Home-made Christmas gifts

(98 Posts)

What have you made/are planning on making for gifts for Christmas this year, we really need to trim our gift budget a little so any ideas will be every much appreciated.

All i have on my list so far is homemade fudge and framed photos of the kids - it looks a litte poor doesnt it!

TheArsenicCupCake Sun 29-Aug-10 17:54:34

Just marking my place to bung my list up for you later when I have a bit more time.
Do you have age ranges?

Tippychoocks Sun 29-Aug-10 18:00:15

Jam (doing it now!)
Sloe Gin
Truffles and Christmas biscuits
cards
name tags
plants if all my cuttings take!

And some sewn stuff for family but I haven't chosen yet. Nothing too complicated - shopping bags, napkins, gardening kneeler, that kind of thing.

It's hard to do for family though, I mostly use home-made for the small presents you have to give to teachers or neighbours or other families. Or Secret santas, horrible things that they are.

asouthwoldmummy Sun 29-Aug-10 18:04:58

Are you very good in the kitchen?
We're planning to do hampers this year. I've already made Xmas puddings and a couple of varieties of jam and chutneys. I'll probably make some peppermint creams and some cinnamon biscuits, shove it all in some wicker baskets off the Market and viola! (and also less hassle, by the time Christmas gets here the presents will pretty much be taken care of.)
I also recently ordered from amazon Christmas crafting with kids, it has a few ideas of presents the kids can make as well as homemade decorations.

Tippychoocks Sun 29-Aug-10 18:13:33

I did hampers back when I was doing the Good Life thing and it took FORVEVER and worked out as quite pricey if you count postage. I did sugar mice, truffles, jams, chutneys, marmalades, spiced nuts and added a few home-made decorations. Was up all night making bloody whisky marmalade grin

sweetnitanitro Sun 29-Aug-10 18:22:23

I am planning on making calico shopping bags which DD will be forced persuaded to decorate with fabric paint. In them I will put home brewed beer which DH is making (he's very good at it) and probably some cookies or sweets or whatever I end up making. I have also gathered loads of flower seeds from my garden and taken photos so I can make seed packets

I might do home-made mincemeat this year, I made jam last year.

I'm very poor and I have a big family grin so we usually do home-made presents for each other.

TheArsenicCupCake Sun 29-Aug-10 19:12:34

Right I'm back so here is my list.

I have a lot of calico which I am going to paint up ( artist by trade so this helps).. Out of which matching aprons and tote bags will be made.

In the bags for the females according to the person.
Jar of hot chocolate mix and mini marsh mallows
fudge
homemade hand cream and cotton gloves
gardeners kneeling pad and seeds
hand painted terracotta pot nest
trowel and hand fork ( hand painted)
journal ( japanese stab bound and cover will match the apron and bag)
short bread mix jar
small Xmas cake and pudding
bottle of mulled wine.

For childrens bags ( plain but outlined name on for them to paint)
plain apron again for them to paint up
pencils, crayons and crafty bits ( poundland type
places are great for cheap bits.
Roll of paper ( actually it's lining paper that I have split between the dc's )
sponge brushes
gingerbread snow men with icing and jellys
cookie in a jar mix

for males ( they are having baskets)
Christmas puds and cakes
chutneys
marmalade
journal and pen
mulled wine
voucher for a photo shoot
Epsom salt jar

going to add in books, socks DVDs according to who
the gift is for.
Will also be making a few other bits as well, and I'm swapping some of my skills for a friend of mines to cover our famlies with a few different things this year.

Ive been out all day and am seriously wow'd by your suggestions thankyou so much smile

sure beats my photo frames grin

If any of you wouldnt mind, would you be able to have a guess at the cost of things per gift?

Thankyou so much

india245 Sun 29-Aug-10 20:31:14

home made toiletries go down well. You can buy a bottle of grapeseed oil in the supermarket which is pretty cheap and add a few drops of essential oils to the grapeseed and label it as 'massage' oil. Bath bombs are fun to do too and have a bit of wow factor.

Other than that I stick to foodie things - chutney, shortbread, truffles that sort of thing.

You can make up those muffin mix jars too - where you layer the dry ingredients for muffins and write a label telling the recipient what to add and how to make - nice for kiddies.

bytheMoonlight Sun 29-Aug-10 20:39:02

Does anyone know where can I get some nice chutney recipes?

Are bath bombs easy/cheap? Could my 3 yr old daughter help me make them?

Tippychoocks Sun 29-Aug-10 20:42:59

Google away for chutney. If in doubt, pick Good Housekeeping grin.
Bath bombs are supposed to be easy and there's nothing too nasty I don't think (unlike soap making where the lye is horrid) for your daughter to get hurt. There is no doubt someone on Arts and Crafts who does them.

