I had a great time making homemade goodies for gifts this year, and can now freely post about them. Some of my favorites were these clay ornaments and gift tags.
These were so much fun, I was like a kid playing with play doh! I found the tutorial online (though not free) and it was very detailed and helpful. This project uses air-dry white clay (DAS is recommended) and some cookie cutters. I used some rubber stamps for texture, as well as rolling between linen fabrics. I had some special clay stamps for the lettering. It takes a little patience for the drying, and you do need to flip them over frequently to prevent the edges from curling as they dry. The final stage is some sanding (I used plain old emery boards) of the edges, and then adding loops of 1/8″ white ribbon.
It was a very satisfying project and well received, because the ornaments were chosen and embellished for the individuals involved. I did lots of extras to use as gift tags (just write on them with a fine point Sharpie.) What I loved about these is that they are simple, basic and earthy, somehow at the same time both rustic and elegant, and very personal.
I made some brown sugar scrubs and just packed them in recycled cosmetic jars. The luxury lotion bars were a simple matter of melting together three ingredients (beeswax, shea butter and avocado oil) and pouring into small molds. I packaged these up rather grandly for the gifting, but you don’t need to go as far as I did!
One of my gifts was a box of hand-made ornaments for a person who will probably decorate a small tree for herself with them. There were several of the white clay ornaments, as well as crocheted roses in several sizes and different textures of yarns (forgot photos, sorry!) There were some crocheted snowflakes and some fabric rosebuds, as well as these adorable yo yo flowers.
All the objects were white, off-white, or natural in color; I just got started with the white clay and kept going, so I called her gift, “variations on a theme.” There was also a button-covered, beribboned ball ornament and I am so kicking myself for not remembering to photograph it! She loves buttons and all of them were white, off white or natural variations with a large silk bow.
Another fun project (mostly because it was for someone really special) is this shrug for my violin teacher, Monika. I promised her I would not post her picture here, so the second best thing would be these photos with the strange color (the sweater is actually black.)
I almost forgot! There was also homemade hot fudge sauce and caramel sauce, which people received with great enthusiasm. I’ve already shown the caramel, but here is the hot fudge sauce being jarred.
I found a recipe that was very straightforward, though I must admit that the first batch got thrown out, due to a really dumb mistake. I put about 10 times too much salt in it and it took for-EVER to boil, but it looked beautiful when it was done. One taste, however, told me what I’d done wrong. No matter how long you’ve been cooking, you can still make silly mistakes that destroy your project. I tried not let it mess up my head and just started over. In half an hour I had the project done correctly, but that was a long evening. I was just grateful that I had enough of the ingredients to do another batch without going shopping again.
There were some huge batches of granola made for a few people, also. I love this stuff myself and it’s a huge sacrifice for me to give it away, LOL, but the people who received it are very special to me, so it’s all good.
Hope your holidays are as wonderful and warm as mine. I loved the making and giving….wish I could give handmade gifts to all on my list, but some don’t value it as much, or want/need more technical or practical things and that’s okay, too. I spent time with my family (and Skyped with the daughter not here) and ate a bounty of good food. All the gifts I received were thoughtful and personal (including the kitchen appliances that I specifically requested!)