Monday, December 14, 2009

"Follow Me Monday" Homemade Christmas Gifts!

Alright, so today's "Follow Me Monday" video is on homemade Christmas gifts! First, please keep in mind , I am NOT a crafty person whatsoever and you will soon see this when you watch the video. Also, the lighting is really bad and it's hard to see some of the gifts, so sorry about that. Please remember we are not experts in the video production field, but we sure are trying!;-)

I suggest watching the video first and then checking below for links to the homemade gifts I discuss in the video. I also have a few other ideas listed, so definitely read below after watching.

Enjoy!


If you can't see the video, then go here to watch it.


Homemade gift ideas from the video:
Also, here are two more ideas from my sister and mom:



From my mom:
Christmas traditions can be fun and memorable for families. One tradition, which our family and friends enjoyed, was our annual family Christmas postcard inspired by our three daughters. Each girl drew her own holiday picture then signed it and added her age. I then reduced the size of the pictures so that all three drawings would fit on a postcard. I added a holiday message around the drawings to further personalize the card and to help tie the drawings together. We used red or green card stock for the postcards - two to a page. Copying costs were relatively inexpensive, and postcard stamps much cheaper than regular postage. These cards have become keepsakes for our family. My children are now grown and have their own little ones. My hope is that they might consider keeping this tradition alive.



From my sister:
Ever wonder what do with the kiddos when it is freezing outside and you don't want to spend any money? I discovered ice ornaments in the December/January 2010 issue of Disney's Family Fun Magazine. My 3 year old son and I filled a 9x13 glass pan with water and red food coloring. We then placed several cookie cutters inside the pan and strung a piece of ribbon through each cookie cutter. We placed the pan outside and within hours (thanks to our zero degree weather!!) we had ice ornaments. We ran some warm water over the frozen ornaments; and we were then able to pry out each individual cookie cutter and basically pop out the ice from each cutter. We tied the ribbon into loops and hung each ornament on an outside tree for everyone to enjoy until the weather warms up.

*********************************

Christmas really shouldn't be about the gifts we give or the gifts we get, but about the memories we make! ...And by making your own homemade gifts and coming up with Christmas traditions, you're doing the most important thing of all, creating lasting memories!

Merry Christmas!!!

83 comments:

Heidi said...

I'd been planning to make some body scrubs, but just hadn't found good containers yet. So now I'm thinking I'm hold off on the idea until birthdays come around. But it's a great one and thanks for the recipe!

Couponing4myTacoma said...

You are too dang cute and awesome. I love those pretzels. YUMMY!!!!

Little Stinker said...

Hahahah at the end of your video! I love it. I love the body scrub idea!

Stevie said...

I LOVE homemade type gifts!!!
The 2 liter bottle idea is awesome.
I would love to see more ideas like these!

Anonymous said...

Love the ideas! Great job and thanks once again! ;)

Anonymous said...

Ever tried White chocolate popcorn? Super easy...In the microwave heat up 3 squares of almond bark. Pour it over one bag of unflavored popcorn. (tip...take out unpopped kernals) Spread over cookie sheet and put in the freezer for about 15 minutes. Brake up and put in holiday bags.

Sheree said...

It fun to see other people being silly and having fun. Keep it up. That's why I enjoying watching them other than the great ideas.

Here's another idea----corn chex and white almond bark. Melt is and mix. I know it sounds weird but it's the best. Family asks for it every year. Try it you'll like it. You can even add sprinkles but I just like it plain.

Anonymous said...

Cool video Collin! I love your ideas :) I was thinking about the pretzel idea too! But I'm kind of afraid I'd eat it myself before I could give them out as gifts lol

Oh! And I'm really sure everyone already knows this, but you can also get like mason jars and put layers of ingredients in it to make it pretty. Ingredients to say chololate chip cookies, or hot cocoa (plus marshmellows) or anything else you can think of that you can add the dry ingredients to. Then place the lid on it and wrap some material ribbon around the top to complete!

Anonymous said...

Cute video, you always crack me up & I love that you laugh at yourself!

Anonymous said...

I so enjoy your blog. You and your videographer are awesome. Thanks for the wonderful ideas and for making me feel like I'm not alone in my frugal journey!

Anonymous said...

OMG...I could hardly contain myself at work! Too funny and some great ideas! I plan on trying the body scrub idea. I am making baskets too. Thanks Collin!

