Category Archives: Homemade Gifts

Friendship Tea ~ A Sweet Little Gift

Fall is quickly approaching which means all the holidays will be here soon. And with the holidays comes gift giving. September makes me want to get out my sewing machine, make cards, bake, and all that other crafty stuff. It just makes me feel good.

As I was feeling all crafty and creative I was also writing the Billy Gorilly Family Newsletter. I wanted to include Family Friendly recipes that the kids could help make, and wouldFriendship Tea from BillyGorilly.com Music and Fun for Kids also be perfect for gift giving. As I was thinking, I remembered “Friendship Tea”.  My mother-in-law was the first one to share this recipe with me many years ago. I have fond memories of this special tea. She did not have much money, but she always gave very thoughtful loving gifts. I knew that this gift was from her heart, and her way of showing us how much she cared. I would be reminded of her love over and over until I finished the last bit of tea mix.

This recipe is easy to make and I’ve included a gift tag template

My husband also loves this tea. When I was taking pictures of the finished product my husband asked if he could have some, so I made him a cup of “Iced Friendship Tea” garnished with a slice of lemon. His response was “yum this is really good, can I have some more”. After 2 glasses of tea I did what any good wife would do and reminded him that this does have sugar, so drink accordingly.

Friendship Tea would be a perfect thoughtful little gift for your girlfriends, teacher, hostess, or just about anyone.

You can store the mix in clean recycled glass  jars, or purchase fancy jars. Just make sure the jars have airtight lids. I created gift tags (my gift to you) to adorn the jars, which include instructions on how to make the tea . Tie the tag to the jar with a ribbon and you are set to go.

Ingredients you will need: Print Recipe Card and Gift Tags
Tea Powder
Lemonade mix
Orangeade mix
Cinnamon & Clove
Containers to store mix
Printer for gift tags and recipe card (optional)

Mix ingredients in large bowl, then store in airtight containers. How easy is that!

Kids will have fun stirring the ingredients, learning how to measure, and about sharing with others.

Click Image to get recipe at BillyGorilly.com

Download and Print Recipe and Gift Tag Template

I hope you enjoy making this as much as I do.

Be well,


DIY Girlfriend Birthday Gift

Hey Friends,

Today I was making a little birthday gift for one of my girlfriends and I thought it might be helpful to you if I shared it.

I have a few close friends that I celebrate birthdays with (the girlfriend birthday club). We have an unwritten rule no gifts. We go to dinner and everyone pitches in to buy the guest of honor her dinner.

It’s hard for us to come empty handed, in fact none of us ever do. We just keep it super simple. Sometimes it’s a sweet card, re-gifting a good book, homemade dessert , or a little plant. We used to get all elaborate and it got out of control. This was supposed to be a girlfriend get together after work to celebrate life, relax, and catch up on what is happening with each other.

I decided I was going to make a card because I didn’t have time to get to the store.  I used MS word to draw a very  simple design. (You can download the template below). I wanted to give a little something along with the card so… I went to my little stash in the cupboard and found the crystal tea light holder and the plain boring  white tea lights. Then…

Enough with the back story

Lets Get to it…

Step 1

Print card template on white card stock.
note: Make sure your printer is set to borderless printing. It should print all the way to the edges. The file is in pdf format.

Step 2

Cut the card in half horizontally. The template makes 2 cards

Step 3

Fold card in half.

Phew that was hard I know. Your card is done. Write a nice note and you can pop it into the mail.

Of course I couldn’t leave it alone.

I had to add just a touch of sparkle*

So I added 2 rows of rhinestones

I added a touch of sparkly glue to the center of the flowers. I think that is just the right amount of sparkle. Not too much, not too little. I keep telling myself to KEEP IT SIMPLE.

Your card is finished. Now to make the matching tea lights.

