Monday, October 23, 2006

Homemade Gift Idea Exchange

Finally! It's here! I've been very busy putting together some examples of homemade gift ideas, and I hope you have fun with them. I've included a link for recipes and tag instructions, and a link for other resources.

If you have any gift ideas you'd like to add, just add your name with the gift idea title next to your name (example: GiBee; Container Gifts) and the link to your idea post (rather than your blog's home page). If you have any questions, please email me and I'll help you out as best as I can. In order to keep confusion to a minimum, please do not add a Mister Linky to your blog, but rather, direct people to my blog.

Take your time to view everything, and... enjoy!

"Each one should use whatever gift he has received to serve others, faithfully administering God's grace in its various forms." (1 Peter 4:10)
And, really ... that's what a homemade gift is -- a little bit of God's grace, like a piece of your heart, that you've taken the time to share with another person.


1) Economical Homemade Gift Ideas (that you can put in a jar or bag)
2) Homebaked Gift Ideas
3) Thematic Basket Gift Ideas (more costly)

Economical Homemade Gift Ideas

Here are some simple and inexpensive gifts (that you can put in a glass canning jar or treat bags). You probably already have most of the items in your kitchen already, making it even more economical! Cellophane treat bags can be found in the baking section of a craft store, and comes in a variety of sizes. Jars can look adorable when trimmed with seasonal fabric, ribbons, wraphia, buttons, etc. The tag can be handwritten on a piece of cardstock, cut with zig-zag scissors and tied on with a nice ribbon.
1) Cream of Potato Soup Mix
2) M&M Cookie Mix
3) Pretzel Rods dipped in Chocolate & Sprinkles
4) Spiced Nuts
5) Hot Chocolate Mix
6) Candy Cane Cappuccino
7) Snowball Marshmallows
8) Apricot/Cranberry Bread Mix
9) Christmas Crunch
10)Calico Baked Beans & Seasonings

Homebaked (some in containers) Gift Ideas

Nothing says "I love you," or "You're special to me" than a homebaked gift. It's comforting, and tasty, and shows you cared enough to spend an extra moment to make them something special... but not all things need to be made from scratch! You can make a beautiful loaf bread (like banana nut or cranberry orange) from a boxed mix and wrap it in cellophane and tie it off with a bow... no one will know that you didn't make it from scratch! Brownies and cakes can be made from box mixes too, and everyone loves the thought that went into making them!

I love making Bundt cakes and giving them as gifts on an inexpensive glass plate purchased from WalMart or the Dollar Store. Sometimes, I even find fun plates at garage sales and antique stores. And, if it's a special gift for a special someone, and I want to give them a fun or groovy plate, I will pay a little extra (like $10) and get a cool plate from Target or any other store that carries funky things!

Here are some funky boxes that I got from the craft store. The set of boxes included 4 nested/stackable boxes in various sizes as seen below ... so adorable for only $4! That's FOUR boxes for $1 each! And, I placed homebaked items in the boxes with tissue paper... so fun to receive and open!

Double Lemon Delights
(made from scratch)

Fudgy Brownies
(box mix was used, but
brownies were cut out in
round shapes with a glass)

Here is a rectangle glass plate I purchased at WalMart for $6.78, and added the homebaked Chocolate Nut Bars and a ribbon for a cute gift:

You can also make fun pretzel treats or candy and give them in either a plain white candy box (baking section of the craft store for $2.50, 6 per pkg) or in cellophane bags:

Smashed Bug Candy

Christmas Crunch (white chocolate and candy cane bark)

Thematic Basket/Bag Gift Ideas

I love themed gifts! Especially when they are "basket" gifts! They can be so personal and filled with many fun things... They are more costly, but are fun to put together for a special person! Remember: They are only as expensive as you make them -- these are just ideas!

