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9

Thoughtful gifts you can make yourself

December 9, 2013

Christmas signifies so many things, the foremost amongst these being the joy of giving and receiving love. A handmade gift is a beautiful symbol of this love, and it gives a heart-warming message: you were thought of, and you’re worth my time and effort.

We hope you enjoy making these gifts for your loved ones. Do share your project pictures with us!

Personalized plate

A DIY gift doesn’t get easier than this one, and it will add that personalized touch that friends and family with happy smiles. All you need is a ceramic plate (any light color, works best with white) from your local store. Now, using a fine point permanent marker (dark tones look great), handwrite a message on the plate. You could do it on the rim or even in the centre. Choose a quote or poem you associate the giftee with, or maybe a simple, heart-felt message. If you want to add your initials or the date, we recommend you do it behind the plate. 

Once you’re done writing, bake the plate at 150 degrees C for about 30 minutes to make the writing permanent. Add something sweet to eat – cookies, cupcakes, chocolates – wrap as you wish, and you have a great Christmas gift that will be cherished for years! 

Vintage Tablet stand

This is a perfect gift for someone who loves to cook, and uses their Tablet/iPad to look up recipes. 
You won’t need any vintage raw material, but you will need to pick up a wooden bread board or cutting board (basically anything with a ‘head’) from your local store. You could also repurpose a kitchen board that you don’t use. Remember to use one that is slightly larger than the tablet it will be propping up.

You’ll need a wooden Scrabble tile holder, or a similar piece of wood, a little shorter than the breadth of the board you’ve chosen. And a piece of wood that will prop the board at an angle, like say a child’s building block that has one slanted side (tall block).

Use wood glue and attach the Scrabble tile holder (or similar wood piece) to the bottom front of the board. Now glue the prop piece (wooden building block) to the back. Once the glue is dry, stain and sand it for that perfect vintage look.
Staining wood is pretty easy, although slightly messy. You’ll find several options in wood stain shades at your local hardware store, as well as instructions for different kinds of look on the internet. Remember to keep a lot of rags to clean up after! 

Herb infused olive oil

This is a great gift for people who love cooking or entertaining over meals. Herb-infused olive oil is fantastic for making salad dressing, drizzling over a dish of pasta, or simply as a dipping dish. It also makes for gorgeous kitchen decor!
The charm to this gift is in its shell... in this case, the container you will be storing the oil in. You could use glass bottles with cork-stoppers for this, the idea is to use a bottle that has a good seal and looks elegant. It is important to use good quality olive oil and preferably fresh and organic herbs and ingredients to ensure strong and clean flavors.

Choose any herb or spice you like, you can also infuse a combination. Just pay attention to the pairing of the herbs for the right flavor. Some combinations you can try are: chili and coriander; basil, thyme and pepper; lemon and thyme, etc.
Wash all the herbs and let them dry air-dry completely. Bruise the herbs gently before putting them in the oil, so that the full flavor of the herb comes through. Some people prefer lightly toasting their spices and grounding them coarsely. If you’re using fruits such as chili peppers or lemons, slice them thinly.

Cover the ingredients with olive oil, seal the bottle and let it sit in a cool, dark place overnight. Attach a hand-written label and your gift is ready to give! Herb-infused oils are usually recommended a sit-in period of a few days, so remember to leave a note for your giftee about the same! Infused olive oil will generally keep for up to one month, especially if kept refrigerated.

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