Wednesday, 16 November 2011

Christmas Presents

Every year on forums I read about people making stuff to give as presents. I am undecided about some of it to be honest; I would hate to spend hours and hours putting together a scrapbook say, only for the recipient to wonder why they haven't got a 'proper' pressie.
But, I also think it is a shame not to have something handmade. High street shops churn out the same kind of stuff year after year, handmade means your present won't be sitting alongside four identical items under the Christmas tree.

This year I will be giving food based handmade presents rather than paper-crafted.
I'll pretty them up with stamped tags and such though, I just haven't actually got round to that bit yet...

So here's some of the bits I have been doing, obviously not finished, and some of them will have to be done nearer the big day.

First up is peppermint vodka.
I bought a bottle of own-brand vodka and emptied it into a larger (glass) bottle. Apparently it's not a good idea to decant it into a plastic bottle so I bought some posh spring-water and used the bottle from that but a large glass jar would be okay too.
For some reason peppermint candy canes have not been as easily available this year, but I eventually found some at Sainsbury's. These are good because they are pink and white and have no green stripe (green can result in a murky vodka).

I used 35cl of vodka and added six candy canes, they are 10g each in size, and within hours they had completely dissolved.
That's it!
I might add a couple more canes if I want it more minty but did not want to over-load it. I bought the small bottles in the above photo from Lakeland, one of them shows the colour of the finished vodka.
I just need to make a nice tag and probably tie a mini candy cane on to it too. Could also package it with some hot chocolate sachets and marshmallows? What do you think?

I love packaging, I am such a sucker for nice tins and boxes. I spotted these stripy straws on Amazon and bought them without really knowing what I was going to use them for. Thanks to Pinterest I am going to make some marshmallow stirrers for hot chocolate. The straws are paper but sturdy so they can be cut in half easily. I have some large marshmallows so basically going to spear each one onto a straw then dip in melted chocolate and then roll in either red edible glitter or some crushed up candy-canes.

The red and white stripy paper bags to the top left of the pic are also from Amazon and are very cheap.
I'm going to fill them with sweets, punch a couple of holes in either side (maybe put some stationery hole protector things over the holes?) and then tie up with a handmade tag and some baker's twine.

Whilst I was hunting for candy canes in Sainsbo's I found these large acrylic canisters at half price (£6.50) and thought they would be ideal filled with either sweets or popcorn. M&S have Christmas popcorn also at half price (£4) so a substantial looking present for just over a tenner.
I've since seen a recipe for making your own popcorn - basically drizzle melted white chocolate over some popped corn and then sprinkle with red & green edible glitter or (yet more) crushed up candy canes.
Or instead of popcorn use pretzels, Asda have large bags of star shaped pretzels for about one pound, although I've never tried chocolate covered pretzels but they do look pretty!

Last year I made Oreo Truffles, very easy to make and they taste better than they sound, I might make them again and sprinkle them with, guess what?, crushed candy canes.

Most of the above are sweet, my husband loves savoury. I used him as my guinea pig a week or so ago and made some Chilli Jam, to be eaten with cheese or cold meats.
Apparently it is very good and I must make him some more so the other men in my life will be getting a jar of that too.

I think that's it for now :)
Would love to know what everyone else is making.

1 comment:

Hi I'm Maria... said...

oh love your ideas susan...

I've got a bottle of voka, (bought a few years back and still unopened) will look out for some peppermint cane when I go shopping on monday...

and can visit lakelands when I visit Bath again in December...

oh love these idea's I really must look more on pinterest, you've managed to find some fab ideas...

maria xx