Home-made Christmas gift ideas
It’s that time of year again! The Coca-Cola advert is on, the shops are pumping out Slade and we all can’t help but start thinking (and getting excited) about Christmas.
We at S&G HQ have also started thinking about getting our creative Santa hats on and hand-making some gifts and decorations. If you are stuck for a personal gift idea or if you just fancy having a go at making a classic Christmas decoration for your house, then read on!
Wonderful winter wreath
Who doesn’t love a winter walk in the woods? This home-made decoration starts with a meander in your local park or woodland collecting pinecones of varying sizes; you will need around 100 for a 12 inch wire frame.
Once at home, bake them in the oven to avoid any unwanted creepy-crawlies and also to crystallise the tar. To do this, pre-heat your oven to 200 degrees and pop your cones on a lined baking tray, stacked to around 5 inches high (you may need to do this in a few batches). Then bake for 20 minutes, remove and cool.
Next it’s bath time for your baked cones (scented candles and exfoliator not required!). Wash until all the cones have closed their petals completely, taking care to be gentle as baking can make the cones brittle.
In true Blue Peter style, have your home-made wire frame ready (this could be constructed from garden wire or old coat hangers) or if this is a creative step too far, purchase a frame from your local garden centre, such as these below.
Whilst the cones are still wet, arrange in concentric circles and weave in your additional decorations such as fake berries or holly. Then place the completed wreath in a warm room for a week to dry and for your cones to fully open.
You are now ready to proudly hang on your front door and show off to any passing carol singers.
Personalised present perfection!
Firstly, you will need to root around your recycling bin and fetch out some empty jars of jam, honey or sweets, then wash thoroughly and dry, removing any labels. The recipe below is for one standard 350-gram jar.
For your dry ingredients you will need:
- 96 grams packed flour (mixed with 1/4 teaspoon baking soda 1/4 teaspoon salt)
- 32 grams brown sugar
- 43 grams white sugar
- Remainder of jar full of chocolate chips
In the same order as the ingredients listed above, carefully sift and add each ingredient individually to the jar, pressing firmly down with a spoon in-between each layer to get a striped effect.
Next, decide how you would like to decorate the jar, this could be with ribbons or lace. We love the festive example in our main blog picture!
Add a personalised message and some cooking instructions (below) and you are ready to add a great gift to someone’s stocking.
Cooking instructions for the jar
1. Remove the chocolate chips from the top of the mixture and set aside.
2. Cream 4 tbsp of butter with both the brown and white sugar.
3. Add 1 egg and ¼ tbsp of vanilla essence to the mixture and beat for 1 minute.
4. Add in the flour and beat until smooth, stir in the chocolate chips and pop the mixture in the freezer for 15 minutes.
5. Take out of the freezer and shape into 10 cookies and bake at 350 degrees for 13 – 15 minutes.
We wish you a crafty Christmas and a creative New Year!
14 November 2014
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