Holiday Guide: Skip the shopping: DIY gifts do the trick

Scented sugars

Materials needed:

– Granulated sugar


– Aromatic edibles: Scented geranium leaves, rose petals, orange or lemon peel, vanilla beans


– Glass jar with a tightly sealing lid

Layer granulated sugar with aromatic edibles like scented geranium leaves, rose petals, orange and lemon peel (first set out for a day to dry), or vanilla beans. Mix small batches and let them sit for a few days in tightly sealed jars while the scents infuse the sugar. One jar or a trio makes an unusual present for whomever you think could use a little sweetness.

Source: Martha Stewart

Bottle cap magnets

Materials needed:

– Metal bottle caps from soda or beer bottles

– Photographs or photocopied images, magazine pictures, comic book pictures, etc.

– White glue

– Round magnets

– Hot glue gun (with hot glue stick)

– EnviroTex Lite or Ultra Glo varnish kit (includes varnish and hardener and can be found at craft stores), or other clear, non-yellowing sealant

1. Cut your image(s) to fit inside the bottle cap.

2. Using the white glue, adhere image to the inside of cap – make sure the image is smooth and there are no air bubbles or wrinkles.

3. Place a little glue on top of the image, smooth, and let dry.

4. Cover image with EnviroTex, or varnish and let cure for 24 hours (make sure you follow the directions on the label).

5. Using the glue gun, attach the magnet to the bottle cap.

Source: AZ Central Online

Collaged frame

Materials needed:

– Plain picture frame (preferably one with wide edges)

– Pictures cut from magazines

– Glue stick

– Paint brush

– Glue sealer (such as Mod Podge)

1. Paste pictures onto the borders of the frame like you would a collage.

2. Allow to dry.

3. Use the paintbrush to spread the sealer all over the frame, even coating the edges. This gives your frame a shiny finish and seals the collage.

4. Allow to dry.

Fleece pillows

Materials needed:

– One yard of fleece in two different colors

– Scissors

– Ruler

– Premade pillow or cotton stuffing

1. Measure the desired amount of one color of fleece (i.e. how big you would like the pillow to be), adding 2-3 inches onto each side to allow for the fringe.

2. Make 1-inch-wide, 2-3-inch-long cuts on the edges of the fleece to create the fringe.

3. Repeat with the other color.

4. Place the two swatches on top of each other, lining up the pieces of fringe.

5. Double knot the ends together. Continue all the way around, leaving one side open.

6. Stuff the pillow, and finish tying the fringe to close.

Hangover kit

Assemble: Travel packs of ibuprofen, vitamin multipack, Pepto-Bismol, or Alka-Seltzer; powdered sports drink and water bottle; sanitary hand wipes; condom; six-pack of crackers; breath mints in a cute pouch.

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