Tuesday, December 23, 2014

DIY Holiday Gift Ideas

Like many of us, you’re probably feeling the holiday spirit this season. While it is supposed to fill you with cheer, it can sometimes leave your wallet empty. Keep the spirit of giving going this holiday season with these inspired DIY gifts. Easy to create and fun to give, the magic of Christmas generosity lives on with a budget that even Scrooge would be comfortable with.

Paperwhites in Mason Jars
Happy little growers just add water.

You’ll need:

-Paper white bulbs

-Mason jars

-Colorful stones or glass

Your paperwhite bulb will not need chilling in order to bloom, and will grow easily without soil. You can find the bulbs at most gardening stores or nurseries. Fill mason jar ¾ full with stones, and set paperwhite bulb on top of stones. Secure lid over the bulb, allowing bulb to stick out of lid. Add a decorative flare with pine trimmings, twine or ribbon, and attach a homemade instructions card.

Stylized Porcelain Mugs
For the coffee enthusiast, a pretty way to brighten any morning.

You’ll need:

-Porcelain mug

-Sharpie paint oil based markers or Decoart glass paint markers


Wash mug and stencil on design with pencil, or using painters tape. Draw design with paint markers (we like metallic gold for polka dots or chevron designs) and bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes to set paint. Allow to cool in oven. Voila! Mugs are dishwasher safe, but for best long term results, hand wash only.

Coffee Bean Soap 
A little bit of homemade luxury.

You’ll need:

-1 lb package melt and pour soap base

-Ground coffee beans

-Milk and honey fragrance oil (find at any craft store)

-Soap mold

Measure out how much soap base you will need, per soap mold instructions and cut soap base into cubes for melting purposes. Place soap in microwave safe bowl for melting and heat at 15 second intervals, stirring between each, until soap base is melted. Once melted (be sure not to overheat), quickly add in coffee grounds and stir, adding in fragrance oil and stirring (fragrance will come with amount directions). Pour soap into molds, nixing bubbles on the top of molds with a spritz of rubbing alcohol if needed. Soap will take 1-3 hours to harden. Pop out of molds and soap is ready for gifting!

His Favorite Beer Glasses 
Turn used bottles into treasured glasses.

You’ll need:

-Favorite beer bottles


-Small dish and rag

-Scrap string


Fill sink with cold tap water and handfuls of ice. In a small dish, pour enough acetone to soak your string. Cut a piece of string long enough to wrap bottle 5-6 times around, and tightly wrap string around bottle where you want to separate the glass you’ll have from the top of the bottle. Tie a knot in the yarn and trim extra from ends; slip off of bottle and submerge in acetone. Slip soaked yarn back onto bottle where the cut will be made. Hold bottle horizontal over sink and light the string with lighter, rotating the bottle until flame burns out after about 30 seconds. Once flame burns out, submerge bottle and string in ice bath and the top should separate where the yarn was (if top does not come off, repeat process until bottle separates). Use sandpaper to smooth the edges, and you’ve got a guy-approved gift!

The holidays should be a season for spreading cheer and spending time with family and friends. Don’t let the financial strains of the season stop you from getting into the Holiday gift-giving spirit. From all of us at Financial One, we hope you have a safe Holiday season and a very happy New Year!

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