homemade gifts for adults ideas - Mothering Forums

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Old 08-13-2003, 12:07 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I've started making more gifts for relatives and have a few ideas: hand written family tree (saw this on Martha Stewart's website), gifts in a jar (organic whole grain cookie mixes and bean soups), limoncello, homemade marshmallows, and a couple of fancy baked goods.

What good ideas do you have?
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Old 08-13-2003, 01:29 PM
 
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Knitted slippers, bath baskets (homemade soaps, bath salts teas or bombs, knitted washcloths, etc), cloth napkins with napkin rings, and knitted scarf and hat sets.
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Old 08-14-2003, 10:50 PM
 
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This year, the adults are getting odd preserves and jellies. So far, I have jalapeno jelly, garlic jelly and red pepper jelly. More will be decided upon as my garden ripens.
I have also made change purses, embroidered cards, and a ton of other stuff.
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Old 08-15-2003, 04:26 AM
 
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khrisday is making them same stuff I am. heh.

also, lipbalm, body butters, salves, lotions.

I found a book that describes how to make natural shampoos and bath gells and stuff..ILS are taking dd to the zoo next month while dh and I try and make those.


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Old 08-15-2003, 11:15 AM
 
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LOL, I love making marshmallows for a special gift! I dip them in bittersweet chocolate and they are yummy!

I love making bead necklaces and bracelets, jam, jam, and more jam; I've recently taken up knitting, so I'm working on a scarf for a gift. In the past I've sewn hats, mittens and scarves from fleece. I'm also thinking about making some slippers for my brother.

I love framing special pictures. Last year I framed a pic of my MIL with dd along with a poem that she wrote about her.

Keep those ideas coming!!
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Old 08-15-2003, 11:48 AM
 
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A couple of years ago I was having a financially lean christmas and didn't know how I was going to give gifts to my immediate family and their kids. I got the idea from someone I work with to make chocolate pretzels! My boyfriend (now my dh) and I had a blast listening to good music and dipping and decorating batch after batch of pretzels. The best part is everyone loved them! It has now become a tradition and everyone expects them. I love that I can make pretzels for everyone on my shopping list.
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Old 08-17-2003, 12:47 PM - Thread Starter
 
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The food ideas sound great. I love chocolate covered pretzels and pepper jelly.

Throkmorton ~ do you have any favorite pepper jelly recipes?

abimommy ~ I'm interested in making lip balm and shampoo. Can you recommend a book?

I wish I knew how to knit!

Oh, I thought of one other idea (that I've never done) -- I saw on a craft show a way to personalize napkins that was pretty cool. Use rubber stamps dipped in bleach and just press on the napkin. The design looked batik-y because the bleach job wasn't complete.
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Old 08-17-2003, 02:12 PM
 
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are those sweet red peppers??? i LOVE LOVE LOVE pepper jelly!!! has to be sweet though

Quote:
Originally posted by Throkmorton
This year, the adults are getting odd preserves and jellies. So far, I have jalapeno jelly, garlic jelly and red pepper jelly. More will be decided upon as my garden ripens.
I have also made change purses, embroidered cards, and a ton of other stuff.
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Old 08-17-2003, 03:19 PM
 
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The book I have with natural shampoo recipes is "SoapMaking Making Transparent and Natural Liquid Soap" by Catherine Failor.

It is actual soapmaking with lye and everything..

Lipbalm is super easy.

1 part wax (beezwax, calendula wax, soy wax whichever)
1 part butter (cocoa, shea, mago whichever)
1 part oil (safflower, avacado, almond, grapeseed which ever you like..I don't think Olive would work well in this though, it smells strong)

Just melt them down together, I just do it on the stove on a very low setting, and then add whatever flavorings or whatnot and let it cool just a bit and then dump into the containers.

I just add a little Spearmint and Peppermint Eo it makes it cooling.

I would be cautious with adding EOS though, some are not skin safe and some are photoxic (I think Lime does weird things in sunlight) so you have to check and see if the ones you want to use are lipsafe.

Most soaping sites have all that stuff you can order. My favorite is www.brambleberry.com.

BTW..the lip balm recipe can also be used in larger quantities as a skin salve recipe.