1) Gingerbread Cookie Kit in a Bag -- Total Cost: $14
Gingerbread Cookie Mix in a bag (Pantry)
Sugar in a bag (Pantry)
Sprinkles and Red Hots (WMart $2)
Miniature Chocolate Chips (Pantry)
Decorator Icings (Craft Store $8)
Gingerbread Cookie Cutter (Craft Store $1)
Gingerbread Ornament (Craft Store $1)
Gift Bag (Craft Store $2)

2) Couple's Gift -- Total Cost: $31.96
A Candle (in chinese takeout box) (WalMart: $1.96)
Homemade Candy (Pantry)
Homemade Hot Chocolate Mix (Pantry)
A couples devotional
(Night Light For Couples
by Dr. James Dobson - $15)
Leatherette Desk Box (Craft Store $15)

Optional Addition: Gift Card to Olive Garden ($25)

3) Lovely Feet Basket -- Total Cost: $40 (Use Rom. 10:15b on tag: "How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news!"):

Fluffy White Towel (WMart $4.24)
Candle & Holder (Craft Store $5)
Burts Bees Foot Lotion ($8)
Nail Polish (WMart $1.96)
Sugar Scrub
Cushy Socks (WMart $2.88)
Sea Sponge (WMart $2.87)
Worship CD (WMart $9.96)
Basket (Craft Store $5)

4) Gardener's Delight Basket -- Total Cost: $22.58 (Use Jeremiah 31:12c on tag: "They will be like a well-watered garden, and they will sorrow no more."):
2 Amaryllis Bulbs (WMart: $2.97 ea.)
Special Liquid Soap (WalMart: $5.97)
Hand & Cuticle Salve (WalMart: $3.44)
Poppy Seeds ( $3.00)
Clay pot container (Craft Store: $0.95)
Journal (Craft Store: $1)
Basket (WMart $5.25)

5) Thinking of You Basket -- (Use 2 Timothy 1:3 on tag: "I thank God, whom I serve, as my forefathers did, with a clear conscience, as night and day I constantly remember you in my prayers."):

Variation #1 -- Total Cost: $11.99


Tea Cup (Thrift Shop $8)
Tea Bags (Pantry)
Double Lemon Cookies (Pantry)
Basket (Craft Shop $3.99)

Variation #2 -- Total Cost: $15.97


Tea Cup (Antique Shop $10)
Tea Bags (Pantry)
Devotional (WMart $5.97)
Wrap in Cellophane and tie off with bow

6) 3 Quick Gift Ideas:

Quick Idea #A: A Basket with Christmas Crunch, Snowball Marshmallows and Homemade Hot Chocolate Mix

Quick Idea #B: A Basket with Candy Cane Cappuccino, Pretzel Candies, Chocolate Dipped Pretzel Rods, Christmas Book

Quick Idea #C: A holiday Mug (WMart $1) Cream of Potato Soup Mix, Chocolate Dipped Pretzel Rods

BONUS: Other Random ideas to help spur your imagination

Priceless Beyond Words -- This is a wonderful idea I got out of the "Homespun Gifts from the Heart" book (along with a few other ideas listed above) that is perfect for an older child. The story in the book is that a Pastor's wife gave her daughter on her thirteenth birthday a used Bible. The mother had purchased it new, and read through the Bible in one year, making "mom notes" in the margins, written especially from mother for daughter, about her favorite passages, spiritual yearnings, memories of how a biblical truth was learned, or various people who embodied certain attributes of god. She gave the Bible to her daughter with a Scripture Reading Plan so the daughter would have the Bible read by her 18th birthday (5 year plan). This is also an excellent gift for kids going off to college, leaving the house for their own place, or getting married -- not only did the daughter receive insight and special notes from her mother's heart, but she also received a guide for getting into the Word every day. Yes, it takes some planning on your part, but it's a gift that will be treasured for years and years.

Christmas Fun -- A family gift at Christmas time (geared for families with young children): Homemade Hot Chocolate Mix in a canning jar; Cranberry-orange sweet rolls made in a disposable foil pan; homemade magic reindeer food for the kids to sprinkle on the lawn in a recycled baby food jar (it attracts reindeer, if you know what I mean); homemade Christmas Crunch.

Christmas Fun for Adults -- A sweet little gift for a couple that enjoys a quiet Christmas Eve together: A collection of homemade spiced nuts; homemade cinamon-sugar pretzels; homemade sticky buns in a disposable foil pan; some gourmet coffee in a small glass canning jar with a pretty ribbon around it (that way, you can split one bag up a couple times).

A gift for a mother, sister, or girlfriend -- A thoughtful gift that encourages the one you love to spend some quiet time alone, possibly relaxing in the bath tub: A white towel rolled up and tied with a ribbon; a white pillar candle and a glass candle holder (you can get these inexpensively at the craft store or WalMart); a book according to what they like to read; a scented soap (Bath and Body Works); a scented body lotion.

