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Copyright 2005

Quick Gifts to make

Making gifts for people is a lovely way to show you care for them and gives you the chance to step away from everyday routines for a while.

It may or may not save you money to make gifts, but if you are on a tight budget, creative thinking can result in beautiful gifts for less expense.

You can make these gifts look really special by choosing labels and containers that are beautiful, interesting or whacky themselves.

The following 'recipes' are quite easy and generally create inexpensive gifts.

Special sugar

For coffee lovers, this is a real treat. You can vary the flavours to suit your loved ones, or create a few and give them some variety.

  • coffee sugar (the large crystals)
  • flavoured liquor (e.g. Cointreau, Frangellica, Brandy)

Spread out a single layer of the sugar on a baking tray or other flat surface. Sprinkle some liquor across the sugar, but be careful not to add enough to make the sugar look wet.

Leave the sugar to dry for about 24 hours.

Place the sugar in a nice container  and wrap as a gift!

Bath Salts

This is an easy gift to make in bulk and then divide into gift size portions. It is useful as a small gift for teachers or as an attachment to a larger gift.

  • 1 cup rock salt (easy to find in your supermarket)

  • 4 - 6 drops of an essential oil (choose an essential oil rather than aromatic oils which are not as pure)

  • 2 - 4 drops food dye (optional)

This is real easy - put everything into a bowl, mix and put into a container!

You can mix different oils and make colours stronger or paler by adjusting how many drops you use.

If placing in a cellophane bag or glass bottle, a sprig of a relevant herb or flower tied on with some raffia makes it look fantastic.

Herbed vinegar

The earlier you make this vinegar, the more flavour it will have by the time it is used. It can be used as a salad dressing, for poaching eggs, as a marinade and in other foods where savoury flavours are desired.

  • vinegar (plain and wine vinegar works, or even mix them up a little)

  • fresh herbs from the garden (or green grocer)

Break the herbs up into large pieces and put into a bottle. Pour in vinegar to almost fill the bottle. Add the lid and shake.

Leave the vinegar to steep, giving it a shake every few days until you're ready to give it as a gift.

Note if you want to give this gift soon, you can gently heat the vinegar before bottling it as this will speed up the steeping process - but don't boil it.



Tash Hughes is a Mum of two in Melbourne. She is also a writer and owner of Word Constructions. Tash is available to write articles and profiles for any business, as well as doing other business documentation projects. You can see her site and services at






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