Really Easy DIY Gifts That People Will Like
I’ve had a range of successes in my DIY gifting history.
From the age of six onwards, I’ve given painted rocks (it’s a paperweight!), tin cans plastered with a collage of coloured tissue paper (it’s a pen holder!), dyed macaroni “beads” strung on yarn (it’s a fashion statement necklace!). I’ve made candles and soap and paintings and chocolates and baked goods.
I’d like to say I’ve finessed my DIY talents over the years (as well as my ability to discern what would be a useful/appreciated gift), but either way, whatever the creation, when presented with a DIY gift, there is at least a small part of the receiver that melts a little bit. All that love! All that effort! All that intention going into a personalized gift!
My dad works in an office, as you might imagine, indoors. As far as I know, his paperwork is not subject to being blown about by unexpected and random gusts of air. He has never said to me, “Alas! Another day squandered gathering and sorting my windblown manuscripts! If only there was a way to keep my papers weighted!”. He has absolutely no need for a paperweight. But goshdarnit, that rock painted to look like a red electric guitar has sat on his desk for over twenty years.
While the ideas I’m about to share with you today won’t (shouldn’t!) last decades, they may still make a lasting impression. DIY gifts hold a lot of love, and therefore a lot more meaning.
Being mindful of the clutter that people can accumulate, I have intentionally chosen DIY gift ideas that are consumable. No clutter! The best gift of all!
So, crafty-pants, strap on that apron, put on some music, whip out some bowls and stirring utensils and let’s get started!
Darkest Night Chocolate Truffles
This is for the dark chocolate lover on your list. Intense and buttery with just a hint of sweetness. Chocolate is essential for those dark winter months because it’s a mood booster – it’s a scientific fact! This recipe makes about 60 truffles.
8 oz/200 g good quality dark chocolate (I used an organic 70% bar)
½ cup organic cream (18-30%)
Pinch of sea salt
Cacao powder for dusting
With a knife, chop chocolate into small pieces. Put pieces into a bowl.
In a small saucepan, heat cream just until boiling then remove from heat
Pour hot cream over chocolate pieces. Let sit for 3 minutes.
When 3 minutes is up, stir the chocolate and cream mixture, adding a pinch of salt. Stir until smooth and glossy. All the chocolate bits should be melted.
Place bowl in the fridge and let set for an hour.
Once truffle mixture has set, remove from fridge. With a small spoon, scoop out a generous teaspoon amount of the truffle mixture and place on a parchment lined baking tray. Don’t worry about the shape – we will be fixing them later! Do this until mixture is all scooped out into individual lumps spread out on the tray.
Place tray in the fridge and let harden again for 20 minutes.
After truffle lumps have firmed up, remove them from the fridge. Place about ¼ cup of cacao powder in a bowl.
One at a time, take truffle lumps and roll them in your palms to form a sphere. Remember: It doesn’t have to perfect! Drop the rolled truffle into the cacao powder, roll it around until completely covered, then remove, tapping off excess powder, and place back on the baking tray. Repeat with the rest of the lumps.
Now your truffles are done! I recommend putting them in the fridge or freezer until ready to serve/gift. Take them out of the freezer 30-45 minutes before serving. Wrap them in wax paper and place them in a pretty box.
Coconut Sugar and Olive Oil Dry Skin Scrub
This scrub is luxurious and moisturizing and will make dry skin glow. Can be customized with your choice of essential oils, or just left unscented.
1 cup coconut sugar
½ cup extra virgin olive oil
2 tsp natural salt (I used pink Himalayan salt)
30 drops of essential oil of choice (optional; see below for some ideas)
Add all ingredients to a bowl and stir until incorporated. Transfer into attractive clean jar(s).
Essential oil options:
Tired Legs (improves circulation, soothes): 10 drops peppermint, 20 drops rosemary
Blemish-Free (anti-acne, healing): 15 drops geranium, 15 drops lavender
Mood Lift (energizing, calming): 15 drops sweet orange/tangerine/grapefruit, 15 drops lavender
Cabin Fever (smells like the outdoors!): 10 drops of rosemary, 10 drops pine/fir, 10 drops cypress
Cocoa Kiss Butter
Yum! Good quality cocoa butter should have a rich, chocolatey smell – which is partly what makes this lip balm recipe so delicious. This recipe makes about 5 lip balms- double or triple recipe for more gifts!
1 tsp beeswax (use beeswax beads or shave from a big chunk)
2 tsp cocoa butter
2 tsp coconut oil
10 drops of essential oil (Peppermint or tangerine work really well)
Clean, empty lip balm pots and sticks*
Heat a small amount of water (about an inch) in a saucepan over medium heat
Place all ingredients except the essential oils in a glass jar and place the jar in the saucepan, making sure no water enters the jar.
Melt all ingredients to liquid, stirring with a spoon if needed.
Remove from heat, and quickly, while mixture is still liquid, stir in choice of essential oils. Then pour liquid into empty balm pots or sticks.
Allow mixture to cool completely before placing lids on containers. This can take several hours.
Have fun making your own personalized labels with paper and glue and some coloured pens!
*Available for purchase in the Body Care department at the Big Carrot
I hope this post gave you some fun ideas and helps to keep you out of those crazy shopping malls at this time of year!
Happy Holidays, Carrots!
Alex Picot-Annand, BA (Psych), Registered Holistic Nutritionist & Certified Life Coach