Homemade Gifts

5 Great Gift Ideas You Can Make Yourself

Homemade gifts often bring to mind tacky items like that big ugly refrigerator magnet your great-aunt presented you with for Christmas one year. Actually, handmade gifts do not have to be “tacky” at all. Here are five ideas for homemade presents that are classy and tasteful.These ideas are fairly easy to make, so even your kids can get in on the action. 

1. Homemade Vanilla Extract 
Everyone loves vanilla in cookies or as a scent. Here is how to make your own homemade extract. This must be done in advance (recipe makes 2 cups). 

INGREDIENTS: 
5 Vanilla Beans, cut into 1” pieces 
2 cups vodka, rum, or brandy 

DIRECTIONS: Combine alcohol and vanilla beans in a jar and cover with a tight-fitting lid. Allow mixture to stand for six to eight weeks. The longer it sits, the better. 

For gift giving, pour into small bottles and label. Consider decorating lids with bows. 
ts at Christmas time!

2. Chocolate or White Chocolate Covered Pretzels 
I make these for the neighbors every year with my sons. They are really easy to make, and don’t cost much. 

INGREDIENTS: 
Thick pretzel rods or regular pretzels 
Milk chocolate chips, or white chocolate meltable coating (found at Walmart and Sam’s Club around the holidays) 
sprinkles 

DIRECTIONS: Melt chocolate or white chocolate coating in microwave(be careful not to overcook). Dip pretzels in chocolate. Dip into sprinkles. Let dry on waxed paper, then put into decorative bags for gift giving. 

3. Movie Night Gift Basket 
Great for teachers, neighbors, anyone who likes to spend a quiet evening with family watching a good movie. It’s even better if you can find out the movie “tastes” of the recipient, so you can include an appropriate movie. 

TO BUY: 
Basket (dollar store) 
Box of Microwave Popcorn 
Two Bags of Candy 
Several Packets of Hot Chocolate 
DVD (either a favorite movie you got on sale, or they even sell classic movies at the Dollar Store now) 

DIRECTIONS: Arrange all gifts attractively in gift basket. Include card for recipient. 

4. Family Heirloom Recipe Book 
Obviously, this gift is for relatives, but it’s usually a hit. Everyone likes a copy of their favorite family recipe. 

TO BUY: 
3 Ring Binder (Walmart or Dollar Store) 
Page Protectors 

DIRECTIONS: Get copies of family favorite recipes from all relatives (including distant relatives, those who live far away, or even relatives who have since passed away). Type them up, and include a picture of each contributor on each page. Cover each page with a protector. Put a favorite family picture on the front of the notebook. 

5. Canvas “Handprinted” Reusable Grocery Bags for Grandparents 
Any grandparent will love a reusable grocery bag with their grandchildren’s handprints on it. Easy and fun homemade gifts for the kids to make! 

To BUY: 
Canvas Bag at craft store 
Permanent Fabric Paint 

DIRECTIONS: Have children make handprints all over the bag, and if possible, write their names with the paint. Great homemade gift for the Grandparents

Home Made Dog Cookies for Dog Lovers with Dogs (of course)

You can find great recipes for dog biscuits on the web. and wrap them in a gift bag. OR, make short bread cookies in the shape of dog bones for the dog owner!

There are so many ways to save money and make great and thoughtful gifts without spending a fortune. 

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