Once again, we’ve arrived at the wonderful holiday seasons, where everyone is busy, stressed, and/or sick. Such fun times xD
But, around this time of year, no matter what holidays you celebrate, gift-giving is probably included and expected, whether from you individually or from your family. And, if you’re anything like me, you have a hard time coming up with good gift ideas. So I’ve found my favorite crafty gift ideas for you to make! Hopefully this is helpful, inspiring and fun.
The first of these, and my favorite, is:
DIY Lavender-Rosemary Bath Bombs
(Makes about a dozen in mini muffin cups.)
4 ounces baking soda
2 ounces cream of tartar
2 ounces corn starch
2 ounces Epsom salts
1/2 teaspoon water
20-25 drops of essential oil (I used 15 drops of lavender and 5 of rosemary, but you could use any combination. You could also use any other essential oil that you like, such as tea tree or peppermint.)
2 teaspoons melted coconut oil (not hot, let it cool before mixing, but definitely liquid. Different families have different rules so please ask before using the oven, microwave, or stovetop to heat)
Food coloring (Optional. I didn’t use any because I thought they looked gorgeous just plain white, and also I didn’t want to stain our white bathtub xD I leave this decision up to you.)
Dried lavender flowers, crushed rosemary, or any herby thing you might want to add :) (Optional)
A small mini muffin pan, silicone mold, plastic cups, ice cube tray, or other item to mold the bath bombs into (I used mini plastic cups and they worked great).
1. Combine all dry ingredients in a mixing bowl (baking soda, cream of tartar, corn starch, and Epsom salts) and stir.
2. Combine all liquid ingredients (water, essential oils, coconut oil, and food coloring if using).
3. Combine the wet and dry ingredients and stir well. It should look like faintly damp sand, and hold together when you squeeze some in your fist. Add more water in drops until it feels right.
4. Pack it down tightly into your mold. I found a spoon helpful to push it down firmly. If you’re using rosemary or something else, pour a little bit into the bottom of the mold before placing your mixture in.
Let the bath bombs sit for 24 hours. To remove, turn upside down and tap lightly on a plate.
I made these for a Secret Santa gift swap with my friends, they turned out great and she loved them! They look lovely with the rosemary on the top. We tested the remaining bath bombs in our bathtub and they were wonderful as well. Very soothing.
Peanut Pretzel Caramel Brittle
(I’ve made this recipe three times now and it has been amazingly fantastic each time! Ironically, this was also used for the same Secret Santa gift swap I mentioned above xD)
1 cup pretzel sticks
1 cup peanuts, slightly crushed
1 cup butter
1 cup sugar (could use brown sugar, white sugar, cane sugar, whatever you want xD)
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 tablespoon cider vinegar (Optional. I have no clue what it does and I’ve made it without and it does fine. I used apple cider vinegar.)
Flaky sea salt
(Note: This recipe includes usage of stovetop or microwave. Please have a parents permission or help if needed)
1. Line a cookie sheet with a rim with aluminum foil. Spread pretzel sticks and peanuts out evenly across the sheet.
2. Melt butter in pan on stovetop on low, or in microwave. Afterwards, stir in sugar, vanilla, and cider vinegar if using.
3. Cook on low to medium on stovetop with a lid, stirring every minute or so OR microwave in two-minute intervals, stirring thoroughly each time.
4. When caramel is sticky, thick and the color of honey, (about 6 minutes in microwave and 10 minutes on stovetop) remove from heat and drizzle over pretzel and peanuts. Smooth with a spatula and sprinkle salt lightly over the top.
Let cool for 2 hours. Break into chunks and enjoy! YUM
Rustic-Themed Picture Frame
Plain wooden picture frame
Small sticks and twigs
Hot glue gun and glue sticks
1. Gather small fallen twigs and branches from a park or yard. Make sure they are dry and thin enough to snap into smaller pieces. Remove glass front from frame.
2. Line a twig up against frame and snap into pieces long enough to span the width of the frame. Break enough twigs to wrap completely around frame. Designs can also be made out of twigs by placing them only vertically, horizontally or at an angle.
3. Preheat hot glue gun until glue flows easily from the tip when trigger is squeezed. Apply hot glue to frame in small sections and push twigs immediately into glue before it cools. Hold twig in place until glue hardens.
Once the entire frame is covered in twigs then you’re done! Replace the glass front, insert a photo and put the back on the frame.
Homemade Hot Chocolate Mix
2 cups sugar
1 ¼ cups cocoa powder
½ teaspoon salt
1. Whisk all ingredients together and store in an airtight jar.
2. To serve, pour 1 cup milk into a microwave-safe mug and microwave until hot OR pour 1 cup milk into a small pan and heat on medium until hot. Add 2 tablespoons of hot cocoa mix and stir.
To gift, I would fill a small jar about 3/4 of the way full with the hot cocoa mix. Fill the rest of the way with mini marshmallows. Then take a jar lid, trace around it on a sheet of paper and cut it out. Glue or tape it on the top of the lid, and write Step #2 on it as directions to the recipient. Place the lid on the jar and add a ribbon around it if you want.
I found tons of great gift ideas that I wanted to add, but sadly had to choose my favorites or this blog post would go on forever xD
I didn’t include Christmas ornament crafts because I want everyone to be able to make and share these gifts regardless of whether they have a tree in their home. However, if you’re interested, I have included some fun ornament DIY’s below:
Glittered Pinecone Ornaments
DIY Tiny Acorn Ornaments
Hopefully this was helpful, inspiring and fun. If you make any of these, let me know in the comments below and consider posting photos. I would love to see them!