Aromatic DIY Gift Ideas Using Vanilla Beans
Triple The Pleasure ~
Ever been caught off guard thinking of an unexpected gift? I bet you have, we have all had that last minute unexpected invite to dinner, party or been given a helping hand that you may feel warrants a small “thank you”.
You have started making some homemade beauty products, love vanilla but boy is it expensive. You know there are many synthetic copies around and don’t want to be duped. Bugger! What do you do as you want to make a range of vanilla based products as a special gift for your sister this Christmas?
My family is full of foodies and so hard to buy for, honestly! My brother is an aspiring Michelin Star chef; my mom only buys the very best ingredients and loves spending time in her kitchen baking and my other half? Well he just loves his expensive homemade cappuccinos.
Any of those ring a bell? Let me introduce you to your very own solutions to all of the above scenarios and give you easy gift ideas for foodies, beauty lovers and of course for you, the reader.
4 simple recipes with vanilla beans may be utilized by the recipient in many different ways or form the base of other gift ideas for you to give.
The Vanilla Bean
Vanilla Saffron Imports
- Vanilla Beans Order Page
We have the best vanilla beans at the lowest prices in the market.
Bean Tips ~
Vanilla beans are graded in quality and the two most popular are Grade A and Grade B.
Grade A are the top deluxe glossy ones that many will be familiar with. Chefs will favor these beans. Their price also reflects their quality and they will be the crème de la crème in scent and flavor.
Grade B are a little less glossy, drier in appearance and may be a little split from too long in the sun during the drying out time. The benefits are they have a more concentrated flavor and because they have less moisture, you get more beans in weight. I would recommend going with them.
The Flower and The Bean
A Green Bean or Vanilla Bean?
Vanilla Extract Gifts ~
Foodies everywhere will love this gift. Vanilla extract is so widely used in dishes around the world and prices vary considerably depending on the quality, origin and grade of the bean used. We all know it has uses in baking goodies but did you know these ones?
Deodorizing Microwave - For any strong odors after cooking pour a little extract into a bowl and zap it on high for a minute.
Freshen Up Fridge – do you have a bad odor that refuses to go away? No essential oil handy? Clean down the fridge with vanilla extract. You can even leave a small cotton ball soaked in extract inside for extra aroma.
Room Freshener – Want that baking smell wafting around? Put a couple of drops of vanilla extract on a light bulb and turn the light on. Voilà, instant vanilla air freshener.
Bug Repellent – mix a tablespoon of extract with a cup of water and wipe this over exposed skin to keep the nasties away including mosquitoes, ticks and blackflies.
Relieves Minor Burns – For that splash of hot grease on the skin or touching a hot pan dab some extract on. The alcohol will evaporate and soothe the burn.
For the homemade beauty product enthusiast, this makes a great addition for their ingredients supply. Genuine Vanilla Absolute is costly for using in toiletries such as in lip balm, perfume, face scrubs and body lotions. Using an organic vanilla extract is an excellent substitute for vanilla fans.
Making Vanilla Extract
Splitting The Bean
Perfect for Perfumes
- Easy Homemade Perfume Recipes For Women
Women love perfume fragrance and being able to make your own homemade signature blend is easy with these simple recipes. Essential oils are natures own perfumes with additional therapeutic benefits.
- Homemade Sensual Solid Perfume Recipe For Women
Making your own sensual solid perfume is easily accomplished and will cost a fraction of designer perfumes. Homemade perfume with essential oils is an ideal signature fragrance recipe idea for women.
Aromatic Vanilla Extract ~
2 - 4 organic vanilla beans
1 cup vodka (medium strength)
1 large glass jar for infusing
glass pyrex jug (optional)
small funnel (optional)
smaller jars or bottles for finished extract
cheesecloth (fine mesh will do)
- Split the vanilla beans lengthwise and leave the seeds intact.
- Add them to the jar and cover with the vodka.
- Secure with lid and give a little shake.
- Leave to infuse for 6-8 weeks, the longer the better extract this will produce.
- Keep checking the strength and if you need to add another bean during the process then do.
- When you are happy with the strength, strain through cheesecloth into your gift bottles or use a glass pyrex jug and then pour into your bottles or jars.
- To make your gifts even more appealing, add a vanilla bean into each bottle.
Suzie’s Easy Peasy Vanilla Extract ~
organic vanilla beans
nice jars or bottles
- Decide on your booze of choice. Vodka is my preference as it is colorless and flavorless but you can be creative and use light rum, dark rum, brandy or bourbons.
- Fill small jars with your alcohol. The amount of jars is up to you, depending on how many gifts you need to make. Remember to make yourself one or two while you are at it!
- Split vanilla beans lengthwise and add 1-3 beans per jar, depending on the size of jar, the strength you desire and how generous you are feeling.
- You can chop the beans up if you like for added variety.
- Allow 6-8 weeks of “chill out time” to make this, so worth remembering this ahead of time. For ideal Christmas gifts October is a good time to start prepping for your delicious extract.
- You can remove some of the beans but I would leave one in it as it looks the business and keeps adding flavor and smells heavenly.
Sugar and Spice . . All Things Nice
- Easy Sugar Scrub Recipe
This shows you how easy it is to find suitable ingredients in your kitchen for a sugar scrub. By utilizing what you have there is no need to dash to the store. Beauty solutions at your finger tips!
