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GIFT IDEAS

GIFT IDEAS HOLIDAY gifts

Food Gifts in a Jar

4 hot chocolate mixes in a jar

Holiday Panettone in a jar

You can’t really go wrong with an edible gift, especially if it’s homemade and thoughtfully packaged. Never unappreciated, food gifts are a great option for the “extra” people on your list – like the mailman, your child’s teacher or a kind neighbour – who tend to be overlooked until the last minute.

If you’re pressed for time or just can’t bare to bake another batch of cookies, opt for one of these foodie gifts that don’t require much time in the kitchen for you or the recipient. Each can be layered and presented inside a jar – just dress it up with the cooking instructions, a pretty ribbon and a holiday note to the recipient.

Holiday Panettone

Panettone is an Italian sweet bread flavoured with dried fruit. It’s typically enjoyed during the holidays, but with ready-to mix-ingredients your gift recipient can enjoy it anytime of year.

Hot Chocolate

4 hot chocolate mixes in a jar

Sunset magazine offers up four flavour variations on everyone’s favourite winter beverage, including classic, spicy, mocha and peppermint. Create single-size servings of each in small jars and package them as a set.

Curried Lentil Soup

Food in jar gifts :: curried lentil soup :: Jamaican jerk rub :: gluten-free cookie mix

Your gift recipients will be grateful for this just-add-water homemade soup on the next snowy day.

Gluten-Free Cookie Mix

For a gluten-free gift, consider this cookie recipe made with almond flour, dark chocolate chips and agave nectar.

Jamaican Jerk Rub

Gifts in a jar don’t have to be sweet. Give guys this spicy Jamaican Jerk Rub from Better Homes and Gardens paired with a guide to grilling or barbecue tools.

SOURCING:
+ Holiday Panettone from Food Network
+ 4 hot chocolate in a jar flavors from Sunset Magazine
+ Curried Lentil Soup from Good Housekeeping
+ Gluten-Free Cookie Mix in a Jar from Elana’s Pantry
Jamaican Jerk Rub from Better Homes and Gardens

GIFT IDEAS HOLIDAY gifts

Cookie Packaging Idea: Mailing Tubes

Cookies packaged in a mailing tube

Cookies packaged in a mailing tube

If you’re planning to send a holiday sweet treat to a loved one, this idea seems so obvious and so clever. Cookies are the perfect shape to slide inside a standard mailing tube. If your baked goods are particularly delicate, consider bundling them inside a sleeve of parchment paper first.

Holiday cookies in a mailing tube

I spotted the idea via Better Homes & Gardens, but also found variations at Martha Stewart and on Idea Chic. Decorate the tube with wrapping paper, colorful tape or decorative shipping labels. If you’ll be hand-delivering them, you may even want to add a ribbon handle.

Look for cardboard mailing tubes at your local office supply and shipping stores. Be sure to use the type with plastic end caps to keep sweets safe during transport.

SOURCING:
Holiday Cookie Tube Gift from Idea Chic
+ Delightful Christmas Cookie Gifts from Better Homes & Gardens
+ DIY Holiday Cookie Mailing Tubes from Martha Stewart

ALL occasions GIFT IDEAS

Japanese Colored Pencil Sets for Kids and Adults

idea idea with duller colored pencils and sketchbook

idea idea with duller colored pencils and sketchbook

Colored pencils is a timeless gift to anyone who likes to draw. I like the chic look of the Japanese colored pencils designed by IDEA Idea in collaboration with old school German art supply firm to create Düller. The square shape of the pencils mean that they won’t roll over the table. You can buy the pencil set alone or a kit with a sketchbook.

colored pencil sets

For kids and adults, I found at MoMA a set of fluorescent colored pencils. I also like that MUJI puts their colored pencils in a tube instead of a box.

SOURCING:
+ 36-Colors Pencil Set+Sketchbook $92 USD at A+R Store, pencil set at $66
+ Fluorescent Colored Pencil Set $24 USD at MoMA store
+ MUJI’s 60 Colored Pencils in a Tube $27.95 USD At MUJI USA

GIFT IDEAS Gift WRAP

Holiday Printables Round-Up – Part 4: Gift Packaging

Holiday printable packaging :: Christmas gift wrap and candy boxg

Holiday printable packaging :: Christmas gift wrap and tree favor box

There are so many amazing FREE printables available for Christmas. So many, in fact, that we had to split our round-up into four parts! The final installment in our holiday printable round-up is all about pretty packaging. Pair up these freebies with the cards and tags from part 3 for a unique look.

If good things come in small packages, then great things come wrapped in these printable gift wrap papers from Australian designers Mae. Polka dots and lace give their patterns a feminine quality making the papers perfect wrapping for petite jewellery boxes or other tiny trinkets.

Holiday printable packaging and gift wrapping

Giving sweet treats? This adorable “pillow box” from Melissa Esplin at I Still Love You would work wonders for homemade candy or stuffed in a stocking. And this cute Christmas Tree favor box? Perfect for a party, perhaps with a handmade chocolate truffle tucked inside. (Don’t miss all the coordinating party printables from Sweet Little Parties – including paper chains, hanging decorations, placecards, gift tags, thank you notes, and more!)

