Simple and practical homemade gifts…the only kind I can handle!
My mom was a super crafter. She had entire “craft room” with big shelves of totes filled with fabric, plus two of every craft supply found at Hobby Lobby. I loved looking through all her supplies, and I loved admiring all the detailed crafts she was making for people. She made everything from hand-pieced quilts to elaborate counted cross-stitch. Everything she made was gorgeous.
You’d think I would have the same crafty genes as my talented mother. You’d think.
Laura only got the cooking genes. These are also good genes to have, but they don’t have the patience or the skill to turn out beautiful crafts. I’ve come to terms with it. I will forever admire the handiwork of others while I set out plates of homemade muffins. It’s a win-win.
Still. Every single Thanksgiving I get an intense hankering to craft something. I absolutely know that this hankering comes from the tradition ingrained in me from all my Thanksgivings with my mom when I was younger. We’d make it through the holiday feast, then she’d pull out the latest craft she had in mind for us to make for Christmas. She did all the tedious parts. I did all the no-brainer parts. (Laura: Place pine-cones in a basket. Mom: Make the pine-cone basket look like it came out of a magazine.)
Once again, this year I found myself needing to make crafts during Thanksgiving break. I even thought ahead and ordered supplies. The ideas I’m about to share truly are “if I can do it, anyone can” crafts. They are so easy, I actually had fun and didn’t want to scream, pout, or throw something while I was making them. (I might have crafting-anger issues. It stems from trying to follow counted cross-stitch patterns. I can’t talk about it.)
So my friends, here are three of the easiest crafts on the planet. As an added bonus, these crafts make great gifts, they all cost less than $2, and they are all practical and fun. Sorry. I just can’t not be practical. (I mean fun. I can’t not be fun. I am always so much fun. Except for when I’m following a counted cross-stitch pattern. Please, let’s not talk about it.)
3 Simple and Practical Homemade Gifts
First I made the most adorable Lavender Oatmeal Bath Tea Bags (adapted from The Humbled Homemaker). This craft consists of mixing three simple ingredients, funneling the mixture into tea bags, ironing the tea bags closed, and then tying a ribbon around a few bags for a gift.
Do not the let ironing step throw you off!! This is actually the step I loved the most, and I hate ironing. It’s just that ironing the tea bag closed made me feel like an actual crafter. Plus it was fun to see that the little flap on the tea bag sealed when ironed for 8 seconds. I am now a professional tea bag ironer! I want to make more of these just so I can iron tea bags.
Lavender Oatmeal Bath
1/2 cup rolled oats
1/2 cup Lavender (use the code HOME for a 20% discount)
1/2 cup Epsom salts (purchased at Wal-Mart)
Pulse ingredients together in a blender until they are well combined and in small pieces. Use a funnel to transfer 1- 1 1/2 Tablespoon mixture to small tea bags. Fold down tea-bag flap and press to seal with a hot iron (like a boss). Tie a few tea bags together along with the free printable gift tag below.
This recipe makes about 20 Lavender Oatmeal Bath Bags, which is enough for 5 groups of 4 tea bags. I realize you could have done the math on that yourself, but it is holiday time. We all have enough to think about right now. Today I shall make crafts and do short division. I am on fire!
Download FREE Lavender Oatmeal Bath Tags Here.
After my bath pouches were complete, I spent about five minutes pretending that putting cranberries and oranges into cellophane bags is actually a craft. The “star anise” in this recipe is optional (for those who think anise smells like a jelly bean gone wrong). But if you ask me, the anise stars triple the cuteness value of these pouches.
Christmas Potpourri Pouch
1/2 cup cranberries
1 small orange
3 Cinnamon Sticks (use the code “HOME” for a 20% discount!)
1 Tablespoon Mulling Spice (use the code “HOME” for a 20% discount!)
2 Tablespoons Star Anise
Place all ingredients in a bag. (I used these Clear Cellophane Bags.) Tie up with a ribbon and a free printable gift tag below.
Download FREE Christmas Potpourri Pouch Gift Tags Here.
Finally, I found a way to iron more tea bags (be very happy for me). I had a lovely pack of Chai Tea from Olive Nation. I researched how to make the awesome Chai Tea Drink people rave about, then put together some Chai Tea Kits. Total cost per gift set: 98¢. Getting to once again experience the ironing of the tea bags: Priceless.