TheArsenicCupCake Sun 29-Aug-10 20:51:20

It will be about £2 for each plain apron £1 for the toe bags. Under £2 for a roll of lining paper. Binding for journals cost me about £2 each journal but I use leather you can use string etc. Under £1 for the paper.
the covers for journal is cardboardbox covered in calico. ( you will need a hole punch or a drill.. I use a drill and bull dog clips to keep it all together).

It's the decorations and chutney ingredients and jars that tot it up.. But google is your friend.

asouthwoldmummy Sun 29-Aug-10 21:04:07

I save empty jam jars throughout the year (ask friends and neighbours for their too, saves them going to the bottle bank). A pack of 12 lids from Lakeland costs £2.29.
Make friends with allotment holders and keen growers, there's normally someone with a glut of something to offload (remember with a bit of imagination you can preserve almost anything). We often get bags of produce dumped on the doorstep which I can make all sorts out of!
You don't need any fancy equipment just a large stockpot and a long wooden spoon for making jam and chutney.

Moonlight - try www.allotment.org they have quite an extensive recipe section.

tassisssss Sun 29-Aug-10 21:09:27

i love delia's christmas chutney, nigella's spiced apple (but use much less liquid than she says) and I have a tomato one too. this makes a nice triple pack of different colours/flavour...when i was weaning i kept baby food jars and made a trio of tiny jars, lovely!

we did photo coasters at a church craft thing recently and they were fab, really nice finished product...i bought the blanks in bulk from an ebay shop, reckon the grandparents/godparents could like these

my SIL decorates mirror tiles with kids names using glass pens and these look amazing...i must place orders for my older 2 (big hint as she may well read this!! xx)

bytheMoonlight Sun 29-Aug-10 22:12:21

Just looked at Delia's Christmas chutney and it looks fab. She says to make it a month in advance, could I make it earlier than that?

DC2 is due on Nov.1st and I was hoping to get as much done as possible before that. Can't see me having the time to make chutney after that date!

bytheMoonlight Sun 29-Aug-10 22:18:03

Great link asouthwoldmummy - I could be on there all night looking at recipes, thanks smile

asouthwoldmummy Sun 29-Aug-10 22:31:05

No probs. As long as your jars are sterile chutney should keep for a year. It says a month because chutney should be kept a month before using to allow it to mature for the best flavour.

india245 Mon 30-Aug-10 08:05:01

bythemoonlight; bathbombs are great for your 3yo to help with - they only have bicarbonate of soda and citric acid in (citric acid can be bought from a chemist or online) and essential oils. If you stick to lavender oil, even that will be ok for her to touch.

Have fun!

sweetnitanitro Mon 30-Aug-10 09:18:52

I save jars too and last year I went blackberry picking (if you're going to do this then you'll need to do it soon, but you can freeze them until you need them)- I made about 7 or 8 jars of blackberry jam and it only cost me a bag of sugar and a bottle of pectin grin

TeaRocks Mon 30-Aug-10 09:25:36

Last year, I made some plum brandy which went down well. The brandy itself was fairly cheap and easy to make but I did buy nice bottles from eBay which put the price up a bit.

This year, I will definitely make some fudge and possibly some biscuits, too.

Lionstar Mon 30-Aug-10 09:30:50

There is a fab recipe for White Chocolate and Cranberry Fudge in the recipes section - it is YUMMY and went down very well with the nursery staff! I put it in some cheap mugs with Xmas designs on and wrapped in those cellophane bags you can get at Lakeland with some reclaimed ribbons to finish.

DuelingFanjo Mon 30-Aug-10 09:31:14

cake in a jar?

door stop? one of those cloth ones shaped like a dog/cat etc.

bytheMoonlight Mon 30-Aug-10 13:29:17

Does anyone have any bathbomb recipes?

PinkyDink Tue 31-Aug-10 12:25:25

Arsenic Cupcake - How do you make the bags & aprons? Are they easy to make?

deemented Tue 31-Aug-10 12:33:10

I'll be making mostly homemade gifts for other this year.

Will be making fudge again and definately my Jaffa Cake Muffins - these were a huge hit with FIL last year and he's forever badgering me to make him more grin

Okay, from your wonderful lists ive put together 4 'bags'. Almost all of which will hopefully be homemade by myself/kids. Could i have your opinions on the following, very nervous that people might think im just being tight....