Tea Light to match the Card

The candle below was my test candle. The custom tea lights I made before used tissue paper for the design. On this one I used regular printer paper. My test came out great. The paper did not break out in flames. The paper just sunk to the bottom as the candle burned. Note: (Never Leave Your Candles Unattended)

Step 1

Print the card template on plain printer paper.

Cut out flowers to use for the design.

For the complete custom tea light instructions you can read my post here. I made something similar for another friend of mine.

Now to Wrap the Gift

I love using cloth to wrap presents. It’s fun, green, and  can be used again and again.

Kitchen towels work great for wrapping small gifts. Who couldn’t use more towels in the kitchen.  I just bought some pretty flower towels at IKEA and they are sitting in a bag somewhere, but where is the question I asked myself.

Luckily, after a few minutes I found them in the back seat of my car. Go figure, they were under some junk in the trunk haha.

What do you think? Spring Flowers work for me.

Now to wrap up the gift and tie it with a recycled satin ribbon.

That’s it. I’m now ready for the party. I hope my friend enjoys her little gift. I know I enjoyed making it. I also hope this inspires you to make your own gift for a friend.

Friends Are Precious!

Download and Print Card Template

View tea light instructions here

Have a beautiful day!

Quick and Easy Food Gift Tip ~ 2-in-1

Every year at this time my DH and I make gifts of food. Some years it’s really fancy and some years it’s very simple. This year we chose to do it simple. The food gifts are for people that don’t cook much, or can’t really cook much because of age or illness. We made soup, bread, sweet treats, and of course my DH’s famous Italian olives.

2 gifts-in-1
I love to wrap food gifts using reusable items such as tea towels

Do you give gifts of food during the holidays? Leave a comment and share your favorite food gift, tip for wrapping, or to just say hi.

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!

Tamara

Tea Lights and Coziness ~ Make A Sweet Little Gift

Can You Find the Little Angel?

Hello Friends,

Are you trying to think of a little gift for a girlfriend, teacher, or coworker?

I thought I would share a craft + little gift I made for a friend recently.

I made this gift for my girlfriend a couple of weeks ago for her birthday. We have a group of girls that get together to celebrate each birthday throughout the year. We have an unwritten rule that there are no gifts. Cards and homemade things are OK.

This whole project took me about 20 minutes to put together and cost about $5.

I’m going to get right down to the details.

Inside the Gift Bag:

  • A pretty handmade box with a slide off top

  • 5 – Customized Tea Light Candles (you can buy a bag of 100 plain tea lights on sale for under $10)

  • 1 – Tea Light holder  (Dec. is a great time to get these cheap)
  • 1 – Pair of cozy slipper socks

  • Throw in a couple of pieces of dark chocolate and some Calm tea for an extra treat. Thank You @CandyDye for that idea.

I buy cozy socks on sale in December to have on hand for little gifts. Cost $2.50
The crystal tea light holder I got on sale at Michaels Crafts for $2.50
I recycled the cellophane bag that was in my craft cupboard, same with ribbon
I had the paper in my scrap-booking paper stash. The pink tissue was rescued from an old gift bag hiding in the linen closet.

The way I see it,  this sweet gift cost me about 5 bucks. Not bad for a thoughtful, useful gift made with lots of love. Hey a store bought Card cost around 5 bucks. This gift can be used for a long time,  and it’s fun to make and put together.

Making the Custom Tea Lights

Items Needed:

  1. Tea Lights
  2. Colored tissue paper
  3. Paper punch of choice. One that will fit the candle. I had a heart that worked perfectly. You could even cut out a shape by hand.
  4. Heat gun or a hair dryer would probably work fine

Punch your shape out of tissue paper. *note when you punch tissue paper use a piece of regular scrap paper with it. Punch through both the reg. paper and tissue paper. This just makes it easier. Discard the regular paper, keeping only the colored shape. In this case a heart.

Next punch a small hole in the center of your tissue shape. I used a small hole punch, but you could use a paper clip or something.

Place the tissue shape onto the tea light with the wick going through the little hole.

