When someone says “DIY,” our minds immediately go to those bad hand-knitted caps we received in our youths, most likely courtesy of a great aunt named Mildred. They eventually went in the donate pile, or stayed relegated to the back of our closets at our parents’ house, never to be heard from again, but guiltily held onto. And yet, what if there was a DIY gift that was made with love and care by the giver, but was also something that we would like to receive and could be used with glee in our day-to-day lives? With this mission in mind, we sought to sniff out the best DIY gifts for you to create and receive this holiday season.
Ancho Chile Hot Cocoa Mix
Whether you call it hot cocoa or hot chocolate, this is the beverage that you want to be sipping on (by itself, or spiked) under a cozy blanket this season. The addition of dried ancho chile adds the perfect kick to this decadent recipe, and can be easily made in your food processor in a big batch and stored in individual jars for gifting. Add a layer of mini marshmallows to the top of the jars, or send along with some artisan marshmallows (these mug toppers from Plush Puffs are our current fave).
Farmers Market Bags
Ever bring your big fabric tote to the farmers market with the intention of using less plastic, only to find that you put each type of produce in individual plastic bags while there? Mission, not accomplished. Our solve has been creating these cute fabric bags that can be used to store your brussels sprouts, your apples, and your sweet potatoes individually, and which always get compliments at the farmers market. Take the opportunity to customize them for friends this holiday season - we love putting cheeky puns about the gift receivers favorite foods on them (Romaine Calm!).
Homemade Vanilla Extract
Such as with all things, if Ina Garten does it, we feel compelled follow in her footsteps. Her easy-as-pie recipe for homemade vanilla extract is the perfect gift for the bakers in your life, and is something that you have them thinking of you each time that make their favorite cookies and cakes this holiday season.
Natural Beeswax Candles
Candles are one of our favorite indulgences, but can feel a bit generic when gifting store-bought to loved ones. We also don’t love all of the artificial coloring and scents that are added to so many of the options out there. Enter: the homemade beeswax candle. These candles are fantastic natural alternative that you can create in the beautiful jars of your choice (we like mixing and matching), and gift to friends and family members of all ages.
Perhaps the most-used item in our kitchen, salt can make or break any dish. We love the extra explosion of taste that flavored salts provide, and they’re a creative and easy item to gift the home chefs and bartenders in your life. Celery salt? Use it for the rims on your bloody mary glasses. Porcini salt? Add that extra layer or flavor to risotto. And don’t even get us started on the smoked paprika and ancho salt for grilling and chilling.
Popsicle Stick Playing Cards
Whether you’re creating this gift with your kids, or gifting it to a family with young ones, these DIY popsicle stick playing cards are so.much.fun. You can make them as minimalist or as funky as you want to, and they’re so easy to have out during the holidays or throw in a suitcase for the next family trip.
Salted Caramel Sauce Sundae Kit
Salted caramel sauce has officially replaced hot fudge as our ice cream sundae topping of choice, and we have a feeling that people who receive this gift may be swayed as well. Make a big batch in your kitchen and put it in mason jars for those in your life with a sweet tooth. We also love including fancy sprinkles as an additional sundae topping - these are our favorites at the moment.