CHILDRENS COOKING BAG
Jar Mix - Muffin/cake/cookie
Cooks Apron
Gingerbread man
Baking Bits - Cutters, rolling pin
Chocolates

CHILDRENS CRAFT BAG
Artist Apron
Craft Bits- Glue/Glitter/Cutters
Paints/Brushes/Sponges
Pencils/Crayons/Felts
Scrap Book
Roll of Paper

PAMPER BAG
Bath Bombs
Candles
Massage Oil
Body Lotion
Bath Salts

MUNCHIES BAG (For a couple)
Chocolates
Shortbread
Sweets
Truffles
Muffins
Mince Pies
Fudge
Gingerbread
Honey Comb
Spiced Nuts
Drink of some sort?

I did mainly homemade stuff last year, and apart from the fact that I left it a bit late so it was more work than I thought it was going to be, it went down very well.

I did food spice mixes:

- rogan josh curry
- tandoori beef curry (hot and medium versions)
- american pancakes mix (with a bottle of maple syrup)
- double chocolate muffin mix (with a small box of chocolate drops)

I bagged up the mixes in sealable plastic bags, then put them into parchment sandwich bags and printed labels for the front and the instructions on the back (with extra ingredients to buy for the curries eg meat).

They looked AMAZING, even if I say so myself
My sister rang me up complaining "I thought you said you were going to make the presents yourself this year!"

For kids, I recorded a CD of me reading 3 different stories and then gave that along with the book that the stories came from (this was particularly because I do not live in the UK and so thought it would be nice for my nieces to have me "reading" to them, as it's something I don't get to do).

This year, I have made loads of jams and liquers which will go with other stuff I am going to make.

From my Christmas Ideas List:

- candles/votives : either melting down old candles into pretty teacups or self-decorated flowerpots, or getting plain glass votives and decorating myself with beads/stencils; these will probably be scented too

- re-wrapping large matchbox with matching pretty paper (leaving the strip to light the matches free, obviously) to go with candles

- bath tea, have been drying lots of herbs so will get some muslin bags and bung them in, then glue&tie closed, put a few in a larger bag or box with nice labels

I also do a huge batch of christmas biscuit baking, all different sorts eg last year I did coconut macaroons, chocolate biscotti (highly recommended - last forever and taste SUPERB, would be a nice give in a box with eg. coffee beans or coffee cup for a coffee lover), , vanilla kipferl, shortbread-type iced stars and trees, chewy almond discs, meringue "nipples" etc so will be putting a selection of them in a pretty cellophane bag with nice bow and giving them to everyone too.

Would like to try some sweets this year too.

I'm still a bit stuck for kids gifts this year. So far I've only thought of that melted-crayons in a shape idea, but have been inspired by this thread - I could put them together with other stuff in an arts & crafts bag, which would be great!

Oh my, I've written MASSES blushblush

PS If anyone wants any of the biscuit recipes, let me know, they are from a German magazine I bought years and years ago and I use them evey year.

I've just remembered something else (I've written so much already, I'm now Beyond Embarrassment ):

I did a Gourmet Luncheon Voucher for my DH which basically meant that for 1 month I did really, really nice packed lunches for him. The voucher was in a nice new lunchbox
He was very, very pleased with it, I think more touched than by anything else I've ever given him.
And his colleagues at work were very "Ooooh, what have you got today?"

loola2shu Fri 10-Sep-10 16:19:18

Wow some brilliant ideas!

Hopefor , could I possibly have recipe for choc biscotti please!

I always make delias christmas chutney and get christmas fabric to cover lids and tie with gold elastic, they look lurvely!

Also last year I made choc, fruit and nut fudge for everyone at work wrapped in pretty little cellophane packets wrapped in ribbon. Went down very well! Also do the same with choc truffles.

I also give homemade christmas puddings as gifts in a nice pudding basin or home decorated cheap basin!! don't make these till stir up sunday though

Hopeforthebest- i would love those biscuit recipes please x

LittleB Fri 10-Sep-10 19:35:43

Would love to know how to make cosmetics; bath bombs, hand creams, bath salts etc. Did chutneys, jams, sloe gin and sweeties in home decorated paper bags last year but adding some cosmetics would be fun!

Actually (I am on a bit of a roll here, please forgive me for going on so much!), what about doing Craft Kits for Kids?
I did this by accident a while back when I had to prepare a craft for a number of children at the library.
We were reading a lion-themed book, so I decided we could make lions. The age of the children was 3 to 5.

To make my life easier, I put together in a large, folded paper envelopes everything that was needed to make one lion. I then handed them out and showed everyone my finished lion as a guideline.

If you were giving something like that as a gift, you could print a picture of the finished product on the envelope and include written instructions.

(Picture of lion on profile btw )

crayon roll

I made one of these last night with dinosaur material for my dino mad 2 year old.
They would be good for any little kids in the family and are really easy to make.

taffetacat Sun 12-Sep-10 15:04:16

I always do cranberry and macadamia cookies stacked high in a posh cellophane bag with nice ribbon.