A girl's gift for tired hands and feet -- This gift is for the woman that spends so much time working around the home, in the garden, or in the laundry room, that her hands and feet go neglected, and are rough and chapped and in need of some TLC: Homemade hand and foot scrub in a small glass canning jar; soothing foot balm; scented hand lotion; a good lip balm; white cotton socks.

I hope you've enjoyed these ideas... Don't forget to sign in on my Mister Linky (I hope it works) to share your ideas!

Click here for Recipes & Tips
Click here for Tips & Vendors

Have a blessed time preparing Homemade Gifts Made with Love!


1. EaglesWings (Calendar)
2. Angie - Jelly
3. Jen (tins,jars,plates,baskets)
4. Julie (Orignal art note pads)
5. Laurel Wreath
6. Susie
7. kpjara
8. Shalee
9. Larae (blankets, etching, vodka)
10. Susanne
11. Kathleen Marie (this and that)
12. Laura- Fruits Basket
13. Chupieandjsmama
14. A Chelsea Morning (several things)
15. Christina
16. Jessica (felt pincushion and coasters)
17. Susan (Bunch of Cookie Mix in Jar Recipes)
18. Susan (Bunch of Bread Mix Recipes)
19. Julie Bo Boolie (Frozen Ready To Go Meals)
20. Lady Why (Alphabet Scramble)
21. Mommaofmany
22. DeputyHeadmistress
23. Kim (easy child\'s apron)
24. Gilby
25. kpjara #2 (decoupage and earrings)
26. kelly (christmas stockings)

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Anonymous said...

You have done a great job...I look forward to reading all of these...this will be great.....all of your ideas are great

Susanne said...

You have been one busy gal, especially with a sick babe! I look forward to reading it again in more detail and visiting everyone for great ideas!

Julie said...

My goodness, BiGee, what beautiful, beautiful gifts!

I've never seen your picture, but you MUST have at least 8 arms ~ looks like you have been one BUSY lady.

Thanks so much for this fun, creative idea!


Anonymous said...

Oh my goodness, you out did yourself gal. But I promise I am going to use some of these ideas. My husband is the big cheese in the office, so I like to do a little something for each of the workers under him (we are talking about 50 people) so I like to think of something inexpensive and doable. This will give me great ideas.


Jennifer said...

These are some AWESOME ideas! Now I know what to start "collecting" to make wonderful gifts for Christmas. Thanks so much for all the hard work. GREAT job!!

Jenny said...

I came to your site through Org Junkie and your gift ideas are wonderful. I was thinking what to get for my SIL's and your foot basket was such an awesome idea.
Thanks so much for sharing!

Anonymous said...

I had so much fun reading through your Homemade Gift post! Thank you for taking time to share these great ideas.
(As a side...when I clicked on the link to view the recipes, it didn't show anything. Is this something on my end?)

Rae said...

I can't believe all the wonderful gift ideas you have listed! I plan to use tons of them. I especially love the cutting brownies in circles with a glass, I never thought of that before..and they look so elegant that way! Thanks for hosting and for sharing so many awesome gift ideas, you just jump started my brain into holiday mode! =)

Anonymous said...

GiBee, I'm speechless (and that doesn't happen very often)--these are beautiful!

Laura said...

WOW!!!! I'am so impressed and you didn't think you were organized...this takes organization my friend. I loved reading through your post and will be back later once babe is in bed to take notes!! Loved how you shared the recipes too...I think I can do this, you've made it look so easy. Thank you so much!!! It is VERY much appreciated. Laura

Heather said...

I love th eidea of doing this but right now am unable. Will defintely be checking back when I have time.

Susie said...

Oh these are good ideas! I am thoroughly enjoying each and every one. I may actually get started shopping(I mean making) early this year.

Ms. Kathleen said...

Woohoo! You have some fabulous gift ideas. Yeah!! I think you deserve and BIG Handclap and a cheer! Thank you so much for putting this all together! As my Grandmother use to say, "mauvelous, ab-so-lute-ly mauvelous!"

Girl Raised in the South said...

I am so thrilled to come here and see all the great ideas you have. I havent even started my list yet, and coming here to do so will such a great help. Thanks for doing this - for all the great ideas you took the time to share with us. Much appreciated. xoxoxo

ChupieandJ'smama (Janeen) said...

These are fantastic ideas!! I was already going to do the hot cocoa, but you gave me so much more to build upon!! Thank you so much for taking the time to put all that info in one place. Merry Christmas :)

Barb said...

