03 January 2013

christmas 2012: gifts i made

This year I decided not to make many gifts as I wanted to enjoy the run-up to Christmas, as opposed to feeling stressed about getting everything done on time. But I couldn't resist making just a few..
For the men I made blackberry liqueur (recipe here). I couldn't find small wine bottles so I used Kilner preserving bottles and I used bakers twine and a scalloped circle lever punch to create tags.
I used this tutorial from The Cottage Home to make tile coasters. I chose different scrapbook papers to suit each recipient and tied them with Christmas ribbon.
I'd heard that beeswax purifies the air around you when burnt so using this tutorial from A Beautiful Mess I made beeswax candles. I bought huge amounts of beeswax in bars (like these) and used jam jars. These were really time-consuming and a bit tricky to make and didn't smell quite as I had hoped but looked so pretty when lit.
I found a recipe for Nigella's Christnas chutney via The WW Foodie; it contains cranberries, dates, oranges and lots of spices; it's like Christmas in a jar :) I used a mix of jam jars and clip-top prserving jars.
We had a Christmas shindig at our home so I made Christmas pudding cupcakes with brandy buttercream icing and cranberries for decoration. They went down very well with our guests and they were fun to make. The recipe is in The Primrose Bakery Book.

I also bought several plain white mugs and used a Pebeo Porcelaine china marker to draw robins on them before baking to set. For Phil I made a calendar using photographs we'd taken over the last year. And for my ma: myself, Phil and my brother spent two years sorting through her photos (thirty-five years' worth, in no order!) and putting them into a beautiful leather album.

What kind of gifts do you like to make?


Duni said...

Helen, those are fabulous! I'm sure they were a hit :)
Love the simple chic packaging!
Those cupcakes look divine. Yum!
wishing you a happy, healthy and rewarding new year, bestest
Duni xo

aLittleBlonde said...

Wow, what great gifts! I especially like the candles as I have a bit of a candle obsession and would love to have a go at making my own too. Thanks for the link to the tutorial. Those cupcakes look really good too, what lucky friends and family you have :)
I didn't have time to make any presents this year, except for a cross stitch picture of my dad's home brewery that i didn't finish in time so will be recycling as a birthday present (if its finished by then!).

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