Cheap and Easy Holiday Gifts You Can Make Now


By Barbara Pronin

The holidays are coming fast, and with them the fun and/or the chore (depending on your state of mind!) of making your list and coming up with gifts you hope everyone on your list will love.

With that, and your budget in mind, the craft masters at offer three great ideas for can’t-miss gifts you can make yourself – starting now:

Homemade bath salts – everyone needs a little pampering now and then, and these fragrant bath salts are perfect. Mix together 1 cup of Epsom salt and 1 cup of pink-tinted sea salt. Add three to six drops of red food coloring, two at a time, and mix thoroughly until you like the color. Now add 5-6 drops of the essential oil of your choice (such as lemongrass) and mix, mix, mix. Spoon it into pretty jars or bottles and top it off with twine or ribbon and a gift tag telling your lucky recipient what it is and who made it.

Homemade cinnamon honey butter – Bound to make anyone’s mouth water! Start with three clean half-pint canning jars. Using the whisk attachment on your electric mixer, whip together 1 cup honey, 1 cup softened sweet butter, 1 cup powdered sugar, and 2 teaspoons of cinnamon. Using a rubber spatula, pour the mixture into a large Ziploc bag (you may need help with this.) Cut the tip off the bag and pipe the mixture into the jars. Now decorate the jars with ribbon, fabric, and a holly sprig and add that all important gift tag.

Neon-dipped candles – Brighten up someone’s dinner table with these lovely, made-to-order candles. Start with a handful of plain white tapers, some cotton wool balls, and bottle of neon water-based acrylic paint in the color of your choice, such as DecoArt paint, available at most craft stores. Use a paintbrush to apply the color from the base of the candles, then blur it upwards using a cotton wool ball to create a soft ombré tapering effect around the midpoint of the candle. The paint dries quickly, so stick the candle upside down in a candle holder to keep it steady while you work.

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