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 Post subject: Homemade holiday gifts 2013
PostPosted: Sun Dec 15, 2013 4:07 pm 
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Is there a thread like this yet?

If not......I really don't like the pressure of gift exchanges and I'm particularly broke this year, but I'm visiting family and want to make something special that I haven't done before. I thought this could be a nice place to discuss what you're making or baking for others this holiday season.

Some things I've done before:
-homemade Kahlua
-homemade syrups (jars from a bottling store or Ikea, or cleaned & reused fancy kombucha or beer bottles)
-tins or boxes of cookies...I've always particularly liked biscotti, since it lasts a while
-homemade bitters (I'm tinctures and cocktail obsessed, clearly)
-homemade pickles

Did not go well:
-homemade sugar cubes (apparently most people microwave these for better results? I don't have one...)

This year, I want to finally get into making homemade salt and sugar scrubs, infused salts and homemade bath products. I recently made two types of infused sugars that I'm loving but I know salt will be easier to travel with. I recently made my own dishwasher detergent so I want to stay on this saving money/DIY kick. I've been looking at the DIY Lush boards (thanks to mrsbadmouth's Instagram of her making one of their scrubs), have some silicon molds and I'm feeling inspired.

Things catching my eye:
-DIY angels on bare skin http://oatsandhoney.blogspot.com/2012/0 ... anser.html
-DIY body butter bars http://oatsandhoney.blogspot.com/2008/1 ... utter.html
-DIY lip stain (for me!) http://rookiemag.com/2013/02/make-your-own-lip-stain/
-DIY bath gel http://rookiemag.com/2013/02/make-your-own-lip-stain/

More here: http://www.pinterest.com/anythinggoes/l ... pirations/

So, what are you making? Who's dived into these things? Any favorites?

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 Post subject: Re: Homemade holiday gifts 2013
PostPosted: Sun Dec 15, 2013 4:33 pm 
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I've got no money and have told people I'm not exchanging gifts this year, but I do want to give something token. I've got about 12 kilos of onions so thinking chutney/relish/pickles that I can just hand out jars of, like I might at any time if I'd made a load of jars of food! If anyone has good preserved onion recipes please share!

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 Post subject: Re: Homemade holiday gifts 2013
PostPosted: Sun Dec 15, 2013 4:51 pm 
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Ooo, ooo, i don't have a good recipe for it but onion marmalade is the best! It sounds weird but it is so good.

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 Post subject: Re: Homemade holiday gifts 2013
PostPosted: Mon Dec 16, 2013 1:08 pm 
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Oh, cute & resourceful!

I'm going to buy little jars to make a duo or trio of infused salts today:
http://thymeonmyside.wordpress.com/2013 ... trus-salt/
http://wellpreserved.ca/how-to-make-wine-salt-recipe/
etc.

Still want to do bath bombs, but will be bringing my molds and ingredients (big bag of lavender flowers!) to my sister's, since I doubt they will travel well.

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 Post subject: Re: Homemade holiday gifts 2013
PostPosted: Mon Dec 16, 2013 1:31 pm 
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I'm doing bagged cookie mixes and homemade peanut butter cups. And knitting a hat.


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 Post subject: Re: Homemade holiday gifts 2013
PostPosted: Mon Dec 16, 2013 1:59 pm 
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I'm mostly giving away bath stuff too! It started when I decided I wanted to make a DIY Lush Dark Angels for me, and while I was looking for recipes, I found this:

http://www.mariasself.com/2013/04/diy-a ... ecipe.html

So I decided to make the scrub bars, and then since I had to order a friggin' pound of cocoa butter anyway, looked for more recipes to use it and came up with:

http://wellnessmama.com/6544/whipped-bo ... er-recipe/

For Dark Angels, I didn't use a recipe because all of the ones I found were barely dupes, so I just looked at the ingredient list:

http://www.lushusa.com/Dark-Angels/9999 ... l#start=12

And read the description for each one to see if it was really necessary. I ended up finding rhassoul mud in the bulk spice section of a health food store, and I found black lava salt (salt with activated charcoal) at TJ Maxx, so for that I ended up not ordering anything else. I had already ordered the glycerine and avocado oil previously, glycerine can be subbed with aloe vera gel. Black lava salt is coarse, so I thought i'd give it a quick pulse in the blender first to make it finer, but my blender destroyed it into utter powder, so I ended up tossing in two tablespoons of sugar anyway. For essential oils, I used tea tree and two drops of lavender.

