Whether it’s something from your kitchen, craft room, woodworking shop, or computer, there’s nothing like a homemade gift. A tree ornament, a plate of cookies, box of fudge, note cards—just a few of the many homemade gift ideas with universal appeal.
I love homemade gifts both to give and receive. No wonder I have so many favorites!
Hand and Body Lotion
A jar of your own signature luxury hand and body lotion will definitely put you on the map. It’s that good. Not particularly crafty? No worries.
If you can assemble, empty, stir and mix well, you’ve got what it takes to make dozens of these gifts start to finish in a single evening.
And the best part? About $3.50 per gift, depending on where you buy the ingredients and containers.
I have created a photo tutorial at A Homemade Gift You’d Actually Love to Receive with all of the step-by-step instructions and specifics on the ingredients and where to get them.
Believe me when I say this is the gift your recipient(s) will rave about. It’s that awesome!
Seriously. Quite similar in process to the lotion above, you can make a big batch in one evening.
- 2 tablespoons coconut oil
- 2 tablespoons carrier oil (jojoba, sweet almond etc.)
- 1/4 cup shea butter
- 1/4 cup honey
- 2 tablespoons baking soda
- 1/4 cup Dr. Bronner’s pure castile soap
- liquid from 2 vitamin E capsules
- 1 tablespoon bentonite clay
- 10-20 drops essential oils (optional)
Heat the coconut oil, carrier oil, and shea butter in a small saucepan over low heat. Stir gently until fully incorporated. Pour this liquid into mixing bowl and add the rest of the ingredients—honey, baking soda, castile soap, liquid from the opened vitamin E capsules and optional essential oils. Stir gently until fairly well mixed.
Using an electric mixer, beat the mixture well until it becomes light-colored and super creamy. Should like whipped butter or stiff whipped cream!
Transfer to your gifting containers of choice—small jars are ideal—to be used as any shaving cream. But this is no ordinary shaving cream!
Your recipients will be blown away by how smooth it is, makes shaving a dream and leaves one’s skin soft and nourished. Add a note that should the contents begin to separate, simply stir vigorously with a spoon.
You can easily double this recipe.
If you have a sewing machine and can sew a straight line, this is such a fantastic gift—a unique, special pillowcase for your recipient. I’ve made dozens (and dozens) of these so I know of which I speak!
It’s so much fun—almost miraculous—the way you pin, fold and sew it together in a matter of minutes. My favorite tutorial and the way I learned to do it in this video by Jenny Dolan of Missouri Star Quilt. You don’t even need a pattern! Follow along and you’ll learn the trick in a flash!
Everyone loves a brand new made-for-them pillowcase, especially if made from flannel.
It’s the perfect time to make a big batch of Bacon Jam for all the bacon lovers on your gift list.
Bacon Jam is quite possibly the best holiday gift ever. I say that because it’s what local friends and family clamor for.
It took a few attempts, but finally, I believe I nailed it. And so do my recipients.
I opted for these Bormioli Rocco Quattro Stagioni 8.5 oz jars with lids from Italy because they have a classy flair for a lovely presentation. Availability can be sketchy for some reason.
As for the yield, I can fill four of these jars with one recipe of Bacon Jam, or about 4 cups.
The recipe doubles well but will take a longer cooking time for it to thicken.
You will find my recipe, instructions, resources and photo tutorial Gifts from My Kitchen: Bacon Jam.
Serve Bacon Jam on crostini …
… on eggs, meatloaf, sandwiches, and potatoes. Wow.
Bacon Jam is especially satisfying straight out of the jar, too
There’s just something about bacon.
Could there be anything better than a lovely gift of really good Caramel Corn? This could put you on the map!
- 12 cups popped popcorn (about 1/2 cup kernels or about two bags of microwaved popcorn)
- 1 cup light brown sugar packed
- 1/2 cup butter (no substitutes, please)
- 1/4 cup light corn syrup
- 1/2 teaspoon sea salt (omit if using salted microwaved popcorn)
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract (do you make it yourself? It's the BEST!)
Ready the Popcorn
- Place the popped popcorn (12 cups) into a big bowl, one that is at least twice the volume of the popcorn itself. Do not err on the side of a bowl that is too small, because you are going to do some serious stirring in a bit. Remove or discard any un-popped kernels.
Make Caramel - Stovetop Instructions
- Combine the brown sugar, corn syrup, salt, and butter in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring to blend.
- Once the mixture begins to boil, boil for 5 minutes while stirring constantly. Remove from the heat and stir in the baking soda and vanilla. You’ll get a little show here as the vanilla will “sizzle” while the baking soda gets all foamy and gorgeous. Make sure the mixture is stirred very well, then immediately pour over the popcorn.
- Stir well to coat all of the popcorn. Keep stirring. A little more ... there, that ought to be about right
Make Caramel - Microwave Instructions
- Cut the butter into chunks and place in a microwave-safe bowl along with the brown sugar, corn syrup, and salt. Microwave on high for 30 seconds. Stir well to combine. Microwave on high for an additional 2 minutes.
- Remove bowl from microwave and stir very well. Return to microwave and heat for 2 more minutes on high. Remove from microwave and stir in vanilla and baking soda. It will make popping sounds and get light and foamy. After stirring, immediately pour over the popcorn in the bowl. Stir well to coat all of the popcorn.
Either Way, Continue Here
- Whichever method you’ve followed, now spread the coated popcorn on one large or two smaller cookie sheets, breaking up any clumps. Bake at 200 F for 1 hour, stirring every 15 minutes. Spread out on waxed paper and allow to cool.
The Big Finish
- This last step is critical, so don’t skip it. Sample the caramel corn to make sure it is fit for human consumption—perhaps even for gift-giving. You cannot be too careful here. Once you are satisfied, and if any caramel corn remains, store in airtight containers or bags.
- Corn syrup is required to stablize the caramel so it doesn't crystalize. Corn syrup is readily available under the brand name Karo in the U.S. and Canada.
- Food grade glucose is a great substitute for corn syrup. Look for this in any pharmacy.
- If substituting glucose for corn syrup, increase baking time by 20 minutes, as glucose has a highter water content than corn syrup and takes longer for the caramel corn to dry out.
- This caramel corn will remain fresh and crisp for 2 - 3 weeks in an airtight container provided it is fully cooled before closing the container.
- kcal calulation made assuming dry popcorn is air-popped without oil, which has about 31 calories per cup.
More Incredible Edible Gifts
Need more ideas? I’ve got more at Incredible Edible Gifts. Here’s the great thing about edible and other kinds of consumable gifts—you don’t put your recipient on the spot to make sure they wear, display, care for and otherwise use your gift from now on.
Edible, decadent, awesome, holiday gifts are enjoyed at the moment. There is no expectation of anything more than receiving your heartfelt love and wishes for a wonderful holiday.
First published: 12-10-18; Updated with most current information 12-06-19
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