How fun to get so many wonderful ideas from you, GiBee. Thank you so much for hosting this.

I'm late! But I finally got my post done.

Anonymous said...

This is so awesome. I can't wait to use some of these talented ladies ideas including yours. Great idea to use the gifts God gave us in creating something special for the people we love.

Donnetta said...

Such fantastic ideas!! And I am so enjoying reading everyone else's as well. Thanks for putting this up!

Anonymous said...

Seriously wonderful ideas. Do you have recipes for any of the mixes?

Chilihead2 said...

How much do I love you? Way. Very cool. Thanks for the inspiration. Can't wait to meet you!!!

kelly jeanie said...

What neat ideas! Thanks!

Kim C. said...

Amazing ideas! I love it. I have nothing to share just yet, but I'll certainly help pass along the idea to others!
Thanks for doing this.

Lady Why said...

Great idea!! I LOVE homemade gifts and I can't wait to see all these great suggestions! Thank you for putting this together!!

Anonymous said...

Hi there!! I just found your blog through Life in a Shoe..I am so excited to have found your blog!! I'm super excited about all the ideas you posted (I'm looking especially forward to trying out the double lemon cookies!! Yum) I've been poking through some craft books I have looking for christmas gift ideas..I was left uninspired, but now, WOW!! Can't wait to get started! Thank you so much!! Wooo Hooo! I am so coming back here..A LOT!! Hope that doesn't make me sound weird..oh well

Anonymous said...

Great post idea! This will really helpp me this Christ-mas season. Thanks a lot!

Darcy said...

I found your blog from a link from Like Merchant Ships. Wow! I love your ideas here! Especially the fun gift boxes stacked on top each other filled with goodies inside. Thank you for going to all of the work to post these ideas. They are fabulous! I will be using several of your recipes.

Anonymous said...

This is exceptional! Thank you so much - really...I'm blown away by your creativity!

Anonymous said...

Thank you so much for posting these! I am so impressed with these creative ideas. I'm ready to get busy making gifts now!

Headmistress, zookeeper said...

Thanks so much for doing this! Not only are your ideas creative, but you're encouraging me not to procrastinate!

Bernadine said...

I love your homemade gift ideas. Thanks for sharing.

Anonymous said...

Absolutely *stunning*

Thank you!

Ann V.

Blogger profile name said...

You have shared some fabulous ideas - thank you! My husband's aunt puts together baskets with a Blockbuster gift card, packages of microwave popcorn, and packets of hot chocolate and apple cider mix. That makes a great gift basket, too.

With His Grace said...

Will you please share your recipes for things like cream of potato soup mix, hot chocolate mix, cookies, etc!!

GiBee said...

JCK -- at the bottom of my post, right before the Mr. Linky list, you'll see "click here for recipes" -- that link takes you to all the recipes I mentioned in this post (including the ones you requested).

If you leave me your email address, I'll be happy to email the link to you.

Anonymous said...

I just love your site , what great idea"s

Camy Tang said...

These are fabulous ideas! Thanks!

Bessers said...

Thanks for these great ideas. I made the Candy Cane Cappuccino for my Mother-in-law as a hostess gift for Thanksgiving and she loved it. I made up extra jars for Christmas gift baskets. Last night I tried the smashed bug candy and! They are wonderful! I made them to include in cookie tins for friends & neighbors, but I'm not sure they'll make it. They may be gone before then. I love all the basket ideas too.

My Trendy Tykes said...

WOW you have some great ideas here! I am going to keep them in mind for next year.

The Queen said...

I know this is a VERY old post but when I saw that you have been doing the Homemade With Love (which I love BTW) idea exchange for 3 years I went back and looked for the past ones to get even more ideas as I am trying to go all homemade this year. I thought you may want to know that in your list of links to other blogs #12 "Laura-Fruit Basket" does NOT go to a blog with a gift idea. It actually goes to a...well how should I say this...quite disturbing site. I didn't stay around to check it out but lets just say it would get an X rating just because of the pictures at the top. Just wanted to let you know. Thanks for all the great ideas!!

cleopy2 said...

Showing off your baskets should give people some good ideas. Gift baskets are a very versatile way to mark a special occasion. Sometimes I go with a theme and always try to add a few wacky things that will get a smile. And I think it's a good idea to wrap one or two, to make it special.