There is nothing more heartfelt than a one-of-a-kind gift you make yourself. So many different types of gifts lend themselves to being handmade — candles, soaps and, of course, edible and drinkable gifts. Most folks on the receiving end of such gifts appreciate the thought and time it took to create such a personal gift, and love that they don’t have to find a place to put yet another knick-knack (aka dust collector).
When it comes to creating and giving homemade foods and drinks, you can create very fancy gifts by going just a bit beyond the edible portion:
- Pick up a cute basket or holiday box at your local Michaels, AC Moore, (don’t forget to bring your 40% or 50% off coupon) or Christmas Tree Shoppe.
- Scrunch up some colored tissue paper or shred some colored paper to use as a basket or box liner.
- Use your computer to print up cute labels to tie to bags or stick on jars. You can find several options for free printable labels; some you can personalize to make them extra special. These labels are a bit elegant. Here are about a dozen more label options — chalkboard, shabby chic, cutesie, simple, and more.
- Foods and drink mixes can be packaged in cellophane bags, canning jars or decorated foil pans. Pinterest is a great resource for creative ideas. Check out this board to get started.
- Place your gift in the basket or the box and fill with coordinating accessories. More on that below.
- Wrap with clear cellophane and tie a big bow at the top using wired ribbon, which will hold its shape better than fabric ribbon.
- Don’t forget to include any preparation instructions the receiver will need.
Homemade drink mixes
A flavored coffee mix is perfect for the coffee lover and can be accessorized with a mug for home, a thermal travel cup, and a package of biscotti or stroopwafels for dunking. Try this mocha mix.
For tea-drinkers, gift this chai tea mix along with a tea cup and saucer, a tea cup cover to let tea steep, a tea ball and a tea towel. Maybe add some individual packages of shortbread cookies. For those on the go, a thermal travel cup would be nice paired with a tea mix as well. You might even whip up a loaf of quick bread to complete tea time. Try this lemon poppy seed bread or this seasonal cranberry orange bread.
Or, you can give a homemade hot cocoa mix.
Homemade gift baskets
Homemade gift baskets can also be a great way to embellish a small gift. If you have a wine lover on your list, you could get them a nice wine bottle opener. Then pair it with, mulled wine mix, an inexpensive bottle of a favorite wine, a pair of wine glasses and a fancy wine bottle stopper.
Yummy hot chocolate mix can be put in a cellophane bag and paired with a big mug. Add another bag full of mini marshmallows and perhaps a few individually wrapped chocolate candies or a couple of pretty candy canes they can use a stir sticks.
Brownie mix can be packaged along with a spatula and pot holders.
Who wouldn’t want to receive a selection of sweet, gooey sauces? They can be used on pies, to dip cookies in, on cakes or ice cream and more. An adorable way to gift these is in a basket along with a nice ice cream scoop, a couple of sundae glasses and an assortment of colorful sprinkles. Maybe even a little jar of maraschino cherries to add a pop of color. Try these hot fudge, caramel and butterscotch sauces.
Be sure to store any perishables in the refrigerator until gift-giving time.
More Living on the Cheap stories about homemade gifts: