Monday, December 2, 2013

Brown Paper Packages Tied Up With String

As most of you know, I love giving gifts that are creative and can be put together in a personal theme that the receiver will use and enjoy.  So here are some diy gift ideas that I have collected along the way.  Maybe you can have some fun with them too this giving season!  Everything can be changed/switched/and added to in your own unique style with your own budget amount.  Awesome baskets, tins, and containers can be found at Goodwill (make sure you sanitize them properly before using them).  Other items can be found cheaply at places like Dollar Tree and Walmart, but no one will ever know how inexpensive the gift actually was because it will look like quite professional!

I'll start with the hardest first---

For Men- Dads, Brothers, Grandpas, Boyfriends, Husbands (why is it always so hard to find stuff for them?)

Golf Basket: Can put in a tin or basket with a golf print-off wrapped around it.  Include water, golf balls, birdie pack, greenskeeper pack, cheese, crackers, chips...  Can use golf print-offs to stick on the food items.

Hunting Basket:  Can put in a camouflage container with label print-off.  Include camo hat, camo bandanna, trail mix, pretzels, cheese, crackers, knife, binoculars, duck/turkey/etc calls...

Fishing Basket:  Put in a hand-held net or fishing basket.  Include lures, bait, bobbers, line, Swedish fish, goldfish, gummy worms, fish mug....

Tool Basket:  Put in tool belt.  Include screwdrivers, tape measure, hammer, duct tape, glues, chips, sodas....

Sports:  Can be wrapped in team hoodie or hat.  Include other team apparel, key chains, air fresheners, and mugs/cups.  Can add in stadium foods as well- such as sodas, chips, candy bars, popcorn...

Survival Kit (great for teen guys):  Put in backpack.  Include knife, survival hand book, rope, matches, waterproof containers, first-aid kit, canned foods...

Car Care:  Put in bucket.  Include sponges, microfiber cloths, polish, wash, chrome shine, tire cleaner, air fresheners, glass cleaner, shop towels...

Hershey Picture Frame:  Get picture frame, center Hershey Bar on paper that says "In Case of Emergency, Break Glass".

Soda Box:  Use a six-pack of soda and wrap paper ties, shirts, moustaches, etc.. around the bottles.

For Women- Mothers, Sisters, Grandmothers, Girlfriends, Wives

Gardening Basket:  Put in cute basket, watering can, or gardening bag.  Include seeds, trowels, scissors, gloves, gardening handbook, dried fruit, sunflower seeds, Snapple teas...

Herb Basket:  Put in basket with real or fake moss.  Put stones in bottom.  Include herbs in clay pots.  Labels can be made with wood and painted with chalkboard paint.  Decorate with flowers, burlap, mini watering cans...

Pampering:  Put in basket or bag.  Include real lavender plant, soaps, lavender candle, bath fizzes, Bath and Body relaxation oils and lotions, orange/rose/lavender satchels...

For Husbands/Wives and Girlfriends/Boyfriends

Gift Card Basket:  Put them in anything cute and clever.  Include $5 gift cards from your significant other's favorite restaurants and stores. 

Date Night Basket:  Put in jar.  Include popsicle sticks with ideas for date nights such as going to your favorite seafood restaurant, a stop for ice cream, movie marathon (get some popcorn and make an in-home theatre), coffee and a walk at the park, progressive dinner (start with a drink at Starbucks, get an appetizer at Applebees, an entree at Olive Garden, and dessert at Friendlys), have a picnic and watch the sunset, volunteer somewhere together, camp out in the backyard (campfire, smores, tent, hot dogs), have a no technology night- just each other, go apple picking in the fall/ sledding in the winter, head to the ice rink, build an igloo, visit a music festival, take a workshop together (painting, learning an instrument, trying a different language, book discussion group, writing lecture), go to a fitness center and enjoy some volleyball/tennis/swimming, etc.., go window shopping, go to an ethnic cooking class, and just be randomly awesome with your ideas.  Most of these things don't cost much money, but set aside cash so you can pay for the date nights.

For Grandparents

Coffee Basket:  Put in basket with chalkboard labels and newspaper as tissue paper.  Include coffee mug, coffee traveling mug, Starbucks gift card, chocolate-covered coffee beans, roast coffee, Starbucks frappes in bottles...

Tea Basket:  Put in unique tin.  Include tea cup and teapot, shortbread cookies, tea bags, bottled teas, sugar and cream.  Add cute teapot-shaped labels and gift tag.

Little Things:  Put in basket for Grandma or tin for Grandpa.  Have the kids come up with things they like about the recipient.  Then attach the quotes to items that go along with it.  Example- Jamie says "I like Grandma's chocolate chip cookies" (wrap that quote around a chocolate chip cookie mix).  Andrew writes "I like when Grandpa takes me fishing" (wrap that around a lure).  Add in pictures that the children drew for them.  Bet that gift will be priceless to the grandparents!

