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December 20 2015

Gifts From The Heart – 7 DIY Holiday Gifts (Fun To Make, Great To Receive And Easy On Your Wallet) by Jordan Cohen


pokemongiphyWant to show someone you really care?  Give them a gift they’ll truly love with these  7 easy to make and awesome to receive DIY gift ideas from Jordan Cohen:

1. Quote Jar

2. Hot chocolate on a stick

3. Chocolate covered pretzels

4. A CD playlist

5. “Open when” envelopes

6. Photo modge podge letter

7. Cupcake Bath fizzies

 

Quote Jar

quote jar

What you’ll need:

  • A glass jar of some type
  • 365 (or more) quotes

Directions:

1. Decorate the glass jar as you wish

2. Find at least 365 inspirational or funny quotes and print them out

3. Cut them out on 365 separate pieces of paper and fold them. You can also add other things such as 25 reasons why you love the person!

 

Hot Chocolate on a stick (makes 14-16 sticks)

Screenshot 2015-12-20 09.18.43

What you’ll need:

  • 7 ounces dark chocolate (72-75%)
  • 3.5 ounces milk chocolate
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • Milk (cow, coconut, soy or almond)

Directions:

1. Heat the chocolate, honey and vanilla in a metal bowl, over a pot of simmering water. Do not let it get too hot!  You can even remove it from the heat, whisk and place it back on but don’t leave it

2. Spray an ice cube tray with vegetable oil. Once the chocolate is melted, spoon it into the ice tray. Add a popsicle stick to the center of each mold. You can let it thicken a minute if the stick won’t stay.

3. Place in the freezer for about 10 minutes or until the chocolate is solid.

4. Wrap them and deliver!

5. When the person wants to use them, have them heat up milk hot enough to melt the chocolate. The ratio is 1 cocoa stick to 1/2 cup milk. So you can do two sticks for 1 cup milk and you’ll get a very chocolatey cocoa!

Chocolate Covered Pretzel Bites
Pretzel-Hugs1

pretzel hugs 2What you’ll need:

  • A bag of square pretzels
  • Hershey kisses (My favorite is hugs)
  • Milk chocolate M&M’s

 

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 200 degrees. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper. Align pretzels on cookie sheet  then top each pretzel with one Hershey’s Hug chocolate. Bake in preheated oven for 4 – 5 minutes, until the chocolate is shiny and soft (but NOT melting, the chocolates should still hold their shape).

2. Remove from oven and carefully place one M&M in the center of each soft Hug and press down on M&M to spread the chocolate. Place in refrigerator and allow to rest until chocolate has set, about 5 minutes. Store in an airtight container.

Homemade CD Playlists

Screenshot 2015-12-20 09.28.51

What you’ll need:

  • Blank CD’s
  • A good taste in music
  • A computer or laptop

Directions:

1. Make playlists on your computer with different themes such as christmas, country, guilty pleasures, throwbacks etc.

2. Burn the playlists to discs and come up with creative names to write on the CD

3. You can even include a song list with reasons behind your song choices

“Open When” Envelopes

openwhenenvelopes
Screenshot 2015-12-20 09.33.19What you’ll need:

  • Envelopes
  • As many letters as you want to include
  • Surprises for the inside of envelopes

Directions:

1. Write letters for your friend for whatever occasion you feel they might need a letter from you. Some examples may be: When you need a laugh, when you had a rough day, when you’re stressed, on your birthday, or when you need a pep talk.

2. Decorate the envelopes and write when you want the person to open each one

3. Include little surprises in each one (bubble wrap to combat stress, jokes, a tissue, money to buy a coffee etc.)

4. Put them in a box or tie them together with ribbon!

Photo Mod Podge Letter

Screenshot 2015-12-20 09.33.34What you’ll need:

  • Paintbrush
  • Scissors
  • Large wooden letter
  • Mod podge
  • Glue dots or double sided tape
  • Decorative tape
  • Stickers
  • Photos printed on copy paper

Directions:

1. Select the photos that you want to use and reduce them on the computer. Print on regular copy paper and cut out the size you want.

2. Using glue dots or double-sided tape, arrange the photos on the letter. Fold and glue photos over the edge if they are too big.

3. Fill empty spaces with decorative tape or stickers. For a polished look, line the edges with decorative tape.

4. Using a paintbrush, apply a layer of Mod Podge. Once it is dry, add a second coat to seal the photos. Allow to dry.

Fizzy Cupcake Bath Bombs (makes 7)

Fizzy-Cupcake-Bath-Bomb-RecipeWhat you’ll need for the cake:

  • 8 oz baking soda
  • 4 oz citric acid
  • 4 oz corn starch
  • 4 oz Epsom Salts
  • 2 ½ tablespoons coconut oil
  • ¾ teaspoon water
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 4 drops food coloring

What you’ll need for the frosting:

  • 3 tablespoons meringue powder
  • 6 tablespoons warm water
  • 1 lb powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1. Measure out all of the dry ingredients

2. In a separate small bowl, combine the coconut oil, water, vanilla extract and food coloring. Oil and water don’t mix very well, so don’t worry if they aren’t 100% combined.

3. Add one teaspoon of the wet ingredients to the dry at a time. You’ll have to work really quickly, and mix it around with your hands. Pinch at the little bits of stuck together pieces to get them to come apart. If your mixture is bubbling up, you’re adding the wet to the dry too fast. When this happens, just be sure to mix the wet pieces to the non-reactive dry really fast and it should stop. At the end, your mixture should feel a lot like slightly wet sand. It will stick together, but it’s going to be crumbly. Mold the fizzy bath bombs immediately after you’re done mixing.

4. In order to make cupcakes out of these, line each cup in a muffin pan with plastic wrap. Hard pack the bath bomb mix into each of the cups. I mean, really REALLY pack that stuff in there, pushing it down as hard as you can. With this recipe, you only have to let them sit for about 10 minutes before you unmold them and let them dry for a few hours.

5. To make the frosting, in a mixing bowl, blend together the meringue powder and warm water until it’s frothy. Add the powdered sugar and vanilla. Beat on high until stiff peaks form. If the frosting is too stiff, add a teaspoon of water at a time until it’s a consistency you can pipe while still standing on its own. Add a few sprinkles on top to make them pretty. Let the frosting dry for a few hours before you attempt to wrap them up. 

Read More By Jordan:

The Special Bond Between Roomies

Where Is Your Happiness

Why We All Want To Be Meredith Grey

Alone But Not Lonely

Music To My Ears

Meet Jordan:

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