I don't have any measurements because I had to keep adding more liquid, and then I added too much and had to add more mud and kaolin clay, but I don't think it needs to be exact anyway. You definitely need activated charcoal of some kind, some sort of beauty mud or clay, and an oil (jojoba would work). You don't even need the sugar if you don't want it to be a scrub. I'd say you don't need the glycerine/aloe vera but you'd have to use a lot more oil and it would probably feel kind of...oily.

It's hard to estimate the costs because for some things, like the avocado oil, I bought a huge bulk bottle (8 oz) and used so little of it, but i'd guess it cost me about $5 to make a batch that was almost twice the amount of product that one would get in the $12.95 jar from Lush. And the only reason it cost that much is because I bought the salt in a $4 packet and used half of it, if I had gotten that in bulk the cost would've gone down. I paid $1/oz for the mud and could've gotten that cheaper too.

Here is the site i was going to order from/will be ordering from in the future:

https://www.mountainroseherbs.com

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 Post subject: Re: Homemade holiday gifts 2013
PostPosted: Mon Dec 16, 2013 2:34 pm 
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Oh and Jess, now that i've looked at those links, this is where I got my kaolin clay and glycerine:

http://www.tkbtrading.com/item.php?item_id=111
http://www.tkbtrading.com/item.php?item_id=216

I got the eight ounce option for the clay, and they sent me 8 1 oz sealed bags, which is nice because you don't have one giant bag open. They also sell stuff for bath salts and containers. You can probably find most of that stuff in Portland, but just in case.

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 Post subject: Re: Homemade holiday gifts 2013
PostPosted: Tue Dec 17, 2013 12:36 am 
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I did a lot of canning this past summer and fall! I'll be giving peach jam, spicy white wine jelly, raspberry white wine jelly, currant (black and red) jelly, bar-le-duc preserves, and Apple pie filling! Picked all the fruit myself or with the bf so feeling pretty proud of myself. The Ball canning book makes it pretty easy.


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 Post subject: Re: Homemade holiday gifts 2013
PostPosted: Tue Dec 17, 2013 12:41 am 
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Thanks, Katie!!

I want to know everything about these wine jellies, simplybecause81! It almost sounds amazing.

I've been sticking to my salt plan for now, and will be bringing silicon molds to make some bath stuff while out of town. At the least, I'll be making bath bombs and shower jellies, and maybe more depending on what I can pick up, since it's too late for shipping at this point (but keeping those links in mind for later this year!) So far, I've made a rosemary/meyer lemon salt with celtic grey salt, started infusing a (toasted) garlic salt with the same base, and a black cardamom/vanilla bean sugar. My plan tomorrow is to make an Italian red salt and cherry bomb infused Himalayan crystal pink. Oh, and jars. The place I checked tonight was sold out of the 4 oz.

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 Post subject: Re: Homemade holiday gifts 2013
PostPosted: Tue Dec 17, 2013 1:10 am 
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I am going to be giving away some of my homemade applesauce (canned) and spice quince in syrup (canned).
Also, I'm thinking of making some mini panfortes and giving those as gifts.

I really love homemade gifts.

If you are crafty, here are some easy things I've done in years past:
customized etched glassware (just buy one jar of etching goo at the craft store, and then buy cheap or thrift store glassware)
mod podge decoupage light switch plate covers - customized with patterns/images the person would like
painted mugs/porcelain - you can buy glossy paint at the craft store (not too pricey), paint on thrift mugs, cook it in the oven, and you're good to go!

:)

Simplybecause - your canning prowess is very inspiring! I wish I was on your xmas list!

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 Post subject: Re: Homemade holiday gifts 2013
PostPosted: Tue Dec 17, 2013 1:21 am 
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Oh my gosh, I want to make etched glasses! What a cool idea!