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Old 08-17-2003, 04:52 PM
 
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Yep, sweet red pepper jelly. I actually prefer the hot pepper jelly, as it is still quite sweet, but with a bit of a kick. Awesome with cream cheese on crackers.
For the hot jelly, I simply used the recipe from the Better Homes and Gardens cookbook (the plaid one)
Thanks for posting the lip balm! I was thinking of doing that for the Grandmas who are both on quite strict diets. One also has chemical sensitivities, and can't use synthetic fragrances.
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Old 08-17-2003, 05:29 PM
 
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I usually do some crochet. I have done bags, purses, scarves, dishcloths, and this year am doing bath accessories (clothes, bathmits, and soap bags). Last year I made "magic bags". I tie dyed some white cotton and sewed it into a rectangle then filled it with rice. They were popular gifts for my side of the family so I will make them for dh's side this year. I also made natural cleaners for some relatives and "firestarters" (pine cones dipped in wax) for our dads. I made a paper mache box to put them in with pictures of each dad with ds on the outside. I also usually make candles. I also like to make plant holders or boxes to hold teas (or whatever) and have ds fingerpaint them. That way he is involved in the gift making process as well. We also use his drawings and paintings as wrapping paper.

This thread is great! I am always looking for more ideas for homemade gifts as we don't buy presents for xmas so all of our gifts are homemade. I think I will try making lipbalm!!

Laurie


 

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Old 08-17-2003, 11:10 PM
 
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Oh, one more thing that I made, and will make again now that Christmas is approaching, is crocheted snowflake ornaments. They are relatively simple, work up quickly and everyone seems to love them! I gave everyone 5 or 6 of them, and I think I managed to make about 60 of them total last year.
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Old 09-04-2003, 08:38 AM
 
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More ideas!!!!??? I'm now making choc. covered pretzels!! GREAT IDEA!
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Old 09-06-2003, 04:30 PM
 
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I'm going to sew apron's for SIL and BIL.

love the choc pretzel idea!!!

I also like the bath clothes idea and will probably think up a use for my soft organic sherpa.

Knotty dolls for kids (not that you asked LOL).
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Old 09-07-2003, 05:12 PM
 
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This is my first time on this forum and already I see what I've been missing out on. (Never been crafty, but I really want to start).

I've made quick breads (banana bread, pumpkin bread, zucchini bread, etc) reduced the sugar, substituted half whole wheat added other goodies. Then wrap them in foil or plastic wrap and then in new kitchen dish towels and tie with some ribbon. You can either give them the one towel that's around the bread of make a little basket of baked goods and wrap them all. The year I did it everyone loved it.
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Old 09-08-2003, 02:05 AM
 
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Thanks for the add ideas!

I usually do jar gifts (browines are my speciality) and last year I did the bread for my DDs preschool teacher but I didn't think of the towel idea.

Thinking we will add the pretzels too.
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Old 09-08-2003, 04:37 PM
 
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Good to start thinking about this now. I love giving homemade gifts but I usually don't think about it until the last few weeks before Christmas.

Last year I scanned photos my sister and I collected and made a calendar for my mum with all the family birthdays and main events marked in, and a family photo collage for each month. Think I'll make more copies of it this year and give it to the grandparents, too.

For birthdays this year, I gave my niece and nephew books with tapes. I didn't make these, but I was disappointed with the small selection. I think it would be even more fun if I'd bought a book, recorded myself reading the stories and then giving them both. Oh wait, that's not for adults though.

I've given my sister mixed cds. Also knitted scarves and made blankets.
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Old 09-10-2003, 12:42 AM
 
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I sometimes give paintings made just for the person (but only to those friends who have asked for one during the year). Also in the past carved block-prints with the soft-carve stuff and made handstamped stationery sets. I also drew some, printed them at Kinkos and handpainted them with watercolor (I cut them on paper cutter and got envelopes at the store.

I sewed Teddy Bears for some kids and sewed my nephews Puppy Bath Capes out of my old towels- they love these still.

I just started knitting 2 weeks ago and if I had more time would knit some stuff for everyone- but it seems with 2 small kids that isn't going to happen in time for Christmas. My sister is crocheting hats and scarves and gaitors for everyone.

One of our friends bakes delicious cranberry bread and makes homemade apple butter and jellies for gifts- these are wonderful.

I have no idea what I will make this year given how little time I have with 2 small kids. I can hardly get cards out. Maybe someone has ideas for quicker homemade gifts?

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Old 09-12-2003, 01:13 PM
 
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You guys have inspired me. I've gone back and forth this year on what we would make -- we considered clocks and some knitting projects, but we're running out of time. Thanks to the apron suggestion, I decided to do aprons, probably in a black cotton, each with an appliqued initial and a hand embroidered cluster of flowers or herbs by the initial. If we have time, I may do matching potholders or herb wreaths. I can do the hand work during naptime or in the car and so this project might actually happen.

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Old 09-12-2003, 06:53 PM
 
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I want the recipe for the homemade marshmallows, that with a mason jar of home made hot coco mix would be a great idea.

