3 Affordable (and Adorable!) Homemade Gift Ideas

Christmas is almost here. I can hardly believe it! Seriously, this year has FLOWN by!

This year, I’m trying to focus on meaningful and homemade gifts. Here are a few of my favorite gifts to give.

1. Homemade Dry Shampoo
Since writing the original dry shampoo post, I’ve found a way to make this gift adorable. I found spice jars for $1. I tossed the spicy hole filled shaker thing in the trash. I don’t need it for this. I fill the jar with my homemade dry shampoo. I ordered small round labels from vistaprint.com and put a cute “Dry Shampoo” label on each lid. I buy inexpensive make up brushes for $1 and include that along with the dry shampoo. The gift is too cute for words. I personally love my dry shampoo and use it weekly. I think it’s a great little gift!

Homemade Dry Shampoo

Homemade Dry Shampoo

A practical and pretty gift!

A practical and pretty gift!

2. Homemade Taco Seasoning
I use this recipe from 100 Days of Real Food. It’s super easy to make and only has 4 ingredients! I found these super cute little mason jars from Target for $1.99 each. Each jar holds 3-4 batches of this recipe. I printed a little label on colored card stock. I used a business card template only to keep the size small and played with it a few times to get the font the right size. I cut it and punched a hole and attached it to the spice jar with some twine. (The twine was a clearance deal at Target- I think I paid 45 cents for it!)

Doesn’t everybody make tacos?

Homemade Taco Seasoning

Homemade Taco Seasoning

Handmade Label

Handmade Label

Back of Mason Jar

Back of Mason Jar

Inside the Jar

Inside the Jar

3. Homemade Pumpkin Bread Mix
I love pumpkin bread! I premix my dry ingredients and store them in empty and cleaned giant olive jars. I could use that jar with a pretty handmade label or splurge and buy a cute and new jar. Fill the jar with the dry ingredients. Make a label on card stock including “Homemade Pumpkin Bread Mix” along with the directions. Directions: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix 1 cup pumpkin puree, 1/2 c canola oil, 3 Tbsp of maple syrup & 3 Tbsp water. Add dry mix. Bake for 45-50 minutes for large loaf.

As a gift, the jarred dry mix would look adorable with a can or box of pumpkin puree and a mini maple syrup bottle. I haven’t yet given this as a gift, so I don’t have a photo to share yet. But here’s what the glass jar of dry mix and a box of pumpkin look like together… precious!

Just needs a pretty label

Just needs a pretty label

These gifts are easy to make, useful, affordable and just plain adorable! Merry Christmas and happy gift giving!

“Cheesy” Taco Stuffed Crescent Rolls: Dairy & Egg Free

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I love Pinterest. I was inspired by this chimichanga pin, which only had some ingredients listed. When I clicked on the link, it only showed a photo. (I wasn’t sure which flour tortillas were safe for us, so I decided to improvise and use crescent rolls instead. The pin didn’t include any measurements, either.) But it sounded so delicious so I experimented and figured out what works for us. That plus the dairy substitutes equals one of my new favorite easy lunch or dinner recipes! (If you are not dairy free then use regular cream cheese and cheddar cheese!)

I have made this three times in about two weeks. I have used chopped frozen chicken (click here to read how I cook and freeze chicken) and frozen pre-cooked ground chuck (click here to read how I prepare the ground chuck.) The recipe is equally delicious with chicken or beef!

“Cheesy” Taco Stuffed Crescent Rolls

Ingredients:

  • 1 roll of Pillsbury crescent rolls (easiest option), crescent rounds, or the crescent seamless dough
  • 1 container of Daiya plain cream cheese style spread
  • 1/2 cup of Daiya cheddar style shreds
  • 1 cup of pre-cooked chicken or pre-cooked ground beef
  • 1 teaspoon of homemade taco seasoning (click here to see the recipe I use from 100 Days of Real Food)

Directions:
1. Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees.
2. In a medium sized bowl, scoop about 1/3 of the Daiya cream cheese style spread, three small handfuls of the Daiya cheddar style shreds or about 1/2 cup, 1 teaspoon of taco seasoning, and your frozen meat. Mix well. You may have to put this in the microwave for 10-15 seconds if you cannot easily mix this.

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3. Line a cookie sheet with foil. Spread out crescent dough. Put two spoonfuls of taco meat mixture in each crescent roll. If you have remaining taco mixture after you’ve done all eight cresent rolls, go back and add more to each crescent roll. Close the crescent rolls.

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4. Bake for approximately 13 minutes. Enjoy the “cheesy” yumminess!