Every piece of holiday packaging could use a bit of festive flair. Print these envelope and package wraps from The Bella Bella Co. on adhesive paper to dress up your Christmas cards or gifts you intend to ship.

That “wraps up” our holiday printable round-up for this year! We hope these free designs inspire you in your holiday decorating and wrapping. In case you missed them earlier this week, check out parts 1 (holiday planning), 2 (holiday decorations) and 3 (cards and tags)!

SOURCING:
+ A4 Size Printable Wrapping Paper from Mae
Christmas Tree Favour Boxes from Sweet Little Parties
+ Christmas Candy Box from IS•LY|I Still Love You!
+ Envelope and Package Wraps from Creature Comforts – designed by MISS B. of The Bella Bella Co.

GIFT IDEAS HOLIDAY gifts

Holiday Gift Ideas for Tea Lovers

3 in 1 sand timer

3 in 1 sand timer

If a friend or a loved one on your list loves tea, make sure to check these 4 tea essentials for anyone who he serious about drinking tea.

First, you eliminate the guess work with a tea timer. The most practical infusion times are 3, 4 and 5 minutes. You will find the one on the left at Arthur Quentin. I prefer this design because it takes less space. Danesco makes a 3 In 1 Sand Timer that look more manly.

tea kettle and strainer

The Breville Variable Temperature Kettle is wonderful. I received it for Christmas last year and absolutely love it. The kettle is useful for tea drinkers and French press coffee fans. You can read the review I did about my Breville variable temperature kettle.

The last essential is a good infuser for your loose teas. The fine mesh Comfort Touch Tea Strainer includes a lid that serves as a saucer to hold the strainer when you finish.

SOURCING:
+ 3/4/5 minute sand timer $19.50 CAD at Kusmi Tea (for the store locator)
+ 3 In 1 Sand Timer by Danesco $15 USD at Amazon.com [affiliate link]
+ Breville Variable Temperature Kettle $108.40 CAD at Amazon.ca [affiliate link]
+  Comfort Touch Tea Strainer $16.95 USD at Teavana

GIFT IDEAS HOLIDAY gifts

Holiday Printables Round-Up – Part 3: Cards and Tags

Printable Holiday cads and tags

Print your own Holiday cards

There are so many amazing FREE printables available for Christmas. So many, in fact, that we had to split our round-up into four parts! My favourite part of wrapping Christmas gifts is adding a personalized tag with a sweet note for the gift recipient. This year the real challenge won’t be finding time to wrap the gifts, it will be choosing which of these cute tags to use!

If you holiday budget doesn’t leave much room for Christmas cards, download this hand-drawn card from Mufn Inc. There’s even space to customize it with your name.

Printable Holiday cads and tags

Short on time? Join the club. A postcard like this icy blue and platinum printable version from Maddy at Inspired Bride is a fast way to send your holiday sentiments. Argentinean artist Paola Zakimi contributed coordinating cards, tags and gift wrap featuring festive (and adorable!) animal illustrations to the Holiday issue of Gifted magazine.

Printable Holiday cads and tags

Leave it to the pros to help you deliver stylish packages. HGTV.ca offers four free holiday gift tag patterns. The graphic simplicity of House and Home magazine’s free labels look lovely in red, but they could be used for any occasion. If you like a kitschy gift wrap style, West Elm provides several smile-inducing options in bold colorways. (Don’t miss their coordinating entertaining printables, including menus and placecards, for a unified look.)

martha stewart's ornament gift tags and stickers

And finally, for the ultimate collection of printable gift tags and stickers, check out Martha Stewart.

Stay tuned for the last part of our printable round-up: gift wrap and boxes!

SOURCING:
+ Hand-drawn holiday card from Mufn Inc.
+ Happy Holidays postcard from Inspired Bride for Vale Design
+ Coordinating cards, tags and gift wrap from Paola Zakimi
+ Holiday Gift Tag Patterns from HGTV
+ Oval labels from House and Home
+ DIY Downloads from West Elm
+ Patterned Ornament Clip-Art Tags from Martha Stewart
+ “Warm Wishes for the Season” sticker from Martha Stewart
GIFT IDEAS Gift WRAP

Gold Gift Wrap Ideas from Shim + Sons

gold gift wrapping by shim + sons

gold gift wrapping by shim + sons

Don’t you love receiving a gift that’s impeccably wrapped? It’s almost like receiving two presents in one: a pretty package and the treat that’s inside it.

Coordinating your gift wrap with your holiday decor is an easy way to create a unified look in your space. Using a multitude of boldly colored patterns and prints can overwhelm the rest of your decorations, so keep it simple by sticking to one colorway.

In the Holiday issue of new digital magazine Gifted, designer Sally Shim of Shim + Sons shared simple packaging techniques using white and gold paper goods for an incredibly sophisticated look.

