Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Homeade gifts on a budget!

With the economy the way it is this year, I thought I'd share some ideas for handmade Christmas gifts that will help you to stay in budget this year. And keep in mind, these presents don't take a crafty person. I am far from creative or crafty. I hope your family and friends enjoy these gifts as much as mine have in the past couple years!

1. Loaves of bread - This has been the most requested present from last year. I made a loaf of pumpkin bread for almost everyone we know. I like to bake the loaf of bread in disposable baking tins, then wrap them nicely. I also like to use a fun festive ribbon to bring it all together as well as a fun little tag I make out of matching scrapbook paper. Here is a link to the recipe I made: http://allrecipes.com/Recipe/Downeast-Maine-Pumpkin-Bread/Detail.aspx















2. Chocolate covered spoons for coffee lovers - I have several friends and family members who are HUGE coffee addicts. A great present for them is these chocolate covered spoons that turn any cup of coffee into a gourmet cup of joe instantly! This recipe can also be adapted for to use for snack foods such as cookies, pretzel rods, potato chips, or even dried fruit. Here is how I make them:

Ingredients
12 ounces Bakers chocolate (I prefer to use dark chocolate)
24 heavy spoons (I purchase 3 for $1 at the Dollar Tree)
4 ounces white chocolate chips
a couple drops of flavored coffee oils (our gourmet grocery store carries them) in flavors such as Peppermint, Amaretto, Hazelnut, etc.

Directions
Line a cookie sheet with waxed paper. Melt the chocolate chips in a double boiler until smooth, stirring frequently. Add a few drops of coffee oil to taste. Dip the bowl of each spoon in the melted chocolate until covered on both sides. Tap the handle of the spoon against the side of the pan to remove excess chocolate. Place spoons on the waxed paper with the bowl side of the spoon facing up. Refrigerate until chocolate hardens.

Melt the white chocolate in a double boiler until smooth, stirring frequently. Pour melted white chocolate into ziploc-type plastic bag. Cut a small hole in one corner of the bag with scissors. Drizzle white chocolate on chocolate coated spoons back and forth. Refrigerate until chocolate hardens. Wrap each spoon in cellophane or plastic wrap in clear, colored, or patterned. Tie with ribbon or raffia. Add tags stating the flavor. Add a couple of spoons to a nice Christmas mug that was purchased after Christmas the year before for $.50.


3. Handmade scarf - My mom always asks for a new scarf every year. Obviously, finding one she likes is not only time consuming, but expensive too. I came across Martha Stewart's no knit scarf and made it for my mom last year. She loved it! Here's the directions:

Cut 12 pieces of bulky-weight yarn to about 1 1/2 times the desired length of the final scarf. (We used 140-inch pieces to make an 86-inch scarf.) Divide yarn into 4 bunches of 3 strands each. Tie 2 bunches together with a square knot, leaving 6 inches of fringe at end; repeat with remaining bunches. Pin the knots to a piece of foam board. Knot inner 2 bunches of yarn together, spacing knot about 1 inch from existing knots, then knot left and right bunches together. Alternate knotting the inner bunches and the left and right ones, spacing knots evenly apart, until about 6 inches of yarn remain on the end. Finish so that final knots mirror opposite end, and trim to even the ends.



4 comments:

Erin said...

I love these ideas-especially the spoons! How fun!

Thanks, and let us know if you find any more!

Sange said...

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-I don't understand what you said. Why is a half of ticket? - asked the ticket seller.
- Because my left ear has been deaf from last year. I can hear with only one ear.
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JonnyWalker said...

With the economy the way it is this year, I thought I'd share some ideas for handmade Christmas gifts that will help you to stay in budget this year. And keep in mind, these presents don't take a crafty person. I am far from creative or crafty. I hope your family and friends enjoy these gifts as much as mine have in the past couple years!
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Sange said...

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