I am the QUEEN of Pinterest fails. No, really: I mean it. I have tried so many things that I pin, and I just keep failing at them. But, being the kind of person who enjoys misery, I keep trying to be that crafty mom that gives out handmade gifts – especially during the Christmas season. Supposedly giving out homemade gifts saves money and adds a personal touch to gifts, except when you are me and you spend money on projects that ultimately have to be trashed, resulting in last minute gift cards as gifts. So if you are like me and desire to be a crafty Betty Homemaker, but just cannot seem to make the cut: here are 3 of the EASIEST homemade gifts any Pinterest fail mom can make!
- Homemade Vanilla
Even moms who don’t bake much still find the use for vanilla a few times a year. I personally go through a great deal each year in my failed (and sometimes successful) baking attempts. Vanilla is a baking staple, so you can’t go wrong gifting this personalized gift to family and friends!
You only need a few things for this homemade gift! You can use any variety of vanilla beans for this project: Mexican, Tahitian, or Madagascar beans. I like these organic Madagascar beans found on Amazon. If you order the beans in the link and use 8 oz jars, you will get about 3 bottles for the batch. You will need some 80 proof liquor of choice, I say vodka is best for the most quality flavor. These 8 oz jars on Amazon will be perfect for storing the product.
One thing to note: the mixture needs to sit for 3-6 months. You know it is ready when it smells entirely of vanilla, with no scent of alcohol. I didn’t think of this idea until November a few years back, but I still made them for Christmas gifts that year with the disclaimer that patience is a virtue and they could enjoy my delicious creation in January-March.
Homemade Chili Seasoning
Chili tends to be a go-to menu item during winter months, a meal that sparks the most heated debate of the winter season: beans or no beans. I mean it really isn’t a debate: chili has beans. It also needs quality seasoning, which is EASY to make, thus making it a foolproof, homemade gift even the most un-crafty, lazy mom can make! THAT’S ME!
The spices needed can be purchased at any local grocery store. Use these cute jars for storage, maybe some twine for a bow, and BAM: you’re a successful, crafty, super awesome, gift giving mom! Oh, and this takes like 45 minutes tops…so now you have time for coffee or a bath (I mean a mom can dream, right?)
- Homemade Bath Salts
I do not take baths often, so I don’t use bath salts often. However, when I do want a nice warm bath while I relax with a candle and a glass of wine, I am always bummed when I don’t have any bath salts. I love it when someone gives me bath salts as a gift so I can save them for those special relaxing days. So, I think these are great gifts! Oh, and super easy to make! This is a little more time consuming, but easy nonetheless. You need only a few ingredients (see below). You mix them up, bake them, let them sit overnight, and store in jars! All done. You can upgrade this homemade gift by adding food coloring (a little goes a long way) or throw some crushed dried flowers in the mixture to add color and some pizazz (that is a word crafty moms use, right?).
Pro tip: you need a wooden spoon to stir the mixture! All of these items can be purchased online or in a local store. For the essential oil choices, make sure you choose a brand that is quality enough to be used on skin. You can use these jars to make the perfect gift! Obviously, keep a jar for yourself before you start giving these homemade gifts away.
I won’t say I can pass my Pinterest fail crown to someone else just yet, but these easy homemade gift ideas get me one step closer to crafty success! Invite your girl friends over, pour some wine, and be crafty winners together! Or let the kids help make these gifts for teachers and family members.
And if these ideas don’t work out, no worries, being crafty does NOT define being a good mom! Checkout this local holiday shopping guide for the best shopping in the Coastal Bend this Christmas season.