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 Post subject: Re: Homemade holiday gifts 2013
PostPosted: Tue Dec 17, 2013 1:27 am 
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I love making glasswares! I painted a super cool set of mugs for my bro with his college logos on them. This year i think i will do a large painting of the mascot. He just moved into a new place and his walls are so bare.
Who has good recommendations for baking mixes?

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 Post subject: Re: Homemade holiday gifts 2013
PostPosted: Tue Dec 17, 2013 3:05 am 
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Location: santa cruz!
jdfunks wrote:
Oh my gosh, I want to make etched glasses! What a cool idea!


it is SO EASY. It kind of boggles the mind.
here's a basic tutorial. There might be better ones out there, this is the first one I clicked on:
http://www.makeit-loveit.com/2010/06/glass-etching.html

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 Post subject: Re: Homemade holiday gifts 2013
PostPosted: Tue Dec 17, 2013 1:01 pm 
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i am finishing up a lady gaga cross stitch quote for my boyfriend's brother's gf...a big gaga fan!

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 Post subject: Re: Homemade holiday gifts 2013
PostPosted: Tue Dec 17, 2013 1:18 pm 
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Yes to glass etching! I once gave my sister a lidded pyrex casserole dish with her last name etched on one side, and birds on a branch on the other side (she's obsessed with birds) as a housewarming present. She told me the other week that it is the most used gift she's ever received.

This year I bought a Pebeo pen and a few mugs and glass jars. I'm just going to do simple stuff and bake it on. Plus I'll be making chex mix to put in tins, and tomorrow I'll be canning some marmalade and apple butter to give as well.

I'm keeping it super-simple this year because we're pretty broke and I just don't have a lot of time.

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 Post subject: Re: Homemade holiday gifts 2013
PostPosted: Tue Dec 17, 2013 1:56 pm 
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I love the idea of the etched casserole dish! I need a (super late) wedding gift for my cousin. That sounds perfect.

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 Post subject: Re: Homemade holiday gifts 2013
PostPosted: Tue Dec 17, 2013 2:05 pm 
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annabazoo wrote:
I love the idea of the etched casserole dish! I need a (super late) wedding gift for my cousin. That sounds perfect.

In case you're wondering, here's how I did it: I don't have a cricut machine, so I stuck contact paper to the dish (making sure there were no bubbles), then taped my pattern over that - making sure it was positioned just right - and used an X-acto knife to cut it out. Then I applied the etching cream to the exposed area etc. In hindsight I should have glued the pattern to the contact paper or something, because cutting two separate layers was tricky at some points.

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give my you inquiries! and give poopie you burritos. - acr
Sometimes I think, it's really my lack of cybernetic implants that keeps me from being truly human. - Mars


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 Post subject: Re: Homemade holiday gifts 2013
PostPosted: Tue Dec 17, 2013 8:46 pm 
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Super easy, I made fleece infinity scarves. I bought one yard of 59" fleece, cut it into 4 strips (each scarf was ~59"x9")", sewed a seam on each one... Voila. Four infinity scarves in 10 minutes, for $5.00!

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 Post subject: Re: Homemade holiday gifts 2013
PostPosted: Wed Dec 18, 2013 10:37 am 
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These ideas are making me feel better about making some homemade gifts. Not because I can't do it (have been for the past few years), but because last year it ended up costing me more to make things than it would have to just buy stuff for my brothers and parents. Admittedly, I did go a little over the top and included a few items for each person.

I'm remembering that I made some absolutely ridiculously good maple apple butter a couple of years ago. Apples are fairly cheap and I already have the jars and canning supplies. I feel like I gifted this that year, but hopefully they will have forgotten. Or remembered because it was so awesome, and will be happy to receive it again!

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 Post subject: Re: Homemade holiday gifts 2013
PostPosted: Wed Dec 18, 2013 11:09 am 
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allularpunk wrote:
I'm remembering that I made some absolutely ridiculously good maple apple butter a couple of years ago.

That sounds pretty amazing! Would you mind sharing your recipe? I was just going to do spiced apple butter, but maple sounds soooooo good!