MalibuBeachBum said...

CUTE video! LOL! Very good ideas!

I recently sent my parents a "movie night" package. Two DVD movies, popcorn and candy. They loved it!

The two liter bottle present cracked me up but I totally get the direction you were going with it. LOL!

Thanks for another great Follow Me Monday!!!! ;)

WahooABargain said...

I did some of these too. I also made homemade tile coasters and they have been a big hit with everyone that I have given to so far! Here is the link to the coasters! http://wahooabargain.blogspot.com/2009/11/cute-and-inexpensive-homemade-christmas.html

patricia said...

Another delicious thing to do with pretzels is to use the tiny pretzels that are in a knot shape, top each with one Rolo candy, place in the oven for 4 minutes at 350 degrees. Then remove them and smash down the Rolo with a pecan half. They're so easy and really yummy, combining the flavors of chocolate, caramel, nut and the crunch of pretzels. And so easy to make you can do dozens at a time!

cblanchard76 said...

Love it.

My daughter makes Ornaments each year for Family memebers. I too love the memories. 75% of the Ornaments on my tree are either handmade by my family or hand picked as a gift for someone in my family. I have so much fun decorating my tree each year just thinking about each one as I hang it.

check out the ones my daughter made using the free mini ornaments from CVS.

http://cblanchard76.blogspot.com/2009/12/jessicas-christmas-ornaments-2009.html

Anonymous said...

I loved your ideas, and have one to add. Last year I made "hot chocolate cones" to give away. Much cheaper at home than to buy them for $4 on sale at Target. Anyway I used the recipe from familyfun. I layered hot cocco, mini marshmallows, mini choco chips and then a red candy on top. I used triangle shaped bags from a cooking store.

Anonymous said...

great ideas! love homemade gifts! your home is so beautiful!

Anonymous said...

off topic - at my walmart yesterday - i gave the cashier my coupons and she licked her finger and wiped it across every coupon that I gave her. I asked why and she said that is the way you can tell if it is a photocopy. I am surprised she dosen't get sick doing that. Yuck! They must be people out there that are trying to ruin coupon shopping for the rest of us.

Anonymous said...

cblanchard76,
i love Jessica's ornaments!

Anonymous said...

Anon @1:57pm re: the walmart cashier and coupons...

I don't know if I believe her reasoning or not.

I print my coupons from my computer printer and the ink smears on them when I run my wet finger across them too. So she is going to deny my coupons even though I printed out the 2 from home that I am allowed to do so? Ugh.

Penny said...

totally off topic but useful ( I think ) you know those fancy wrapping paper cutters that you see on TV well I coudn't find my scissor to clip some printed coupons and saw this on my desk well DUH ...... Use the cutter instead of scissors no hand cramps and I cut 4 pieces of comp paper at once. HTH Penny

Anonymous said...

I do the pretzels too, but if you get tired of dipping you can get the little round ones, put them on waxed paper. Pour a little melted white chocolate in each top with a holiday colored M&M while it is still hot.

Sarah said...

For gifts for my sisters & girl-friends, I am attempting homemade candles! I figured it was a really good way to use up empty baby food jars, since they are small I can give a set of 2 or 3 to each person. I used the 40% off coupon on hobby lobby's site to get the wax cheap & the wicks & scents are also rather inexpensive. I just looked up instructions online (also free). :)

Baker Tribe said...

I ALMOST wish I were in the cold to make those cute ice ornaments!!! I LOVE that!!

Anonymous said...

Anon 2:18
My husband said the same thing. Because thats the kind of copier/printer that he has at work. I hope you don't run into that.

KellyJ said...

Too funny.
I think The pretzel idea is great . I usually bake cookies every year. but end up spending tons of money on them. I am going to do those this year instead. Thanks!

Anonymous said...

Thanks!! I know it took a lot to put this video together. Homemade and thoughtful gifts are the most memorable.

The links probably cover this in depth, but definitely research a little before making beauty products so you don't accidentally make something that irritates the skin or clogs pores. I had tons of peppermint oil (for food) and planned to use it in body products. I researched and found out the food products aren't usually safe for skin. (You have to check with the mfr.)

I also learned that it is important to be extremely careful when adding certain scents like cinnamon or mint b/c they can burn the skin. Some oils cause photosensitivity or pose risks to pregnant women.

