Cute, Easy, Affordable... Homeade Christmas Gifts They'll Love!

Blueberry Scones Mix in a Jar

2 C. all-purpose flour

1/3 C. vanilla sugar

1/4 C. nonfat dry milk powder

2 t. baking powder

1 t. dried lemon peel

1/4 t. salt

1/3 C. shortening

1 C. dried blueberries

Stir together the flour, sugar, milk powder, baking powder, lemon peel and salt in a large mixing bowl. Cut in shortening using pastry blender till resembles coarse crumbs. Stir in blueberries. Place in jar and add more berries if needed. Store in refrigerator up to 6 weeks or in freezer for up to 6 months.

Gift Tag Directions:

Place contents of jar in large mixing bowl. Add 1 beaten egg and 1/4 cup water, stir till moistened. Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface and quickly knead for 12-15 strokes or till smooth. Pat 1/2 inch thickness. Cut into desired shapes with a 2-1/2 to 3 inch cutter. Dip cutter in flour between cuts. Place scones 1 inch apart on ungreased baking sheet. Brush tops with milk if desired. Bake at 400° F. for 12 - 15 minutes. Transfer to wire rack to cool slightly. Serve warm.

Makes 10-12.


Candy Cane Bath Salts

Ingredients:

3 cups of Epsom salts
3 Teaspoons of Sweet Almond Oil
9 drops of Peppermint Essential Oil
1 drop of red food coloring ( more if you like)
1 drop of green food coloring

To decorate:

several jars with turn lids or cork seals
red, green, and white Christmas ribbon
several gift tags shaped like candy canes OR
several candy canes (small ones)

Directions:

To make the salts separate each of the three cups of salts into three bowls.

Separate each teaspoon of almond oil into three bowls.

Into one bowl of almond oil add the drop of red food coloring, into the second add the green.

Into each of the three bowls of oil add three drops of peppermint oil. Mix each bowl well.

After mixing pour each of the bowls of oils and coloring into one of the bowls of salt. This will leave you with a bowl of green a bowl of red and a bowl of white scented salts. Let sit for a few hours covered.

To create the candy cane effect layer layers of each color, a layer of red, a layer of green , a layer of white, over and over until you fill the jar.


Polar Fleece Scarf

Directions:

Purchase polar fleece in the fabric department of your local discount or fabric store.

Step 1: Start by laying your fabric out just as it came off the bolt- folded so it is 30 inches wide from the fold to the open side. It isn't necessary, but you can now cut off the finished edge if you prefer (it usually looks like it is folded up and pressed).

Step 2: Measure along the folded edge and make a small cut (you can also mark it with a marking pencil instead of cutting) every 6 inches (you'll get about 6 from each yard this way). Repeat on the open side so the cuts or marks will line up with each other.

Step 3: Cut a straight line from the mark on the folded side to the mark on the open side to make one long strip that is 6 inches wide.

Step 4: To make fringe on the ends of your scarf, make 5 cuts about 1.25 inches apart and about 4 inches long into each end.

Your handmade fleece scarf is complete! If you keep fleece on hand, you can crank out a scarf as a last minute gift or make several when you have a little time on your hands.


Snowman Soup

Assemble in a gift bag, gift mug or small zipper food storage bag:

  • 1 individual packet hot chocolate mix
  • 2-3 chocolate kiss candies
  • 10-15 mini-marshmallows
  • small candy cane

Snowman Soup Poem (attach to gift)

Snowman Soup
Was told you've been real good this year.
Always glad to hear it!
With freezing weather drawing near,
You'll need to warm the spirit.
So here's a little Snowman Soup
Complete with stirring stick.
Add hot water, sip it slow.
It's sure to do the trick!

Lemon Bath Tea

2 parts lemon balm or lemon verbena
1 part lemongrass
1 part lemon peel
1 part peppermint or rose
1 part green tea
Lemon or peppermint essential oils

Directions to make: Prepare a clean work surface. Pour the loose herbs into a wide mouth bowl. Combine thoroughly. Then, simply place the loose herbs inside the bag and seal the opening closed with a hot iron for about 10 seconds. Each heat seal pouch can hold about .4 oz. of herbs.

