We all have people who are hard to buy for, but that doesn’t mean you want to resort to a generic gift. Not everyone feels comfortable giving gift cards or money to people they love, since it can feel impersonal – especially if you don’t have the cash to put a decent amount on a gift card. It’s the thought that counts, but you don’t want their first thought to be “cheapskate.” Skip the guilt and the credit plunge this season with these personalized homemade gifts.
Nothing makes a sucky day better like a quick indulgence. There are so many mixes you can put in jars that make great treats. Layer dry ingredients in jars for pretty baking or dip mixes like brownies, cookies, onion dip or a spicy dill dip. Just attach a recipe tag detailing which perishable ingredients need to be added and any additional steps.
Good quality olive oil makes a nice gift for a foodie, but you can take it a step further by adding spices. Try adding fragrant herbs like rosemary or dill. Stick to dried herbs and avoid ingredients with even trace amounts of water in them. Generally, that means any fresh ingredient, like garlic and lemon. Botulism bacteria love oxygen-free environments, making it easy to poison your oil by mistake.
Not sure what to do with all those old holiday cards you can’t seem to get rid of? Turn them into ornaments. Cut three triangles out of different holiday cards and fold the sides up the create flaps. Glue the flaps together to make a pretty triangle ornament. You can do this for any ornament shape. If you want a square ornament, cut squares out. If you want a ball, cut a bunch of little circles out.
Make a chic leather bracelet by braiding leather pieces together with a pretty bead. Or if you’re comfortable getting a bit more intensive, get inspired by uber creative jewellery designer Thea Grant. She uses objects like medals and pocket watches to make extraordinary pieces out of ordinary stuff. Find cool trinkets like pearl buttons or keys at a vintage store and string them on a simple chain or a nice ribbon.
Find a nice frame with some matting around the edges and write a heartfelt message or hilarious inside jokes along the matting in a standout colour (use a metallic or gel pen). Or make it mod by printing a black and white photo on paper and, using an exacto knife, cut some white pieces of the picture out that you’d like to stand out (like lips or a hair streak). Glue the picture on to a piece of tinfoil and the silver will peek through where you’ve cut out to create a cool metallic effect.
This one makes a great hostess gift. Find flavoured sea salts like chocolate and lime at specialty food & drink stores (or you can order them online) for easy ready-to-go rimmers. Or if you want to make it yourself, try mixing sea salt with a bit of chilli powder for a Caesar rimmer with a kick. If your loved one isn’t a big drinker, mix brown sugar with cinnamon and ground chocolate chips for a tasty hot chocolate rimmer.