Cool Gifts You Can Make

November 10th, 2017 | By

As we plan our Thanksgiving festivities, we also anticipate the winter holidays – Christmas, Hanukkah, Bodhi Day, Pancha Ganapati, Kwanzaa, and more. Many of these celebrations involve gift-giving.

Shopping for friends and family can be expensive and time-consuming, even though it’s exciting to think about what gifts are ‘just right’ for the people we love. Some kids spend allowance money. Others use cash they’ve earned doing chores. But everyone wants to find the perfect gifts without putting a strain on the budget or on the joys of the whole season.

Here’s an idea: this year try making some gifts at home or at school!

Your imagination is the only limit here! Maybe you’re a natural-born artist and can conjure up a holiday present for the mantelpiece or kitchen. Maybe you would have fun making a book of coupons to exchange for doing chores. Maybe you want to donate your own allowance to someone’s favorite charity.

A gift doesn’t need a price tag to be a good one. Making something unique for someone special shows that you care enough to take time out of what can be a busy season to make a present just for them.

So this winter, see if you and your folks can be creative. Enjoy the hubbub of the malls for some of your gift-giving needs, and share some love in the form of do-it-yourself gifts this year!


Coffee Filter Snowflakes

What you’ll need:

  • coffee filters
  • scissors

What you do:

  1. Lay a coffee filter flat on the table.
  2. Fold it in half (it will look like a half circle). Be sure the edges are pressed so the fold is crisp.
  3. Fold it in half again (it will look like a piece of pie).
  4. Fold your piece of pie in half two times. Be sure the edges of all folds are pressed.
  5. Carefully cut small pieces out of the side and on the rounded end to make a design.
  6. Unfold (be really careful!) and see your beautiful snowflake!



Cookies in a Jar

What you’ll need:

  • 1 quart glass jar with lid
  • 1-3/4 C all purpose flour
  • 3/4 t baking soda
  • 3/4 t salt
  • 1-1/2 C (9 oz) chocolate chips
  • 3/4 C packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 C granulated sugar
  • items to decorate your jar

What you do:

  1. Combine flour,  baking soda, salt. Place mixture in the bottom of a clean, dry 1-quart jar.
  2. Layer chocolate chips on top of flour mixture.
  3. Next, layer on brown sugar. Pack firmly.
  4. Lastly, layer sugar on top.
  5. Seal with lid. Then decorate with fabric, ribbon, glitter or stickers.
  6. Don’t forget to attach the recipe!

Chocolate Chip Cookies

  • Preheat oven to 375° F
  • Beat together 1-1/2 sticks softened butter, 1 large egg and 3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract in large mixer bowl.
  • Add cookie mix and mix well. Drop by  spoonful onto ungreased baking sheets.
  • Bake for 9 to 11 minutes or until golden brown.


Java Jackets

What you’ll need:

  • socks (crazy patterns are fun to use!)
  • fabric scissors
  • fabric glue
  • anything you want to use to decorate (buttons, pom poms, glitter glue)

What you do:

  • Cut three or four inches off the leg of a sock so it becomes a ‘cozy.’
  • Decorate the cozy.
  • Slip it on a travel mug and gift-wrap it!

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