Tuesday, November 30, 2010

10 Lovely Handmade Christmas Gifts

I have a Thanksgiving/Christmas policy. In short, you absolutely do not start celebrating Christmas before Thanksgiving. No pre-Thanksgiving Christmas tree, Christmas music, or decorating. The turkey must have it's place. :)

But now that Thanksgiving has been duly celebrated, I'm ready to join in the Christmas cheer!

This year our holiday gifts will be almost entirely handmade, which is a first for us. My mind is bursting with ideas! Here are some of the make-at-home presents I'm contemplating...these look simple and elegant and none of them involve a sewing machine (which I do not have):


1. Cinnamon Honey Butter by Tidy Mom. Aren't those tiny half-pint Ball jars adorable? I just found them at my local grocery store, and I was so excited. This picture tutorial for Cinnamon Honey Butter is just up my alley.

2. Handmade Lotion Bars. These come with Smockity Frock's recommendation!

3. Tea Cup Lights. I love all things tea and teacups. These candles would be perfect to make with tea cups which have lost their saucers! Goodwill and consignment stores would be the top places to look if you don't have any on hand.

4. Caramel Dip. Um, have you noticed how a lot of these gifts involve canning jars? :D The more the merrier.

5. Cookie Rolls. I have frozen cookie dough in this exact method before, but never thought of gifting it in this form! This lady freezes the decorative wrapping and all!

6. Breakfast Baskets. The ideas for themed gift baskets are endless, but I like the thought of making a homemade pancake mix and some pancake syrup and putting them together in a cute breakfast basket along with homemade hot chocolate mix!

7. Homemade Vanilla Extract. I just finished my container of homemade vanilla extract that someone gave us for our wedding 3 1/2 years ago! That's how long I was able to top it off with vodka while it still retained a strong vanilla flavor (incredible!). I recently embarked on making my own (SUPER EASY!)...you can use the tutorials here, here, and here. I bought my vanilla beans through Amazon using swagbucks (I paid only $4 out of pocket for 50 vanilla beans). What a unique, frugal, and practical Christmas present!

8. Jingle Bell Jar. Melissa from The Inspired Room came up with this festive holiday candle! As soon as I get my hands on some epsom salt, I'm going to try it out (can you believe I'm getting all crafty on you again? Christmas brings it out in me...).

9. Lemon Sugar Scrub...in a mason jar, of course!! This looks divine.

10. A Family Cookbook. Last year I put together a simple version of a family cookbook for two of my sisters using a three-ring binder. I included the recipes our mom made regularly growing up. But wouldn't it be awesome to compile all the family favorites, including recipes from grandmothers and aunts?

Do you have a favorite handmade Christmas gift that you enjoy creating?

If you're looking for more Gift-in-a-Jar tutorials, check out Tip Junkie's awesome post with 48 different gift-jar ideas!

P.S. If you are related to me, please pretend you did not read this post come Christmas morning.

Linked to Top Ten Tuesday, WFMW, and I'm Lovin' It!


  1. I made something similar to that hand scrub for my grandma this year. I used grapefruit, a little mint extract, and added in some oatmeal for extra scrubbiness! (Mostly because I didn't have any kosher salt.)

    I also crocheted her a shawl. Love these ideas!

  2. Great ideas! By the way, we made the Buffalo chicken soup you mentioned last week for dinner last night--I added a bleu cheese garnish!

  3. Great handmade holiday gifts - we can't wait to make some of these! Love crafting!

  4. Splendid list! I'm with you on the Christmas policy. Don't want Thanksgiving to get lost in the holiday scramble, though that seems to be the trend...

    Thanks for more inspiring ideas, Alicia!

  5. LOVE every bit of this! I'm w/you in the jars. I keep every single one!

  6. Fabulous list!!! thanks for the shout out Alicia!!

  7. 1. Amen. No Christmas before Thanksgiving. Except that I watch Christmas movies year round. But no Christmas music, decorations, or even Christmas snacks til after Thanksgiving.

    2. I did the family cookbook for 2 of my sisters last year. Big hit! :-)

    3. Thanks for the ideas. Our family is doing handmade/homemade Christmas this year too. Love it! :-)

  8. Oh my, can this just be my wish list? Love that caramel dip idea!

  9. I love the candle tea cup and amily cookbook ideas! Great website!

  10. Wonderful ideas, and I am glad I still have a few canning jars around. You have a beautiful blog!

  11. Love ALL of those ideas!!! Esp. the vanilla and honey butter...yum, yum, YUM!

  12. These are great gifts!!

  13. Great list Alicia!! I am making home made vanilla too this year ... or I hope it's still making;) It will be my first batch, so we'll see!!

  14. I really want to make a lotion bar! Any idea where you find beeswax? or shea butter?

  15. Megan, I'm pretty sure you can find beeswax at any craft store, but I'm not sure about shea butter!

  16. These are all fabulous ideas and I'm going to make several of them...like the vanilla and the cinnamon honey butter for starters. Thanks for the links.

  17. Fantastic list!! I liked it so much I added it to my list of great Christmas idea lists for today's top 10 :)


  18. The canning jar gift ideas are great. It's very handy to have a useful item once the gift has been used up, too.

    I also wrote about a gift idea in a jar back in November, for an authentic curry spice mix - no cooking or processing is involved. It's great to make for yourself or as a gift.

    Here's the link:


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