Wow, so here it is, almost Christmas, and you don’t have presents for anyone. Whoops! I guess that plan to learn to knit and make everyone personalized sweaters will have to wait till next year. But you don’t want to be a sell-out to materialism and just get a gift card for all your loved ones, do you? (If you answered, “why yes actually, I would like to get everyone gift cards”, then I’d like one from Lush, please! Just sayin’.)
If you’re like me though and doing a more homemade style of Christmas, here are some last-minute gift ideas that will make people happy they know you, and possibly entertain any stray four-year olds you have around.
Botanical Interests, yes the seed company, has a lovely tutorial on making herbal Christmas ornaments from your garden. They even have some beautiful downloadable gift tags and labels you can use. I printed mine out on some sticker paper to label a few other homemade gifts I’d made.
We’ve made these fun marble magnets for years. They’re a great way to make use of old magazines, and the magnets go over a treat in stockings. You need decoupage glue, those funny marbles that are flat on one side (as clear as possible with no sheen or bubbles in them), magnets and some superstrong glue. If you’re crafting on the cheap, I’ve found both the marbles and some OK magnets at the dollar store. The fun part is looking through magazines and cutting out all the tiny flowers and ants and stripes to make coordinating magnet sets.
If you’re thinking you’re not too crafty and the marble magnets sound, like, hard and stuff, then these cinnamon-applesauce ornaments from May Dreams Gardens might suit. I remember making these when I was tiny, and again in my early twenties. It’s hard to screw them up, and they look really cute and homemade attached to packages. Just for goodness’ sake buy your spices at Costco or the dollar store! No need for this to be a twenty dollar project.
Life as a Plate has a simple tutorial on how to make beautiful little bottles of homemade vanilla! I go through vanilla like crazy and the good stuff is pricy, so if you have friends who like to bake, this would be an awesome gift attached to a batch of homemade cookies. The Simple Dollar has a source for cheap vanilla beans if you want to do this in bulk next year.
Gluten-free homemade cookie mix
Last year I wanted to make homemade cookies for my mom, who can’t eat wheat. But how in the world do you make cookies for someone without flour? Elana’s Pantry has a recipe for a gluten-free cookie mix, which you could either layer in a jar and mail, or just bake up and give to the person on a plate! Cookie baking is such a tradition with me that it’s fun to be able to bake for people with different dietary needs.
Books are always a great gift
If you’re reading this and feeling too short on time to actually make anything, then may I suggest getting someone a nice book? You really can’t go wrong with a book, and if you’re worried the person might have it already you could always pre-order something that hasn’t come out yet, like Amy Stewart’s Wicked Bugs or one of the new titles from Timber Press (just click the dropdown menu in the upper right to sort by publication date!).
Sending warm holiday wishes your way…
(Photo by D. Sharon Pruitt)