Forced bulbs like hyacinth and iris reticulata in nice conatiners decorated with ribbon.

Chutney - a Gordon Ramsay tomato one this year.

Marmalade - normally pink grapefruit in lovely Kilner jars with nice ribbon.

Last year I also did a rather special Granola in Kilner jars too.

Please can we have the chocolate biscotti recipe HopeforTheBest?

I will dig out the magazine with the recipes in it and translate a few tomorrow morning when ds is back at Kindergarten!

Does anyone have any good recipes (or links) for sweets? Things that could be made ages in advance? I am hopeless at fudge, so don't think that would work (though if anyone has a 100% Fail-Safe method I would be happy to try (even with a sugar themometer, mine always FAILS)).

Tootiredforgodtyping Sun 12-Sep-10 17:57:44

I have painted water jugs before

Marking place

Lastyearsmodel Sun 12-Sep-10 18:49:55

Taffetacat Could you pass on your special granola recipe, please? Have tried a couple in the past with limited success.

taffetacat Sun 12-Sep-10 19:13:05

Granola

I am afraid I am not very good at amounts....

Large knob of butter
2 tbspns golden syrup or 1 each of golden syrup and honey
1 tbspn demerara sugar

Line large roasting tin with baking parchment. Melt above ingreds together in baking tin in oven for 5 mins ( oven 150 c ).

Meanwhile in large bowl mix together:

Half a bag of Sainsbo's TTD porridge oats
Handful sweetened desiccated coconut
Bag chopped roasted hazelnuts
Half a bag toasted almond flakes
Handful of hand chopped whole almonds and pecans and macadamias or nuts of choice
Sprinkling each of pumpkin, sunflower and sesame seeds
Grated zest 1 orange
Few drops vanilla extract

Once butter and syrup mix melted, swirl it around to mix then tip in oat mix and coat all really well in the sugary goo. Bake for 25 mins, turning it all every 10 mins to check it bakes evenly.

Once cold, break it up and add dried fruit - I like chopped organic dried apricots ( the fudgy dark ones ), dried cranberries for festive cheer, golden raisins/sultanas and for real decadence chopped weeny chunks of dark, dark chocolate.

If you do add choc, make sure you only do it once the granola is completely cold, otherwise it melts.

www.makeyourownskincare.com is a fab site with loads of ideas and really clear instructions, sorry i dont know how to link blush

Lastyearsmodel Mon 13-Sep-10 12:35:08

Taffetacat Mmmmmmmmmmmmm! <drool> Thank you, that looks amazing. Clearly it is vitally important that I begin making test batches as soon as possible. smile

BigBadMummy Mon 13-Sep-10 13:16:48

I found bath bombs were a bit hit and miss on whether they stayed together or not. how about soaps? We made lots last year and they were fantastic.

I was a bit over-optimistic that I would have time to get anything at all done today, so will post biscuit recipes tomorrow!

Lots of great ideas here, my list is growing at an alarming rate - if I get even half of the stuff done that I've written down, I'm going to have to start giving gifts to people I would normally only nod to eg binmen, postman, random people walking past my kitchen window....

TheThingUpstairs Mon 13-Sep-10 20:46:05

Taffetacat please could you give your cranberry and macadamia cookie recipe, they sound lovely!

taffetacat Mon 13-Sep-10 21:15:22

Cranberry macadamia cookies

Makes 20 ( I normally make double or triple )

125g very soft butter
185g golden caster sugar
1 medium egg lightly beaten
185g plain flour plus extra for dusting
1 tspn baking powder
50g whole macadamias
50g dried cranberries

2 large baking sheets, lightly oiled or lined with baking parchment

Preheat oven to Gas 4/180c/fan 170c. Using electric whisk cream butter and sugar for 3-4 mins. Gradually add egg, whisking. Sift in flour, baking powder and half a teaspoon of salt. Roughly chop macadamias and cranberries add to mix and stir all together. Bring mix together with your hands and form a ball. Halve the ball then cut one half into 10 pieces. With lightly floured hands, roll each piece into a small ball. Transfer to one of the baking sheets and press each one gently to flatten slightly. Bake for 18-20 mins on centre shelf. Form the other half into balls. When first batch ready, put second batch in. Leave cookies to cool for about a minute no longer or they will stgcik, then, using a fish slice, carefully transfer to a cooling rack. Repeat with second batch etc.

Keep for a week in airtight container or also freeze well.

TheThingUpstairs Mon 13-Sep-10 21:21:36

Thanks!

JetLi Mon 13-Sep-10 22:20:11

This is easy & festive (all red and jewel-like).

