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Budget Homemade gifts made now that just get better in time for Christmas

(113 Posts)
Afrodizzywonders Sat 11-May-13 11:04:03

I've started making foodie things over the last month and thought....these would make nice gifts for Christmas. I thought (hoped), maybe others could share their ideas.

Neverending Vanilla essence - I'm trialing this, 5 vanilla pods (bought online) plopped in 250ml of vodka. In 3 months time it's ready, as you use it top up with more vodka. Great for bakers.

Vanilla Sugar - couldn't be easier, vanilla pods in caster sugar.....put in a pretty jar, wait 2 weeks.

Now the biggie, DIY champagne or sparkling wine as its being made in my garage not champagne technically! I'm planning this now, never homebrewed, but...big but! I think I can make 30 decent bottles of fizz for £30 excluding equipment, so I'm trying to find cheap ways of doing this over the next week. If a success, we will have a bloody big party and I will make tonnes of the stuff.

Finally, spiced apple chutney (apples from our tree) but that's a little way off.

Anyone else up to any homemade stuff?

Deathbyladybirds Mon 19-Aug-13 19:45:15


Callani Wed 21-Aug-13 11:13:46

I'm making raspberry gin for gifts this year, and supplementing with some internet made photo calendars for the grandparents... just going to be a struggle not to drink all the gin before Christmas I think!

AGnu - Crocheting a hat should be pretty easy if you have a simple pattern. I'd recommend checking out or for some good patterns with LOTS of advice!

Megsdaughter Wed 21-Aug-13 11:19:48

Nice glass bottles (I have some from fancy bubble bath last year, if not cheap from ebay).

Extra virgin olive oil, chop chilli and garlic, put into bottle add, mustard seeds and herbs, finish off with a stick of rosemary, seal and make a label add a ribbon.

They smell and taste wonderful, I make them all year round to use.

craigslittleangel Wed 21-Aug-13 21:23:01

Has anyone made Bailey's? The recipes on line look easy enough, but all seem to insists on Irish whiskey. Does anyone know why?

FranklymydearIdontgiveadamn Fri 23-Aug-13 13:24:27

Craigsangel, scotch whiskey isnt as light as irish whiskey, it has more of a flavour. So I would imagine it might alter the end taste of a homemade irish cream. I could be wrong though!

FranklymydearIdontgiveadamn Fri 23-Aug-13 13:28:37

Zeeky you have been busy!
I really want to try sloe gin, I have bottles ready. I also have colourful fleece blankets I bought last year but never got around to using them blush . I had in mind some sort of personalised snuggie blankets for the dc, for our Friday night dvd nights. Need to crack on with those soon as I have 5 to make. Any suggestions welcomed!

FranklymydearIdontgiveadamn Fri 23-Aug-13 13:30:27

Megsdaughter, do you take the garlic out after a while? I'm always afraid to try making it in case I poison someone!

Zeeky Fri 23-Aug-13 15:49:07

Made some totally delicious (even if I do day so myself!) chilli and coriander jelly. I used Nigella's recipe for chilli jam as a guide for quantities and then changed the ingredients as had made a load of juice from windfall apples that I wanted to used instead of cider vinegar. I forgot to take the seeds out of the chillies though, so it is on the HOT side!! I love it, but will make another batch without the seeds as I think it would be too hot for some of my planned recipients!

Also made some apple & mint jelly (with some more of the juice) but I haven't tried it properly yet. Again, it was a made-up/experimental recipe which seemed to turn out ok!

Megsdaughter Sat 24-Aug-13 14:07:30

Nope I leave the garlic in. But then they don't last long in our house smile

AnneUulmelmahay Sun 01-Sep-13 19:56:31

Bumping for Julia x

hotbot Sun 01-Sep-13 20:14:10

I have started bramble vodka and limoncello, but o only used the zest of 4lemons, wait a week then add water and sugar syrup to it. Hope it's ok.

Wiifitmama Sun 01-Sep-13 20:14:52

We are planning hampers or home made goodies for presents this year. Dh has made so many different kinds of jams and jellies and I have lots of bottles of fruit liqueurs on the go. I also made some homemade lip balms.

What I need help with is what to use for the baskets for the hampers? I don't want to spend lots of money on them, but need something nice. And strong as it needs to hold all the glass jars and bottles.

Chopsypie Sun 01-Sep-13 20:21:15

Ooh I'm glad I've seen this thread, I've made a start on mine today. Made blackberry vodka (6 glass
Flip top bottles for £8 from wilko's, bargain!) and have started harvesting chillis to make chilli oil. Also considering garlic/herb oil ad I've got loads in the garden. Now if anyone has any idea for a glut of potatoes, I'm all ears!

DoItTooJulia Sun 01-Sep-13 20:25:59

I'm here!

Homemade limoncello? Better then my lemonade idea! Thanks Anne.

DoItTooJulia Sun 01-Sep-13 20:26:49

How big are those flip top bottles from wilko chop?

SarahAndFuck Sun 01-Sep-13 21:06:15

Place marking smile

It all sounds very lovely.

UnicornsPooGlitter Sun 01-Sep-13 21:46:33

Thanks, lots of great ideas!


Chopsypie Mon 02-Sep-13 07:53:40

Dolt, they are 500ml but look bigger. The glass is quite thick, they are from the home brew section so built to take fizzy stuff as well I think.

DoItTooJulia Mon 02-Sep-13 08:18:34

Thanks! Off to Wilko today then!

missinglalaland Mon 02-Sep-13 08:23:41

I tend to stick with sewn or knitted gifts rather than food. I am afraid I'll get the canning/bottling wrong and make some one ill or worse!

At the moment, I like the idea of buying about 4 balls of chunky/luxury wool from Rowan or Debbie Bliss and making infinity cowls in a seed stitch pattern. I know that similar quality in the shops is well over £100! And I can pick up the wool for less than £30 if I watch the sales. It's also an easy, portable knit that I can knock out while waiting around at swimming lessons etc.

I just hope these looped cowls are still in fashion. My lack of fashion sense could be where this plan falls apart...

colleysmill Mon 02-Sep-13 08:36:04

September is about the time I make plum brandy from a receipe I got years ago from Good Housekeeping. So easy even I can make it.

About a pound of plums (often gifted from a friend with several plum trees) caster sugar and a bottle of brandy - I go for what's on offer, cheap or use vouchers saved.

Wash and Pierce plums, stir in brandy and sugar and leave in air tight box in dark cupboard for a month.

Replace into nice sterilized bottle. Drink within 2-3 months


colditz Mon 02-Sep-13 08:42:34

Sloe gin and blackberry vodka.

pudseypie Mon 02-Sep-13 08:52:11

just picked a load of blackberries yesterday to make blackberry liquer for the first time. like the plum brandy idea too, going to try that too. am seriously skint this year so homemade is the way to go! wink

misskatamari Mon 02-Sep-13 10:48:22

Oooooh what a fab thread!

I always make gifts for DH - usually appliquéd tshirts with computer game stuff on so will be doing that as usual.

Hoping to make a minecraft crotchet scarf for my nephew and maybe a cupcake one for my niece.

I've always wanted to do more foodie gifts and there are so many fab ideas on here I might actually pluck up the courage this year smile

Also considering making some candles - I have wax etc and have loads of glass sundae dishes from my wedding party (used in centrepieces) so it would be nice to recycle them smile

Really want to try the vanilla essence too and thing sil would love something like this sundae kit

Sybilvimes Mon 02-Sep-13 10:56:13

Ooh, a minecraft scarf! Ds would love that. Do you have a link to a pattern?


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