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Homemade gift ideas?

post #1 of 26
Thread Starter 
I'm hoping that you wonderful, creative TCS folks can give me some ideas & hints...

We want to get away from the Christmas consumer rush (and our own pet-expense-related budget crunch) this year by making gifts for our friends and family.

I'm wondering if any of you have any nice ideas for homemade gifts, or know of any good websites with ideas for this type of thing?

post #2 of 26
how about recipes in a jar...those make great gifts
post #3 of 26
Thread Starter 
Recipes in a jar?
post #4 of 26
This is one of my favourite websites for many homemade recipes for hair, body, and skin.

Pioneerthinking - Homemade Beauty Recipes

Just scroll down the page to Mind & Body Channel Guide, and pick any of the following headings to find homemade recipes for:

Hair Care
Body Care
Eye Care
Dental Care
Massage Oils
Hands & Feet
Perfume & Colognes
Bath Recipes
Soap Making

You can make a couple of jars of different things and make a basket, or cookbook, etc.

If you have any old family photos that have never been organized, you can make some copies of the pictures and then arrange them in an album, or picture box.

I went on the internet last year and found the ship records from when my grandmother came over from Finland in the 1920's. I had a copy of the ship records made, gathered some old pics of her on the ship and made a shadowbox with these items. My mom loved that gift, since my grandmother died when I was 16 and now my mom has a daily reminder of her!

Be creative, have fun, and it doesn't have to be expensive! Our family has stopped buying gifts for each other and now we just have one big meal on Christmas Eve and usually donate the money that we usually spend on ourselves to a charity.
post #5 of 26
Originally posted by tuxedokitties
Recipes in a jar?

you decorate a jar and place your recipes inside
lol i can't believe that you've never heard of this
They sell them but they are expensive,it's much cheaper
to make them yourself
post #6 of 26
Thread Starter 

post #7 of 26
Well, this year our family had a "make-it Christmas".. A few of the things i made were:

Fruit Cake (lotsa rum!lol)
Wine charms (just got some circle wires from the bead store and put beads on them.. made a nice little presentation for them)
Candle rings made out of metal clothes hangers.. and beads.. painted..
Coloring books for the kids (printed off the internet)
cross stitches..
homemade cook books..

one of my friends is making kahlua (sp?).. what else.. hmmmm...
post #8 of 26
How about TCS Cookbook?

OK, seriously....home made hot cocoa mix in a jar. Michaels has finish-yourself ornaments if you are at all handy with a paintbrush. Paints and brushes are cheap too. Actually, there are a lot of craft kits for ornaments that are inexpensive and don't look like a 6 year old did it. (My family has gotten a lot of hand made ornaments when times were tough at my house!) Recipe book/box, cookies/candies, hand decorated frame with a nice picture of you (or your kitties for those so inclined!)...

Do you have HGTV or DIY channels? They run a lot of crafty shows that show you how to do things very inexpensive but really nice. Or you can visit their websites www.hgtv.com and www.diynet.com for ideas.
post #9 of 26
depending on what they like... you can do some potpurri, candles and stuff like that.. make it more unique.. have their name on the gift...
post #10 of 26
If you knit or crochet, you can make scarves. I have a couple finished... one for my niece, one for my grandpa and I'm currently knitting one for my cousin.
post #11 of 26
My nephew received a great present from one of his mom's friends (a head start teacher) - she made him homemade play-do dyed different colors, each in it's own baggie, then printed out the recipe and laminated it.

If you sew, there are lots of things you can make. Holiday runners, napkins, and placemats are nice and don't cost a lot to make. Fleece hats & scarves are nice, but will cost a little more for the material.

Another jar idea - mix together all of the dry ingredients for your favorite cookies, cake, or quick bread, and put in a jar. Type out the directions to finish the recipe and attach. You can decorate the jar for the holiday.
post #12 of 26
Thread Starter 
Thank you!

I love all of these ideas.

You guys are the best!
post #13 of 26
We often make up a batch of Emeril's Essence and other food rubs and package them in nice bottles for people. They love them and ask for them every year.
post #14 of 26
Thread Starter 
Thanks, Adrienne.

I like that idea too.
post #15 of 26
Did you see these? They are very simple and are made out of felt. They are hand sewn so that gives them that extra special feel to them!

Felt Bags
post #16 of 26
I don't know why I didn't think of this earlier, since I am making several for gifts this year...collage frames full of photographs of the recipients' loved ones. You do have to purchase the frame, but some of them are not very expensive. I actually have an old one on my own wall that I bought for a dollar or two at a rummage sale, then I painted it with black craft paint, and it looks just like new!

A related idea, if you have any old picture frames lying around, is to paint a few of them to match each other, then fill them with snapshots. Old frames can also often be found at rummage sales (too late for Christmas this year, I know), and I never underestimate the power of a little craft paint and some creativity!
post #17 of 26
I'm making some "recipes in a jar" for the first time this year.
I purchased a book complete with gift tags & instructions.

The book is titled: "Gifts in a Jar" - Bars & Brownies.
There's other books for Cocoas, Cappuccinos, Coffees & Teas, One Dish Meals, Coookies, For Kids, Holiday Fun, Muffins & Breads & Soups.

You can purchase them at stores (as I did) or by calling/writing:


The ISBN # is 1-56383-123-6

I am also making my "famous" peanutbutter fudge. . .

And of course, I'm planning to give several copies of "Cooking with Cattitude" to my cat loving friends.
post #18 of 26
Another source for Jar Mixes (from Nestle's Very Best Baking Website)

post #19 of 26

For some reason the link didn't work. . .
Try doing a search for Jar and it brings up several recipes.
post #20 of 26
The jar mixes are so much fun to make. I started a thread called "Crafts" a few days ago and I have a photo of a couple of ones I made this year for gifts. You can use pretty much any recipe that has a handful of dry ingredients in it that would look pretty layered in a jar. Though at least with the official "jar mix" recipes you can know that the size of the dry ingredients will fit perfectly into your jar!

Post photos if you make some as I'd love to see how you decorate the tops and do the tags!
post #21 of 26
I've made some of those recipes in a jar this year. I have a book for soups, and one for muffins and breads. They look realy pretty, and I add a Christmasy fabric to the top and some crocheted snowflakes.
post #22 of 26
Thread Starter 
post #23 of 26
For the guys, I make beef jerky. I pick out a roast and have the butcher slice it "sandwhich steak thin". Then I come home and clean the fat off of it and soak it in Terriaki sauce, liquid smoke and cajun seasoning for at least 3 hours. Then you throw it on the dehydrator and leave it.

They all love it and it's cheap to do!
post #24 of 26
Hey guys, I just want to say you has a really ingenious Ideas!!! Keep that way!
post #25 of 26
Originally Posted by mzjazz2u
Did you see these? They are very simple and are made out of felt. They are hand sewn so that gives them that extra special feel to them!

Felt Bags
Do you have a link with directions for those? I would love to make some
post #26 of 26
Cooking With Cattitude!!! >^..^< Also, I have another link and I have used some of the Jar Mix Recipes and they were GOOD!!!

(Hope I linked that correctly!!!)
Arrgghhh--I Didn't--but this SHOULD be correct now!
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