Gift Wrapping ideas by Sally Shim

Basic white boxes are wrapped with bands of vellum for a frosty feel; graphic patterns drawn with a ruler and a gold marker look especially modern. I also love the woven gold paper strips. It’s a clever play on the tartan trend that can easily be re-interpreted with other shades to match your decor. You can find instructions for all of Sally’s wrapping ideas in Gifted magazine. They made the cover page!

SOURCING:
+ Gifted magazine
+ For boxes and containers, look at Paper Source and Creative Bag

GIFT IDEAS Gifts for the COOK

A Molecular Gastronomy Kit

molecular gastronomy kit

molecular gastronomy kit

What to give at Christmas to a gourmet cook who has everything can be a hard task? But, with this kit developed by Montreal-based Molécule-R Flavors, I think that you might able to cross one name from your Christmas list.

what's inside the molecular gastronomy kit

Cuisine R-evolution should satisfy cooks who are curious about the most popular techniques of molecular cuisine, like spherification, gelification and emulsification. The kit shows how to play with the texture of juices, sauces, creams and dressings. The box contains 50 recipes on a DVD, 5 food additives, a food-grade syringe, 3 silicone tubes, 5 pipettes, a slotted spoon and a set of measuring spoons.

Watch this video to get an idea of what you can learn.

You can buy it online. They ship across Canada and to the United States.

SOURCING:
+ Cuisine R-evolution Kit $58.95 CAD / $57.86 USD at Molécule-R Flavors

ALL occasions GIFT IDEAS

Get organized to make handmade gifts

free printable project list designed by heart heather

free printable project list designed by heart heather

A few years ago, faced with a too-small holiday shopping budget and gift list that included ten nieces and nephews, parents, siblings, friends and colleagues, I made the decision to put my crafting, sewing and baking skills to good use and make all of my intended gifts.

Of course, my plan didn’t seem so great when I still had unfinished projects on December 24th.

Like any DIY project, organization is essential to ensure your gifts are completed in time to actually be given. It takes a bit of planning and more than one list, but the results are worth it. Here are a few tips that can help you stay on track as the holidays approach and your to-do list grows longer.

Start with a list. Craft stores are a wonderful place to find project inspiration. But aimlessly wandering the aisles can easily steer you off course from your gifting goal, cutting into valuable making time. Once you’ve determined the recipients, your projects and the quantity you need to make, write a list of necessary supplies and make one trip to stock up. You’ll avoid countless additional shopping trips (save for that unavoidable last-minute glitter run).

Use what you have. Holiday projects are a great opportunity to make the most of your craft stash. Take inventory and find gift projects that allow you to use those supplies. A simple online search can help you track down the perfect project.

Make multiples. If you have a long list of loved ones you intend to gift, work in assembly line fashion to speed up the creation of your gifts. Don’t be afraid to make more than one of the same project – after all, you can customize the details for each recipient. I once created stationery sets for multiple children and, while the elements were the same for each, notecards and stickers were personalized with each child’s name and favorite color for a custom feel.

Schedule it! Just as you have to fit shopping into your busy holiday schedule, dedicate a similar block of time to work on your gift projects.

To help you (and me!) organize holiday projects and supplies, I created this free printable. Here’s to happy, handmade holidays!

SOURCING:
+ Handmade Holiday Project List from Heart Heather

GIFT IDEAS Gifts for HER Gifts for HIM

Mimobot for Star Wars Fans | Gift Ideas

mimobot darth vader

mimobot star wars collection

For the Star Wars fans in your life, here is a collection of USB flash drives with their favorite characters. One neat feature is that a face is revealed by removing their helmet.

mimobot darth vader

Like in video games, some models carry an Easter egg. For example, one of 6 Darth Vader flash drives reveals the classic Anakin pale face. A limited edition of 500 units each provides Stormtrooper Han or Stormtrooper Luke with an extra cap. You have the choice to show the character shows their hair or the Stormtrooper helmet.

To reminisce a famous scene of the movie, have a look at this cute video featuring the Mimobot USB drives.

You can buy the Star Wars Mimobot series online at Mimoco.com or at these retailers (list for Canada and United States). Mimobot also makes an Hello Kitty line and an artist series designed by pop-culture famous artists.

SOURCING:
+  Star Wars Mimobot series $34.95 to $94.95 USD

GIFT IDEAS Gift WRAP

Canning Labels, Stickers and Tags by RiverDog Prints

dot canning labels and scallop tags by riverdog prints

dot canning labels and scallop tags by riverdog prints

Gift tags, labels and stickers enhance the basic canning jars to a sophisticated level. It adds the finishing touch to your homemade food creation.

RiverDog Prints proposes three collections: the dot design, the scallop series and the initial/flower series. They are all beautiful but I prefer the dot or the scallop in fresh colors. You can choose to get them all in the same color or to opt for a mix of colors. Most patterns are available in aqua, green apple and orange.

initial tags by riverdog prints

The tags come with 9 inches of coordinating baker’s twine. Each tag has space for your handwritten message. They go with the canning labels/stickers. If you need the 2-inch round labels, you will get 20 stickers per sheet. For bigger jars, count twelve 2.5-inch labels per sheet.

SOURCING:
+ Dot Canning Tags $9 for 12
+ Dot Canning labels/stickers $4 a sheet