Brace yourself, folks. As of today, there are 21 days until Christmas. Which translates to…21 days to figure out a thoughtful, heartfelt gift for all your loved ones. Now, if you work full-time & rely completely on weekends to do ALL THE THINGS–this translates to 3 weekends to tackle that list. That sounds like a solid amount of time…until you start thinking of everything else on your list & how quickly those weekends tend to go…and, am I the only one popping Xanax & chugging espresso at this point?
I refuse to be the “gift card giver”…even though, it’s probably my favorite gift to receive *cough…Target…cough*. I suppose I’m a bit prideful that way. Reason being, I want to gift something truly meaningful & useful to that specific person (if that’s a gift card–great! No offense, gift card people). Because isn’t that the point–giving something in order to bless another person not just check off an obligation?
Every once in a while I have a year of unexpected, organized greatness & know exactly what I want to get everyone on my list by July. Ok, maybe that’s happened only twice. Mm, once.
Usually, I have a few unique ideas for a couple people but draw a blank for the majority. Simply trying to come up with…something…anything halfway decent & remotely creative. Then December literally disappears and I’m left making high-pressure, last minute decisions in a picked over Walmart aisle with t-minus three days. Not that I know from experience or anything.
Inspired by the current “chaos” that is my life, I wanted to come up with super simple yet personal gift ideas for anyone else that may find themselves in a similar predicament in the coming weeks.
Soooooo…for the next 12 days, we’re going to be talking: last minute Christmas gifts.
What you can expect each gift idea to include:
Do It Yourself friendly
Something the recipient will actually want to use
Affordable–only a few ingredients, all budget friendly
So easy, a caveman could do it
Can be completed in an afternoon
Contains ingredients that you probably have on hand
And for the supplies that you’re out of, all can be found on Amazon Prime (that 2 day shipping, ya’ll!)
Sound good? Grab your coffee & let’s make something!
This post may contain affiliate links. But I promise to only share stuff that I actually use & love!
You can’t go wrong with a candle. Everybody loves a good candle. If it’s homemade, you just went up a notch. Candlemaking sounded a bit intimidating at first, at least to me. But I think you’ll be shocked at how insanely easy it is. You can make several all at once & knock out your whole list within an hour. Unless you have a really, crazy long list with third cousins & distant neighbors. Then maybe two hours.
HOMEMADE, OIL-INFUSED CANDLES & WAX MELTS
WHAT YOU NEED
I snagged this 2lb bag which made five, pint sized candles. I recommend soy wax because it’s cleaner & lasts longer.
Literally. Whatever scent/blend you like. You can’t go wrong with your choice here. I swear by Young Living–you can read all about the benefits of EO & why I chose Young Living here. But for this particular project, I used generic oils that I had prior to my YL days. In fact, it worked perfectly because it takes a LOT of oil to infuse the wax sufficiently–like “40-50 drops per batch” a lot. Since I was using the oil primarily for scent purposes, I absolutely use the cheaper stuff.
I bought this bag of 100 wicks which could last a loooong time beyond this project. It’s not really cost effective to bother with tabbing your own wicks, so just buy them pre-tabbed (it’ll save you a headache). I recommend using pre-waxed wicks because it greatly reduces the “smokiness” when burning. Final word on the wicks–make sure that they are longer than the container you plan to use (you’ll trim them after the candles are set). These wicks are 8″ long which is more than enough for most containers.
You can use just about anything that your heart desires to hold that wax: mugs, mini vase, measuring glass, bowls, etc. I opted for the pint sized mason jar because it’s easy to find, cheap to buy, & a lot of people already have extras sitting around. It seems to be the perfect size for a gift. If you want to go smaller & spread out your wax more, the half pints are adorable. I’ll only add to be mindful of the wick to candle ratio. The candle will not burn evenly (causing a tunnel) if the wick is too far from the surrounding edges. So, another pro of using a smaller mason jar.
Technically you could use a bamboo skewer or stick to hold the wick in place. But I purchased this set of 12 because it also helps to center the wick correctly, then holds them in place while setting. If you buy the pre-waxed wicks, it’s a must–you can’t wrap those so easily. Plus, if you’re taking on the whole Christmas list you’ll have 12 tools to make a large batch all at once. Score.
Glass Measuring Cup
I recommend using a 4 cup measuring glass because it fits more but is still small enough to melt wax effectively. Pour spout is a must.
Hot Glue Gun
To secure your tabs. Enough said.
Orange Stick or Skewer
Perfect for stirring wax–effective but it doesn’t break your heart to throw away when you’re done with it. You don’t want to be stuck cleaning wax off of your fork. Trust me.
To trim the wick when the candles are all set.
HOW TO MAKE
Grab a wick, container, glue gun, & wick centering tool. Glue the bottom of your wick tab, find the center of your container using your wick centering tool, & adhere. Use the eraser end of a pencil to pat down the tab, making sure that it’s secure. No need to remove the centering tool, I leave it on until the candle is set.
Add 3-4 cups of wax chips to glass measuring cup & stick in microwave (I only used a 2 cup measuring glass this time–but I’ll definitely use the 4 cup next time around). Channel your inner pastry chef–you’re going to melt the wax the same way you would chocolate. 30 seconds. Stir. 30 seconds. Stir. Repeat until fully liquified. The goal is to evenly heat the wax without overheating. I don’t bother with temperature as long as I’m sticking to this 30-second method.
Add desired oils to wax–at least 40-50 drops altogether & stir to combine. I veered on the side of simplicity & used only Pine oil in this batch–it’s a very clean, winter scent. But I also love to blend:
bright citrus scents to boot the winter blues (Grapefruit, Orange, Lemon)
clean, invigorating oils (Peppermint & Eucalyptus)
fresh, kitchen scents (Rosemary & Lemon)
& relaxing, stress relieving oils (Lavender & Lemon/Chamomile).
If you want seasonal smells, play around with Cinnamon, Clove, Nutmeg, Orange, Black Spruce, & Pine.
Don’t be afraid to be creative! Try adding non-essential oil ingredients, like: coffee grounds, vanilla extract, caramel extract, cinnamon sticks, fresh herbs, etc. I had so much fun trying to come up with new blends & sassy names.
Carefully pour into container, trying to not drip on the sides. With the mason jars, I fill to just under the bottom lid line so that the wick has room to burn.
Allow the candles to set. Mine set very quickly but I left them for a solid day just to make sure before I removed the centering tool. If the wick is accidentally moved before completely setting, I simply recenter & pour an even layer of new wax on top.
After they’ve had a chance to set, remove the centering tool & trim the wick to 1″.
Dress it up real cute & give to your people! (And maybe burn one for yourself while you’re wrapping)
FOR WAX MELTS
Whether you prefer melting wax over burning a candle or you just need to use up leftover wax, this is a no-brainer. I used this silicone mold to shape mine (which I prefer because it’s super easy to pop the final product out of the mold). The squares are deep so I didn’t fill the entire way–in fact, I wish I would have filled about half way because my warming dish is very shallow. You can add a bunch of these to a spiffy mason jar as an alternative to the candle–maybe even pair with a wax warmer if you really like that person. 😉
Easy, right? Let me know if you try this out–I want to hear your creative combinations!
Check back tomorrow for day two & another simple & impressive DIY. xx