Category Archives: Gifts

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Gift of Love

Valentine’s Day might be over but it is never too late to show your love to your significant other.  I did this for my husband a few years ago and I wanted to share it.

Literally all you need is a box (I had one laying around), paper and pen.  I wanted to pack this box with as many reasons that I love my husband so when he opened it, it exploded.  *Which I hear it did.  I put it in his lunch box so he saw it while at work.  Who doesn’t like mid-day surprises like this?

All you need is $0 and a bit of time and you will have a wonderful keepsake forever.

Chocogasms – an Erotic cookbook

If you need a good gift under $15 you should pick this book up on Amazon.  Anyone, men or women, would enjoy this book.  This gag gift isn’t just a gag gift, but it has 32 awesomely delicious chocolate recipes from cheesecake, to drinks to ice cream.  It has all of the tempting chocolate desserts you crave.

Here is the description to the cookbook:

Chocogasms is an erotic themed chocolate cookbook meant to help excite all of your senses.  In addition to the multiple delectable chocolate recipes, there are some factual tidbits on how chocolate is related to sex, a few small fictional stories, and a history of chocolate’s relationship with the bedroom.  From your taste-buds to your curled toes, Chocogasms will give you an outlet to explore your sexy and tasty side.

Pick up your copy on Amazon today!

Thinking ahead…

As one of my most recent posts suggests, I am thinking about Christmas gifts already.  Really, if you are going to make your own gifts, it is going to take some planning and time.  Baked goods are cool for anybody, but being able to hand make something someone LOVES, is what I am striving for.  I want to be creative with my gift giving this year and it is time to start thinking about it now.  I did a little Pinterest research for a while on some gifts that would be worth of making myself and I wanted to share a few with you.

Here are some things that women would like:

Produce Bags, Ornaments, Jewelry, Sugars

Here are some things to consider for men in your life:

Bacon, washers, skittles, bottletops

You cannot forgot your furry friends:

Cat toy, dog biscuit

I hope that gives you a bit of inspiration for the upcoming holidays.  I look forward to my friends and family opening their homemade gifts this year.  Enjoy!

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DIY Homemade Gift Tags

From my previous post DIY Homemade Paper I showed you how much Christmas paper trash I saved from going to the landfill.  I made a couple of batches of homemade paper to use for other crafts.  I came up with one great idea that can save you a little money and also make your gifts look chic.  Homemade Gift Tags!

 

 

1.  Collect all of your homemade paper.

2.  Decide on the size of tag you want, and trace circles all over your paper.  If you have any blemishes on the paper, or wrinkles cut around them.  Only use the best parts.  Save the rest for another batch of homemade paper.

3.  Cut out the tags.

4.  Use a paper hole punch to cut the holes for the ribbon.  I used my makingmemories Instant Setter tool to make the holes.  I got this a long time ago but I want to learn what all it can do.  I couldn’t find my hole punch and I like the size of the holes this tool made so I just used this.

5.  Finished.  Now you can adorn with ribbon of your choosing.  I suggest just slipping it into the ribbon you are already using for your wrapped package.  Or some nice twine or hemp string would look organic.

You can use these tags for bags, or wine bottles for a hostess.  You can use it for any holiday or birthday.  This was a fun and easy project.  I hope you consider saving some Christmas paper from the trash to make these nice tags!

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DIY Cherry Cordials

I didn’t make as many gifts as I would have liked this Christmas, but I am going to dedicate a large portion of 2012 in making my own gifts for next year.  However, I did have difficulty finding gifts for my mom this year but I remembered she used to always have a box of Queen Anne’s cherries in her fridgerator.  I decided to give making my own a try this year.   I found a recipe that I thought was at my culinary skill level and got busy.
First the recipe; courtesy of veronicascornucopia.com

2 (10-oz) jars maraschino cherries (you’ll need 40-50)
¼ c butter, softened
2 ¼ c powdered sugar
1 T reserved cherry juice
½ t vanilla extract
¼ t almond extract
1 (12-oz) bag semi-sweet chocolate chips
¼ cake paraffin wax, shredded OR 2 T vegetable shortening

*I replaced the chocolate chips and shortening with Baker’s Chocolate.