It isn't difficult, but it requires more care than simply picking something that smells nice. A good scent shop can offer guidance or you can check the library.

Vanessa

Anonymous said...

Thanks WahooABargain, the coaster idea looks great!

Anonymous said...

Thanks WahooABargain, the coaster idea looks great!

anoo said...

loved the 'man teacher'...LOL

Anonymous said...

Thanks so much for the great ideas. I love the 2-liter idea. So gunna do that.

And thanks Patricia for the rolo/pretzel idea. I haven't heard of that one...sound yummy!

You can also skewer 2-3 large marshmallows, dip in chocolate then sprinkles. My kids love these. Or put just one on a popsicle stick top with choc and sprinkles, instant mallow pop...so cute for kids to give to their friends.

Anonymous said...

Anon 2:18, I think the cashier is referring to copies, not prints. For instance, if you print your two from your computer and then take them to work and photocopy them. If its a print out, the ink will smear I guess?..not sure on this though. ?

Anonymous said...

Love your homemade gift ideas. This year for my husbands employees I made family fun night boxes all with completely free stuff mostly from the greatest blog ever....hip2save. Each christmas decorated shoe box had chex mix, nut clusters, a movie, a candle, a card game, a travel game, and filler candy. They came out so cute (I, like you am not crafty, but I even impressed myself). My daughter and I will take them to my husbands work tomorrow and I think the girls and their families will love them. Thanks for all the free stuff. Last year we spend about $80.00 for office gifts. This year ZERO. WOW thanks. Love your site, you make it great.

Anonymous said...

For the body scrubs, you can just add sugar or the Epsom salts to regular lotion. Lot's of times you can find lotion for free or next to nothing with coupons just mix it with salt or sugar. No fragrance oil needed.

Jeannine said...

alright, you inspired me, I made my pretels and homemade containers. Thank you so much

Heidi said...

Sarah - For inexpensive candles, I use the soy wax chips (40% off at Michaels) and then I use artichoke jars too, the ones without labels. No peeling, no nothing and they're perfect sized. I make them in the microwave, let them cool, and then tie a ribbon around them!

Everyone loves them.

Sarah said...

Heidi - soy is the only wax I saw (not in a kit) at hobby lobby. But like I said I had a 40% coupon there, so we probably got the same deal - thanks for the microwave tip! That will probably make my project 20X easier!

Anonymous said...

Instead of the rolo, you can use a hershey kiss on the pretzel. When you pull them out of the oven, then put a M&M on it. They are so colorful and cute and easy to make too. All the kids love them!

Anonymous said...

Thanks so much. I just made the teacher gift bottle. I loved it and my daughter did to. Since I had everything alreaady and had no idea what I was doing with it, this was easy and I am inpressed:)THANKs

Anonymous said...

I love this segment. :) But I love all the segments. The pretzels are so easy and yummy to make versus buying them!
Love the movie-themed bucket too. I have done numerous movie-themed b'day gifts where I use a popcorn tub (the kind you get at one of the movie rental stores if they have anymore left! anyway, and put two cans of coke in there, some raisinets and goobers, for example, then an actual rental gift card for one rental. People love it! I guess now you have to go a diff. route w/all the red boxes!
Lastly, that is a dear, dear idea from your Mom about the postcards w/all the kids names/pictures on it...I have a few friends and family that would prefer that versus any pre-printed and bought card. The cookie-cutter ice sculptures are great too! I will try that next time it is freezing here! Thanks Collin & videographer, you Rock!

KellyJ said...

Thanks for the Pretzel Idea Patricia!!! I am going to do some of those too!

Anonymous said...

My sister, who is a mail carrier, sends goodies put into a 2-liter bottle as Colin did. She puts an address lable on it and actually mails it as is. She's done a Valentines themed one, etc. My Mom's mail carrier knocked on the door to deliver the first one as he wanted to see the face of the receiver of this wacky bottle package.

Anonymous said...

As for packaging the pretzels, I have done this with a clear gift bag. They have one on the Dollar Spot at Target right now with a Christmas theme. You tie the top with a ribbon or twist tie. The bags are not ziploc but look like a small cellophane lunch bag. It really dresses the pretzels or candy up.

Anonymous said...

