Monday, December 23, 2013

Absolute Last Minute Gifts: Edibles and DIY!!

If you are still sitting on your ass, stressing about all the shopping you didn't get to do, there are still some things that can be done that will produce gifts that won't look rushed or impersonal. You may even be able to use things around the house, or be able to pick these items up at your local grocery, drug store, or Dollar Store. You really can make a DIY gift that won't disappoint like all those macaroni necklaces your mom threw away decades ago. Here are some Pinterest ideas that people will actually want!

1. Paint-Dipped Bamboo Utensils
This is a pretty cool present for the chef in your family, for new homeowners, college kids, or someone who needs to learn how to feed themselves. Bamboo utensils like the ones above can be bought at your local grocery or dollar store. Just tape off where you want the paint line to end and either use some old house paint or use left over spray paint. Customize to match the utensils to the recipients kitchen. Super cute and easy!

2. Homemade Art Work
It doesn't get much easier than getting a cheap canvas at a local art store, taping off some shapes and painting the whole canvas. Once you lift up the masking tape, you'll be left with some cool, modern-looking, geometric art that can be color-customized to fit your friend of family members home decor. The bottom piece is a canvas that was painted one color, then half was painted over with another and just dry-brushed over the mid-line to create a cool softer edge. I think both projects look really cool and I even have my own tape-off art up in various places in my house. All it needs in the end is a signature!

3. Holiday Food Treats
Photo: Closet Cooking

Photo: Food52
Food is always a crowd pleaser. No matter how much someone tells you they don't want sweets around the holidays, they're just one shitty January workday away from wanting to eat their feelings with reckless abandon! Stick to the basics to make sure it'll go down well. My FVAORITE COOKIES EVER are Cherry Chocolate Chip Cookies and my favorite non-cookie holiday item is peppermint bark. Both are stupid easy to make and will either make a good gift for a foodie friend or acts as a good last-minute filer gift when you feel like you haven't gotten enough for a certain someone. Put it in a cool reusable tin and you've given a gift that keeps on giving!

4. Homemade Bath Products
Photo: Hey Gorgeous
Photo: idlewife
Bath products don't need to be fancy brand in order to be a good gift. Most people will be blown away and think you're some sort of evil genius if you can handcraft them some sort or bath product. The easiest ones to make a body scrubs and bath fizzies. Body Scrubs only need a few ingredients: Sugar/salt, essential oil of your choice, heavier carrier oil, and a jar. THAT'S IT. Bath fizzies really only need Epsom salts, cornstrarch, baking soda, essential oil and a mold. Click HERE for a good bath fizzy recipe that made the cute little disks above and here are a few of my own body scrub recipes to impress your friends!

Margarita Salt Scrub:
1 1/2 Cup Fine Sea Salt 
1 1/2 tsp. Lime essential oil
3-4 Tablespoons Grapeseed oil*

Warm Lemon Sugar Scrub
1 1/2 Cup Fine Brown sugar
1 1/2 tsp Lemon essential oil
2 Tsp Lemon juice
zest of 1/2 lemon
3-4 Tablespoons grapeseed oil*

I use grapeseed oil because it is light, unscented, and can be found at the grocery store. Sweet almond oil is also a good choice, but steer clear from heavier and scented oils like Olive or vegetable/canola. Avocado would be acceptable too.
 * If you want a sudsy scrub and not an oily one, replace the grapeseed oil with unscented castile soap (Like Dr. Bronner's)
Adjust the grapeseed oil/castile soap to get the desired consistency!

5. Friendship Bracelets
Photo: Henry Happened

You know you cranked out thousands of bracelets at summer camp, so why not jump back on the bandwagon in your time of deep desperation. Friendship/diy-esque bracelets are all the rage now, so capitalize on your craftiness and make your friends some cool jewelry if you're stuck with little resources. Visit your local craft store or repurpose an old fake pearl necklace you haven't worn since your sorority formal and make some cool stackable bracelets. Hemp and black/freshwater pearl bracelets look cool an beachy; you can even use thick cords and hex nuts braided together to make a cool metal- accented piece. The possibilities are endless!

Well I hope this helps some of you super late shoppers that don't feel like killing themeselves at the mall all day tomorrow, or just worrying about the sincerity of your gifts. Homemade stuff may sound lame, but you put your time, creativity, and hard-earned cash into to hand-make a special gift for a special person. Enjoy and get crafty!

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