Make at home gift ideas for the holidays

Every year I say I am going to get creative and make most of our gifts to give each Christmas. I say this around January so I have a good solid year to plan and get it done. It is now November….again….I have not created anything! In my mind I have visions of sewing projects that actually turn our correctly, beautiful soaps and bath products, cookies that look like they belong on Pinterest and adorable art projects from the children. Instead, the few projects I get done could go on the Pinterest fail page.

So here it is again, mid-November with nothing accomplished but some canned jelly and pickles! But it’s not too late, yet! Here are a few projects I plan to try. Maybe it will inspire you to get crafty this season!

The first two ideas I took from an activity we did in our American Heritage Girls troop, so I know they actually work and turn out well 🙂

Bath Bombs:

1.5 cups baking soda

3/4 tsp water or liquid water color

6 tbls citric acid powder

2 tsp olive oil

1 tbls of your favorite essential oil (optional)

Mix well to form dry dough, press in to mold and allow to dry for 1 hour. Add to bath for some extra fun!

Note: This recipe really worked! A couple years ago the kids and I tried to make bath bombs that totally bombed!


Homemade Body Wash:

1 cup liquid castile soap

1 cup water

3 tbls coconut oil (melted)

5-7 drops favorite essential oil

Mix all together and pour into cute dispensers!

Basic Lye Soap Recipe:

17 ounces of lard

9 ounces of coconut oil

7 ounces of olive oil

2 ounces of canola oil

13 ounces of water

7 ounces of lye

Add lye to cold water and stir (not water to lye), set aside. Some people wear protective glasses and gloves when working with lye. I do wear gloves. Just use caution! Melt fats together in a vessel on the stove. When the fats have melted, cool them down to 110 degrees.  Add the lye/water mixture and stir continuously until the trace state is reached. I use a hand mixer! Trace looks like pudding sort of, not runny but not too hard. Pour soap into molds or cardboard box lined with plastic and leave it to set for a few hours before cutting into bath size bars. Let it sit for 3-4 weeks before using it.

trace ish

Sugared Pecans:

When we had a pecan tree in our yard, we would collect a 5 pound bucket full and crack them to make candied pecans for gifts. These were usually a big hit! I need to plant a pecan tree here! This is the recipe I used to make them:

Diaper Babies:

If you know someone who is pregnant, these diaper babies are adorable! My daughter and I have made them a couple times now as gifts! All you need are diapers, baby wash clothes and baby socks! For detailed instructions visit


Vanilla Extract:

This is so easy to make! And I love the smell of it 🙂 All you need are 3 vanilla beans, 1 cup of vodka, and a glass jar with a tight fitting lid.

  1. Use kitchen scissors or a sharp paring knife to cut lengthwise down each vanilla bean, splitting them in half, leaving an inch at the end connected.
  2. Put vanilla beans in a glass jar or bottle with a tight fitting lid (mason jars work well). Cover completely with the vodka.
  3. Give the bottle a good shake every once in a while. Store in a dark, cool place for 2 months or longer.

It lasts for years! You can keep topping it off with vodka now and then, just give it a good shake. After a couple months, you can pour small amounts into little jars and give as gifts!

Sugar and Salt Scrubs:

Another easy gift to make! You can find many recipes to choose from here.

Recycled Crayons:

If your kids are like mine, crayons are constantly being broken. We saved up all the broken crayons for a while. Then we separated them into like colors. Them put the bits in a silicone mold and bake at 230 degrees for about 15 minutes, or until melted. Carefully remove from oven and let cool. When fully cool, remove the crayons shapes and give as gifts!

il_570xN.688304898_gwqgI hope this gives you a few ideas to try this year! I better go get busy!


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