- Homemade Lemon and Lime Hand Scrub
This lemon and lime hand scrub is one homemade skin essential suited for men and women. Often neglected our hands will be rejuvenated into being smooth and soft with sugar, olive oil, lemon and lime.
- Homemade Coffee Scrub for Caffeine Addicts
Even if you are not a caffeine addict you will love using this coffee scrub on the skin and quickly become addicted to it, with gorgeous coconut oil, vanilla, cinnamon, brown sugar and cocoa powder .
Regular Granulated Sugar
Vanilla Sugar Gift ~
This sweet gift using granulated or castor sugar is perfect for the bakers who frequently use these types of sugars in their baked goods, deserts or drinks.
The coffee or tea enthusiast will love the bonus of the vanilla in their cuppa. You can be as creative as you like with sugars and make it to suit your budget.
It is a terrific idea as a last minute unexpected gift as it does not take as long as the extract to infuse. When this jar of sweetness is opened the smell is sure to put a smile on everyone’s face.
This is an excellent gift for all the DIY beauty fans and a must for your own skin care recipes you may want to gift.
Having a jar of granulated or brown sugar already infused means your body scrubs, face scrubs, foot scrubs and lip scrubs are easily made for you or as gifts. Why not do a jar half brown and half granulated for a new textured supply?
Vanilla Sugar ~
granulated or brown sugar or
castor sugar (for baking)
organic vanilla beans
sterilized glass jar or jars
- The quantities of ingredients will vary depending on how many gifts you want to make and the size of the jars.
- Split some beans lengthwise and cut beans in half. Pop them in as you pour your sugar in so the beans are at different levels.
- Close lid of jar and give your sugar a good shake.
- Leave in a cool dark place for a few days.
- Your scented and flavoured sugar is ready to go.
- You can customize this for the individual.
- How to Make a Homemade Shower Gel Salt Scrub
Combining a shower gel and salt scrub together in one product is an easy to make skin care product. A Sea Salt shower gel scrub is suitable for all skin types and will greatly improve the texture, tone and clarity of your skin.
- Invigorating Ginger and Lime Body Scrub
A fresh body scrub using ginger, lime, olive oil, cucumber and sea salt to leave the skin super soft, supple, rejuvenated and re-energized. With a wealth of benefits for glowing skin, check it out!
Vanilla Salt Gifts ~
Made in the same way as the sugar, this is perfect for the ultimate foodies in your life. The ones that probably have bottles of different oils, dressings and vinegars either homemade or perhaps collected from all over the globe.
Those friends or family that love experimenting would appreciate this little bottle of difference. For an extra special idea choose the spicier vanilla beans that hail from Tonga or Uganda for Vanilla Salt gifts if it is the ultimate enthusiast. Vanilla in a more savory form is the result and makes an interesting addition to delicate seafood’s, meats or vegetables.
For skin care recipes, the flavor does not matter and the same bean used in the extract or sugar is perfectly fine. Vanilla scented body scrubs of salt or shower gels, body washes, foot soaks or foot exfoliating scrubs are perfect with salt already infused. You could add a little extract and vanilla sugar for a real vanilla kick!
Vanilla Salt ~
sea salt (or another flaky salt)
organic vanilla beans
small sterilized glass jar or jars
- Split a vanilla bean and add it to the jar.
- Fill up the jar with salt and screw on your lid.
- Give it a good shake and leave it in a cool dark place for a couple of days.
Mix and Match
- Vanilla Bean Body Scrub
The lingering scent of vanilla is alive and well in this gorgeous body scrub using vanilla beans and not a synthetic option. Making your exfoliating scrub is healthier, cheaper and more beneficial.
- Vanilla and Coconut Body Moisturizer
For a tropical scent make this versatile and fragrant rich body moisturizer with warming vanilla and yummy coconut. With no artificial flavors or fragrance it is pure indulgence you can make at home.
Vanilla Gift Tips and Suggestions ~
Decide who you want to gift to before purchasing ingredients, it will save you money if you buy in bulk rather than small quantities.
Don’t forget to gift YOURSELF one of each that you can use in cooking and for beauty products. More cost saving.
If someone special cooks and loves making their own personal products, why not give them one of each?
These make perfect low priced gifts the kids can “make” and give to family members such as aunts, uncles, grandparents or cousins. They will get such a kick out of this and smelling the vanilla in the jars. It can be educational fun for them!
Kids can get creative with decorating the container (under your guidance if they are very young) with a label, ribbon, string, tape, glitter, buttons, stickers, paint or whatever you like.
Buying vanilla beans can be pricy in the regular shops so check out online for better deals and quality. It pays to buy organic and considering the different uses you have for them they can work out very reasonable.
Sugar does not have to be costly and granulated is widely used in both cooking, in drinks and for skin care treatments.
You can be creative with your containers such as vintage, retro or decanter style ones. Equally, recycle some of those glass jars small ingredients come in such as dried herbs, spices, old food coloring bottles, baby food or honey.
Food for Thought . . . .
Taking the simple vanilla bean with its powerful, warming and aromatic scent you can create a whole host of ideas from these three basic recipes of an extract, a sugar or a salt. No more being stuck for that gift or not using vanilla when you love the fragrance.
"Creating health awareness through homemade beauty solutions"
Inspiration in a Jar
More Gift Ideas ~
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- How to Choose a Creative Romantic Gift
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- Makeup Craft Ideas for Teens
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Author Info ~
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© 2013 Suzanne Ridgeway