Homemade Gifts

Homemade Gifts

In our consumer driven world, its sometimes nice (and cheap) to get and give homemade gifts. Throughout the fall, I ran a series of posts on homemade gifts with enough lead time so that interested parties could make some of the gifts on their own if they so chose. I wanted to top off the …

Homemade Gift Series, Extra Edition: Photo Cubes

How to Make Decorative Photo Cubes This is a last-minute extra addition to the homemade gift series. Sarah and I have gone back and forth for a long while about whether to post this one in the series, but when we showed the items to several people as we were making them, the comments from …

Homemade Gift Series #10: Homemade Cookies and Gift Bundle

In the coming week, we’re going to be giving a few early small seasonal gifts to people, so with that in mind, we put the final finishing touches on our first gift basket, utilizing some of the items we already made. One component of many of our baskets this year is going to be cookies. …

Homemade Gift Series #9: Handmade Ornaments

How to Make Your Own Christmas Ornaments This year, we decided to make a big batch of handmade Christmas tree ornaments for our home, just to make some “homey” Christmas items to decorate with. We decided to make them in the style of Christmas sugar cookies, with dough that would harden and look roughly like …

Homemade Gift Series #8: Personalized Cards and Stationery

How to Make Your Own Homemade Cards for the Holidays (and Any Occasion!) A few years ago, Rachel gave my wife Sarah a wonderful Christmas gift: some beautifully-constructed stationery with photos of her own choosing placed on the front of note cards, along with envelopes to mail them in. Here are three examples that Sarah …

Homemade Gift Series #7: Crocheted Hat and Scarf

How to Make Homemade Winter Accessories My wife, Sarah, loves to make homemade functional items, particularly ones that give her hands busywork when she’s doing something like watching a movie or rocking a baby. Thus, it’s not surprising that crocheting is a natural match for her. This year, she elected to make a crocheted hat …

Homemade Gift Series #6: Meals in a Jar

How to Make Complete Meals in a Jar A simple picture will probably explain things better than any introductory description could. The jar on the left, obviously, is a “Rainbow Brownie” mix, to which you add just a couple liquid ingredients, pour into a pan, and bake at 350 F for 30 minutes. The one …

Homemade Gift Series #5: Wine Jelly

How to Make Your Own Homemade Wine Jelly “Not everyone will like the caramel apple jam,” Sarah commented to me after we made it. As much as I liked it, I knew she was right: it was very sweet and lacked the tartness that I often crave in my jellies and jams. So we decided …

Homemade Gift Series #4: Homemade Beer

How to Make Your Own Craft Beer I often brew homemade beer. It’s an enjoyable hobby that allows me to sometimes use items from my garden and gets me deeply in touch with the natural process of making a homecrafted beer. I have complete control over the ingredients and can make whatever variation seems good …

Homemade Gift Series #3: Caramel Apple Jam

How to Make Inexpensive and Delicious Homemade Caramel Apple Jam A few weeks ago, my wife stopped by a roadside stand where an individual was selling apples. A lot of apples. My wife asked if there were any deals, and the seller told her that he would sell her 8 1/2 pounds of “seconds” (apples …

Homemade Gift Series #2: Homemade Soap

How to Safely Make High Quality Hand-Crafted Soaps Let’s just start this one off with two big, giant warnings! Warning #1 Making soap at home can be very fun and rewarding, and if done right, it can be an inexpensive way to make gifts. But it can also be very dangerous if proper precautions aren’t …

Homemade Gift Series #1: Vanilla Extract

How to Make Your Own Real Vanilla Extract For the last few years, one of the most prized possessions in our pantry has been a gigantic bottle of imported Mexican vanilla extract. It’s not that imitation stuff that you get on sale at the store, with weak vanilla flavor and added sweetener. This stuff is …

On Homemade Christmas Gifts

A few weeks ago, my wife and I were chatting about some of the best Christmas gifts we’ve ever received. Many great Christmas memories from childhood came up, as did some other great memories from various holidays since our marriage. Yet, when we both began to list some of our favorite gifts received over the …