Also "movie" baskets: A rental movie gift certificate with microwave popcorn and a couple of sodas or whatever... not totall Homemade, but an idea.

I knitted alot of hats last year...

There is actually alot of books for the "meals in a jar" or brownies in a jar idea. I think we are goin to do that too this year.

I also did home made knitted washcloths with a fancy soap last year, if you know how to make soap that be even better!
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Old 09-12-2003, 07:59 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Here are a couple of links to marshmallow recipes (I used the first one). Besides them and cocoa, I was going to give friends a pair of little snowflake votives that I got last year after Christmas for half price.

http://www.marthastewart.com/page.jh...&id=recipe1168

http://www.fatfree.com/archive/1998/mar/msg00366.html
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Old 10-09-2003, 05:30 PM
 
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Along the same line and Also not entirely homemade, but at least home put-together - Last year we made Family night baskets... we found super cheap glass sundae cups and spoon and wal-mart and added small jars of cherries, found some little shakers and filled them with sprinkles and nuts... i rolled up white tissue paper in each of the glasses to look like ice cream, included one for each member of the household/family in each basket... and each basket had a bag of microwave popcorn and a movie out of the $5 bin at wal-mart... I decorated each basket with foil star garland and a tin ornament, a fairly inexpensive way to take care of a lot of people. It was Really fun to put together.
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Old 10-09-2003, 08:39 PM
 
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Thinkingcap-
Can you give us the step-by-step on those chocolate pretzels? What kind did you use? How did you make the choc sauce? How did you store/ship them, etc. Thanks!
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Old 10-10-2003, 12:15 AM
 
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I'm making some no-sew fleece blankets (the kind with the fringe...) this year. I've already made two, and they turned out great and were super easy.

I'm also making decorated journals. I made a travel-themed one for my mom, who travels a lot, and I'm going to include some photo corners for her to mount postcards on the pages. I'll probably be making some Christmas-themed ones as well, for recording favorite Christmas memories and traditions over the years.

I'm also making some glass suncatchers. They were on sale at a craft store for $1 each, so I bought four of them. All you do is paint them with glass paint, and you have *stained glass* suncatchers. This really adorable little old man who was pushing his wife's wheelchair in the craft store said that he did them and they were really easy, so I'm hopeful that I can pull it off.

I will probably also make cookie-press cookies, and I'm thinking of adding some chocolate-covered pretzels to them now. That's a great idea!

Finally, I LOVE the marshmallow idea, and will definitely be making some homemade cocoa and marshmallows for my sister and BIL!

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Old 10-10-2003, 12:18 AM
 
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Last year for Christmas I made different kinds of bread for everyone. There are wonderful bread books out there. Package it with some nice jams, jellies, or other spreads and its a very nice homespun gift.
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Old 10-10-2003, 02:41 AM
 
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This is a wonderful thread...I'm getting my notebook in the morning and starting at the top to write down all of the great ideas...

..sarasprings..I PM'd you about the limoncello recipe..would love to make that if you would share it...

I make some 'peppermint bark' every year--melted white chocolate, peppermint flavoring (not extract) and crushed candy canes...I know the white chocolate isn't everyone's bag, but it looks gorgeous and gets rave reviews. I also have a dark chocolate bark recipe with nuts. They're pretty easy, keep well (like a month in the fridge), so you can make them early, and look great in cello bags with ribbon ties!
(I like the pretzel idea...will add that to my cookie list!)

I second the idea of 'no-sew' fleece ideas. I used to make scarves and just tie the fringe into knots at the end....like 15 minutes/scarf total!!

I have a recipe box halfway done for my Neice who is a single Mom and asked me for recipes a while back...

....get some inexpensive frames and blow up a few of your best photos...scenic or people shots! I send my digital photos through Clark Color Labs online, and they print them on real photo paper for less $ and it takes me WAY less time than it would take to print them myself...

...Also doing some yard sale/homemade combos. For my Sister's dh who is a woodworker, I found some antique levels and a square ($1 each) and am going to make a simple 'nail belt' out of fabric I have around, and wrap them in it!!

I also got the coolest thing on ebay yesterday...a lovely vendor sells old cutter--damaged--quilt pieces already cut into cool shapes (cats, hearts, etc). She does simple blanket stitch around and mounts them on cardstock or makes ornaments..they looked so great, I couldn't resist, plus they were already cut out, and she sends samples of her finished work with them--very nice!!

Now I just need some TIME.... my dh is gonna freak out when he sees that I've started ANOTHER crafty project!!!
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