Oh man, you guys, this holiday season has taken me by storm! I had great intentions to do a whole series on how to "use what you've got" to make your own gifts this holiday season and I just never got around to it!
I do really love to make gifts myself, usually in some form of food, when I have the time, and even when I don't. Here's a quick roundup of some of my favorite DIY Christmas Gift ideas! These are all things that I have made and enjoyed myself.
1. Homemade Granola
Homemade granola is such a treat! I feel like the flavors and crunch are always far superior to most store-bought granola's (with the exception of a few locally made granolas that I absolutely love).
This recipe from the Minimalist Baker is my family's favorite! We keep some on hand at all times. We actually quadruple the recipe every time we make so that we can keep the extra in the freezer, because my 5 year old expects to eat it pretty much every day.
One of my favorite things about this recipe is that it is a great way to use up aquafaba! You can purchase most of the ingredients at Scoop!
2. Vegetable Bouillon Powder
I seriously use this stuff every day and while it is quick and easy to make, if someone wanted to make it for me and gift me with a huge jar of it, I would be pretty happy about that! We pour it in soups and use it to make sauces. As I type this I am using it to make myself a bowl of ramen, and on occasion, I have just boiled a cup of water and added a tablespoon and enjoyed it as a warm drink.
Any time a recipe calls for vegetable or chicken broth you can just use water and this powder instead. It is one tablespoon of powder per cup of water.
It would be really fun to put together a whole ramen kit for someone with this! We're still working on getting ramen noodles in bulk at the shop, but we definitely have all of the ingredients for this bouillon powder in stock!
3. Caramel Corn
Bring this to a holiday party and you will get invited back again and again and again. It is so delicious! I got nervous the first time and didn't leave it in the oven as long as it says, but I've followed the recipe a couple of times since and I love how crunchy it gets!
I feel like this would be so beautiful in a half gallon jar with a big red ribbon around it!
We have the popcorn at Scoop and we also carry coconut sugar (if you want to sub that for the brown sugar) as well as coconut oil (if you want to sub that for the butter). We love to make this with coconut oil. Do not skip the salt!
4. Mac and cheese mix
This Vegan Mac & Cheese Powder from It Doesn't Taste Like Chicken, is SO good!! We like to keep a jar of it in our cupboard for the nights where we need a quick, easy dinner, and I definitely gave some to my cousin for Christmas last year.
Pictured: 2 Servings. 2 cips pasta, 1/2 cup mac & cheese powder, 3 tablespoons cashews. Cook pasta and reserve pasta water. Add mix and cashews to high speed blender with 1.5 cups hot water and blend until smooth. Pour over cooked pasta. Heat over medium low to thicken, and season with salt and pepper as necessary.
Such a fun and practical gift! The best part is, we have every single thing that you need at Scoop from the powder ingredients to the pasta to the jars to gift it in. Note: I leave out the lemon pepper. The only thing that will be needed when it's time to cook is the water to boil the pasta and a bit of milk to bring the whole thing together.
When I gave the gift last year I measured the mix along with the necessary amount of cashews needed and gave instructions to save the pasta water after cooking, then dump the mix and cashews and specified amount of hot pasta water into a high speed blender and process the whole thing. That's how we make it at home so that I don't have to bother with making the milk ahead of time. And then you're not wasting the pasta water! Love that trick!
5. Hot Cocoa Mix
One of the easiest and tastiest gifts I could think of! All of my son's teacher's got this for Christmas along with a JOCO Cup.
The recipe is super simple:
1 cup sugar
2/3 cup cocoa powder
1 tablespoon vanilla powder
1 tsp salt
Use a blender to mix the ingredients, or start with powdered sugar instead of granulated and just use a whisk to mix.
We used 4 ounce jars to give 1/2 cup of mix to each person. Here is a copy of the instruction sheet that we included with each gift.
I am testing out a new recipe that includes the Coconut Milk Powder we just got in stock. I'll post it as soon as I have it figured out!
6. Fire Starters
I stuffed toilet paper tubes with dried orange peels and dryer lint to make fire starters as a gift for my husband. So easy to do and I love that it just used up random items from my home that would have otherwise been trash. If you want to get more creative, just do a quick search for DIY fire starters and you're sure to come up with all kinds of fun ideas!
Everyone loves cookies! And there is so much love in homemade cookies. I also enjoy the process of making cookies with my kids and having them participate in the gift giving. Check out this family favorite recipe for some simple cookies that will make your house smell delicious! I also love this recipe for sugar cookies from the Minimalist Baker.
My husband is one of those people who considers Diehard to be a Christmas movie. I play along... watching it together once a year is kind of a fun tradition and it is decently entertaining. That John McClane character talks to himself the whole movie - so silly and funny.
Anyhow, I knew this Diehard ornament would make my husband laugh and he absolutely loves it. It is at the top of our tree and he says it's his new favorite ornament. I made this using some thin cardboard that I found in our recycle bin, a piece of very old and crumpled foil that I've been reusing for years, some tape, a printed photo from the movie, and a wire ornament hook. Super simple to do, but if you need instructions, just do a quick search on Pinterest for "DIY Diehard Ornament."
9. Chex mix
I make this for my husband every year, and I would be pretty pleased to get a giant jar of snacks myself. I love that you can customize it. I used this recipe from It Doesn't Taste Like Chicken this year, but I changed up the add-ins. I think I want mine even a little bit more flavorful, so I'll make a little more of the butter sauce mixture next time.
10. Cookie Cereal
How fun is this?? Homemade cookie cereal with wholesome ingredients. So good! I mean, come on, tiny crunchy cookies - yes, yes, yes. I just made these as a gift for my husband and they are delicious! Cannot wait for him to enjoy them at work tomorrow!
11. Muddy Buddies
You can find recipes for Muddy Buddies all over the internet! I go with the basic one. One with chocolate chips and peanut butter, except that I use some coconut flour in place of about 1/3 of the powdered sugar. I like that it tones down the sweetness ever so slightly and adds a nice coconut flavor.
12. Essential Oil blends
We have fractionated coconut oil in the shop that you can use along with our essential oils to make blends that can be used topically for massage and aromatherapy. We currently have these beautiful ceramic oil decanters at Scoop. They are the perfect size to mix up about 2 ounces or so of an oil blend that you love and use it in whatever way brings you the most joy. We're all for making your self care routine as luxuriously simple as possible! Oils in stock include lavender, lemon, tea tree, eucalyptus and peppermint - my favorite!
13. Chai Mix
This is one of my favorite recipes! We keep a jar of the chai mix in our cupboard and make these little chai lattes all the time at home. I love that it is caffeine free and has all of my favorite spices.
14. Elderberry Syrup Mix
Want to give the gift of immune support? I think it's a great idea! I love how you can customize elderberry syrup. I always use cinnamon sticks, ginger and cloves and today I've added chaga mushroom powder, at the recommendation of my naturopath, and dried orange peel, just for fun!
In this jar: 1 cup elderberries, 1 tbsp chaga mushroom powder, 1 tbsp dried ginger root, 1 tbsp whole cloves, 1 tbsp dried orange peel, & 3 cinnamon sticks.
Add the mix to a pot with 3 cups or water. Bring to a boil, then lower heat and allow to simmer for about 45 minutes, or until reduced by half. All to cool to room temperature, then mix in 1 cup of maple syrup of honey. Store in the fridge.
I love the way my house smells when this is simmering!
I hope you find this DIY gift guide helpful as you continue to enjoy the holiday season! I may add new ideas as they come to me. Happy Gifting!