Christmas Gift Ideas made by you

We have all seen the e-mails about this fantastic idea to keep our money here, instead of buying gifts that were made in China and other places:  Christmas 2011 — Birth of a New Tradition

Taking it to a whole new level, some friends are making things  then having a party to exchange for things they want so each has several things to give away as gifts.




Some here are handmade:



Chocolate and Caramel Popcorn

Drizzle chocolate over caramel corn with nuts and pretzels for a sweet and salty Valentine’s Day gift. Courtesy Popcorn and nuts bathed with buttery caramel, crisped in the oven, some pretzel for that salty-sweet touch, and then drizzled with dark and white chocolate.

Caramel corn keeps well in sealed containers, so this would be a great gift, too.

12 cups popped popcorn
1 (9.75-ounce) can (2 cups) whole cashews
1 (5-ounce) bag (1 1/2 cups) pecan halves
1 cup firmly packed brown sugar
3/4 cup butter
1/2 cup light corn syrup
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup dark chocolate chips
1 1/2 teaspoons shortening
1/2 cup white baking chips

1. Heat oven to 250 degrees. Place popcorn, cashews and pecans in large roasting pan.

2. Combine brown sugar, butter and corn syrup in 2-quart saucepan. Cook over medium heat until mixture comes to a boil (7 to 8 minutes). Continue boiling 2 minutes. Remove from heat; stir in baking soda.

3. Pour butter mixture over popcorn mixture in pan; stir well. Bake for 60 minutes, stirring every 15 minutes. Remove from oven; place onto waxed paper or parchment paper. Cool completely. (Do not break into pieces.)

4. Place chocolate chips and 1 teaspoon shortening into resealable plastic food bag. Microwave on high (100 percent power) for 30 to 45 seconds; knead bag. Continue microwaving at 15 second intervals, kneading until smooth. Cut tiny corner from bag; drizzle melted chocolate over popcorn mixture. Repeat with white baking chips and remaining 1/2 teaspoon shortening, microwaving on medium-high (70 percent power). Drizzle over popcorn mixture. Let stand until chocolate is set (3 to 4 hours). Break popcorn mixture into pieces.

Store in container with tight-fitting lid or resealable plastic food bag.

– adapted from Land O’Lakes


Don’t forget to go to and put in a word in the search box to look for crafts, DIY, the word Christmas or  any word specific to what you  want to make.  There are also many tutorials on 

Just added! Was told to check these out. Haven’t had time to yet but here they are :

The Shabby Creek Cottage
Hoosier Homemade
Barbara Bakes
Eat at Home
Nest of Posies
Real Mom Kitchen
Kohler Created

This entry was posted in Christmas, Handmade, Military families, Oklahomans helping Oklahomans, Pinterest, Veterans. Bookmark the permalink.

32 Responses to Christmas Gift Ideas made by you

  1. g says:

    Chocolate Spoons are a great idea…It was a hit for one of those hard to please people..

    1.) Get good quality plastic spoons -no flimsy cheap stuff! Try using gold or silver ones, clear is OK too. Also find some good quality chocolate and different tracts/liquors to make the spoons different flavors/colors. There is no end to the flavors you can come up with! Melt chocolate till it is liquid, watch out that it doesn’t scorch . . . you can do this in the microwave. Add extract or liquor of choice (almond extract, Frangelica, peppermint, anise, Kailua etc.).

    2.) Simply dip the spoon into the chocolate . . . and lay the spoons with their handles over the edge of a wax paper lined cookie sheet till set. Drizzle white chocolate in a design over dark or milk chocolate . . . or dip 1/2 of spoon in dark and 1/2 in while best flavors mocha, mint, plain, raspberry. Don’t just dip lightly you want a nice puddle in the spoon part and part way up the handle.

    3.)Wrap in clear plastic bags tied with raffia and a tag stating the flavor. These are marvelous with coffee or cocoa and make enough so each family member gets 2 spoons each. They will clamor for more!!!

    Other things you can dip into chocolate and put in gift baskets:

    ~ Salted Pringles(only half),
    ~ Chocolate chip cookies (only half)
    ~ Use a clean new small paint brush and paint the mixture on the back side of freshly washed, dry leaves (rose, camellia work well). after chocolate has dried gently peel off the leaf and enjoy your chocolate leaf.

    • Laura says:

      Homemade holiday wreaths. Living wreaths are an impressive and welcome holiday gift. They’re not difficult to make — all you need is some evergreen boughs, assorted greenery and wire. In a couple hours, you’ll have several wreaths that would easily retail between $70 and $100 if you bought them from a commercial florist. The beautiful Heavy Petal has excellent step-by-step, illustrated directions to get you underway.