Random People like Neighbors and Cousins

Cookbook:  Find a really neat cookbook and wrap it in dishcloths.  Tuck in a wooden spoon or utensil that would go along with the cookbook type.

Box of Sunshine:  Get a shoebox and cover it in yellow wrapping paper.  Include yellow items such as drinks, candies, soaps, chapsticks, gum, mugs, socks...

For Children

Animal Crackers with Dip:  Put a bunch of different kinds of animals crackers (plain, frosted, iced) in a fun jar.  For the jar take cheap plastic animals that you can pick up anywhere, glue to top of jar lid, and paint animal and jar lid together.  Then stick in a small container of melted chocolate, peanut butter spread, and icing with confetti dip along with the animal crackers. 

Gingerbread Play-Dough:  Put in decorated jar.  Include play-dough tools tied to the outside.  Recipe for play-dough is gotten from
  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup salt
  • 2 tsp. cream of tartar
  • 1 tbsp. ground cinnamon
  • 2 tsp. ground ginger
  • 1 tsp. ground nutmeg
  • 1 tsp. ground cloves
  • 2 tbsp. vegetable oil
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 tsp orange extract {optional}
  1. In a medium saucepan whisk together dry ingredients. Next mix in the water, oil, and orange extract and stir until a thick batter is formed. Cook the mixture over low/medium heat until a thick dough forms. Turn out onto parchment paper and knead until smooth. Makes about 2 cups of dough.

Animal Farm:  Get wooden box and line with filler.  Add sugar cookies cut out in shapes of animals and then frosted in different colors.  Write animal farm on the wooden box with a permanent marker or spray with chalkboard paint.

Fun Tote:  Put in tote bag.  Fill with book, stuffed animals and other things that go along with book theme.  For example- Beatrix Potter's Peter Rabbit- include stuffed rabbit, chocolate bunny, bunny blanket...
Bubble Gum Basket:  Put in fun bag or backpack.  Include different kinds of gum and then add in notebooks, pens, pencils, etc.. that match the color.


For Married Couples

Perfect Pairs:  Put in bucket.  Include candle and matches, chips and dip, salt and pepper, spoon and fork, pair of gloves, pair of socks, knife and cutting board, pen and paper.  Include labels that can be stuck to each of the items and the front of the bucket.

For Pet Enthusiasts

Pet Kit:  Put in pet dish.  Include collar, leash, shampoo, brush, treats, toys, and a pet quote plaque.

Food Gifts

Breakfast Basket:  Put in basket or tin.  Include coffee, pancake mix, waffles, maple syrup, oranges, muffin mix... 

Southern Basket:  Put in skillet.  Include cornbread mix, beans, peanuts, barbecue sauces, sweet tea, southern cookbook, and southern-style dishcloth...

Cupcake Gift:  Put in cupcake carrier.  Include cupcake liners, sprinkles, cupcake mixes, cupcake-print dishcloth, cupcake dessert book, cupcake pan, other cupcake tools....

Apple Basket:  Put in apple-shaped basket or tin.  Include fresh apples, apple butter, apple cider, dried fruit, apple tea, apple pie, and different kinds of candied apples.

Another Apple Gift:  Put in cardboard box.  Decorate with paper flowers or apples.  Include apples and individual dips and candies such as melted chocolate, caramel, peanut butter, chocolate chips, coconut, m&m's...

Smore Basket:  Put in wintry basket.  Include different kinds of marshmallows, different kinds of chocolate bars, and graham crackers.  Can also include smore roasting sticks.

Ice Cream Round-Up:  Put in flat basket or metal tin.  Include sugar and waffle cones, sprinkles, chocolate chips, cookie dough, peanut butter cups, m&m's, caramel, hot fudge, chocolate, and strawberry syrups, ice cream scoop, and a tag that says "Just Add Ice Cream".

BBQ Grill-Off:  Put in metal container.  Include BBQ chips, BBQ sauces, hot pad gloves for grilling, grilling tools, cookbook...

Gingerbread Family Kit:  Put in small basket or plastic container.  Include gingerbread cookies, licorice, m&m's, decorating icing, jelly candies, cinnamon candies...  Attach cute tags. 

Italian Basket:  Put in basket.  Include grapes, spaghetti sauce, noodles, Italian cookbook, grape dishcloths, feta and mozzarella cheeses, olive oil...

Lemonade Sweets:  Put in yellow or pink basket or container.  Include bottled lemonade, lemonade candies, straws, glasses, lemon squeezer, lemons, and Country Time lemonade mix.

Hot Chocolate:  Put in wintry basket.  Include two mugs, mini marshmallows, hot chocolate mix, chocolate/peanut butter/caramel dipped spoons, candy canes, biscotti...

For Mailman
Tag reads "Thanks for driving Miles
                            Miles to bring us mail" typed on label and wrapped around a bag of M&M's.

For Cookie Exchanges and Gifts

Thanks for joining me.  Hopefully you can have fun giving this Christmas!