Nine DIY Holiday gifts


Photo Credit: Julia Blando

Hot chocolate bar using Swiss Miss hot cocoa mix, marshmallows and candy canes displayed in three glass jars.

by Julia Blando, Copy Editor

  1. Snow globe jar

Fill the bottom of a mason jar with cotton balls to make it look like a snow-covered ground. Paint snowflakes on the outside of the jar to add to the effect, and add plastic Christmas trinkets inside. Suggested figures include reindeer, Santa Claus, presents, etc.

  1. Pressed flowers

Pick or buy desired flowers or other plants, and place them neatly in the middle of a somewhat-large and heavy book, such as a cookbook or textbook. Close the book with the plants inside, and place a weight or heavy object on top. Leave these in a cool, dry place for about two weeks, then remove it and display the pressed flowers as desired.

  1.  Homemade Play Dough

This recipe requires one cup of flour, one of cup water, two tablespoons of vegetable or canola oil, one-half cup of salt, one teaspoon of Cream of Tartar, and two packages of any flavor of Kool-Aid for color and scent. Mix all of the ingredients in a large pot on the stove on medium-high heat, stirring constantly. Continue until the dough begins to pull away from the sides of the pot. Turn off the heat, but keep the pot on the burner, and continue stirring until the dough forms a ball. Remove the dough from the burner until it cools to a comfortable temperature. The dough can be stored in a plastic bag or a Tupperware container.

  1. Photo drink rests

Use a ceramic square or circle of any color or pattern, and trim the photo to fit the ceramic piece. If desired, the photo can take up the entirety of the ceramic coaster, or leave some empty space. After placing the photo on the coaster, use a foam brush to apply mod podge, which can be purchased online or at any craft store, over top of the coaster for a protective seal.

  1. Christmas tea tree

Layer tea bags from top to bottom of a styrofoam or cardboard cone (you can use an empty paper towel roll) using a hot glue gun. Add a star or fun topper at the peak.

  1. Geode ring

Hot glue a geode, button, or any other small trinket to a ring blank and wear.

  1. Hot Cocoa Jar

Fill a mason jar halfway with your favorite hot chocolate mix. Add two or three Ghirardelli chocolate peppermint squares, lying flat on hot chocolate mix. Top with marshmallows, mini candy canes, or any related toppings.

  1. Peppermint Scrub

This recipe is easy to make, and great to use to exfoliate the skin about once a week. It is made by mixing one cup of sugar, one-third cup of mineral or hypoallergenic baby oil, two tablespoons of corn syrup, one-half teaspoon of peppermint extract, and one drop of green food coloring. Mix these ingredients until the sugar is moist and the mixture is uniform throughout. It is best gifted in a mason jar with a fun ribbon tied around it.

  1. Secret Book Safe

Wrap the cover of a preferably thick, hardcover book (at minimum three inches) with plastic wrap for protection. Mix one tablespoon of glue with one tablespoon of water in a small bowl or container. Place the book on a towel or other protective covering and coat the outside of the pages with the glue mixture with the book closed. Place something heavy on top of the book and let it dry overnight. The next day, measure one inch from each side of the spine and outside of the book. Make a rectangle guide for the stash area with pencil. Use an X-acto knife to cut on the lines through the pages until a one inch base is left at the bottom. Coat the inside and the top of the cutout rectangle with a layer of glue. Once again, close the book, place a weight on top of it, and let it dry overnight. The next day, remove the plastic wrap and store anything inside that will fit, including jewelry, candy or money.