DIY Christmas Crafts and Gifts
by Jennifer Hammond-Moore
I love Christmas! I love this time that allows for quality family time that means so much. I know I was blessed to be raised by parents who nurtured our creativity and fueled our love for arts and crafts. Now that I am older I get to share the fun with my own children and grandchildren. My favorite Christmas memories were the ones when we didn’t have much money so we turned to our creativity to make gifts for neighbors and loved ones. One such Christmas we made bath soap, handmade paper notebooks, wood carvings, and crocheted puppets. I still wonder how in the world we got everything done while still taking care of children, the farm, the house, and jobs. But the memories are forever ingrained in my mind.
This holiday season, take time out of your busy schedule to make your own memories. No matter where your creativity falls on the scale, these crafts and gifts are sure to please.
Santa’s Cookie Plate and Cup
This idea is incredibly easy and a great activity to do with children and grandkids. This is also a fun way to celebrate Christmas Eve with personalized mugs of hot cocoa.
Cup and Plate
Sharpie or permanent marker
Preheat oven to 350F.
Using a permanent marker (Sharpie) decorate your mug and plate.
Place the plate and mug in the oven for 30 minutes to bake.
Done! The ink will be sealed into the mug.
Instruct the person receiving this gift to wash the plate and mug by hand. Dishwashers will wash off some of the ink, if not all of it.
Gingerbread Sugar Scrub
1 cup sugar
1 cup brown sugar
¾ cup coconut oil
½ tsp vanilla extract
½ tsp cinnamon
½ tsp allspice
½ tsp ginger
½ tsp nutmeg
Mason jars with lids or other small jars with lids
Ribbon for decoration
Combine all ingredients in a stand mixer and mix well. If ingredients are not fully mixed in, turn off mixer and mix well with clean hands.
Scoop into the jar and attach lids tightly.
Either use a gift tag or print a label for the Gingerbread Sugar Scrub. Add a ribbon to the top of the jar and ta-da! You are done.
To use the scrub: Gently apply a scoopful and scrub onto wet skin in a circular motion, concentrating on dry areas and rough patches. Rinse skin clean with warm water.
Candy Cane Hearts
4” or 6” lollipop sticks
Mini candy canes
Chocolate: white, semisweet, or melting chocolate
Crushed candy canes, sugar sprinkles or Christmas sprinkles
Disposable decorating bag
Take the lollipops out of the wrappers and set on either parchment paper or a Silpat mat.
Place a stick in between two candy canes, making a heart shape.
Preheat the oven to 300F and place the hearts in the oven for 3-5 minutes.
Once removed from the oven, press the ends together and pull out the sides to make a more full heart; being careful not to burn your fingers. Place back in oven if not melted enough.
Place the chocolate in a small bowl in the microwave and melt in 15 second increments, stirring after each 15 seconds. Chocolate should be smooth.
Place melted chocolate in a pastry bag (I prefer disposable ones for easy clean-up).
Fill in the centers of the hearts with the chocolate.
Sprinkle the crushed candy canes or sprinkles over the chocolate.Allow to set for at least 10 minutes.
Kitchen Helping Hand
This truly is the easiest of the ideas. Purchase an oven mitt and fill it with various kitchen gadgets.
Tie with a ribbon and ta-da! You are done. If you want to go a step further, use fabric paint and place a child’s handprint on the mitt and let dry. It adds a special touch and enlists the help from the kids.
Supplies can be easily purchased from a dollar store or you can buy higher quality items from Pampered Chef of other companies that have guarantees on their products. I personally am a gadget snob and the extra money is well worth it.
Remember to take time to slow down this holiday season and make a few new memories. Gifts are good, but time is the greatest gift of all.