    • Patty says:

      Lots of ways to do it but here is mine:

      Chocolate Dipped Spoons

      1 bag of chocolate chips
      1/2 bar parafin wax
      White Plastic Spoons (from the dollar store in the party goods section)

      Using a double broiler place chocolate chips and the parafin wax in the top of double broiler until melted stir to mix well. Remove from heat and set top of pan on a pot holder. Taking the white plastic spoons dip the rounded part in the chocolate mixture, making sure that you get a good blop on the spoon itself. We dip 1/2 way up the spoon or so. Once you’ve dipped you can drizzle melted peanut butter chips or white chocolate over them. Lay on waxed paper until dry and chocolate has set. Then wrap several in cellophane inn small plastic decorated bags (non-zippable baggies) and tie with a small ribbon, put them in a cup. Makes perfect little gifts and they are good to use in coffee.

  2. Dana says:

    Gourmet popcorn—

    – chocolate/almonds/toffee popcorn
    – white chocolate and cherries popcorn

    Oh, so good!!! It is about $19 for a small container but not expensive to make at home.

    (google for recipes or look on…or even I always look at several different ones for the best ideas.)

  3. Heather says:

    Truffles!! . You can make a lot for low cost, put them in a cute container and I don’t think anyone would know the difference!

  4. Keira says:

    A coffee gift basket is a great idea, I may make a couple myself adding hot chocolate for those who also have kids!

    Coffee and Tea Mix Recipes

    The first batch of recipes are from the message board at Crafts Niche on AOL. These mixing and serving directions only apply until you get to the dotted divider line.

    To prepare the following coffee recipes: mix in food processor or blender until you have a fine powder.

    For all the coffee recipes except the cafe’ au lait, use 1 to 2 spoonfuls to one mug of hot water (to desired taste)


    2/3 cup instant coffee
    1 cup sugar
    1 tsp. dried mint leaves
    2/3 cup nondairy creamer
    (you might have to turn the mint leaves into powder – not sure about this)


    2/3 cup instant coffee
    1 cup sugar
    1 tsp. dried crushed orange peel
    1/4 tsp. cinnamon

    2/3 cup instant coffee
    3 TBS. unsweetened cocoa
    1 1/3 cups sugar
    1 cup nondairy creamer
    1/4 cup nonfat dry milk

    2/3 cup instant coffee
    1 1/3 cup sugar
    1/2 tsp. cinnamon
    1/2 tsp. nutmeg
    1/2 tsp. allspice

    1 cup instant coffee
    1 cup nondairy creamer
    1 cup brown sugar

    1 cup instant coffee
    1 1/3 cups sugar
    1 1/3 cups nonfat dry milk
    1 tsp. cinnamon

    1 cup instant coffee
    1 1/2 cups sugar
    2 cups nonfat dry milk
    1 tsp. dry orange peel

    1 cup instant coffee
    1 cup sugar
    2 cups nonfat dry milk
    4 tsp. cocoa powder

    1 cup instant coffee
    1 cup sugar
    2 tsp. cinnamon
    1 1/2 cups nondairy creamer
    1 1/2 cups nonfat dry milk
    4 TBS. cocoa

    1 11 oz jar nondairy creamer
    1/2 cup packed brown sugar
    1/2 cup instant coffee
    dash of salt
    (use 1/4 cup mix to 2/3 cup hot water for the cafe’ au lait)
    The next four are from a book I have and I’ve made them all – they’re good:

    2/3 cup nondairy powdered coffee creamer
    1/3 cup instant coffee
    1/3 cup sugar
    1 tsp. ground cardamom (I’ve made this – I’d use less)
    1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
    Use one heaping TBS. to 1 cup hot water.

    2 cups instant hot cocoa mix
    2/3 cup nondairy powdered coffee creamer
    2/3 cup malted mil mix
    1/2 tsp. cinnamon
    (I’ve made this one – I like less hot cocoa powder and more malted milk powder) Use to desired taste.
    RASPBERRY COCOA MIX (Cherry would be good too)

    3 cups instant hot cocoa powder
    1 pkg. unsweetened raspberry Kool-aid (0.13 oz size)
    Use 2 heaping TBS. to 1 cup hot water.

    Cappuccino Mix for a Gift in a Jar

    This is a great gift idea for anyone who enjoys coffee. It’s also nice to include this gift in a homemade gourmet gift basket or a coffee gift basket.

    1 cup instant coffee creamer
    1 cup instant Nestle’s Quik
    2/3 cup instant coffee crystals
    1/2 cup sugar
    1/4 tsp. ground nutmeg
    12 cinnamon sticks (optional)

    Combine all ingredients except cinnamon sticks and mix well. Pour into a quart jar. Insert cinnamon sticks, allowing the top to stick up through the mix.

    Information to attach to jar:
    “Mix for Cappuccino”

    To prepare one serving, add 3 tablespoons mix to 6 ounces of hot water, stir well. If desired, add whipped cream and a cinnamon stick.

  5. Meganhtt says:

    There are a bunch of recipes out there for flavored coffee mixes. If you make the coffee mix up, buy a couple of mugs at the dollar store and put in a batch of cookies and some chocolate covered spoons maybe make up a jazz cd (or some other easy listening kind of music), that would make a nice gift basket.