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Sometimes I think, it's really my lack of cybernetic implants that keeps me from being truly human. - Mars


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 Post subject: Re: Homemade holiday gifts 2013
PostPosted: Wed Dec 18, 2013 12:27 pm 
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The recipe is in Tart and Sweet. It only makes 4ish pints, so I might double the recipe this year (if I can stand to peel 8 lbs of apples). The original recipe calls for maple sugar, which I can't find here, so I just added a tsp or so of maple extract to the batch towards the end and it was perfect. (Plus probably less expensive.) I can't find an online version of the recipe, but it's basically apple butter with less cinnamon (the other spices are some nutmeg, cloves, and star anise pods) with the added maple flavor.

But if you don't have this book, I highly recommend it! The recipes are really creative, they follow safe canning guidelines, and a lot of the stuff is small batch if you just want a jar or two of something really unique without the added expense/time of buying/prepping one million pounds of produce.

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 Post subject: Re: Homemade holiday gifts 2013
PostPosted: Wed Dec 18, 2013 1:25 pm 
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Thank you!! Also, I don't peel my apples (I'm so lazy). I just whir everything in my vitamix and then cook it down. Obviously I know everyone doesn't have a vitamix, but I bet once they're cooked down quite a bit you could just go at it with a stick blender.

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I'm in a pure mood with poopietits now. Damn her jugs! - interrobang?!
give my you inquiries! and give poopie you burritos. - acr
Sometimes I think, it's really my lack of cybernetic implants that keeps me from being truly human. - Mars


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 Post subject: Re: Homemade holiday gifts 2013
PostPosted: Wed Dec 18, 2013 1:27 pm 
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AP, I always go over-the-top buying presents, no matter what my budget is, because I don't keep track of what I ordered for who. I did good on that this year though! And while I have no idea what the cost breakdown is going to be for the face scrubs, coffee scrub bars, and whipped body cream, whatever is left over I can use to make myself stuff.

I have all of my stuff now, I just have to start melting. Also I need containers because I neglected to order any. I can't decide if I should go to Joann's, where I can buy a set of those cheap plastic screw-top jars like mineral makeup comes in, or go to an antique mall and see if I can scrounge up enough cut vintage Ball jars, that's what I put my Dark Angels prototype in.

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The tree is his penis // it's very exciting // when held up to his mouth // the lights are all lighting // his eyes start a-bulging // in unbridled glee // the tree is his penis // its beauty, effulgent -amandabear


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 Post subject: Re: Homemade holiday gifts 2013
PostPosted: Mon Dec 23, 2013 9:15 pm 
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mrsbadmouth wrote:


Okay, i've made my stuff so I can report my findings:

I made a half batch of the coffee scrubs, and while I was making it I added more melted cocoa butter because it seemed too dry. I thought they were going to be more like Lush's Buffy bar, like 50/50 scrub and moisturizer, but it's more like 90/10. I made four of them in cupcake tins and used one tonight, and they're one-time use scrubs because once you start rubbing your wet skin, they really come apart quickly. Even if you wanted to use just a little bit of it, you'd need a container to put the leftovers in. So if I make them again i'd use a lot more cocoa butter/other solid oil, and use a mini-cupcake tin so them being a one-time use isn't such a big deal if you only want to scrub your feet or something.

I had a hell of a time getting the whipped body body to the right temperature to whip, I kept having to warm it up and then it was too warm so I put it back in the freezer to walk the dogs and then it was too hard again. Even when some of the middle is still liquid, once you start whipping it it really solidifies so if you make it, whip it before you think you should and if it seems a little melty/liquidy after you've mixed it for a minute, put it in the freezer for just a minute or two. Also don't do what I did and accidentally splash water into it.

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The tree is his penis // it's very exciting // when held up to his mouth // the lights are all lighting // his eyes start a-bulging // in unbridled glee // the tree is his penis // its beauty, effulgent -amandabear


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 Post subject: Re: Homemade holiday gifts 2013
PostPosted: Tue Dec 24, 2013 10:15 am 
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poopiebitch wrote:
Thank you!! Also, I don't peel my apples (I'm so lazy). I just whir everything in my vitamix and then cook it down. Obviously I know everyone doesn't have a vitamix, but I bet once they're cooked down quite a bit you could just go at it with a stick blender.


I do this too.

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