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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?

Zeeky Wed 25-Sep-13 21:05:09

Isaac most chutneys keeps for a year or more unopened, so will be fine for Christmas.

There was a free WI jams & preserves booklet in the daily mail last weekend and I just made the Plum & Mulled Wine Jam recioe from it. It is lush and perfect for Christmas. My kitchen smells like Christmas!

TheYamiOfYawn Wed 25-Sep-13 13:05:07

You can get get plain jute shopping bags on eBay in a variety of sizes. They are fairly cheap, sturdy, look tasteful, and are mire useful than a basket after Christmas is over.

IsaacCox Wed 25-Sep-13 12:20:40

Right, I've just across this recipe which has great reviews. If I make it this week, will it still be ok for Christmas? Thanks

IsaacCox Wed 25-Sep-13 12:00:32

Every year I say I'm not going to do food hampers again but alas here I am! I'm buying some jars today but just need to decide what to make first. Definitely doing mincemeat, chilli jam, some sort of fruit jam. I usually do mixed berry but want to make something a bit fancier- any ideas? Thanks smile

davidtennantsmistress Wed 18-Sep-13 19:11:24

Oh brill will have a read of this as I want to do home made hampers this year for everyone. With the peanuts what do you store them in just little jars? X

Scout19075 Wed 18-Sep-13 17:24:01

Has anyone tried alcohol infused gummies?

WitchOfEndor Fri 13-Sep-13 19:20:59

I love this thread! I'm hoping to do some cherry vodka using frozen Morello cherries. Does anyone know how many grams per litre I will need and if sugar is needed? Don't mind if its quite piquant! I'm also making Christmas cakes for DM and MIL as well as ourselves and doing Tablet slabs for DM and DB and myself I'm also looking at the Soap basics site and wondering who I can do them for.

Scout19075 Wed 11-Sep-13 08:27:14

If making a trio of (fruit infused) brandy to give as gifts, how much of each would you give? I don't want to appear stingy but giving large quantities of three types of brandy could get expensive....

The same goes for gin, except two of those.

And just one vodka (candy cane -- yum).

Chopsypie Sat 07-Sep-13 18:20:14

Doittojulia, do you have a 'the range'? Noticed they had some in, again in the home brew section, 12 for £9. If not you can order wilko's online

3birthdaybunnies Fri 06-Sep-13 12:22:48

Planning to make 3x personalised hooded towels (and swimming bags if I get time). Also angry bird handwarmers. Will probably make chocolate truffles nearer the time for teachers.

Zeeky Thu 05-Sep-13 17:03:18

Took the children on a marathon 3 hr blackberry picking session on Tues - got tons, so put some blackberry schnapps on to brew. The rest are earmarked for some blackberry and apple jelly. Also picked the last of the rhubarb from the garden and made some rhubarb gin.

I have yet to start in any of my planned sewing gifts though. I'm hoping that now ds1 is back in school and ds2 starting nursery imminently that I will have more time to get cracking with the sewing.

DoItTooJulia Tue 03-Sep-13 11:04:44

My Wilko had none! Boo!

misskatamari Mon 02-Sep-13 11:02:35

Alas not I'm planning on making it up.

I'm hoping to get lots of greens and make granny squares to sew together along with black ones for the face to make a creeper. Should have this sort of effect but abit more ordered scarf

I think you could do most things from the game like this as it is so pixelated. Fingers crossed anyway

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

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


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

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

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

Sloe gin and blackberry vodka.

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


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...

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

Thanks! Off to Wilko today then!

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.

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

Thanks, lots of great ideas!


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

Place marking smile

It all sounds very lovely.

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

How big are those flip top bottles from wilko chop?

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

I'm here!

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

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