    Do look under http://www.pinterestcom and for ideas and tutorials

  6. Katie says:

    Dipping pretzels in chocolate and fancy them up by putting sprinkles or chips or white chocolate/dark chocolate drizzle on them and wrap them in cellophane like you got them from a fancy candy shop.

    ……find pretty old plates at yard sales and the thrift stores to put baked goods on then, wrap them up nicely.

  7. Sarah says:

    Making a tin of trailmix– you can do nuts, raisins, some m&ms etc. and maybe find a OU or OSU tin to put it in, if you can find one somewhere, that would work great for putting either the chocolate dipped pretzels or trail mix in. I also love the idea of homemade coffee mix and chocolate spoons.

  8. Lauren says:

    request an autographed picture from someone he would like? Sports player, Singer etc??

    Email ou or OSU and see if you can get an autographed photo of one of the star football players??? Or the coach?? a cheap frame to put it in would jazz it up some.

  9. Ann says: When they have their 70% off sale I bought $150 worth of certificates for very cheap.. just spent a fraction of the price. I buy the ones that they can choose which certificates to buy.

  10. Gail says:

    Get a few precious photos of the person as a child. Have a nice print made, and give it to him/her in a frame – Or you could choose several and fill up a collage frame.

  11. Tara says:

    Gift Baskets: Making gift baskets (The key is to start early and watch for sales.):
    beautiful baskets from the thrift store, with a nice throw, tins of homemade goodies, a jar of homemade hot chocolate, a small holiday candle or homemade ornament, all wrapped in cellophane from the dollar store with a nice bow tied on the handle. You can also find baskets for $1 at Dollar Tree or similar stores. For less than $20, you have a great gift for an entire family.

    Look at garage sales, thrift stores, flea markets for big Christmas mugs or martini glasses that you can fill with candies, etc.;Dollar Tree has neat tins, jars, buckets, etc. to put homemade stuff in.

    Themed gifts or for one collection. A friend who liked anything with strawberries for very little money I found a gift basket full of stuff. buy looking around. I have also bought gifts for a favorite color, such as purple.

    *a HUGE bag of peanut M&M’s for a chocolate lover or other boxes/bags of candy).
    *bags of homemade jerky
    *Bath and beauty items that they may not buy for themselves. See
    *Coupons for baked goods (if you bake)
    *Grandparents, if they live close, always like coupons for help around the house/yard.
    *clearance items in skin lotion, candles, razors or a cleanser gift basket

    • Laura says:

      Girls – an all-time favorite gift was a big box of misc. school supplies. I buy stuff as it went on clearance: Notebooks, pens, pencils, folders, crayons, glue, construction paper, paper clips, tape (kids love tape), and anything else I could find. (Included also were stickers, gel pens, stencils, colored pencils etc) They still talk about that present! Their moms loved it because they played with it through their entire Christmas vacation!

    • Cassie says:

      Best Homemade Hot Cocoa Recipe… according to Cook’s Country.

      Best-Ever Hot Cocoa Mix

      Makes about 20 servings

      3 cups nonfat dry milk
      2 cups confectioners’ sugar
      1 1/2 cups Dutch-processed cocoa powder
      1 1/2 cups white chocolate chips
      1/4 teaspoon Salt

      Combine ingredients in large bowl. Working in two batches, pulse ingredients in food processor until chocolate is finely ground. Store in airtight container for up to 3 months. To make hot cocoa, stir 1/3 cup of this mix into 1 cup of hot milk. Top with whipped cream or mini marshmallows.

  12. Lisa says:

    Use the Michael’s coupon to see what might be something you will want to get a number of over these next 12 weeks. (Jars to fill with candy or the dry baking ingredients? with the recipe of whatever cookie you might make this year.)

    *Scour garage sales for canning jars and have friendswatch for them.

    Homemade ideas for the following –go to or to search for tutorials of just google for recipes:

  13. *pumpkin spice nuts in festive containers
  14. *truffles…. are fancy themselves
  15. *homemade salsa
  16. *Fudge
  17. *russian tea
  18. *breads
  19. *mixes (like soup, teas, etc.)
  20. *flavored oils.
  21. *candy wreaths… I also make them for nursing homes
  22. *bath salts/”bath teas” with lavender, Epsom salts and some chamomile tea bought in bulk.
  23. *chocolate chip cookies. put all the dry ingredients in the jar and write my recipe and put it on the jar. They add the eggs, vanilla and butter and mix it up and bake them. I got compliments on “my” chocolate chip cookies!!
  24. *a box of Celestial Seasonings Blueberry tea –watch for a coupon
  25. *crocus bulbs (her favorite flower)planted in a pretty planter.
  26. * old, lovely, silver earrings found at a garage sale that were polished from tarnished to a bright shine.
  27. *a used book or cookbook she would love.
  28. *something I canned.
  29. *Moose Munch on pinterest or here: