Sometimes you don’t have a lot of money for gifts; sometimes you just want to make something personal and heartfelt.
Whatever your reason for Do-It-Yourself (or DIY) holiday gifts, the time and thought spent on the gift will be appreciated by even the curmudgeon Scrooges amongst your friends.
Whether you can’t spend a dime or you have a lot of time, we’ve made a list of Great DIY Holiday Gifts For Friends.
You might be thinking, “Cookies. How boring.” But, as an unqualified expert in holiday cookie eating, cookies are never boring. They are always welcomed, yummy, and super thoughtful.
If you want to make something a little different and show off your baking skills, we wouldn’t be mad to get a tin of these Peppermint Meringues With Chocolate Filling.
3 large egg whites
3/4 cup(s) sugar
1/2 teaspoon(s) pure peppermint extract
Red gel-paste food coloring
1 cup(s) heavy cream
6 ounce(s) good-quality semisweet chocolate, finely chopped
Preheat oven to 175 degrees. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper; secure corners with masking tape. Fit a pastry bag with a small open-star tip (such as Ateco #22). Set aside.
Make meringues: Put egg whites and sugar in the heatproof bowl of an electric mixer. Set bowl over a pan of simmering water, and stir gently until sugar has dissolved and mixture is warm to the touch, 2 to 3 minutes.
Transfer bowl to an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Mix on medium-high speed until stiff peaks form. Mix in peppermint extract.
Using a new small paintbrush, paint 2 or 3 stripes of red food coloring inside the pastry bag. Fill bag with 1 to 2 cups meringue. Pipe small (3/4-inch-high) star shapes onto prepared baking sheets. Refill bag as necessary, adding food coloring each time.
Bake cookies until crisp but not brown, about 1 hour 40 minutes. Let cool completely on sheets on wire racks.
Meanwhile, make ganache: Heat cream in a small saucepan over medium-low heat until just simmering. Pour over chocolate in a small bowl. Let stand 5 minutes. Gently stir until smooth, about 5 minutes. Let ganache cool at room temperature, stirring every 5 to 10 minutes, until thick enough to hold its shape, about 45 minutes. (If ganache sets before using, reheat in a heatproof bowl set over a pan of simmering water; repeat the cooling process.)
Fill a pastry bag fitted with a small plain round tip (such as Ateco #5) with ganache. Pipe a small amount onto bottom of 1 meringue. Sandwich with another. Repeat with remaining ganache and meringues. Transfer to wire racks; let set 30 minutes. Cookies can be stored in a single layer in airtight containers at room temperature up to 2 days.
Although the trend of scrap booking might have been scraped to, well, other trends in the last couple years, scrapbooks are a fun way to flip through your life represented by images, odds and ends, and choice quotes.
If you have ticket stubs, receipts, photo booth pictures, postcards, or anything else that you gathered while with your friend, make them a scrapbook to help chronicle your memories together.
Need some inspiration? Check out Scrapbook.com!
We don’t know one girl who isn’t into candles. Many girls won’t buy themselves nice candles because they can’t reason the cost with their desire for the delicious smelling home decor. And no matter how much they deny it, guys love candles too.
When you can put your own personal stamp on the candle by picking out the scent, container, and decoration, it makes it that much more special.
The adorable QueenBeauty from YouTube made a video on how to do just that, specifically for the holidays!
Another great handmade, personalized gift for friends? Lip balm! DearNaptural85 from YouTube has a super easy to follow recipe for high quality beeswax lip goodies. Yum!
Tumblr is a really cool blogging website where you can easily upload pictures, quotes, music, etc.
If you don’t have money to buy ingredients for cookies or a double boiler for lip balm, set up a Tumblr with images of you and your friend, music that you both love, and a diary entry style note on why you adore that person.
Continue the blog together as a collective page to put all your fond memories of each other.
Online Music Mixes
Another great way to give to your friends without spending a dime is to make them an online music mix. Cull together your favorite Christmas songs, the best songs of 2011, or make a personalized mix for every friend.
Want the gift that keeps on giving for the rest of the year? Buy a cheap piggy bank for each one of your friends and fill the piggy bank with five or ten little sheets of paper with memories written on them.
At the end of the year, when the piggy bank is full of memories from everyone you know, break him open to celebrate all the amazing things you did in 2012!
Box Of Love
You might be thinking that a “Box Of Love” sounds like something that you’d give someone for Valentine’s Day…or a box full of unmentionables.
But the “Box of Love” is just another variation on the Memory Bank, except in this case you write down dozens of compliments for your friend to refer to and put them in a precious box.
Whenever your friend is feeling down, they can open up your “Box of Love” and read compliments like “I love the way the green comes out in your eyes when you’re happy” or “You are an amazing singer.”
Love…it’s a gift that never gets old.
Do you have any ideas for DIY gifts? Let us know in the comments section below!
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