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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
<b>For those who have more time than money, homemade gifts just may be the key to your holiday gift-giving needs. Homemade gifts add that personal touch of love and sentiment. It say's, "hey I was thinking of you when I made this". It also makes for a fun family activity for the holidays.</b><img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/thumb.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="thumbs up">sup:<br><br><span style="font-size:large;"><span style="color:#FF0000;">Family Recipe Book</span></span><br>
Preserve those old, well-loved family recipes using your computer. There are many software programs available for entering your recipes that even calculate nutritional information based on the ingredients. Add clip art, scan old family photos of the person who is known for making the recipe to include on a particular page . For those with less time on their hands, photocopy your own recipe cards. Place the pages in plastic page protectors to protect from those inevitable cooking spills. Assemble your book using a loose-leaf binder or inexpensive photo album. Your family will love having all their favorite recipes in one place. Add a section including helpful shopping tips, stain-removal tips, sizes, organizing tips, a page listing everyone's birthdays, addresses, sizes, favorites, etc.<br><br><br><span style="font-size:large;"><span>Picture Cubes</span></span><br>
This is a great gift for Dad to put on his desk at work. You’ll need four wooden cubes, 1 ½ inches in diameter; decoupage; and six photos of your children. Cut the pictures into a 3 x 3 inch square, and then cut the square into four equal pieces (1 ½ inch square each). Decoupage one side of each block and stick on the picture. Rotate the cubes and repeat for all six sides. When it's dry enough, cover all the sides with decoupage (this may take some time because you have to wait for some to dry before you can turn them to do the other sides). You’re done -- a cube puzzle of your six pictures!<br><br><span style="font-size:large;"><span style="color:#FF0000;">Homemade Spa Set</span></span><br>
Know someone who’s stressed? Give the gift of relaxation! Make your own bath products and assembling in a cute basket.<br><br>
Bath Salts - 1 c. Epsom salt (available at pharmacies), 1 c. sea or rock salt, 20 drops fragrance oil, food coloring<br>
Bath Oil - 1/2 c. almond oil, 1/2 c. castor oil or aloe vera, oil from 6-8 Vitamin E capsules, dried flowers, 25-30 drops fragrance oil<br>
Bubble Bath - 3 c. clear, mild dishwashing detergent, 6-8 Vitamin E capsules, 1/4 c. glycerin, 25-30 drops fragrance oil, food coloring, dried orange slices and orange peel<br><br>
Once the bath salts and oils are mixed up, place them in jars or small jars and decorate with ribbons, metallic strings, etc. Or, print little tags on your computer. Add store-bought items such as a wash cloth, pumice stone, loofah, or whatever you choose.<br><br><span style="font-size:large;"><span>Stepping Stone</span></span><br>
Stepping stones are easy to make with a little ready-mix concrete. No need to buy expensive kits at craft stores! Just look for a decorative mold to use, or for a round stone just use an old ice cream bucket. Coat with Vaseline for easy removal when the stone has set. Pour in about 1 ½ inches of concrete. When the consistency is right, have your child put in his footprints and/or handprints. Add the date if you wish, and decorate with various seashells, marbles, mosaic tiles, etc.<br><br><br><span style="font-size:large;"><span style="color:#FF0000;">Coffee Lover’s Basket</span></span><br>
Have a coffee lover on your list? Who doesn’t! Here are a few ideas to include in a gift basket for any java junkie:<br>
*Chocolate-dipped plastic spoons with sprinkles and a bow for decoration<br>
*A box of chocolate-dipped cookies or home made biscotti<br>
*Home made dessert coffee mixes, such as:<br><br>
Dessert Coffee (Mocha)<br>
1/4 c. instant coffee<br>
1/2 c. cocoa<br>
1/2 c. sugar<br><br>
Dessert Coffee (Café au Lait)<br>
1/4 c. instant coffee<br>
1/2 c. dry milk<br>
1/2 c. sugar<br>
Dessert Coffee (Spice)<br>
1/4 c. instant coffee<br>
1/2 c. sugar<br>
1/4 tsp. nutmeg<br>
1/4 tsp. cinnamon<br>
1/4 tsp. Allspice<br><br>
(For all the mixes above, combine all ingredients well. Store in a tightly covered jar up to 6 months. For each serving, place 2 teaspoons mix in cup. Fill with boiling water.)<br><br><span style="font-size:large;"><span>Grandparent’s Calendar</span></span><br>
Using a computer program, print off calendar months on 8 ½ x 11 cardstock. On the blank backsides, decorate with your kids’ artwork, photos, poems, clip art, etc. Bring the finished pages to your local copier to laminate and bind them together. This is great for grandparents, but can be modified for any member of the family or for friends.<br><br><span style="font-size:large;"><span style="color:#FF0000;">No-Sew Fleece Blanket</span></span><br>
