Monday, November 21, 2011

Easy Homemade Christmas Gifts

It's my goal this year to have about 75% of the gifts I give be completely homemade.  I'll let you know the week before Christmas how I have done; or maybe I won't have time to let you know because I will be cramming to get them all done!  Anyhow, I've been working on some of the smaller items I plan to give teachers, neighbors, and friends.

Last year I created sheet music themed gifts for teachers.  You can read about it by clicking the link, but here is a visual reminder...

As you can see it contained sheet music magnets and decorated candles.  This year, I am going in a different direction but using magnets and candles again!  After all, they are both gifts that people can always use!

This year for the magnets, I again used glass gems.  I painted the flat side of the clear gems with Mod Podge, and then sprinkled glitter onto them.  Once that was dried, I added 3 more coats of Mod Podge as I wanted to be sure the glitter was really sealed in there.  Once that was dry, I used my hot glue gun to glue a magnet to the glittered gem, and voila.... sparkly magnets!  I just bought some other colors of glitter, too, so plan on making more.  What is also really great about this project is that with its level of ease, it's something you can do with your kids.  Emmy helped me glitter them, and that way she is now involved in creating gifts for her teachers, which I love!

Now, last year, I purchased some candles I found at Marshall's and just decorated the glass piece.  Well, yesterday I mentioned a new hobby.  What is that new hobby?  Making soy candles!!!!  It is something that I have wanted to try for a very long time, and I am sure I will write more about it later, but I am totally burnt out on painting furniture at the moment, and needed to try something different, and give myself a break.  What better way to try something different AND relax by inhaling wonderful essential oils while you work!   I have always wanted to make them in teacups, but worked with what I had on hand.  Saturday afternoon I tested it out and made myself one candle to make sure it worked well before I made them for gifts.  I purchased soy wax that was microwaveable, but I have to tell you when it comes to making most things, I tend to be very old fashioned.  I paint all my furniture with a brush.  So I used the double boiler method for melting my wax.  I melted the wax, added the scent (I added lavender and vanilla together) and then waited for it to cool to 125 so I could pour into my slightly heated jar.  I used a vintage "Crown" Jar that my friend Gail had given me.  I didn't have enough wax to fill the jar, which is large, but since it was just for me, I didn't care!  I let it cool a little more til I could visibly see the wax starting to coagulate, and then I added the wick.  I let it set overnight.  This morning I cut the wick down and lit it.  And I have to be honest.... I was so nervous because concentrated the scents do not smell as good!!!  Here is my candle...
And yes, it smelled lovely!  So I got to work yesterday making some to use as a gifts.  Here are the containers I used just after I poured the wax...
I used some glass spice jars, a vintage jar, and a couple other vintage dishes.  I can't wait to get to work on more!

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24 comments:

Kate said...

So neat! That little sugar bowl is going to be such an interesting candle!

Meredith said...

That's awesome Cassie! I actually have supplies to try candle making this year too! I saw the idea at BHG.com I think, but I'm glad to see a real person try this project with success because you never know how those "magazine" projects will turn out in real life.
Great job!
Meredith @ Welcome to Heardmont

Rita said...

I love it!! was just telling Brianna that I need to make do it yourself presents for Christmas this year since the funds aren't quite up there. This gets the ideas flowing!!

Emily said...

oh i cant wait to make some! and can you send something good smelling over here? im sure you know exactly what this place is smelling like right now : (

Lisa @ Turning Tables said...

Oooooh.....one thing that I'm not sure I admitted when you were here (or maybe I did) was that I am a TOTAL candle-aholic!! I took a small hiatus in the beginning of being pregnant (any smells at that time were awful - lol), but am back 'on' and have a candle lit practically at all times. I am so excited about your new endeavor!!! :) I bet they smell amazing!

laxsupermom said...

Love the glitter magnets! I'm trying to make a bunch of my gifts this year, too. I have my knitting supplies out for the trip up to Rochester and back for Thanksgiving. Hopefully I'll be able to knock out a few on the road. Love the idea of the soy candles in the vintage dishes. So pretty! Thanks for sharing.

Renee @ where the grass is greener said...

Great ideas. Thanks for sharing!!!

17 Perth said...

Oohh----I love soy candles! I bet they turned out great.

Lisa @ Shine Your Light said...

Cassie, I love the idea of using old sugar bowls for candles - so clever! I'm going to have to raid my mom's house for sugar bowls and tea cups to do this!!!

Suzanne@Meridian Road said...

Those will be some really nice gifts! I like the idea of using old china for the candles!

Your house is going to smell wonderful!

Karen said...

Love your glitter magnets and I think teachers would love them too:)God bless x

Andi @ Jane of all crafts said...

love the sugar bowl candle!!! And I totally would not be mad if one of those ended up in my stocking this year ;) just sayin'.

Anna@Directions Not Included said...

Great minds think alike!! My sister and I just ordered a batch of soy wax flakes to make gifts for Christmas this year too. So glad you are happy with how they turned out. I can't wait to try them.

andrea said...

Wow, all I can say is - you go girl! I would be exhausted making all those presents, but people really do appreciate the love behind handmade gifts! andrea@townandprairie

Lesley said...

Wonderful idea for gifts. I don't do teacher's gifts anymore. Once your kids are older, that comes to an end. :( Oh well...

Ali Richardson said...

Yipppppeee for yummy smelling fun crafts! Good work friend :) xo

Allison said...

Those will make wonderful gifts! How fun to make your own candles. Good for you! Lavender and vanilla sounds yummy! Love the glitter magnets, too.

Jacqueline said...

This sounds like a great idea! I've never made candles...where can you buy soy wax?
I'm making a lot of handmade gifts this year as well and this seems perfect.

Sharon @ Elizabeth & Co. said...

I love your candles and I bet they smell yummy! And I love that you are mixing it up and trying new things!

Red Gate Farm said...

I think I need to add this to my "project" list! I love the idea of candles in all sorts of containers!

~Chris

PS and I LOVE the glitter-y magnets... I will be doing this one for myself :)

Andrea said...

I love this idea. The containers you used are so unique. My kids would love to get in on this action too. Think I may give it a try.

The Painted Parlor said...

haha, so I'm not the only one burnt out on painting furniture!!?? i might have to try out this soy candle thing!! what a great gift to give neighbors, teachers, and friends :) Happy Thanksgiving!!

Mod Podge Amy said...

Super cute glitter magnets - love those!

ayshwariya said...

interesting blog. It would be great if you can provide more details about it. Thanks you


















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