Homemade gift ideas for everyone: it's our annual round-up of our favourite kitchen DIY gifts!
This holiday, give handmade gifts from the heart! It's our annual round-up of some of the amazing presents you can cook for kids and family, as well as some fantastic food-based experiences you can give as gifts.
Homemade gifts are not only better for the planet and your bank account, they give your family a chance to make something personal and wonderful for someone you love. Gifts from the kitchen are especially great because they cut down on clutter and fill up your home with good memories instead. Here are some of our favourite ideas to inspire you:
Give a gift that grows: cheer up wintertime by giving loved ones a table-top herb garden or kitchen scrap garden! Fresh herbs can be spendy this time of year, but they’re easy to grow indoors from basic kitchen scraps, and they’re a sweet way to show your favourite cooks you care about them. Green onions and lemongrass will pot up beautifully just from the cuttings you can buy at the supermarket—here’s how to get your lemongrass started, and how to get green onions growing (along with ideas on some longer-term scrap projects like pineapple and ginger!) Pair up your homemade kitchen herb garden with a pretty painted pot and some scissors for snipping fresh herbs. For more details (or ideas on starting indoor herb gardens from seeds), see our round-up post here.
Give a useful gift: It’s surprisingly easy to make scrubs, lotions and even shaving cream in your kitchen as a gift. For folks looking to use less plastic in their lives, homemade beeswax-infused wrappers work beautifully to cover food and carry snacks (and they’re actually simple to make). A family recipe book is a useful and touching way to add to your family’s cookbook collection. Or, if you know someone with a pet (or a love of wild birds), cook up some animal-friendly treats as a present for them.
Give the gift of play: Homemade playdough kits are a perfect gift for any kid because they look gorgeous, they’re easy to put together, and they keep little ones occupied for hours. Mix up a basic playdough using flour, salt, oil, cream of tartar and colouring (we love this no-cook recipe or this stovetop recipe) and then add in animals, beads, sequins, cookie cutters and anything else you want. The kits we’ve linked to here use a bead-sorting box to organize the components, and have wonderful ideas for themes - who doesn’t want a dino-themed or construction-themed playdough kit? For older kids, consider making them a science kit—this post should give you some inspiration for what that could look like, and to fill your kit, we’ve got lots of science project ideas based on ingredients you probably already have in your pantry. And for edible gift kits, check out this round-up of ideas! If you want to make something that will really thrill the kids in your family, we’ve also talked about how to make kitchen playspaces (and hidden dollhouses!) here, and how to make ready-to-assemble gingerbread house kits.
Give a gift of memories: Gifts of experience are a wonderful way to make some memories together in and outside the kitchen. Gift your nearest and dearest with a family star-gazing picnic, fika (it's like a homemade Scandanavian-style high tea), or a movie night. And of course, cooking together is always a fantastic way to make some memories—offer a cooking project date to try out some fun projects together!
Give a gift to savour: Check out our cookie recipe archive for ideas, or see our favourite suggestions for gift-ready drinks, condiments and nibbles. Or, for a different twist on holiday baking, tarts make a fantastic gift - they're adorable, travel well, and they're fun for more experienced kid-cooks to put together. You can find our tart recipe archive here. To really scale it up, why not gift a cake? We’ve got historic cake recipes to try as well as tried-and-true cake decorating ideas.