Chocolate Mocca Biscotti

Note: this biscotti is „twice-baked“ but is not as dry and hard as the usual biscotti you can get. If you want a drier, harder/crisper biscuit, I think you could probably turn down the oven temp at the second baking and bake for longer until they had dried out, but I have never tried this!

Ingredients

Dough

100g dark chocolate, grated
1 heaped teaspoon instant coffee powder mixed with 1 tsp hot water
260g plain flour
10g cocoa
½ tsp ground cinnamon
100g icing sugar
125g butter at room temp
1 whole egg
2 egg yolks
Seeds of 1 vanilla pod (I usually use a few drops of vanilla essence instead)
100g whole, skinned almonds (have also done this with walnuts and pecans)

Decoration
50g milk chocolate couverture
100g dark chocolate icing

Note: I always just use melted chocolate (or couverture) for the decoration, NO icing

Method
Preheat oven to 180°C

1. Sieve the flour, cocoa and cinnamon, and mix together with all the other dough ingredients. It will form a stiff, sticky dough. Try to handle it as little as possible and use a floured surface & hands for the next bit!

2. Form the dough into 3 rolls each 20cm long, place on baking parchment on tray and bake on the 2nd from bottom rail (track? runner? no idea what it’s called!) in oven for 15 mins. Take out and allow to cool.

3. Slice the rolls diagonally into 1cm wide slices. Place on baking paper and bake for 12mins. Allow to cool completely.

4. Melt decoration chocolate in bowl as per instructions. Dip each biscuit in halfway. Place on non-stick paper and allow to harden.

I usually give them a dusting of icing sugar mixed with cocoa before serving, and keep them in a tin.
You need a good, sharp knife for the slicing because the dough is still quite soft, and you want to get through the nuts without “ripping” everything iyswim.

They dry out more the longer you keep them, which is not necessarily a bad thing with this type of biscuit .

Alicetheinvisible Tue 14-Sep-10 14:30:34

please excuse crap typing - feeding ds smile

there is a brill thread in arts and crafts on making candles - lauriefairycake i believe started it last year.

lakeland do chocolate moulds, so if you want to do homemade chocolates relatively easily then would go for that.

flavoured vodka only needs 3months til it is ready, so we are going to do some rasberry vodka in the next week or so. made some sloe gin last november that will be ready for presents this year - just hope it tasts good!

personalised bunting for children's rooms, matching cushions etc

personalised drawstring bags for plimsolls, dancing/swimming etc

for newborn babies, muslin cloths or towels edged in fabric are very easy and look good.

last year i made bathbombs - not very good, honeycomb - yummy and snowflake cookies - good idea but need a better recipe.

hope any of this helps, not sure how homemade we will go this year due to newborn ds, but we will see smile

taffetacat Tue 14-Sep-10 14:30:42

Thanks HopefortheBest - they sound wonderful and shall be tested forthwith! grin

thisiswhataluv Tue 14-Sep-10 14:35:22

wow ! some fabby ideas on here grin
mil is very "finicky" as she calls it therfore wouldnt eat anything we had made hmm
not sure about fil though ! maybe i will find a recipe for whisky based truffles smile

domesticsluttery Tue 14-Sep-10 16:55:34

I am supposed to be making:

Sock Monkeys for each of my 3 DC

Knitted Scarf for DD

Knitted Scarf for my mum

Cross Stitch Bookmark for my mum

Small basket with chutney and jam in for my mum.

Big hamper with several types of jam, chutney, marmalade etc plus shortbread, fudge etc for inlaws.

Fudge for teachers and TAs (x 6)

Mulled wine kits to go with bottles of wine for my work colleagues (x 5)

I am having a bit of a wobble today though (see other thread) that I won't have time to finish everything and/or they won't like homemade gifts.

Alicetheinvisible Tue 14-Sep-10 17:00:01

I feel with gifts that it really is the thought that counts, and if someone thinks enough of me to spend their precious time making something for me then i would be delighted smile I saw your thread, and understand exactly where you are coming from though. Don't break your back, prioritise and do what you can and want.

domesticsluttery - thats the same worry im having, it looks lovely all written down, but then am i going to feel a bit of a tool handing over my homemade efforts when they give me something bought (and invairiably more expensive) We are moving and have no money so I was hoping people would understand, but tested the water with my sister and she wasnt pleased at the idea. sad was hoping for some confidence from her tbh so feel abit wobbley now too sad

domesticsluttery Tue 14-Sep-10 20:07:09

I love HM gifts, and in my job (I teach nursery school) my favourite end of term gifts are things that the children have made themselves. But I'm well aware that not everyone feels the same as I do!

