Holiday Gift Guide
Published: Wednesday, December 1, 2010
Updated: Friday, December 3, 2010 11:12
The best gifts are free, or at least they can be when you make them yourself. D-I-Y or home-made gifts are personalized and allow you to be as creative (or as lazy) as you want to be. Here are a few ideas to get you started:
Recipe Book — The perfect gift for a microwave-dependent/stove-challenged friend. Fill it with your favorite meals and quick snacks, the more detailed the better. Include a picture or two of how each item is supposed to look.
Baked Goods — There isn't a person on the planet who doesn't like baked goods, which is why a batch of cookies or cupcakes is an easy gift this season. Keep it holiday-centric with Christmas tree brownies or Menorah-shaped cookies.
More creative D-I-Y gifts
Here are two gifts that make take a bit more time but are well worth the time and effort. Materials and directions are included.
Reusable Tote Bag — This gift allows you to show off your creativity and be environmentally conscious.
Tools and Materials:
- Heavy-weight cotton T-shirt
- Sewing machine
- Medium-size bowl
- Water-erasable marking pen
1. Turn T-shirt inside out and pin bottom of the T-shirt along the hem. Using a sewing machine, sew bottom of T-shirt closed. Flip shirt right side out and lay flat on table, making sure all seams are lined up.
2. Place medium-size bowl about half-way over the neck hole. Using a water-erasable marking pen, trace along the edge of the bowl. Cut along the outline, making sure to go through the front and back sides of the shirt, in order to create an opening for the bag that's larger than what the neck hole allows.
3. Line up the hems on the front and back side of the sleeve and cut, making sure to go through both sides of the shirt. Repeat on the other sleeve. Tip: A jersey shirt would also work well for this craft, as it is already sleeveless, and it's made of a great mesh material.
The Coffee-Lovers Gift Basket— For the friend who seems to live on coffee alone, this gift makes sure they don't go broke at the same time.
- Wicker basket
- Coffee cup
- (4) Small vacuum-sealed bags of assorted coffee
- Gourmet chocolate covered coffee beans
- Hard candies
- White tulle
- Hot glue gun
- Shredded paper basket fill
- Floral Styrofoam
- Bamboo skewers
- Artificial flowers
1. Glue in the base - Use the glue gun to hot glue the floral Styrofoam to the bottom of the container.
2. Typically, the tallest item should always go in the back of any gift basket, however with this one, all the items are virtually the same size. In this instance, the coffee cup should be tucked in at the back.
3. Take a bamboo skewer, and cut it in half. Tape a skewer, pointed end down, on the back of each coffee package. Push one into the Styrofoam on each side of the coffee cup, and then push the other two in front, and to the side of those.
4. Add the package(s) of gourmet chocolate. Although chocolate covered coffee beans are recommended on the list, obviously any substitution can be made.
5. Place some colorfully wrapped hard candies inside some white tulle. White tulle is a great fabric to hold small items because it is partially see-through, allowing the gift recipient to get a 'hint' of what's inside. Tie the tulle with a ribbon and place it inside the coffee cup.
6. Fill in empty spaces with the shredded paper fill, and then arrange a few artificial sporadically in the basket. This gives it a little color and life to your gift. Use the same ribbon that you wrapped the tulle in, and tie a small bow. Hot glue the bow to the front of the basket.