Choose polar fleece in cute patterns at a fabric or craft store. Baby blankets require about ¾ of a yard, you’ll want a yard or more for adults and older children. You can make a heavier blanket by layering two fabric panels or a lighter-weight blanket by using one layer only. Cut about 2” strips on the edges and tie them together to add fringe. They don't fray, even with washing.<br><br><span style="font-size:large;"><span>Brownie/Cookie Jars</span></span><br>
Brownie jars are an easy and expensive gift idea for family, friends, and teachers. Layer the dry ingredients in which to make brownies or cookies in a mason jar. Decorate the jar with ribbon and attach instructions such as: add butter, eggs, etc. and baking time. You can even attach a recipe card if you’d like. Since people usually receive so many baked goodies this time of year, a treat to make at a later date is usually appreciated. Even if they do not want to bake them, the jar looks attractive on display in the kitchen.<br><br><span style="font-size:large;"><span style="color:#FF0000;">Bread Basket</span></span><br>
This is a great inexpensive gift, and especially easy for those of you with bread machines. Bake a loaf of bread and wrap it up in cellophane or plastic wrap. Place in a nice basket which you can pick up at Wal-Mart for a couple dollars each. Place a pretty piece of fabric in the bottom of the basket, trimming the edges with a pinking shears (optional).<br><br><span style="font-size:large;"><span>Art Frame</span></span><br>
Purchase an inexpensive wooden or cardboard picture frame (under $3 each at most discount and/or craft stores). Have your child decorate the frame with acrylic paints. Place a photo of your child inside the frame once it’s dry, and you have a great gift for a grandparent!<br><br><span style="font-size:large;"><span style="color:#FF0000;">Read-Along Videos</span></span><br>
Have your kids get dressed in their pajamas, and cover one of their beds with stuffed animals. Set up the video camera on a tripod, and record yourself reading bedtime stories to the kids. Wrap up the video tape with copies of the books you’ve read, and you have a great gift for cousins who live far away. Not only do they get to read along with you, they get to see their cousins whenever they watch the tape!<br><br><span style="font-size:large;"><span>Scented Jelly Jars</span></span><br>
Scented jelly jars, like the ones found and stores like Bath & Body Works, are simple to make and quite inexpensive. Here's the recipe:<br>
8 oz. liquid potpourri<br>
2 envelopes of Knox gelatin<br>
Containers (canning jars, unique bottles, bowls, etc.)<br><br>
Boil the liquid, then add the gelatin. Stir until dissolved. Pour into containers and cool. You can add embellishments such as flowers or shells to the jelly while it is cooling. You may change the color of the jelly with a little food coloring as well. Once cool, decorate the containers with ribbons, lace, or whatever you desire.<br><br><br><br><span style="color:#FF0000;"><span style="font-size:large;">Homemade Play Dough Set</span></span><br>
Make homemade play dough in Christmas colors such as red, green, and yellow. Add a little glitter for a festive touch. Roll the three colors into balls, and place inside a sheet of cellophane. Tie with a decorative ribbon and attach a few plastic cookie cutters. A fun gift for any child!<br><br><br><br><span><span style="font-size:large;">Framed Handprint Poem</span></span><br>
This is a great gift to make for a father or grandparent using your computer. You’ll need: black ink, 8 ½ x 11 cardstock, 8 ½ x 11 frame. Use a word processing program to print out the following poem on the cardstock:<br><br>
My Handprint<br>
Author Unknown<br><br>
Sometimes you get discouraged<br>
because I'm so small,<br>
and always leave my finger prints<br>
on furniture and walls.<br>
But everyday I'm growing big<br>
and soon I'll be very tall.<br>
Then all my little handprints<br>
will be hard to recall.<br>
So here's a special handprint<br>
just so that you can say;<br>
this is how my fingers looked<br>
when I placed them here today.<br><br>
Then, press your child’s hand into the ink pad, making sure that it is thoroughly covered. Press your child’s hand onto the other side of the cardstock. Using a black pen, write your child’s name and the date under the hand print. Wait until the ink has dried, then place the finished product in a matching frame.<br><br><span style="color:#FF0000;"><span style="font-size:large;">Wine Serving Tray</span></span><br>
The wine connoisseur on your list will love this idea! Purchase a 11 x 14 or larger wooden frame, and create a collage of wine memorabilia such as labels from bottles, decorative napkins, and so on to insert inside the frame. Purchase handles and attach to the side of the frame to use as a serving tray.<br><br><br><span style="font-size:large;"><span>Homemade Childrens Keepsake Handprint Plaques/Ornament</span></span><br><br>
Preheat oven to:<br>
300 degrees<br><br>
Items that you will need:<br><br>
