valentines day and other themes. A roll of craft paper at the dollar store is $1 and lenghts of homemade wrapping paper ties with a ribbon have been a real hit in our baskets.

Good luck. Begin shopping this January in the sale bins for next years items, you'll be pleasantly surprised by next November!
post #3 of 21
1. Candles- Make candles and or buy candles and decorate them with dried flowers, using melted parafen wax to make them stick!

2. Create a cookbook with your favorite recipes and recipes you've collected online

3. Cookies, Jams, Breads, etc

4. Jelly, Applesauce, Salsa, Herb Vinegar, Oils

5. Lavender dream pillows

6. Calender with pics of your family and or friends

7. Bath Salts

8. Homemade soaps FUN to make

9. Build a puppet stage and make puppets

10. Build a simple dollhouse

11. Make fleece throws

12. Pillows and blankets for living room

13. Dolls for children are fun to make! Free instructions on sleepingbean.com

14. Basket, stuffed with a strand of white lights inside, put dried flowers and eucalyptus out the top of the basket and a simple fabric bow at top

15. Make Paper, or buy pretty paper and make envelopes, creating a stationary set!

16. Photos in decorated frames make great gifts

17. Brownies or Cookies in a jar! Layered

18. Quillow (quilt that folds into a small pocket and becomes a pillow)

19. Scarves, hats

20. Paint flower pots, give them as gifts with some seeds and a trowel for children

21. Placemats and napkins from cloth

22. Weave a basket!

23. Bead jewelry

24. Buy a wooden rack/tray/decoration from the craft store, and paint it, decorate it, get creative!

25. Take some shells and fill them with wax and candle wicks, viola...candles by the shore!

26. Bath kit or massage kits

27. Liquors

28. Bath Bombs

29. Caligraphy (frame a saying, poem, or song)

30. Personalize a journal. Buy a blank book for $3 at the bookstore and insert old postcards, pictures, sayings, poems, whatever! Make it special!
post #4 of 21
I'm making stuffed dolls, but there are lots of other alternatives.
post #5 of 21

bath bombs

Could someone please post or send me the recipe? The old boards went down and I never got to copy it. Thank you. Great ideas, by the way, Lala.
post #6 of 21
we're making picture puzzles --saw the idea on martha stewart --usually the woman just frustrates me, but it was a great idea. hubby is out it the workshop cutting the blocks now.

i am making bath salts for the women --i've been making them the past couple of years and now family members give me back the bottles to refill them!

i am making tamari roasted almonds fof the men in the family.

i'd love the bath bomb recipe too!

any suggestions for creative containers other than the basic wine bottles and canning jars?
post #7 of 21
Like LaLa already said, Sented sachets! Among others!
I went to the "remnant bin" of our local fabric store and got scrap fabric for CHEAP. We're talkin' $.50! Then I found some dried lavander(you could use other herbs) to stuff them with. If you have a sewing machine, sew them or they can be sewed by hand.

I've always wanted a hankerchief with my initials. i'm knida sentamental like that.

Baked goods are always a hit!

Homemade recipie book! What an idea!

Something that would take more time than money, would be to handwrite their family tree in the shape of a tree. The ancestores would be the trunk, and each offspring would be each branch. Hopefully there are a lot of family members, so that your tree isn't a two-by-four!
post #8 of 21

bath bomb recipe

grabbed this off utopia a minute ago, looking for great ideas myself!

4T citric acid
4T corn starch
1/2 cup baking soda
6T melted coconut oil
1/2 tsp fragrance
food coloring

Mix dry ingredients, set aside. Combine oil, fragrance and food coloring. Add to dry mixture. Roll into 1" balls and let air dry for 48 hours.
There is some fizzing when you mix the wet and dry. It is okay.

I am going to use aromatherapy mixtures for calming, energizing, etc.

I will be wrapping mine individually in colored celophane, tied with a ribbon.
post #9 of 21
ediesmom-- i love your quote! too true.

and where would you get citric acid? what is citris acid?!?
post #10 of 21
from what I understand, from utopia, you can get citric acid at wild oats... by the ounce, at brew supply stores, wine making supply stores, and someone said a hardware store. Hope that helps!

I left a request for Cynthia to create a crafting forum for us so we can all post in one spot without having to look through EVERYTHING!

post #11 of 21

bath bomb recipe

i use a much simpler bath bomb recipe & it works great. i think it originally came off some australian tv show's web site.

it is 3 pts bicarb : 1 pt citric acid. ( we get citric acid in supermarkets here )

mix the powders together well in a bowl. then add the essential oils. i work on approx 6 drops of eo per bath. mix well until evenly mixed in.

if you want to put colourings in, do it now. i never use them since i've not been able to find any natural ones over here at all, so i'm not sure how much you should add. you probably also need to consider whether you want to colour the bath or just the bath bomb. they're water based too so they will make the mixture fizz so stir quickly.

now add some carrier oil. you can use almond ( beware of nut allergies tho' ) i tend to use a mix of jojoba & avocado, but you can add anything really from lite olive oil thru to evening primrose oil. it just has to be a base fatty oil that is skin conditioning. the quantities in recipes seem to vary, but what i do is add it gradually & mix well until the mixture just holds together in a ball. it will still be very crumbly so it needs to be handled gently.

form into small balls or put into moulds & leave to set overnight.

