Cheap and Chic Homemade Gift Ideas

by DIY Diva Malia Karlinsky

The holidays are a time for thoughtful giving, but that doesn’t mean you have to brave the malls for that perfect present. You can make your own gifts at home with items you probably already have in your pantry or… bathroom! Below are five DIY (Do It Yourself) present ideas that you can easily create with little money or time.

(For free printable holiday art and tags for these items, click here: Holiday 2012. To download the free printables, just click actions, select size (original) and save to your computer.)

Festive Holiday Granola
1/2 cup light brown sugar
1/4 cup canola oil
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
4 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
1 1/2 cups (1 package) cherry Craisins
1 cup chopped walnuts
1 package Nestle Holiday Semi-Sweet Morsels with Red & Green Colored Morsels
Directions
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line a large baking sheet with foil
2. In a large bowl, mix the brown sugar, oil and vanilla. Add the oats and walnuts, combining well.
3. Bake mixture until golden brown and crisp, 20 minutes. Let cool.
4. Add Craisins and chocolate chips.
5. Package in glass jam jars.


Holiday Candy Bark
Ingredients: 4 8 oz packages of Ghirardelli Classic White Premium Baking Chips, 1 9.5 oz package Brach’s Crimp Ribbon Candy, 1 tsp vegetable oil, 1 teaspoon peppermint extract.
Directions:
1. Line a baking dish or cookie sheet with wax paper.  Place candy in a large plastic Ziploc bag and crush into very small pieces (a rolling pin or the bottom of a coffee mug work well).
2. In a microwave safe bowl, melt the white chocolate chips, stirring at 1 minute intervals (Helpful Tip: Spray a plastic spatula with cooking spray to stir melting chocolate).
3. After chips are melted, stir in the oil, the peppermint extract and ¾ of the crushed candy.
4. Pour mixture onto wax paper and even out as much as possible.
5. Sprinkle the remaining candy on top.

6. Pop in fridge for 1 hour then break into smaller pieces.

Peppermint Scrub
Ingredients: 3 1/2 cups Epsom Salt, 1 cup grape seed oil, 30+ drops of peppermint essential oil.
Directions:
Place the Epsom salt in a bowl and mix with grape seed oil, sure it's saturated but not oversaturated with the grape seed oil. Scent with essential oil. Stir until well blended. Spoon into glass jars for pretty packaging.
Chocolate Peppermint Loaf (makes 5 small loaves)
Ingredients:  2 1/4 cups flour, 2 cups sugar, 3/4 unsweetened cocoa powder (I used Hershey’s), 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder, 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1 1/2 cups milk, 1 cup vegetable oil, 3 large eggs, 1 teaspoon peppermint extract, 2 cups semisweet chocolate chips, 1 cup finely smashed candy cane plus more candy cane pieces for garnish.
Instructions:
1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees
2. Spray cooking spray in 5 small bakeable trays or small metal trays sprayed with nonstick cooking spray.
3. Combine all ingredients except the chocolate chips-- gently fold them in last
4. Spoon batter into trays and place on middle rack of the oven
5. Bake for 1 hour (then check to see if loaves are done with the old toothpick trick). Let loaves bake until toothpick comes out clean. After removing from oven, sprinkle candy cane bits on top. Candy will stick to the warm bread.

Sparkly Holiday Candles
Supplies: Candles, Mod Podge, Epsom Salt, Regular White Glitter, Fine White Craft Glitter
Directions: Line a cookie sheet with tin foil. Mix 1 cup of Epsom Salt, ½ cup of white glitter and fine white glitter together and spread on cookie sheet. Paint the sides of the candle with the Mod Podge. Gently roll the candle in the glitter mixture. Let dry. Make lovely “snowy” candles, great for gift giving.
More for cheap and chic DIY craft ideas and recipes visit me at my blog: