Panicked Over Presents? DIY Gifts Anyone Can Make

In theory, homemade presents save you a trip to the mall and make the recipient feel extra special. But some are so complicated they require the patience of Saint Nicholas, while others (like fruitcake) are likely to get tossed in the trash instead of treasured. To save you from either fate, we’ve rounded up doable projects your friends and family will actually want.

Beeswax Candles: You can use new Mason jars to make these 100 percent natural candles, but leftover jam jars, little tart tins and small terracotta pots work too. Just heat up beeswax on the stove, pour a little bit into your containers and place a piece of candlewick in the center. Fill the remainder of the jar with wax, let it harden and cut the wick down to size.

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Granola: Skip the cookies and bake a healthy treat that tastes amazing: Preheat the oven to 340 degrees and stir together 3 cups plus 2 tablespoons rolled oats with 2 tablespoons sugar. Warm ¼ cup each of peanut butter, vegetable oil and maple syrup in a saucepan and combine with oats. Spread on a large baking sheet and bake for 18 to 22 minutes. Let cool completely, then stir in 1/3 cup chocolate chips. Pour in a cute bag and tie with a ribbon.

Marble-Dipped Vases: Got some old nail polish, a glass bottle, and 10 minutes? You can whip up a fancy-looking vase for the flower lover in your life. Fill a bowl with warm water, pour in a little nail polish, and swirl it around with a toothpick. Dip your bottle into the bowl, rotating it to pick up the paint and let dry completely before wrapping.

Bite-Size Chocolate Bark: These festive sweets can be made with heart-healthy dark chocolate. Melt chocolate in the microwave according to package instructions and pour into ice cube trays. Then, in a small bowl, combine 2 tablespoons chopped nuts, 2 tablespoons toffee chips, 2 tablespoons mini chocolate chips and 1 ounce dried cranberries. Sprinkle topping over the melted chocolate, let it cool and remove from tray. Place a few pieces in a decorative box with tissue paper.

Custom Wine Glasses: Grab some oil-based paint markers and use them to decorate wine glasses with polka dots, stars, Christmas trees, the name of your pal or any other design you like. You can also use them to make monogrammed mugs if your friend is more of a coffee or tea drinker.

 

 

Photo credit: Shari’s Berries

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