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How To Make Personalized Gifts For The Holidays I

Dec 11, 2012 | By Sharon DeWitt

The holiday season can be hard on the wallet. But don't worry. Here's a great selection of cheap and thoughtful personalized gifts that will delight grandmas, grandpas, friends, kids, aunts or uncles!

The party circuit means gifts for the hosts. Christmas and Chanukah means cards, stocking stuffers and numerous gifts. If you're on a budget, holiday gift giving can feel anything but jolly. Never fear. From Grandma to Uncle Joe, we have come up with some great custom gifts for all members of your family. They're so easy that even the kids can get involved!

In this post, we cover personalized gifts for grandparents plus a sweet gift for party hosts and friends. Next post, it's custom gifts for mums, dads and of course, the kids.

Personalized Gifts For Grandparents And Older Relatives:
Homemade Picture Frames

Handmade personalized picture framesTired of giving handcream, chocolates and soap on a rope? Or have a relative who say they don't want anything for Christmas or Hanukkah (but really do)? 

Give a picture perfect gift - a hand decorated picture frame complete with a family portrait or snapshot of a memorable event. It's guaranteed to soften the hardest humbug heart! 

Homemade picture frames make an great holiday craft activity for kids as well, so why not get them involved in making special gifts for family members that they can proud to present!

What you need:

  • Picture frame (old or new)
  • Glue gun
  • Glitter, buttons and other decorating accents
  • Fabric scraps and/or old swatches of wall paper
  • Acrylic paint
  • Sandpaper
  • Paint brushes

What to do:

  1. Select your picture frame. Perhaps you have an unused one from around the house or simply buy a new one. Tip: Wooden frames work well, the plainer the design, the better.
  2. Prepare the surface. Using sandpaper, lightly scuff the surface of the frame. This makes paint and glue stick better to the frame.
  3. Paint and decorate! Decide what materials you want to use. With personalizing gifts, you are the artist, so it's all up to you. We've included a few examples for inspiration.
    Tip: Consider the person you're giving the frame to. Do they like 'bling'? If so, considering painting the frame a fun color and put glitter and jewelled accents around the edges. If the person is more classically chic, you could paint the frame a rich color, such as red, and cover the frame with a delicate fabric, like lace. This creates a unique but more subdued elegant finish.
  4. Pick a photo and wrap. Choose a picture of either your family, or of you and the person you're giving the frame to and place it in the now personalized frame. Wrap it up and you're done!


Customized Gifts For Party Hosts and Friends:  Biscotti In A Tin

Personalized handmade gifts: Biscotti in a tin

Wondering what gift to bring for the hostess at holiday parties? 
Or do you have a handful of friends with whom you wish to share some holiday cheer? A smartly wrapped tin full of homemade biscotti is a delight for anyone who enjoys sweets! 

Biscotti is an Italian cookie that is made for dipping in coffee or hot chocolate. They are quick and easy type of cookie to bake, plus they're fancier than the usual sugar cookies that are served during the holidays. Put them in a ribbon wrapped tin and you have a personalized gift that will always be appreciated!

What you need:

Biscotti tin

  • Plain cookie tin (pick up at any Bulk Barn, dollar store and many supermarkets).
  • Fun coloured ribbons and/or twine.
  • Wax paper.

Biscotti recipe ingredients (gluten free)

  • 1 1/4 Cup almond flour
  • 1 Tablespoon arrowroot powder
  • 1/4 Tablespoon sea salt
  • 1/4 Teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 Cup maple syrup
  • 1 Tablespoon lemon zest
  • 1/4 Cup slivered almonds
  • Parchment paper

Biscotti is suprisingly easy to make. We've chosen a gluten free biscotti recipe, which tastes just the same as a normal biscotti. Each batch makes around 15 medium sized biscotti. Other great wheat flour biscotti recipes can be found here. 

What to do:

Making the biscotti

  1. Mix the dry ingredients (except the slivered almonds) in a large mixing bowl using a whisk. 
  2. Using a large wooden spoon, mix in the lemon zest and the maple syrup until the dough forms a ball. 
  3. Work in the slivered almonds into the ball with your hands.
  4. Form two partially flattened logs on a parchment paper lined cookie sheet. 
  5. Bake at 350 degrees for 15 minutes, then cool for 1 hour.
  6. Cut the logs into 1/2 ink slices diagonally with a very sharp knife and place on cookie sheet.
  7. Bake them for 15 minutes at 300 degrees. 
  8. Cool the biscotti. 

Decorating the tin

  1. Line the tins with wax paper.
  2. Pack the biscotti into the tins lightly, do not overstuff the biscotti otherwise you will break and crumble your hard work!
  3. Select ribbon or twine 
  4. Circle the ribbon or twine around the tin, tying a bow on top. And voila! You're done!

A Personalized Gift Is A Gift From The Heart

Taking the time to make a gift, whether is a personalized picture frame, or handmade cookies, really does show that you care. Anyone can pick up a gift card at the grocery store, but making something from scrtach really does go the extra mile in gift giving.

Happy holidays from all of us at Little Heroes!

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