Take your heat gun and melt the wax slightly. This only takes a few seconds, use caution so you don’t burn yourself. You just want a little wax covering the tissue.

That’s it.! You are done customizing one tea light. Now finish the rest just like the first one, or make them all different, use your imagination.

Let’s Make The Pretty Box

You will need two pieces of card stock. Pick your favorite color. If you’re a scrapbooker you probably have tons of paper hanging around. I just went through my stock and picked some I thought looked pretty together.

  • Cut one piece card stock 7 1/2 in. x 3 in. (this will be the bottom)
  • Cut one piece card stock 6 in. x 5 1/4 in. (this will be the top)

Now we want to score the paper. Scoring paper is making a crease in the paper prior to folding. To do this you can use a ruler and a bone folder. Or, you can use a scoring board. Look for one in the scrap book section of your craft store. I have done it both ways.

Instead of writing all the measurement here I thought it would be easier to give you a printable with all the measurements.
***Download Rectangle Box Template
***

Once you have your paper cut and scored, tape into place using double-stick tape or glue. I prefer tape because it is not as messy, and I don’t have to wait for it to dry.

Decorate the box to your liking. I used paper, cut out a section and popped it up using foam squares. I wanted to keep this box simple. They can be fancy or simple it’s totally up to you.

Now It’s Time To Put Your Gift Together

I chose to put the tea lights, cozy slipper socks, and crystal candle holder in a clear cello bag with a gross grain ribbon.

This is what the final gift looked like

I hope you enjoyed this post. I want to give credit where credit is due. I first learned how to make the boxes years ago at my favorite scrap book store Hearts and Crafts in Covina, Ca. The tea light idea I got from the 6/6/11 issue of 350 Cards & Gifts by PaperCraftsMag.com

*** Print Rectangle Box Instructions ***

Happy Holidays!

Tamara

Easy Chocolate Pretzel Stix – Perfect for Gifts

Chocolate Covered Pretzels

Make a Perfect Holiday Treat……..

I love making homemade gifts and goodies around the holidays. For me it is something I look forward to each year. These pretzels sticks are so EASY to make and they are very tasty. This is a perfect treat to make with the kids. Even very young children can help and it only requires a few tools and ingredients.

You can switch things up by changing the color or type of topping you use. For instance I made some for 4th of July, see here, or you could use pink or blue for a baby shower. The possibilities are endless.

These sweet treats would be perfect to add to a holiday gift basket or to bring as a hostess gift.

••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••

Ingredients: Print Recipe

  • 1 bag pretzel rods
  • 10oz. bag chocolate chips
  • 1 jar Fall Color Mix sprinkles

Tools/Supplies:

  • Wax paper
  • Cellophane Pretzel Bags
  • Cookie Sheet
  • 4 cup Pyrex or other microwavable dish.
  • Butter Knife
  • Small Plate

Directions:

Put a piece of wax paper on a rectangle baking tray. Use some sort of microwave safe container to melt the chips (deep enough to dip the pretzel rods). I used a 4-cup pyrex measuring cup. Pour the chocolate chips into the container. To melt the chips cook in microwave for 1-1/2minutes, stir with butter knife then cook another 30seconds and stir again. Take a pretzel stick and dip into melted chocolate to coat. I tilted the measuring cup to get the chocolate far enough up the pretzel. Holding the pretzel horizontal I twirled it until no more chocolate was dripping. Then, hold the pretzel over a plate and sprinkle with candy sprinkles or whatever you choose. Set the pretzel on wax paper and continue with the next one. Makes 12 pretzels.

***

Now all you have to do is to wait for hem to harden. It took a few hours sitting on the counter. Or, you could put them into the freezer for a few minutes.

When the chocolate gets firm you can

carefully slide them into the pretzel bags.