I told my DC that we might buy presents for their teachers instead of making them and they were really disappointed and are insistent that we made fudge the same as last year. At least that can be made in advance!

mogs0 Wed 15-Sep-10 00:29:28

domestic - what is in your mulled wine kit?

Scout19075 Wed 15-Sep-10 13:07:07

Yes, the mulled wine kit sounds intriquing!

I just think that we get to a stage in our lives where if we want something, we can basically buy it ourselves.
Of course, sometimes you get something for a friend which they would never dream of buying for themselves, or which they might never come across.
But basically, I like the homemade thing because it's more about giving something from you, not your moneybox. And with a little bit of thought, it's going to be something which the other person likes.
So, as far as I can see, it's the ideal Christmas present!

With kids, I do see that it is a bit different, as they don't usually have the means to buy themselves lots of things, so getting a "big" present at Christmas is very exciting.

Anyone who is disappointed in a hm gift is, in my opinion, not worth giving a gift to. If you can only see the materialistic value of something, I think you are rather missing the point.

Oooh, mulled wine kits sound FAB for friends in the UK (am in Germany, where mulled wine is EVERYWHERE).
Recipe/instructions please!

mogs0 Wed 15-Sep-10 16:22:17

I did a search and found this. I've bought 4 bottles of wine and I think I have 4 suitable baskets to put the kits in so am on my way to actually completing some of my home-made gifts this year!!

Alicetheinvisible Thu 16-Sep-10 08:00:54

Can i just say 'Damn you lot!'

I was planning a nice easy stress free christmas buying tat from tkmaxx, boots 3for2 etc and now i am planning all sorts!

For my sister and her partner - biscuit barrel/tin filled with homemade biscuits

For my nieces - a muffin mix jar and apron each (i think, may still go down the Hannah Montana route yet...)

My grandparents - obligatory bottle of sherry, some homemade biscuits and homemade chocolates, some of my sloe gin?

My Mum???

My Dad and his GF - biscuits, rasberry vodka, chocolates.

PILs?

Astrophe Fri 17-Sep-10 12:28:18

For kids we (the kids are helping!) are making "travel roads" and felt cup cakes, buns and biscuits.

The Travel roads are made from black felt, cut into arcs and straights (like pieces of a train track, but wider), then I sew the white road marking along the middle. I'm putting 8 curves, 4 straights and an intersection in a little draw string bag with a few toy cars.

Felt cakes etc and stuffed with cotton wool, for imaginative play.

Asrophe, I really love the felt travel roads idea. Can I steal it? grin

crumblequeen Fri 17-Sep-10 13:31:40

Felt roads are a great idea! I might make for DS if I have any time left. He loves building "roads" out of tea towels and dishcloths at the moment, creating a slalom for me in the kitchen as I try to avoid the debris while cooking!!

Astrophe Fri 17-Sep-10 14:22:07

steal away - I got the idea from a friend.

With some of the felt scraps I've done traffic lights and car parks too.

I've made one for DS using some black jeans I got from the charity shop - cheaper and more duarble than felt, but I needed to zig-zag stitch all the edges, which was too time consuming for me to make multiple sets as gifts.

Bit gutted, my homemade plans are off have now been told by three of the 10 people I was planning on homemaking gifts for that it's a pants idea and no one will won't a hamper, better to just get something people want as Its not fair if they spend money and I just 'do some cooking' feel shit now but not got the cash either so bit stumped as what I'm going to buy. Don't feel much like buying them anything but that's not really an option :0(

Alicetheinvisible Fri 17-Sep-10 16:30:46

I would tell them not to bother buying you gifts and you won't give them any. I would seriously begrudge spending any of my precious time or money on them. Or go down the charity present route, in fact i think that is what i would be tempted to do.

"You were obviously ungrateful so instead i have bought a goat for someone who will appreciate it" grin

I am utterly shockshockshock that anyone would say that BabyDubs.

I don't ask people whether they like my idea or not, I just assume that if I have put thought and care into a present, they will at least appreciate the good intentions behind it.

Frankly, if anyone said to me what they said to you, I think I'd tell them to f-off. Am very angry on your behalf.

i do feel quite shutty about it tbh. wasnt expected at all. first my sis then my dad 90was very shocked at him) honesty i have already put a few days into it with just planning and sourcing items.

I was thinking of going ahead but putting a few bought items in like alcohol and photoframes, but my hearts not in it now, was looking forward to it though

Hope you all enjoy your 'making' though, and Im sure you all have a better class of recievers than me x

shitty not shutty grin

Girlsworld Fri 17-Sep-10 21:22:18

Aww babydubs, it's awful when people react like this. It's a shame you asked them really as surely they'd find it harder to be hmm if you said "I've just finished making your Christmas present (even if you hadn't started, more to tell alert you to the forthcoming wink), so excited about it! Hope you love it!" Also with you not having much money this year they should appreciate that.

