Sep 20, 2011

5 Handmade gifts to start now for holiday giving.

If you love to give something hand-made as a gift and need some they are. These are all creative, inspiring and fun to make. These are somewhat intuitive but please e-mail if you need help. Since they take time, you can gather the items and make them now so they're ready for the holidays.

1) Fabric sticks. Depending upon the fabric, great for a country home or added texture in a modern one.  Collect sticks and twigs with some heft to them. Wrap in fabrics - remnants, old scarves, etc. Use craft glue to affix or hide a staple or two.

2) Cruet of flavored oils. Using any salad or cooking oil as your base, add herbs, spices and let marinade at least 6 weeks before giving. Decorative glass cruets can be found at A Touch of Tradition.  You can also make flavored and decorative vinegar to pair with the oil.

3) Filled Jars.  Glass jars of jam, pickled veggies, candles, chutney, bath salts, cookie mix, and more, are easy to make. You can cover the lids with fabrics, paper, ribbons, and glue on unique holiday items.  You will need a recipe for some of these items and Ball jars often come with multiple suggestions. For cookies, don't bake them; instead, layer all of the ingredients for a display-worthy gift. Making candles, bath salts, and other non-baked items is often easier and craft store have components and instructions.  Much of the gift is also how creative you are at decorating the jar.

Baked goods in decorative wrappers.  This can be anything from cookies, breads, muffins, to your favorite baked item. Use wrapping papers, pretty ribbons, a handmade tag or card, and the gift is special just looking at it. Many craft stores have plain boxes and bags that you can embellish with stamps, glitter, and other items. 

Decorate store-bought candles.  For a custom look, you can apply clip-art decals and turn ordinary store-bought pillars into festive gifts. For a pretty package, anchor the candles to glass coasters, pair with a matchbox (cover with the same or complementary designs), and tie them together neatly with a great ribbon.