1.5 cups of Salt<br>
1.5 cups of flour<br>
¼ cup of water<br>
Paint (acrylic works best) or food coloring<br>
Ribbon or Yarn<br>
Pen or Pencil<br>
Piece of cardboard or thick paper<br>
A large bowl<br>
A butter knife<br>
Greased cookie sheet (instead of grease you can also use corn meal)<br><br>
Directions:<br>
Place your measured flour in a large cooking bowl, and add the salt. Add in the water to thicken the salt and flour to the consistency of bread dough.(if you do not have paint add in food coloring for the color of plaque you would like) Knead with your hands for 2 minutes. Flatten the dough onto your counter and mold into a shape that you desire. Place this shape on the greased cookie sheet. This will be the shape of your plaque. Get your child or grandchild to push their hand into the shaped dough making an indented handprint into plaque. Poke a hole in the top middle portion of the plaque with a pen or a pencil. Place the cookie sheet in your preheated oven for 2 hours or in till the plaque is Harden. Once your plaque is harden and cooled you can paint it. After you have painted your plaque tie a ribbon or yarn in the hole that you made.<br><br><span style="color:#FF0000;">Here's a link on making Home made soap:</span><br><br><b><a href="http://www.ehow.com/how_5911_make-homemade-soap.html" target="_blank">http://www.ehow.com/how_5911_make-homemade-soap.html</a></b><br><br><br><span><span style="font-size:large;">Feel Free to Add your How To's On this thread and to make things easier, Please add a title to your How To's.</span></span>
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
<b>The Night Before Christmas Gift Baskets</b><br><br>
I thought of these right before I went to bed last night. I seem to get all the best ideas at that time. I thought of these baskets as a perfect gift for large families or if you only have a budget to get one gift for a group (family) of people. This gift is great for spreading that "Christmas spirit"<br><br><br><span style="font-size:large;"><span style="color:#FF0000;">Hot Cocoa Christmas Eve Basket:</span></span><br><br>
You will need:<br><br>
Printed poem of "The Night Before Christmas"<br>
Holiday coffee mugs<br>
Holiday Napkins to decorate basket<br>
1 can of Whipping cream<br>
1 pint clear glass jar & decorations for jar<br><br>
3/4 c. powered nondairy creamer<br>
1/2 c. nonfat dry milk<br>
1/2 c. milk chocolate chips<br>
1/4 c. granulated sugar<br>
1/4 c. light brown sugar<br>
3 tbls. unsweetened cocoa powder<br>
1/8 tsp. salt<br>
8 peppermint sticks optional<br><br>
Combine all ingredients *except peppermint and chocolate chips.<br>
Add half of the cocoa mix to the bottom of the jar, then place peppermint sticks around the inside of jar, next add a layer of chocolate chips and lastly the rest of the cocoa mix. Seal lid and decorate.<br><br>
Place jar of cocoa mix in basket with the poem, napkins, and mugs. Then at the last minute before giving away, pop in the can of whipping cream. This is a great gift for sitting around the tree with loved ones on Christmas Eve listening to someone read aloud the story of "The Night Before Christmas"<br><br><br><span style="font-size:large;"><span>Christmas Eve M&M Cookies for Santa:</span></span><br><span style="font-size:small;">This gift basket is great for a family with little ones.</span><br><br>
You will need:<br><br>
1 quart clear glass jar & decorations for jar<br>
Printed poem of "The Night Before Christmas"<br>
A cute christmas tea plate to put cookies on for santa<br>
Wooden Mixing Spoons<br><br>
3/4 c. all purpose flour<br>
1 tsp. baking soda<br>
1/2 tsp. salt<br>
1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon<br>
1/2 c. chopped walnuts<br>
1 c. M&M's chocolate mini baking bits, divided<br>
1/2 c. raisins or dried cranberries<br>
3/4 c. firmly packed light brown sugar<br>
1<span style="font-size:small;">1/4</span> c. uncooked quick oats<br><br>
In med. bowl combine flour, baking soda, and cinnamon. In 1 quart clear glass jar layer flour mixture, walnuts, 1/2 cup M&M's, raisins or dried cranberries, brown sugar, remaining 1/2 cup M&M's , and lastly the oats. Seal jar and decorate. Then add these baking instructions as a printed lable from your computer.<br><br>
Feel free to copy and paste the baking instructions for printing:<br><br>
Preheat Oven 350 f<br>
Lightly grease cookie sheet, set aside<br>
In large bowl beat 3/4 cup (1<span style="font-size:small;">1/2</span> sticks) butter, 1 large egg, and 3/4 tsp. vanilla extract until well blended. Stir in contents of jar until well blended. Shape into 1-inch balls and place about 2-inches apart on prepared cookie sheets. Bake 12-15 minutes. Cool 2 minutes on cookie sheet. Save 4 cookies for santa and the store the rest in tightly covered container. Makes 4 dozen.<br><br>
Set out the cookies for Santa and sit around the Christmas tree with your family, nibble on the delicious cookies that you just baked, as you listen to the story of "The Night before Christmas".
 
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