That’s it. They only take a few minutes. Perfect for you to make with the kids. They are very tasty. In fact I will share with you my little secret shh… I ate one for breakfast with my coffee and it was Yummy! Don’t tell

Bon Appetit,

Share

Gobble Gobble – Quick and Easy Thanksgiving Card

I needed to send out a few Thanksgiving cards so I decided to make them myself. I love making cards. I wanted it to be very simple and I could only use things I already had at home. I had no time to go to the store.

I decided to put a simple turkey picture on the front and say Happy Thanksgiving. So original, I know. I did not have a picture of a turkey. so I used my high tech skills and used my finger on the mouse pad to draw a turkey. Gasp, I even used MS word instead of a fancy drawing tool. Well, I did clean-up and color the turkey in photoshop.

Anyway, let me show you my Quick and Easy Card. If you need a card to make I give you the link to the template below. Just because I like you. Oh, and this would be so easy to have the kids make. Grandma’s and Grandpa’s love that kind of thing.

Scrapping Crafting Tools of the Trade

Supplies for 2 Cards:
1 – Piece of 8.5″ x 11″ white card-stock to print images or use plain printer paper
1 – Piece of 8.5″ x 11″ color card-stock
Tape or glue
Scissors or paper cutter
Embellishments as desired. I know you scrappers out there have tons of embellishments sitting around in those fancy boxes. I know I do, LOL.

1. Print images on card-stock

2. Cut out turkey card images

3. Cut 8.5″ x 11″ coordinating color card-stock
in half horizontally to make
two 5.5″tall x 8.5″ wide pieces

4. Fold color card-stock in half.
Score paper first if you have a scorer.

5. Tape or Glue Turkey to front of card and your done

Pretty easy don’t you think?

Maybe you want to color your own, add glitter, tags, and gems.

Here is one where I used water color pencils.


Click Here To Get Thanksgiving Card Template Now

That’s it, now you can make your own Turkey Card. If you have young children you might be interested in a card card template made just for kids to color Get it here

Cheers,


Friendship Tea ~ A Sweet Little Gift

Fall is quickly approaching which means all the holidays will be here soon. And with the holidays comes gift giving. September makes me want to get out my sewing machine, make cards, bake, and all that other crafty stuff. It just makes me feel good.

As I was feeling all crafty and creative I was also writing the Billy Gorilly Family Newsletter (If you like you can view newsletter here). I wanted to include Family Friendly recipes that the kids could help make, and wouldFriendship Tea from BillyGorilly.com Music and Fun for Kids also be perfect for gift giving. As I was thinking, I remembered “Friendship Tea”.  My mother-in-law was the first one to share this recipe with me many years ago. I have fond memories of this special tea. She did not have much money, but she always gave very thoughtful loving gifts. I knew that this gift was from her heart, and her way of showing us how much she cared. I would be reminded of her love over and over until I finished the last bit of tea mix.

This recipe is easy to make and I’ve included a gift tag template

My husband also loves this tea. When I was taking pictures of the finished product my husband asked if he could have some, so I made him a cup of “Iced Friendship Tea” garnished with a slice of lemon. His response was “yum this is really good, can I have some more”. After 2 glasses of tea I did what any good wife would do and reminded him that this does have sugar, so drink accordingly.

Friendship Tea would be a perfect thoughtful little gift for your girlfriends, teacher, hostess, or just about anyone.

You can store the mix in clean recycled glass  jars, or purchase fancy jars. Just make sure the jars have airtight lids. I created gift tags (my gift to you) to adorn the jars, which include instructions on how to make the tea . Tie the tag to the jar with a ribbon and you are set to go.

Ingredients you will need: Print Recipe Card and Gift Tags
Tea Powder
Lemonade mix
Orangeade mix
Cinnamon & Clove
Containers to store mix
Printer for gift tags and recipe card (optional)

Mix ingredients in large bowl, then store in airtight containers. How easy is that!

Kids will have fun stirring the ingredients, learning how to measure, and about sharing with others.

Click Image to get recipe at BillyGorilly.com

Download and Print Recipe and Gift Tag Template

I hope you enjoy making this as much as I do.

Be well,