For my neices and nephews (all ten) we can not afford to do much. I started when each was born and buy two ornaments and put them in a large tub box. They get this box when they turn 18 or move out own there own, this will make for a nicely decorated tree the first year they are away from home. Most years I buy ornaments after Christmas (75%-90% off) for the next year, or make something I know they are interested in. They each unwrap there ornaments each year and they they are put away in there boxes for safe keeping. The kids really appreciate this when they are older. Two have already gotten there boxes and said without them they would have not been able to have any decorations the first few years. If I find cheap decorations for other holidays I try to add a few now and then also as a bonus for when they get the box.

Rebecca said...

Just so everyone knows you are NOT supposed to use vegetable oil to make body scrubs. You are supposed to use Olive Oil, Grapeseed Oil, Avocado Oil, Light Sesame Oil, or Macademia Nut Oil

Shannon said...

GUYS HELP...REMEMBER THE PICTUREKA CARD GAMES WE GOT ALONG TIME AGO AT TARGET FOR LIKE A $1.00. FOR MY NEIGHBORS I AM PUTTING TOGETHER SACKS WITH A COUPLE OF THOSE IN THERE ALONG WITH SOME CHEX MIX AND OTHER GOODIES, TO MAKE A CUTE LIL FAMILY NIGHT BUT I DONT HAVE ANYTHING CLEVER TO PUT ON THE TAG ...ANY SUGGESTIONS

free is free said...

I just had the pretzel/rolo idea the other day at work...very good. Almost like a turtle without all the mess. Yummy!
Gonna get stuff to make the body scrub tomorrow. Can't wait. I also checked online and it said not to use cooking oil for it.

Mom of 3 said...

Go Amy! I love being silly with my girl friends too! :)

Anonymous said...

My aunt used the 2L bottle to send candy to her son at college. You can mail them sealed just like that. I thought it was clever and nice to reuse before recycling. Collin, I love your posts--they are inspiring me and my 5-year old loved it and is ready to work!

Mom of 3 said...

wanted to add my annual goody that I make...purchase the round pretzel rings, place a Hersey kiss in the middle (remove the wrapper first, of course!), bake at a very low temp. for a few minutes, don't let the chocolate burn! When the kisses are soft, squish them flat into the pretzel round with an M&M. I usually put the entire pan right in the fridge to cool and I remove them with a very thin spatula. They are SO yummy!

Penny said...

I love that you added "flavors" to the body scrub...instead of fragrances:-) Being silly with a girlfriend is so much fun!

Anonymous said...

Collin, you are such a goof ball! I mean that in a good way though. I LOVE your follow me Monday videos. You are doing such a great job, your blog is the best blog ever.

daphne16 said...

I love all of the ideas and maybe that is because I have done most of them. I worked in a gourmet candy store in high school and that is exactly how we made chocolate dipped pretzels. We also did fruit. Though the fruit doesn't keep so it is done on Christmas eve.
You can also mail a ball by just addressing it. I am going to do that for my 3 young cousins this year and my neice and nephew.

We also make a homemade ornament for everyone each year.

Anonymous said...

Collin, do those stockings on your fireplace happen to be Pottery Barn?? I saw some in a catalog recently that looked just like those for $15 a piece. It had space for monogramming at the top too. I would like to get some of those for my family; maybe after Christmas..just curious if you were able to 'score a deal on those.' ;)

TiffanyBA said...

i made some sugar scrub. it's 1 cup of sugar, 1/2 a cup of olive oil and a few drops of essential oil (i choose lavender because it's generally liked, i prefer eucalyptus). it came out great! i can't wait to give them to my friends. I used some little mason jars so really my gift is less than $2 each (i used some high value coupons to buy the olive oil).

I Heart Coupon Deals said...

ok Patricia I am going to do the pretzel rolo idea in the chinese food containers from Michael's. Thank you!

Anonymous said...

I love the 2 liter idea. I may use smaller bottles and put my gift cards in them.... let my teenage nephews work for their present!

Anonymous said...

For everyone who is giving the scrub please let the recepient know not to shave before using the scrub. My legs have never hurt so bad!!!

Anonymous said...

I use apricot oil mixed with salt for a scrub and put a drop of lavendar oil. The apricot oil is unscented and can be purchased at vitacost less expensively than I have seen elsewhere. And I just use regular old salt! Or sugar!

