Top It Off
The next time you give your hostess a bottle of wine, include a one-of-a-kind bottle stopper, too!
To Make: Using an 1/8-inch drill bit, make a hole in the center of a wine cork. (Use one from a bottle of white -- it won't be stained by the wine!) Coat the underside of the knob with hot glue and twist it snugly into the hole. Be careful not to let the hardware poke out at the bottom, so your cork stays intact.
Stoke the Fire
Friends can toss a spice-and-herb sachet in the fireplace to release a sweet fragrance.
To Make: Cut two coffee filters into identical squares and sew them together with red string -- but leave one side open, like a pillowcase. Stuff the pouch with a handful of spice mixture -- made up of dried orange and apple peels, cloves, pine needles, star anise, cinnamon sticks, sprigs of rosemary and lavender. Then sew the open flap closed.
Scented teacup candles are so easy to make they'll become your new go-to gift.
To Make: In a double boiler, completely melt your candle wax. Place a wick in the center of a demitasse tea cup, then pour in about 1/4-inch layer of wax. Add a layer of coffee beans and chopped up vanilla beans and fill the rest of the cup with the wax. Using a chopstick, stir the wax to distribute the beans. Let the candle harden, about 2 hours.
Treat your busy buddies to a night of at-home pampering with an exfoliating body scrub.
To Make: In a medium bowl, stir together 1 cup brown sugar, 1 cup sea salt, 3/4 cup almond oil, 1 tbsp. EVOO or sesame oil, 1 tbsp. vanilla extract, 2 tsp. lemon juice and 2 tsp. ground cinnamon. If the mixture seems a little dry, add another teaspoon or two of oil. Spoon the scrub into a mason jar and cover with an airtight lid.
Make Your Mark
For your favorite word worm, personalize stationary using the contents of your crisper.
To Make: Fold a piece of cardstock into a greeting card. Bind the racicchio with a rubber band and chop 3 inches from the top. Dip the cut end of the radicchio stem into the paint, or use a stamp pad (blot on a paper towel if you see any drips). Stamp it onto the cover of your card.
This campfire treat gets a holiday makeover! Sweetly pack your ingredients in a ribbon-wrapped box that mimics the dessert.
To Make: Place a few S'mores Stacks (make them as traditional or out-of-the-box as you'd like... like using peppermint bark instead of plain chocolate bars!) end to end in a long white gift box. Wrap the box in caramel and chocolate-colored ribbons to match.
Put dessert in a cone! With just cardstock, wrapping paper and ribbon, chocolate truffles get a new home.
To Make: Roll a piece of square card stock into a cone, seal the edges with tape and fill with pretzel turtles. Cover the cone with wrapping paper and tie closed with a ribbon.
Honey Nut Butter & Jelly
Cooler than sliced bread, this gift comes sandwich ready!
To Make: Cut the top off a loaf of crusty bread and hollow out two holes for jars of nut butter and jelly. Replace the bread top and tie the loaf with ribbon.
They won't be able to stop snacking on these cheesy delights, and when they finish they can reuse the container as a vase or pen holder on their desk!
To Make: Make a color copy of your favorite fabric on a Xerox machine, then tape the paper to a tall tin using double-sided tape. Finish with coordinating ribbon and fill with cheese sticks.