I have already said to several people that I can't afford to do shop-bought presents this year (well I could buy from shops, but it would be cheap and nasty tat so what's the point) and so I am either making them something or proposing a small limit on presents. I think people who know you shouldn't make you feel bad for not having the money to spend.

having said that I haven't told my mum I'm making her a present, nor would I in a million years, lovely though she is, she would without doubt expect an expensive present even if I had not got two pennies in my pocket. In all other respects she understands about lack of money and economising, but when it comes to presents it's like Hyacinth Bucket takes over!

I think your ideas sound lovely and TBH I would stick to them anyway. What's the alternative, getting into more debt and spending money you haven't got? Don't do it. Make your things and be proud x

bytheMoonlight Fri 17-Sep-10 22:14:26

I agree with Girlsworld, make your gifts and prove them wrong, show them how lovely homemade things can be

crumblequeen Sat 18-Sep-10 07:29:16

BabyDubs I understand - I am not bothering making things for most of DH family as we did this last year and I got a raised eyebrow and some of the food gifts (chutney etc) was still sitting in the cupboard wrapped up when we visited in summer!! I was pretty miffed as I spent ages doing the presents and I am not going to waste my precious time on people who don't appreciate it - hence they will get some DS artwork and thats itsmile

Since when is the point of Christmas presents spending lots of money?hmm

Some of the very best presents I've ever received have not been particularly expensive, but have been thoughtful things bought or made for me. Actually, even some of the best bought stuff was from charity shops or car boot sales!

I think it is sad that some people have become so materialistic that they actually reject the idea of getting homemade presents. I too would be rather depressed if I had got the reaction that BabyDubs did, and it would make me consider my relationships with these people.

I also don't think that the person receiving the gift actually has any real say in what they get - that sort of evades the point of giving a gift.
Oh, and I mean adults, it is obviously different with children, and one of the most wonderful things about being a child at Christmas is hoping hoping hoping that you'll wake up on Christmas morning and that much-longer for XYZ is sitting wrapped under the tree!
But children generally do not have much disposable income and so I think it is fair enough that they have a wish list of things they would like those with a disposable income to buy them.
But adults? If you want it, go and buy it. What is the point of saying "Buy me that for Christmas"?

Sorry, I have totally gone off on a tangent when this is supposed to be a lovely handmade arty-crafty Christmas thread blush

VERY IMPORTANT TIP IF YOU ARE MAKING THE CHILLI JAM

Do NOT, I repeat NOT, under any circumstances whatsover lean over the bubbling pan of chilli jam while it is on the stove and inhale.

Here speaks the Voice of Very Recent Experience.

You have Been Warned.

Oh, and to go with things like the chilli jam and chutneys, I was thinking that some of these would be fab:

parmesan cream crackers - have made these on numerous occasaions and they are HEAVENLY

spelt crackers

crisp rosemary flatbread - I think this would be good as little discs

chocolate caramel crackers - not savoury, but don't they look good?!

Alicetheinvisible Sun 19-Sep-10 07:44:07

Wow those chocolate caramel crackers look amazing going to give those a go! Thanks!

ProfYaffle Sun 19-Sep-10 07:59:13

For the last few years I've been going all out on the homemade xmas gift front but I'm not sure I'll bother this year. Not only has it been 'done to death' (for me I mean, not generally) but I tend to give away jars of home made jam/pickle/chutney to anyone and everyone through the year so it's devalued for Xmas. I also suspect mil was rather hmm about the whole thing anyway.

this is a really good place for getting cheap gift bags for jam jars. Last year I glue gunned xmas decorations on them and used flat wooden tree decorations as gift tags.

stillcrying Sun 19-Sep-10 08:02:52

I have made my mum a quilt. Am going to make cushions for SILs - like these. Have made them before - fairly speedy, and really just uses scraps of fabric.

Think the chilli jam plus crackers idea is wonderful - lots of people will like that one.

lunavix Mon 20-Sep-10 16:13:54

Oooh a quick bump to ask a few questions!

How do you sterelise jars so chutney keeps a year? And do you need to do the lids?

deemented - could you share your jaffa cake muffin recipe please

and alice the invisible could you share your honeycomb recipe thank you!

lunavix Mon 20-Sep-10 16:27:43

Tassissss - could you also share your tomato chutney recipe please!

crumblequeen Mon 20-Sep-10 20:56:29

Lunavix I sterilised last year by washing in hot soapy water with a bottle brush to get round all the corners, then put in the oven on low heat for 15 mins. Mine were kilner jars so lids attached but I would guess that loose lids need to be sterile too or they will "infect" the contents! I then used disposable gloves when handling the sterile jars and filling as I wanted to be extra sure when giving it to other people. Hope that helps!

