Last-Minute Homemade Gifts

Food, Holidays, Quick Read, Recipes

If you’re anything like me, you either:

(a) tend to do things last minute, or
(b) are cheap. I mean… money-conscious?
or
(c) both of the above.

So for those of us who fit that description, or who simply still have some gifts left to get and who enjoy a homemade touch, read on for some of my favorite homemade gift ideas. These are super simple and inexpensive, and can probably be made with things you already have on hand.

Quick and easy homemade gifts

1. Flavored coffee syrups

Guys, you would not believe how easy coffee syrups are to make. I make myself a batch of vanilla syrup for my coffee every few weeks, and it literally takes five minutes of effort.

Here’s what you do:

  • Combine 1 cup water and 1 cup sugar in saucepan
  • Bring to boil, then reduce heat to medium and stir until sugar dissolves
  • Stir in 1 teaspoon of any flavoring you like (i.e. vanilla extract, peppermint extract, almond extract)
  • Let cool and then store in an airtight glass container

I purchased these glass bottles at my neighborhood kitchen supply store, filled them with flavored syrups, and stuck some pretty labels on them. Definitely a popular gift with coffee drinkers.

Store the syrup in the fridge and it should stay good for several weeks.

(image source & peppermint syrup recipe)

2. Handmade jewelry

Depending on your level of craftiness, you could do a lot in this department. Personally, I have less crafty talent than Martha Stewart has in her pinky finger, but I still managed to make the bracelet pictured above.

Search around on Pinterest, find some pretty DIYs, and hit up your local craft or bead store. Handmade jewelry doesn’t have to mean plastic beads spelling out “best friend” like we made in summer camp. With a little thought and effort, you can make something similar to what you’d see in a store selling for thirty bucks.

Seriously, if I made that bracelet above, anyone can do it. Find the instructions here.

3. Personalized mugs

I don’t know about you, but I love mugs. If a friend took the time to create a mug just for me, I’d be thrilled.

This is another DIY where Pinterest is your friend. I think Sharpie mugs are the easiest, but there are tons of other ideas for people of varying levels of craftiness. This gift is pretty, functional, personal, and cheap. All it costs is a few bucks for the mug, and maybe a few more for markers or glitter or whatever.

(image source with instructions for Sharpie mugs)

4. Hot fudge

This is another one that I make for myself quite often.

Since it’s the holidays, you could make peppermint hot fudge and put it in a festive jar, like the photo above.

Or you could go for good old fashioned bittersweet hot fudge. Like with the coffee syrups, a glass jar and a pretty label go a long way in making this a thoughtful gift.

~

Happy gifting! What are your favorite homemade gifts?

-L

Gift Guide for the Girl on a Budget

Books, Fashion, Holidays

Budgeting gifts can be a bit overwhelming.  Friends, family, coworkers, pets.  On my list are mom, dad, brother, four of my closest girlfriends, one office party gift and a white elephant gift.  I have been prowling the internet for affordable gifts guides, and by affordable I mean under $25 to adhere to the price limit for the office and white elephant gift.  So far I have seen under $100 from The Zoe Report and under $50 from chicityfashion.com, which just won’t do!  So here’s what I’m getting for my people.

For the moms:

Polychroma DOF Glass

Chocolate Book

Dads/Brothers:

’47 Brand Seattle Seahawks Hat

Mobile Phone Bike Mount

Girlfriends:

They have 10 other cities to choose from as well!

City Beanie

Gold Stemless Wine Glasses

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Office Party:

Abhati Hanging Lantern

I added a mini bottle of Whiskey and stuck it in the lantern too 😉

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For an office with a younger crowd:

Clip String Lights

  

White Elephant:

Friday Night Wine Glass (My Favorite Gift)

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Happy Hippo Biscuits

happyhippo

 

My favorite places to look for gifts are Anthropologie, Urban Outfitters and World Market.  I tend to look for unique/fun items that whoever I am gifting them to would not pick out themselves but will love!  Urban Outfitters has tons of quirky books and funny items like a stuffed animal grumpy cat, and is great for both men and women of all ages.  I’d go to Anthropologie for the more refined gifts, for those people who love pretty, sparkly things.  Their home goods are spectacular and will add a bit of flair to any home.  World Market has everything, and great quality for the price you pay.  Shop away!

-S