25 Handmade Gifts of Christmas (Part 5)

With Christmas just around the corner, it’s time to start thinking about coming up with holiday gifts for all those special people in your life—your children’s teachers, your friends and neighbors, the babysitter, your hair stylist…What better way to say Merry Christmas and thank you for all you do then to present each and every one of these hardworking individuals with a heartfelt, handmade gift? And because I know we are all busier than the big man in red this time of year, your very own Simply Family holiday helper (that would be me) has rounded up the best of the web, 25 handmade gift ideas—complete with tutorials, pictures, and packaging ideas. Here are the final five gifts. Move over Martha Stewart, let’s get crafting!

Hot Chocolate and Baileys

(Adapted from http://samantha-richardson.blogspot.com)

What You Will Need: some mason jars, your favorite brand of hot chocolate mix, mini marshmallows, mini bottles of Baileys, and something to attach the bottles with (like some ribbon, twine, or raffia).

To Make: So simple! Layer first the hot chocolate, then the mini marshmallows into each mason jar. Attach the bottle of Baileys (using the medium of your choice), and voila! Perfect for all the imbibing grown-ups on your list.

Upcycled Photo Frame Tray

(Adapted from http://lemontreecreations.blogspot.com)

What You Will Need: a large picture frame, scrapbook paper or fabric of your choosing, handles or drawer pulls (your choice), and some shallow screws.

To Make: Don’t be afraid to paint your frame (especially if it is a Goodwill treasure). Attach the handles with shallow screws (these can also be painted, along with the screws). Next, recover the frame’s original cardboard backing with either the fabric (using a hot glue gun) or the scrapbook paper (Mod Podge). Optional: you can also cover the back of the cardboard if you would like. Finally, mount the frame’s glass insert on top of the frame with hot glue (applied to each corner). Bonus: this would also make an awesome housewarming gift!

DIY Washcloth Hand Puppets

(Adapted from www.soyouthinkyourecrafty.com)

What You Will Need: washcloths or hand towels, two to three inches of ribbon, detail fabrics for fins (the author used satin for the green fin on the alligator and hot pink spandex for the fish), fabric marker or buttons for eyes, scissors, and your sewing necessities (thread/sewing machine/pins).

To Make: I am not even going to pretend that I know how to sew, so instead of trying to surmise the steps for you all (because I would undoubtedly mess everything up), I am just going to send you straight to the source. Click here for the directions as well as your FREE hand puppet pattern. So stinking cute for the bathing babies, right?

Pet Identification Tags

(Adapted from www.marthastewart.com)

What You Will Need: Shrinky Dinks printable plastic sheets, regular or decorative-edge scissors, hole punch, and the Pet ID Tag template.

To Make: Download the Pet ID Tag template to your computer’s desktop. Open the file and type your pet’s name and your phone number. Print tags on a Shrinky Dinks printable plastic sheet. Cut out with regular or decorative-edged scissors and punch a hole where indicated. Bake according to package instructions. Let cool. Seal both sides with matte clear-coat spray before attaching to your pet’s collar. Perfect for the pet and/or pet lover in your life!

Santa Party Mix

(Adapted from http://cookiesandcups.com)

What You Will Need: (for the Santa Hats) Bugles (the chips—not the instruments), red melting discs, mini marshmallows, and white sprinkles (the author suggests using nonpareils).

To Make: First, melt the candy melting discs in the microwave (in 30 second intervals). Next, dip the bugles into the melted candy and then allow to dry for about 10 minutes on parchment (or wax) paper. Once they are set, dip just the ends of each of the Bugles (the “Santa hats”) into the white sprinkles. (Reheat the candy covered Bugles if necessary). Press a mini marshmallow onto the top of each hat.

What You Will Need: (for the Party Mix) three cups mini pretzels, ½ cup Craisins, one cup salted dry peanuts, two cups Rice Chex, two cups holiday colored M&Ms, eight ounces white chocolate for melting.

To Make: Spread all your ingredients (except the M&Ms) out on a baking sheet lined with parchment (or wax) paper. Melt your white chocolate according to the package directions and drizzle over your pretzel mix. Transfer to a large bowl and coat the mix with chocolate, then stir. Return to the baking sheet and allow to dry. Once the chocolate is set, combine with the M&Ms and Santa hats. Package in a decorative holiday tin, and you’re ready to wow all of your friends and family with your wily kitchen skills!