Chai Tea Kit
Funnel 1 -1 1/2 Tablespoons Chai Tea into a tea bag. Iron flap down to seal(!!!). Place a few prepared tea bags along with 3-4 Cinnamon Sticks (<—use the code HOME for a 20% discount) into a small gift bag. Tie with a ribbon and a free printable gift tag below.
Download FREE Chai Tea Kit Gift Tags Here.
Supplies List for these Gifts
I had plenty of ribbon on hand, as well as a big bag of Epsom Salt from Walmart. I got most of the remaining (really cool) supplies for these crafts through Amazon or Olive Nation.
- Pack of 100 Disposable Tea Bags
- Pack of 100 Clear Cellophane Bags
From Olive Nation:
- Cinnamon Sticks
- Star Anise
- Mulling Spice
- Chai Tea Spice Mix
- Culinary Lavender (1 ounce = about 1 cup)
As an extra special treat, Olive Nation is giving us all 10% off any size order! Use the code CINNAMONGIFTS for the discount. Plus, if your order reaches $50, you’ll receive free shipping. AND!!! Your order of $50 or more entitles you to a free gift at check-out!! You can choose from any that they offer, but you should know that for this special promotion, they put together an extra big package of free cinnamon sticks – just for us! (It’s a pack of 10!) For all the fun gift-making purposes mentioned in this post, I’d pick that freebie if I were you.
I shall now continue to find more excuses to iron tea bags. I got Oolong Orange Blossom Tea in my Olive Nation order last week, so I’ll probably need to play with that. Beyond tea and tea bags, I made homemade Apple Cider in the Crock Pot last week with my cinnamon sticks and will be sharing the recipe soon. This time of year smells so good!!!
Are you making gifts this year? Are you a crafter?
This post contains affiliate links.
How many gifts do these make each?
The Lavender Tea Bath recipe makes 20 bags, which I turned into 5 gifts. The Potpourri Bags recipe is enough for one. I put together four while I was at it! The Chai Tea Kit really isn’t a recipe as much as it is instructions for how to go about putting the kits together with the chai tea from Olive Nation. So with that idea, you can put together however many gifts you need! I put five or six of the Chai Tea Bags into a gift bag with 4 cinnamon sticks and tied it up with a ribbon and the tea making instructions. :)
Also how much to order for each recipe? Such as the lavendar, would the 1 oz bag be enough for the 1/2 cup called for in recipe? Thank you!
The one ounce of lavender would be enough for a double batch of the Lavender Oatmeal Bath recipe.
I would suggest getting at least 1 ounce of lavender; 8 ounces of cinnamon sticks; 4 ounces star anise; 4 ounces mulling spice; and 6 ounces chai tea mix. Those are the amounts I ordered and they are enough to provide me with what I need for gift giving. If you have lots of people to make gifts for, you may want to up that number. :)
I love these ideas Laura! Thank you so much :)
Laura – I despise crafts, but this…I can do. However, your link for tea bags isn’t linking. There are too many options on Amazon and I don’t want to research :). Can you share the link or the brand you used?
I won’t see you this weekend for basketball, but think of you daily!
I miss seeing you and think of you so often! Here’s the link: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B001BLCIN4?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creativeASIN=B001BLCIN4&linkCode=xm2&tag=wwwheavenlyho-20
You are going to have so much fun ironing tea bags!!!!!! ;)
Love your ideas! We mostly do handmade for Christmas gifts. This year we may do some mixes in a jar (including some for gluten free friends) and homemade ~ no corn syrup ~ caramel popcorn too.
Thanks to my husband’s genes, our kiddos are pretty crafty and come up with the neatest ideas! Check out our family shop of handmade goodies on Etsy under Myers House Handcrafts!
Hope your Thanksgiving sniffle is going away!
Nathana Clay says
I love making homemade gifts! I have already bought most all the supplies for mine, but I will pin these to do for next year! Great ideas and very frugal! I am excited to be crocheting simple coffee cozies, making homemade hot chocolate and spice tea mix, snowglobes from baby food jars, roll-on essential oil perfumes, and homemade rice heating pads in cute flannel material with a little bit of lavender essential oil. I’ve spend too much time on Pinterest, now I just need to actually make all these things! ;)