post #12 of 21
Looks like our crafting talk has found a home in Personal Growth! Thanks ediesmom!
post #13 of 21
I didn't find it in personal growth. Re soap: there is a webiste called wholesalesuppliesplus.com that has melt and pour glycerin at the best prices I have found, and the kids love to do it, and it is really easy and fun. You can do your own soap, with lye, water and a carrier fat, but it is lots more work, and I'm not absolutely certain where you could easily get the lye. That site also has candle making stuff. Also, try local supply houses if you want to make beeswax sheet candles. You just roll the wax around the wicks. Again, something the kids can do, fun, and smells so heavenly (like honey) hope this helps someone, I learned a lot today, and I now have 2 recipes for bath bombs
post #14 of 21

How many bathbombes does your recipe make? is the T an abreviation for Tablespoon?


post #15 of 21
I FINALLY found citric acid! Its pure vitamin C powder at the health food store! Pretty cheap!
"T" is for tablespoon

I am so glad there is a crafters thread! I am going right now to check it out!!!!!
post #16 of 21
Oh no! Its only a thread.... we need a forum!!!!

post #17 of 21
Hey OneHipMama!

I'm not really sure how many exactly it makes since it's not an exact recipe. It probably was once. I make them the size of what fits into my hand for moulding purposes but I'm about to start experimenting with moulds since I'm doing a stall at the Cetic Fair in the new year & I wanted to make some bath bombs for that. They don't look so visually appealing if they're sort of round & sort of palm indented - even if they smell heavenly!!

I wrote an article on making them for a New Zealand aromatherapy journal a couple of years ago. If you want me to email it to you, send me your email addy.
post #18 of 21

hand-made gifts

I've really gotten on the bandwagon this year with the "make your own" stuff, so this is what I'm making for family & friends this year:

Soaps - Lots of fun! I LOVE this! I have about 20 fragrances including Jasmine, Gardenia, Green Tea, Honey/Almond, Honey/Oatmeal/Milk, Musk, Holiday Spice, Tart Lemon, Lavender, Sweet Rain, Candy Cane, Cappuccino and Fresh Laundry. I'm using both opaque and clear 100% vegetable glycerine soap base superfatted with either sweet almond oil or cocoa butter. My kitchen smells *wonderful*!

Mosaics - I just bought a glass saw, so I'll be making my boss a set of mosaic frames made with strips of spectrum swirled colored stained glass, with matching candlesticks. I'm also making hurricane lamps out of stained glass and thick glasses I've picked up at the 2nd hand store for 50 cents. (Costs about $3 to make, but I can sell them for between $15 and $40, depending on what the design it!). I love the red glass hurricane lanterns the best. Then I drop an appropriately sized candle in it and viola, instant art!

Candles - I'm making beeswax candles, to go with the mosaic candlesticks, and as general gifts.

Tub Tea - I'm using huge iron-sealable tub tea bags I got online and filling them up with all kinds of herbals and fragrances.

Bath Salts - I found a 50-lb tub of bath salts online for $10, plus some Dead Sea Salts. Together, with a few herbals & a bit of fragrance, they'll make great bath salts. I also found inexpensive bulk muslin bags for them. They'll look very pretty, I think!

Milk Baths - using the tub tea bags, I'll make powdered milk baths using powdered goat's milk I found at the health food store, with a little oatmeal and fragrance.

Flavored Olive Oil - In nice bottles, olive oil and various herbs, garlic etc.

Olive Tapenade - In a nice little jar, it has olive oil, black olives, garlic, capers and a dash of pepper. Heavenly with a crusty loaf of bread as a dipping sauce. If I am really feeling nice, I'll include the loaf of bread, too!

Scented Satchets - I'm sewing lavender, calendula or rose petals inside small squares of antique lace, with a bit of fragrance or essential oils. Pretty things for dresser drawers and closets.

Lap Blankets - I get the thickest fleece and stitch the edges with an opposite brightly colored thick thread/yarn. Fleece doesn't unravel! Yeah! If I'd thought about it early enough, I'd have sent them to my brother-in-law's mother who is a professional quilter to embroider a little note to the receiver ala "For you with love, from me". But I didn't, drat!

Rice Socks - By stitching together (on the sewing machine) long tubes made of thick patterned flannel (I might need to use socks encased in the flannel), and I'm filling them 4/5 full of rice grains, and a few drops of lavender essential oil for a gentle fragrance. Then, you heat the rice sock in the microwave for a minute and drape it over your shoulders or other sore muscles.

Rice Pads - Much the same as Rice Socks, but I've made a pad with rice "baffles" like a baffled feather-bed. Throw it in the microwave and sit on it while your car is warming up in the snowy cold weather! (Not that I have that here in LA, but when visiting my family, it snowed three times and I was inspired!). I'm also making mini ones as "boo-boo" pads for my nephew - throw them in the freezer for instant frozen pack that doesn't melt and isn't as intensly cold as ice.

I'm also making home-made Christmas tree ornaments for each person, for a pre-Christmas gift.

I THINK that's it!
post #19 of 21
Everyone has such great ideas! What a great thread this is!!

madison: can you post specific instructions for the bath salts and milk bath?

Does anyone else have a recipe for bath salts or other bath/skin products?
post #20 of 21

bath salt recipe

3/4 cup Epsom salt
1/4 cup baking soda
1 1/2 cup coarse sea salt
10 drops essential oils
2-3 drops food coloring(veg if you have it!)

just put the ingredients in a bowl and mix.

p.s. I am going to be making specific aromatherapy salts (and bombs), just for relaxation, energizing, etc.
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