A very D.I.Y Christmas

Jennifer Manalili

Forget the typical expensive gifts like jewelry or designer perfume, we’re in the midst of a big D.I.Y. trend this holiday season. The continuing popularity of crafty sites like Pinterest has undoubtedly helped this popularity gain steam. Gifts that are edible and homemade can be fun and interesting. Here are a few great ideas that you don’t even have to risk being trampled at the mall or race people to a sale for.

Homemade Peppermint Face Scrub and Bath Salts

Homemade sugar scrubs are a good way to stay away from the harmful chemicals that can lurk in the cosmetics aisle. Sugar scrubs only require brown or white sugar, essential oils in your favorite scents —- lavender, lemon and peppermint is a festive one for this time of year —- coconut oil (almond is great too) and a few drops of food coloring. You can also utilize the food coloring and essential oils for bath salts, which only require the addition of coarse sea salt and epsom salts to make. Package these homemade cosmetics in a jar and pair them with a small face towel or bath sponge and you’ve got a relaxing gift your loved ones will be grateful to receive.

Homemade Mixes and Edible Gifts in a Jar

Mason jars are a cheap and affordable venue for many edible food gifts. Layer ingredients in a jar and they make an impressive gift. Cocoa, chocolate chips, sugar, powdered milk, mini-marshmallows and candy canes make a great hot chocolate mix and you can also package the dry ingredients together for cookies, bread and other delicious sweets. Your friends and family won’t need to do anything more than milk or eggs to enjoy some treats. Cupcakes in a jar, seasoned nuts and brittle are also easy sweets to put together.

Tile Coasters

This art project takes only a little bit of time and effort. Tiles can go for as little as 20 cents at your local craft store or Home Depot. Grab some acrylic spray, modge podge (it’ll help seal everything together), some of your favorite scrapbook paper and you’ve got a really decorative and beautiful piece of work.

Homemade Seasoning Mixes for Meat and Veggies

Homemade seasoning mixes are another easy gift that you can package in mason jars and give out. The mixes utilize dry herbs and ingredients and combining things together is a simple task. You can make anything ranging from taco seasoning, ranch dressing or Italian seasoning. Make sure to include a little note —- the Italian dressing mix can be tossed with oil and vinegar to create a homemade dressing for veggies, ranch can be combined with mayo and yogurt for dressing or act as a dry rub for meat. Your loved ones will know these little gifts will go a long way.

15-min. Infinity Scarf

All you will need for this project is two yards of your favorite stretchy fabric (cotton, polyester, even cotton lawn would work). It’s all a matter of cutting, twisting, and sewing two ends of the fabric together, you’re just minutes away from a really great fashion statement.

Baked Coffee Cups and Cup Sleeves

Got a friend who’s a coffee lover? Grab a ceramic cup in their favorite color and use a sharpie to decorate it. Afterwards, place it on a pan and throw it in the oven to bake at 350 degrees F for 30 mins. and voila, you’ve got a great gift adorned with your very own art. A homemade coffee cup sleeve is also easy to make and only requires some stitching and fabric —- they’ll thank you for this one when they’re enjoying their coffee on the run.