Anonymous said...

Hilarious video! Thanks for making me laugh. I use Sweet Almond Oil to make my scrubs.

http://www.nextag.com/Sweet-Almond-Oil-16-699059161/prices-html

Heidi said...

My daughter (2nd grader) came home today with a box of store bought hot chocolate that her friend had bought, one for each of the kids in her class! These are about $2 each and there are 20+ kids...so she now wants to give a gift to every child. I told her she had to either make it or find something for less than $10 for the whole class. Any ideas? I think we might try the marshmallows dipped in chocolate.

Dana said...

I really love the wall paint color/treatment in the dining area. Did you do that yourself and if so, do you happen to know the color brand and name? Thanks!

Anonymous said...

Where do you get the lavender oils n such?? I cannot find them anywhere

mnmom said...

I LOVE the bottle idea! I doing it for my teenage god children. One is 16 so I am putting gas gift cards and movie gift cards in it! Also, I am a teacher and those bottles would be great to get...my husband is a "guy teacher" and was laughing along with you!
As for the rolo & pecan it is like a turtle and I use round pretzels, when you push the rolo down it covers the whole pretzel and they look really "fancy"!

Anonymous said...

Heidi,

Target has Hot Chocolate on sale this week for like $1 and then there is a coupon...I think after it is FREE!

Hip2Save - Thanks SO much for all your tips! You've saved us a TON of money since I've been visiting your site (for about a year)...you're awesome and I love your Follow Me Mondays!

Lisa said...

I am going to use the smaller bottles as well- use as stocking stuffers! I have SO much chapstick, etc after the wakgreens RR deal on it a few weeks ago.

Thank you! So many neat ideas!!

Beatle Sue said...

The Whole Foods in my town carries essential oils. You can also order from Young Living:

http://www.youngliving.com/en_US/index.html

True essential oils are pretty pricey but you only use a few drops at a time so it will last a while. They also vary in price depending on the oil. Lavender from Young Living is $27.30 for 15 mL

♥Piper♥ said...

This video rocks. You are beautiful, and I wish I had your energy. I also wish I had a friend like you, you seem fun. Have an awesome Blessed Day.
Sat Nam, ~(-_-)~
Piper

Patricia said...

I really love this blog. Such great ideas.

One tradition I've started with my 4 and 2 year old is an advent calendar, but instead of treats/toys, we do activities. Each day we open the door to the advent castle and a handwritten activity awaits us. It's super easy and a lot of fun. Activities include: read a Christmas story with mommy and daddy; enjoy a cup of cocoa; drive around town and look at Christmas lights; etc. Cater it to your schedule. The kids really enjoy it, and it is very inexpensive.

Patricia said...

Heidi, I have a really inexpensive idea for gifts for your daughter's classmates. I did this for my son's preschool:
I've been saving toilet paper rolls (habit I guess) and they work great for gift holders. Simple take a toilet paper roll and stuff with inexpensive treats (from the dollar store....candy, erasers, stickers etc. Only a handful of stuff will fit inside the roll)then wrap the tp roll with cute holiday tissue paper and tie the ends with ribbon. The end product looks like a large wrapped candy. It's pretty cute and very inexpensive.

Evan&Amber said...

A friend of mine makes the choc. covered pretzels, but first she wraps warm carmel around the pretzel, then dips it in chocolate. the pretzel looks fuller, and in my opinion fancier.

Anonymous said...

Colin, you crack me up. Your comment on the KY was hilarious. Thanks for the video and tips!

Jenn said...

Yes. Those stocking holders are from the pottery barn. They have ones that say "NOEL" and ones that have 5 that say "PEACE" I know because I have a two-sided fire place and have one set of each. :) They also use to have a 3 one that said "JOY"... however I think you have to get these on ebay now, they have picture frame ones this year and I don't think they carry the word ones anymore.

I want to try the pretzels, with rolos.. and then MnM's to top. Bet the kids would dig THAT

Anonymous said...

Hi all, just wondering when you make the pretzels with the hershey kisses and M/Ms do you use the knot type pretzels? I've made the ones with the circle pretzels but I can't find them anywhere this year!! They are called "bulleyes" I just wanted to try and make them again and just use the regular pretzels! You can also use the mint M/Ms too, sounds yummy! Thanks Hip2save, your videos are great and goofy!