Directions for use: Simply place them in a tub of hot, running water and fill bath half way, let steep for 10 minutes, fill the bath with cooler water to the desired temperature and enjoy your herbal bath! Can be re-used if set out to let dry.

Herbed or Fruit Flavored Vinegar

Herb vinegar can be made by combining distilled white vinegar with 1/3 cup of water and bring to a boil. Put sprigs of herbs like thyme, rosemary, oregano, chives, tarragon or fennel in a sterilized cool bottle. Pour hot (not boiling) vinegar into the bottle over the herbs. Tight closely and store at room temperature. Some herbs will lend their color to the hot vinegar which will result in a more attractive looking gift bottle.

Instead of herbs, you can also make fruit flavored vinegars. Berries are especially good choices for fruits. Add berries to white vinegar and keep about a week at room temperature, in a dark place. Strain into a bottle and add a few berries (ones that you added) to the bottle to make it look more attractive.

Keepsake Ornaments

Photo frame ornamentsare great keepsakes. Slide your (or your kids’ or gift recipient’s) photos in small square, round or oblong photo frames. Hot glue ribbon on top to make a loop. Decorate with any other craft material if you wish.

If you can crochet, make crocheted ornaments like snowflake, angels etc. Here are instructions for a Rose Snowflake:

Materials: Size G hook (#8), 4 ply worsted weight yarn (crochet cotton)

Size: 5" across

Directions:

Ch 8, sl st in first ch to form ring.
Round 1: Ch 7, dc in ring, (ch 5, dc in ring) 4 times, ch 5, sl st in 2nd ch of ch-7. (6 sps)
Round 2: sl st in next loop,m ch 4 (counts as 1 tr); holding back last loop of each tr on
hook, make 3 tr in ch-5 loop, yo and through 4 loops on hook (4 tr cluster), * ch 9, 4 tr
cluster in next loop, repeat from * 4 times, ch 9, sl st in top of first cluster.
Round 3: * Ch 7, sl st in 4th ch from hook for picot, ch 9, sl st in 4th ch from hook for
picot, ch 3, sl st in top of cluster; in ch-9 loop work sc, hdc, 4 dc, hdc, sc, sl st in top of
next cluster, repeat from * around, end sl st in sl st ab beg of round. End off.

Rum Balls in a Jar

2 cups crushed vanilla wafers
1 1/4 to 1 1/2 cups icing sugar
1 cup finely chopped almonds
2 tbsp cocoa powder
1 1/2 tsp instant coffee crystals
1/2 tsp cinnamon, optional

Layer ingredients into a 1 quart jar, tamping down layers to eliminate air gaps. Attach the following recipe to the jar:

Place contents of jar into a bowl. Add 4 to 5 tablespoons rum, espresso, and/or coffee. Form into small balls. Roll in icing sugar. Place on a cookie sheet to dry. Store in airtight container.

Wine Charms

Stringing beads and charms on wine charm rings. Wine charms will make a nice hostess gift.

Pine Cone Fireplace Starters

Tie strings around the pine cones and dip them first in melted wax and then in some fireplace sparkler stuff. Place in a decorative box using potpourri as a filler.

Christmas Soup Mix

1/2 cup split peas
1/3 cup beef bouillon granules
1/4 cup pearl barley
1/2 cup lentils
1/4 cup dried minced onion
2 teaspoons italian seasoning
1 cup raw long-grain white rice

In a 1 ½ -pint jar, layer the ingredients in the order listed. Seal the jar tightly.

Gift Tag Directions: In large soup pot, brown 1 pound of ground beef or 1 pound cubed chicken breast; drain. Add 3 quarts of water, a 28-ounce can of diced tomatoes with their liquid and the soup mix. Bring the mixture to a boil; reduce heat, cover, and simmer about 1 hour.




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