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My husband and I have a lots of people to give gifts to during the holidays, and over the years have enjoyed making things to give that are easy and fun, and relatively inexpensive - bath salts & bombs, fruit-infused vodka, CDs that we burned, packets of bulbs for planting, fleece hats, etc. . . this year we're both out of ideas, and it's too late to learn how to knit. Any good ideas for gifts that can be sort of mass-produced, are relatively inexpensive, but are still sort of creative and nice to receive? Thanks! Stumped
Food is almost always a good one- those layered mixes seem to be really popular, truffles, chocolate dipped pretzels, etc. Have fun, virginia
I've also made candles with glass beads, preserved ferns or any holiday greenery pressed to the sides and poured into thrift store-found glasses. Tie ribbon, sprig of foliage around glass stem. A bit messy and you need to be careful of hot wax.
I also cover blank books. Just buy handmade paper or fabric and glue to outside of a blank book, (artists sketch books come in small sizes or go to Ross) using hospital corners. I trim at the binding head and foot. You can glue a flat-ish decoration to the front as well. Or use paper stamps to personalize. I made a book for household things (handyman, painting names, ''honey do'' lists, etc.) and put a house stamp on the front.
Martha Stewart, as much as I love to hate her, has some good ideas in past mag. issues. Gwyneth
You can also make tote bags or t-shirts using leaves and acrylic paints. You simply brush paint onto the back of the leaf (the side with the veins, not too much paint) and press onto the fabric. To get fancier, use masking tape to stencil squares or other shapes, paint in the block, let dry, then layer leaf prints on top.
Another option is buying fleece for blankets or scarves and going around the edge with yarn using a simple blanket stitch.
An incredibly easy craft, good to do even with very small children, is making beeswax candles. Supplies are easy to get at craft stores. Other types of candles are another option.
I'm interested to hear other ideas! Sima
Rolled beeswax candles were the favorite. I even made sets as favors for my wedding - I think it comes to less than a buck and a half a pair (for tapers). You can make tapers, pillars, or votives. Just order the honeycombed beeswax sheets and get the appropriate sized wick (thin for tapers and thicker facor thicker candles). Then you just roll them up. I have been ordering beeswax sheets from a company called DeDant for years. The most recent phone number I have for them is 877-432-3268. They are a beekeeper supply company but have small (10 sheets) and large (50 sheets) boxes of the nice honeycombed beeswax sheets in a ton of colors, and they will ship it to you either free or for very little. They have the best prices Iíve found.
Another favorite was small bags of mulling spices - I get requests every year. My recipe is: a lot of dried orange peel, a lot of whole, rolled cinnamon bark (maybe broken in half shortwise), a little less whole allspice, a medium amount of whole green cardamom pods, a small amount of star anise (I always pick out the whole ones for this mix since it's prettier that way), and very little whole clove (be careful because it can really take over). You can get most, if not all, of the spices in ethnic stores (especially Middle Eastern) or the Cheese Shop(?) on San Pablo Ave 1 block south of University in Berkeley. I haven't used dried ginger, bay leaves, or black pepper corns but I've seen them in store bought mixes. You can look at the store bought stuff for a general amount guide and specific spice ideas. And, as an added touch you can get nice sheer fabric bags at the Paper Plus Outlet on San Pablo Ave just south of Gilman in Berkeley.
We've done boxes of hand made (blank) card sets. You can buy the blank cards at almost any art supply store and do almost anything from watercolor to stamping. We always did paper collages and art using scraps of handmade, Japanese, and decorative papers on the front of the cards. You can also add ribbon, small twigs, pretty buttons, you name it. You can get ideas from browsing in a Papyrus or other fancy stationary store.
My husband once made stationary for my mom by scanning an image she was fond of onto a computer disk (from a scrap of nice wrapping paper from a special birthday gift), goofing with it a bit in Photo Shop, and printing it out in color on nice blank paper. He also did matching envelopes. She loved it and is still using it.
Finally, we also have done flavored vinegars (raspberry was a favorite but orange is good too), candies (Mmmmmm, truffles), beaded earrings (they doní t have to be elaborate), cookies and small loaves of quick breads or cakes (always a hit), and bookmarks.
Hope this gives you at least one idea you didnít think of. Crafty Girl
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