Anonymous said...

Do you guys have any cute christmas related sayings to put on a tag for the pretzel rods? I'd be so so so grateful!

Anonymous said...

Hi Collin. I think I couldn't get to sleep last night for thinking about these cute ideas! Esp. the 2 liter bottle. Who in the world thought of that?! I have my kids' teachers some Christmas dishtowels along w/a plushy-type Santa and Snowman and a mug mat (scented with spices) that I got on sale last yr. from Cracker Barrel. So I think I will put that stuff in there along w/maybe some chocolates. I am so excited b/c this is right up my alley. I love to wow folks w/neat creative ideas, esp. if they save you money! I also love the idea about the toilet papaer holders. Who would have thought these could be used to make a cute little inexpensive gadget for kids friends in their classes. And everyone loves candy, right? Perfect. Thank-you. That is why I love this blog so much b/c we spur one another's creativity along! Good Going! Merry Christmas Everyone!

Anonymous said...

Gift Ideas..even Collin can do :P (I say this because I have NO crafting skills whatsoever)

Ornaments:
Make some salt dough (you can get the recipe anywhere) roll it out, cut with cookie cutters, (be sure to leave a hole for a hook at the top) ..bake them paint/glitter them

Something to do for a snow day..
Take old cardboard boxes (from cereal etc) cut and draw out shapes..let kids paint them *i let mine use glitter too* use a paper punch for a hole..I found a tree for 5 bucks and let the kids decorate it with those ornaments..its cute on top of the table

an awesome food gift..that is REALLY EASY is Oreo Balls (or Oreo Truffles)
All you need is oreos, cream cheese and chocolate *whatever kinda ya want*

Ground the oreos up really fine..and add a package of softened cream cheese..mix it up really well...chill in the fridge for 30 minutes..

Roll walnut size balls out of the dough and freeze for 15 minutes..

Melt chocolate..and dip the balls into the chocolate..decorate em if you want...
You can put some sucker sticks in the bottom of the balls and make a bouquet of them!

Anonymous said...

Everybody is doing their baking and cooking I see! Or at least starting! I made one Red Velvet Cake (for my church staff) the week before Thanksgiving...then I made some chocolate chip cookies and some w/pecans in them and took them to my neighbors and also, a friend down the road. But the great ideas just keep rollin in. I am gonna have to try the oreo balls. That DOES sound too easy! Thanks!

Ali Smith said...

I have to agree with everyone else who raves about how adorable you are. Lol. I was watching this video in my car on my phone while my husband was inside BestBuy and I started cracking up...then I realized I hoped no one was watching me laugh by myself in my car. Lol Any way...great ideas! Just wanted to add that instead of vegetable oil in the body scrub, you an substitute other oils, such as coconut oil, grapeseed oil, avocado oil or soybean oil. They are a bit lighter and much better for your skin. They are a little bit more costly, but I think it's totally worth it!

Ali Smith said...

And to Anon 7:06, I actually prefer to use sugar instead of salt. It is a finer grain, which is less abrasive, plus it does NOT have the added disadvantage of the sting that comes with shaving! I shave after I apply it all the time and it does not sting at all, plus I love that I don't even have to use an additional shaving cream!

Anonymous said...

pretzel/rolo/chocolates are VERY good and people are starting to take them to school functions instead of cookies.

Suggestion for Christmas wrap: buy cheap wrapping paper (and use the white side) or use any white scrap paper and have your kids draw or color on it - Grandparents love it.

Anonymous said...

When you cut the 2 liter bottle, you can just cut a slit up the side and then put all your stuff in there. It doesn't have to be a very big slit and then put your label/tag over it. I did Valentine ones for my grandkids and put candy and a stuffed animal in there. They had the most fun trying to figure out how to get it out before I showed them the slit.
Thanks for all the good ideas and all the money saving things you give us!!!

Anonymous said...

I just tried using Hershey kiss on the tiny knot shaped pretzels. However, when I pressed in the m&m, the chocolate kiss just broke apart in crumbs, all dry and not creamy. This is first time I tried this and don't know what went wrong. I thought the kiss would be creamy and mushy after being in the oven, but no, the chocolate was all dry and crumbly. Luckily, I just made only 4. Maybe kisses are made differently now. Anyone have problem making these?