It seems as if the same generic gifts are suggested for women every year in stores, magazine articles, and advertisements. The reason they’re recommended is that women generally love them. But how give those same gifts but show the recipient how much they are truly loved? Below are ways to make seven gifts homemade, giving a personal touch to “generic” gifts.
Potpourri- How To Dress It Up
Potpourri makes a great gift for almost any woman. The trick to giving potpourri a homemade feel is to make a potpourri pie. The image attached is from Ewe Are Special Creations, who also sells these already made. The tools and ingredients needed are below:
- a ceramic pot usually used as a plant base (pick a small one)
- 2 cups of flour
- 1 cup of salt
- 1 cup of water
- a ribbon
- shallow bowl or pie-pan for shaping crust
Steps to Making Potpourri Pie
- Fill the ceramic pot with potpourri. To make the lattice “crust” over the top:
- Mix flour, salt, and water in a small bowl. Roll out the dough into one-half-inch thickness. Cut six one-half-inch thick strips, and one longer strip that is long enough to go around the edge of the ceramic pot.
- Using a shallow bowl or pie pan- turned upside down- create a domed lattice crust by using an over-and-under weave. Use the longer strip to wrap around the edge of the crust.
- Cook at 250 degrees until a nicely golden brown. It will usually take around 30 minutes. Place pie crust on top of ceramic pot already filled with potpourri.
- Wrap the ribbon around the pie to hold the crust in place. Do NOT glue, as the crust will usually crack after about a year.
The option of making an extra crust and including it with the gift is a good idea. Extra potpourri can also be included- a variety of scents are available, allowing them to change the scent as they want!
Macaroons have been around for hundreds of years and have a very interesting history. They are traditional French cookies that are made from almonds, sugar, egg whites, and shredded coconut. The macaroon is then shaped into a triangle with almond paste in the center. Macaroons were made in the Middle East during Crusades and they were brought to Europe by returning crusaders. This sweet treat has become one of France’s most famous desserts.
They can also be eaten plain or dusted with icing sugar or powdered sugar before or after cooking them which makes them easier to eat while they may be hot out of the oven.
Candles- Homemade Aromatherapy
Even for women who don’t normally use candles, a homemade aromatherapy “kit” is always a cute gift. A simple web search will bring up common scents used for different reasons: orange for anger, lavender for anxiety, and jasmine for confidence. Buy small candles already in their own jar in case the person receiving the gift doesn’t have candle holders. Write up a small “prescription” explaining what the different scents are for.
Give Chocolates With Love
The first step is to buy a variety of good quality chocolates. A variety of flavors or fillings is much preferred. Use 1 & 1/2″ by 3″ piece of card stock, and fold in half. Use a large needle threaded with ribbon, and tie it through the upper left-hand corner of the tag. On each tag write a positive attribute about the recipient, such as “Loving Wife.” Attach one tag to each chocolate with the ribbon. Place all of the chocolates in a pretty glass bowl and wrap.
Dress Up a Book With a Homemade Bookmark
Find a book that would be interesting to the recipient. Devotionals are good for those who are religious, a humor book is good for almost everyone, and a cook book for those who love to cook. In the craft section of a department store or in a craft store, find a bookmark specially made for cross-stitching. Even a novice can use embroidery thread to write out a phrase such as “I Love You.” One with cross-stitching ability can cross-stitch an angel, bear, or another cute pattern the recipient would like. Place the bookmark inside the book before wrapping. A small cross-stitch can easily be done in a few hours.
Give a Cookie Recipe “In a Jar”
Basic ingredients found in almost any house can be used for this quick and unique present. The recipe for butterscotch-chip cookie mix is below. The ingredients needed:
- Jar- such as a quart canning jar, a large spice jar, or a medium flour jar- is needed.
- 3 C. all purpose flour
- 1 tsp. baking powder
- 1/2 tsp. baking soda
- 1/8 tsp. salt
- 2 Tbsp. unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1/2 C. dark brown sugar
- 1/2 C. light brown sugar
- 1/2 C. sugar
- 1 C. butterscotch chips
Steps to Make “Cookies in a Jar”
- In a medium bowl, combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
- In a smaller bowl, stir half of the flour mixture with cocoa powder. Only mix a little bit, leaving a “streaky” appearance.
- Pack flour mixture with cocoa on bottom, pressing down to pack well.
- Top with plain flour mixture.
- Add dark brown sugar and then light brown sugar, again packing well.
- Top sugar, and then butterscotch chips.
To finish up, attach tag that has the following baking directions: “Grease baking sheet. Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees. In a large bowl, combine 3/4 C. melted butter (cooled slightly) with 3 large eggs and 1 Tbsp. vanilla extract. Sir in contents of jar. Drop dough in large tablespoons, 2 inches apart, onto a baking sheet. Bake for 10-13 minutes or until firm. Cook on baking sheet 1 min, and then remove.
House Decor- Little Signs
A small wooden sign that has a personal note reflecting the recipient’s attitude, humor, or hobbies always makes a cute bit of house decor. Craft stores, markets, or online shops have a wide variety available. For the crafty person, craft stores have small pieces of pre-cut wood, wire or ribbon for hanging, paints, and stencils for making a homemade sign.
Christmas Decorations with Memories “Attached”
Purchase a pack of Christmas ornaments- nice ones. Cut 6″ by 3″ pieces of cardstock, and fold in half, making a 3″ x 3″ tag. On each tag write a Christmas memory from the past. Each Christmas ornament will bring a smile as Christmas pasts are recalled. New ones can be given each year with memories from the last year.
A Homemade Gift is “Worth a Thousand Words”
Giving a gift with even the smallest personal touch can mean more to the recipient than the most expensive gift. The above ideas are just a few of the ways to personalize gifts. Adding a personal flair and personal message is almost guaranteed to get smiles. So, next time gift giving is required- give a personal touch and make the recipient feel happy and loved.