Thursday, October 29, 2009

And It Smelled Nice, Too!

Not possessing a craft gene, posting about a homemade, inexpensive gift is like having a root canal with no anesthetic. Then I remembered a particular October when my husband was finishing his last year of graduate school. I had just given birth to Reese, our youngest, who was only 11 months behind his sister Molly. We pinched pennies, nickels, dimes and quarters—and, perhaps even a few pesos!

I borrowed an idea from a flea market and tried it at home. Here’s what I did.

I made fragrant door hangers and swags (to put above the fireplace) out of dried fruit and coat hangers. WHAT?!?!?! It’s simple—and you know it must be if I’m saying it.

Thinly slice oranges and apples and allow them to dry out on a cookie sheet lined with old newspaper. Flip them once or twice so they dry evenly.

Drill tiny holes in cinnamon sticks. “Thread” the dried fruit and cinnamon sticks onto the coat hanger to use in any size and shape you want. You could make a small wreath and add a raffia bow. My favorite size were door hangers because they didn’t require too much fruit. I made a loop at one end and speared the fruit and cinnamon sticks about 5-6 inches in length. Another loop at the bottom for the raffia bow and voila, you have yourself a beautiful, and oh-so-inexpensive, homemade gift. Spritz with apple jack fragrance to refresh the smell as needed. The one I made to put over my fireplace lasted several years! And I gave away a dozen or so to family members and friends.

Happy drying and threading!

Now what gifts can you suggest for the rest of us—crafty or not? We can always use new ideas in this department!

1 comment:

Larry said...

What a great idea!! Here is one I used both for gifts and for decorating. I saved my Christmas cards that I got from friends and even from businesses. I purchased some inexpensive tiny "chalkboards" at a craft store. These had a small "blackboard" lined with an even tinier border. First, I spray-painted the border red. (It didn't matter if I got paint on the blackboard.) Then set the painted boards to dry. Then I created a little cardboard template -- the cutout square was the same size as the blackboard. Using the template, I centered it over the Christmas card picture. I carefully cutout the picture with an X-acto knife. (Sometimes I could get two cutouts out of one Christmas card.)Using a permanent glue stick, I glued the cutouts on the blackboards. These made very interesting Christmas tree ornaments. Sets of six make neat gifts for friends and relatives. Also, I sold many to a gift store who sold out within a couple of days. The chalkboards came with gold thread. Total cost -- 29 cents per chalkboard, $1.00 for the glue stick, $1.99 for a can of red spray paint. It was fun too.
Merry Christmas,
Santa Larry