Alicetheinvisible - any chance of your recipe for raspberry vodka please?

Having never made a single, solitary thing, I have decided to make up a hamper thanks to this fab thread.

Alicetheinvisible Tue 21-Sep-10 12:13:37

I will be back with recipes later when ds is not wanting to be held/fed constantly confused but i will be back i promise! grin

tassisssss Tue 21-Sep-10 17:39:51

I'll post the tomato chutney recipe this evening x

muchostinky Wed 22-Sep-10 21:54:23

what has happened - I was looking forward to the recipes people!!!

grin

tassisssss Wed 22-Sep-10 22:54:44

Here goes, sorry for the delay!

Tomato Chutney
1kg tomatoes, roughly chopped
1 large onion
3 cloves garlic
150 ml white wine vinegar
200g light brown sugar
1 teasp salt
0.5 teasp dried chilli flakes (actually I like to use one green chilli finely chopped as I like the green flecks through my chutney)
4 cardemon pods, cracked
0.5 teasp ground cinnamon (I use about double this)

Bung everything in large pan, bring to boil and simmer for about 60 mins stirring frequently.

Remove from the hear and stir from time to time until cool. Then pour into clean jars and seal.

I make this quite a lot along with another 2 chutney recipes and one of the 3 ends up way too runny and I can never remember which! So I always add half the vinegar immediately and then add the rest sparingly! I'm tempted to try this using super cheap value vinegar at a fraction of the price...can't see why it wouldn't be fine with all the sugar/spice added?

Alicetheinvisible Thu 23-Sep-10 09:25:06

Sorry! Internet went own yesterday, bit of a surprise to get it back today tbh!

Honeycomb (tried and tested)

A little butter
5 tablespoons caster sugar
2 tablespoons golden syrup
1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda

1)Grease a baking tin with butter
2)Put the sugar and syrup in a pan over a med heat. Bring to the boil then let it simmer for about 3-4mins until it becomes golden brown
3)Take the pan off the heat, add the bicarb and mix with a wooden spoon (does not need much mixing!)
4)When the mixture froths up, pour immediately into the tin
5)When it has cooled, turn out onto a chopping board and use spoon to break it up.

Can dip in chocolate too smile

Haven't made the rasberry vodka yet, but will look for the recipe i am going to use...

Alicetheinvisible Thu 23-Sep-10 09:27:39
claireandpete Sun 03-Oct-10 22:13:08

Hi Hopeforthebestexpecttheworst,

I LOVE the gourmet lunch voucher idea-my husband would really like that! Not that inspired in the kitchen though-what kind of things did you put in?

Thankyou!

Claire

beachyhead Sun 03-Oct-10 22:22:02

Crab apple jelly being made here every day, all day, sad that I am.

Also, buy a vintage tea cup and saucer and plant a hyacinth bulg in it. keep in the dark till about 3/4 weeks before christmas then bring it in and it should force it upwards. Don't make the tea cup to small though....

BinkyB Mon 04-Oct-10 14:27:43

Such fab ideas on here! Does anyone have any experience of painting or printing (with stamps) onto material?

Any tips on technique and brands of paint / ink pad would be great.

I'm planning a handprint from each boy onto an apron and then I'll stamp underneath 'we love granny's cooking' or something.. I think with grannies and Xmas, the cheesier and cuter the better.

GrownUpNow Thu 01-Sep-11 18:04:46

Marking place, my Christmas stuff starts at the end of September when my birthday is over and done with. Loving pinterest... joining asap.

justhe1 Thu 01-Sep-11 18:59:08

Hiya,can any one put me on the right track for some nice Christmas wrapping for gift boxes, you know the sort that you tie a nice ribbon round, the stuff similar to that stuff that they wrap flowers in...but Christmassy.

Do you think that melted chocolate in a chocoalte moulds in a nice little gift box will be ok? Ive seen moulds of all sorts on Ebay to match the personality for many relies.

DirtyMartini Fri 02-Sep-11 21:31:37

This is last year's thread! This year's thread is here

mrandmrssmith Sun 28-Jul-13 09:21:47

Yes please they sound delicious and it's something I can make as gifts with the added bonus of being able to spend some quality time with dad's. Xx

Witt Mon 05-Aug-13 09:49:15

Is there a new homemade gifts thread for this year?

Also, the chilli jam recipe I've been looking at says it only keeps for 3 months. I thought jams/chutneys were supposed to last for ages until opened.

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