First step is to get the cherries out of the juice.  I drained it with a colander and saved the juice.  (Do not rinse) I plan on using the cherry juice for something else.  Possibly cherry infused vodka or brandy for another gift.  I placed the cherries then on a paper towel to rid the excess juice.  This helped when wrapping the fondant around them.

In the meantime, cream the butter with 1 cup of the powdered sugar, then add 1 T reserved cherry juice, the extracts, and the remaining sugar; stir until mixed. You may have to knead it with your hands as it will be firm like dough.  I ended up adding about another tablespoon of non-butter (the kind in the tubs) to give it a dough like consistency as I kneaded it.

Line a baking sheet with wax paper. Take small pieces of fondant, about 1 or 2 teaspoons, and press them flat on your palm. Wrap around the cherries, pinching off the excess before rolling them smooth and placing on the wax paper. Repeat until all cherries are covered with the fondant. Set in the freezer until well chilled. I did this step a day in advance and proceeded with the dipping the following day, so they were frozen hard.

Melt the Baker’s chocolate until smooth. Dip each cherry in the chocolate using a fork, drawing fork across rim of pan to remove excess coating. Drop coated cherry upside down onto waxed paper, swirling a thread of coating from fork across top for a decorative touch.  Once all are coated, place in the refrigerator until the chocolate is set; check bottoms and reseal with additional melted coating, if necessary. You want every part of the fondant covered or it will start to leak out as it liquefies.  Store in a cool place (do not refrigerate) for 2 weeks to form cordial.

I tried mine about 5-6 days after making them and they were not ready yet.  Make sure you give them enough time to liquefy.

Place in a nice tin with tissue paper.  No other wrapping needed.  You don’t want to use wrapping paper that will just get thrown away, do you?  This year I ended up doing all of my wrapping with reused wrapping paper from previous years, bags or tins like for these delicious treats.  Everything can be reused or repurposed.  Hope you all had a Merry “Green” Christmas!

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Homemade Magnetic Board – Versatile Gift

My inspiration for this project is a cute little magnetic board that I have at work.  It is a 5×7 size photo frame wrapped in metal and it came with cute magnets.  My friend really wanted one and I couldn’t find where I could purchase one.  So I decided to make one.

Step 1:  Purchase a picture frame.  In order to be green I bought one at the local thrift store, and this one was already damaged.  Who would buy it anyways?  Cost $2.99

Step 2:  Demolition.  You have to take it apart to make it pretty.

Step 3: Voilà.  Not done yet!

Step 4:  Prime.  I used a low VOC primer so it’s more earth friendly.  However, it does still stink.  I primed because the frame was glossy and I wanted my final paint to stick.  Sorry for no picture.  But you didn’t really need a picture exactly as above but in white, did you?

Step 5:  Cut metal to fit frame.  I bought a piece at Home Depot about 12 x 20 inches.  Larger than the frame but not too huge for the trunk of my car.  When you buy metal make sure to pick a metal that is magnetic.  I bought iron.  I also brought in a magnet just to be sure.  I cut the metal with tin snips that I had on hand.  Jagged edges = beware!

Step 6: Iron the fabric.

Step 7:  Cut fabric so there’s enough to wrap around the metal.  I also taped the cut edges of the metal so it wouldn’t cut the fabric after it was all assembled.

Step 8: Glue the fabric to the metal.  This took the longest because I had to wait for the glue to dry before I started the opposite side.  I am a bit of a perfectionist so I folded down the edges so you can’t see any fabric fray.  Tip: This is awesome glue.  I wanted something industrial for the magnets, that I also made for this project, but also that I could use to glue the back of this metal.   It’s low VOC glue and it dries fast.  I couldn’t even smell it.  Awesome purchase.  I remember in my interior design classes we had to buy this 9000 crap which you had to use a gas mask for.  Awful stuff.  Not this!  Two thumbs up!

Sometime between Step 4 and Step 9 you have to paint the frame the color of your choice.

Step 9: Assemble gift.  Just put the frame back together.  Minus the glass.  I also painted the back to this so it looked professionally made.  See the cute magnets?  They are just buttons glued to strong magnets I purchased at the craft store.

My friend who is receiving this gift loves the color blue, so I had to pick a fabric just for her.  You can also personalize this by different size frames, different fabrics and even stamp on some letters to be specific to the receiver.  Your friends will love the homemade-ness of this gift.  I think a boy may even like this!  Pictures of cars and girls I would suppose.