Whether you need a gift for some special teachers, neighbours, or your friends and family, nothing is more satisfying than creating a gift you have made yourself. Most of us are living very full lives, so here are some simple, quick and affordable gift ideas that will get you and the kids being creative.
Tasty Truffle Spoons
This fun recipe is easy to make with children and doesn’t require any cooking which makes it perfect for little helpers. You can take these to a party, make them for Christmas day, or wrap them in cellophane to give as a unique gift.
What You Need:
• 30 Spoons (Wooden or antique spoons from the
op shop are a great option)
• 1 medium jar of Nutella
• 2 packets of Oreo’s
• 1 jar peanut butter (optional)
• 1 block of melting chocolate or 1 bottle of quick drying
chocolate topping (Ice Magic)
• Decorations – sprinkles, white melted chocolate in a
piping bag, whatever you like!
• Grease proof paper
Blend the nutella and packets of oreos for one minute in a food processor until a smooth consistency.
If using peanut butter, half fill each spoon with peanut butter and fill the other half with the Nutella mixture. If making nut-free, scoop only the Nutella mixture into each spoon. If the mixture is too soft to scoop, chill for 15 minutes before scooping. Chill for at least one hour.
Dip your chilled spoons in your melted chocolate mix, or cover with Ice magic and place on greaseproof paper. Decorate your spoon with sprinkles, lollies or white chocolate from your piping bag and before the mix dries.
Refrigerate for up to 5 days.
Pom Pom Bookmarks
This is the perfect ‘anytime’ gift because it’s affordable, easy to make, and gives you a fluffy pompom of cuteness. It’s sure to improve the look of any good book and gives you something to play with as you read.
What You Need
• Soft wool
• Sharp scissors
Cut an 8-10 inch piece of wool and a 15 inch piece of wool and set it aside. You will need these lengths in later steps.
To start your pom pom, hold the end of the wool in your hand, and begin wrapping the wool around your fingers – snug but not too tight. We recommend wrapping the wool 90 times.
Cut the wool after 90 wraps, and carefully slide it off your fingers. Lay it down over the 8-10 inch piece of wool.
Tightly tie a knot around the middle of the 90 loops.
To add the wool ball bookmark ‘tail’, use the 15-inch piece of wool, tie it around the same string you used to tie the 90 loops together.
Next, holding the ball on its side, slide your scissors through the wool loops and start cutting. Instant fluffy ball! Trim slowly, being sure not to cut your bookmark ‘tail’ off and stop when you have a cute ball of fluffiness.
Festive Simmer Jars
These easy, quintessential homemade holiday simmer potpourris make your house smell like Christmas! Simply add the contents of the jar to boiling water and let the aroma waft through your home. As they are dry potpourri recipes, they have a long shelf life and are wonderful as Christmas gifts. This is the perfect use of the old jars you have been saving. Here are two scents to choose from.
Apple Pie Scent
• Dried apple slices
• Dried bay leaves
• Cinnamon sticks
• Star anise
• Whole cloves
Smells Like Christmas
• Dried cranberries
• Pine or spruce twig
• Dried orange slices
• Cinnamon sticks
• Whole cloves
Fill a clean, dry jar with the ingredients of your chosen scent and seal with a lid. Decorate the potpourri jar with printable labels, ribbon and ornaments.
Method for Recipient:
(Put these instructions on the jar)
Store your festive simmer jar in a dry, dark place away from moisture and heat. When you are ready to fragrance your home:
Fill a small saucepan or pot with 2 to 3 cups of water.
Add the simmering potpourri mix and simmer uncovered over low heat. To avoid burned ingredients, replenish with fresh water as needed.
After cooking, take the saucepan/pot off the heat and let sit on the counter to fragrance your home further.
Gingerbread Gift Box
• 3 cups plain flour
• 3 tsp baking powder
• 1 tbsp ground ginger
• 2 tsp ground cinnamon
• 1 tsp mixed spice
• 1⁄4 tsp ground cloves
• 5 1⁄2 tbsp butter, softened
• 3⁄4 cup brown sugar
• 1 large egg
• 2 tsp vanilla extract
• 1⁄2 cup molasses
Whisk dry ingredients in a bowl. In a separate bowl, cream the butter and sugar using a stand mixer or electric beater on speed 7 for 2 minutes, or until light and fluffy. Add the egg and vanilla to the butter mixture and mix until combined. Add the molasses, mix for 1 minute using speed 2.
Add 1⁄4 of the dry ingredients at a time, then mix until you can’t see flour. Repeat until all dry ingredients are mixed in, then mix for a further 15 seconds. Dough should be soft and a bit sticky.
Pat the dough into a disc shape, wrap in the cling wrap and refrigerate for at least 2 hours or until firm. (Can refrigerate for 5 days or freeze for 3 months).
Preheat the oven to 190°C (170°C fan) and set a shelf in the middle. Line 3 baking trays with baking paper.
Take the dough out of the refrigerator and cut it in half. Wrap half and return to the fridge. Sprinkle a sheet of baking paper lightly with flour. Place dough on top, and sprinkle lightly with flour. Place another sheet of baking paper on top and roll out until 4mm thick. As you work, flip and if paper is wrinkling, peel it off then put it back on, smoothing out the wrinkles.
Use a cookie cutter to make shapes, firmly pressing to cut all the way through. If the dough sticks to the cutter, dip it in flour. Use a palette knife (or large knife) to transfer onto a baking sheet. Tidy edges if necessary using a butter knife.
Bake for 12 minutes (for classic light golden) or 14 minutes (dark golden and crisp). Then remove and cool fully on the tray, and decorate!