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I Want a Hippopotamus for Christmas

December 23, 2011

So, it’s December 23rd.  Christmas is less than two days away and you haven’t finished your Christmas shopping.  Maybe you haven’t even started.  Whatever the case, you are sweating the whole Christmas gift thing.  Sure, you could run around town buying up random trinkets for the people on your list (you’re certainly not going to find that last-minute deal on a hippopotamus), but another idea is to make something.  Yeah, it might sound a little crazy – if there’s not enough time to hit up all the stores, how can there be time to make something?  Or maybe you’re not especially crafty and you’re unsure you’ll be able to make anything at all.

Here are some ideas for easy-to-make homemade gifts.  Many of them can be made in an hour or less.  I’ve tried to include as many as I can that don’t require going out and buying a lot of extra items.  Also, most of the ideas are fairly simple and don’t require a lot of crafty know-how, except for some of the ideas under “Food” and the ideas for five ways to re-use old sweaters – they require a sewing machine.


Many of these involve cooking or baking but are fairly quick.  Plus, I think you really can’t go wrong with homemade ediblesSome of these are kits you can put together with ingredients from your kitchen.

Curried Lentil Soup (from Crafting a Green World.  Fixings for soup in a jar!)

Hot Cocoa Kit (from Family Fun)

Hot Cocoa Mix kit from

Toffee Blondies in a Jar (from

Crunchy Sesame Candy (from Family Fun.  These need only three ingredients – honey, brown sugar and sesame seeds!)

Tasty Grill Rubs (from kojodesigns)

How to Make Mini Pies in Jars! (from SquawkFox)

Decorated Sugar Cubes (from Cute Food for Kids blog)

For Kids

Festive Playdough (from MoneySavingMom)

Snowman in a Box (from Homemade Gifts Made Easy)

I Spy Bottles (from According to Kelly)

For the Home

No-Sew Sachets (from FamilyFun)

Tutorial for Fabric Flowers (from GreenUpgrader)

Embellished Hand Towels (from

Clothespin Magnets (from Homemade Gifts Made Easy)

To Pamper

Here are several recipes for homemade foot scrubs The Beauty Online.   The salt scrub and coffee scrub (second and third on the page) look to be the simplest with ingredients that can typically be purchased at the grocery store.

Salt and Bath Soaks (from the Beautiful Bridal blog)

Monogrammed Candle (from  You could package this with a bath soak!)

So Stylin’

5 Ways to Re-Use an Old Sweater (from  These projects are more time-consuming and require a sewing machine but the finished products are cute.)

Cuff Bracelets from felted sweaters (from  These you can make with needle and thread, no sewing machine required!)

Button-embellished Bobby Pins (from a Homemaker’s Journal blog.)


Paper-covered pencils from Omiyage Blogs

Pretty Paper-covered Pencils (Really cute, easy idea.  Great if you know someone who’s constantly doodling or writing in a journal.  From Omiyage Blogs.)

5 Ways to Reuse Old Maps (also from  These would make great gifts for someone who likes to travel!)

Book Club/Book Lover’s Gift (from

Hope these ideas are helpful and inspiring!

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