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Made to Give

Hostess gifts, teacher gifts, neighbor gifts…who doesn’t need a stash of $10 to $20 presents at the ready for last minute events and people you inadvertently forgot? If you’re on a tight budget, or just feeling kind of crafty, you can save money by making great presents yourself. All of these projects are easy-peasy and guaranteed to make you look clever, and not just, um, cheap.

Cranberry (or any other fruit) Infused Vodka

What you need:

1 pound of fresh cranberries (or any other fruit) 1 (750 ml) bottle of vodka. You don’t have to spring for top shelf brands, but it will taste much better if you pick something decent. Glass bottles Just chop the cranberries in a food processor and combine them with the vodka in a large container. Cover and let the mixture sit for about two weeks. Then, using a fine mesh sieve, strain the vodka and discard the solids. Pour into pretty bottles with corks or lids and add a festive ribbon and a gift tag. Keep refrigerated.

Baker’s Delight

What you’ll need:

Oven Mitt Utensils Ribbon

This is a great DIY gift for an uncrafty person to make for a crafty one. Simply insert the utensils into the oven mitt and tie a bow around it. Tip: This looks best when you pick items that have a common color and match them to the mitt.

Cinnamon Stick Candles

What you’ll need:

Cinnamon Sticks Votive Candle Holders Votive Candles Hot Glue Gun and Glue Sticks Decorative Ribbon

Simply hot glue cinnamon sticks to the outside of a votive candle holder, tie a pretty ribbon around the outside, slip in a votive candle and you’re done. Give your recipient several of these for maximum impact.

Chalkboard Signs

What you’ll need:

Inexpensive Picture Frames Chalkboard Paint Chalk Ribbon

Even though most teachers don’t use chalkboards anymore, they’ll still find these signs charming, as will anyone who needs to remember to buy milk. And this project couldn’t be easier. Simply remove the glass from the frame, paint the frame a cute color and let dry and paint the glass with chalkboard paint. Add a few pieces of chalk tied together with a coordinating ribbon and you’re done.