Event planning is not just about booking the venue or tracking down the lost caterer. To me, as I have said once and will say a million more times, events are all about the details. With that in mind, I bring you my top 3 DIY gifts/party favors that your guests will actually use and love! ❤️
1. Homemade Seasoned Salt
This is a gift that anyone can use at anytime and on anything (well maybe except ice cream 😉). I have to be honest here... I started out thinking I was going to use a simply recipe with just salt and 4 spices (paprika, garlic, onion, and cayenne) but that quickly evolved into everything but the kitchen sink! The hubs was helping me with this DIY and we def let ourselves get carried away, but boy did it pay off! This is the best seasoned salt I have ever had!! Here is what you need for 12 gifts:
Spice Jars: 16 oz(I always order all my jars and glasses from SKS Bottle - great prices and quality!)
3 lbs coarse salt
2 oz paprika
2.62 oz onion powder (1 bottle)
4 oz garlic powder (about a bottle and a half)
1 oz cayenne pepper
1 oz granulated brown sugar
1 oz ground ginger
3 oz black pepper
1/2 oz celery seed
1/2 freshly ground coriander seeds (yes, the hubs busted out the mortar and pestle!)
I know it sounds insane, but trust me its delicious!
So this gift couldn't be easier, all you do is mix all the spices in a big bowl and then funnel the mixture into the spice jars. DONE!
2. Cherry and Cinnamon Infused Bourbon
Who doesn't love getting booze as a gift!? Amirate??🍹 I have always loved experimenting with infusions, not just with booze, but with oil too! The possibilities are endless. This year I decided to go with a bourbon. No particular reason, I guess I've just been on a bourbon kick lately.
When making this gift, you need to let me bourbon infuse with the cherries ahead of time. I mixed half the bag of dried cherries with the bourbon and let it do it's thing for about a week before I did this photoshoot. Here is what you will need to make 12 12oz bottles:
Bottles: 12 oz. (Again from SKS)
1 bag dried cherries
Cinnamon Sticks (I used 2/bottle)
1.75 handles of good bourbon (about 105 oz.)
When putting this all together, add a few dried cherries to each jar and 2 cinnamon sticks (if you aren't a huge cinnamon fan, 1 stick would be fine). Then get that funnel out again and fill up the bottles. The opening of the bottles are a little too small to funnel in the cherries that are already infused, so I just used my hands to get them in the bottle. Made a bit of a mess but nothing a little soap and water couldn't fix!
So when I decided to make this recipe, I chose cherries and cinnamon because I knew they paired well together, but what I didn't realize is that the final product would taste almost exactly like a slightly cherry flavored Fireball! It's SO yummy! I think next time I will add a dash of cayenne to the mix to give it a good kick.
This infusion can be sipped neat, over ice, served in hot tea (my favorite), or mix it with coke.
3. Hand Poured Scented Candles
So Mike (husband) thought I was a little nuts when I told him I had order 10 lbs of wax and was going to melt it in our kitchen to hand pour candles. Much to our surprise, it was really easy and seriously fun - we both got into it!
Again with this gift, the possibilities are endless! I had no idea how many essential oils there are to chose from. I did my research and picked the scents that are said to promote relaxation and happiness - lavender, grapefruit, jasmine, and ylang ylang. The combo smells incredible and is definitely relaxing! Here is what you need for 12 (16 oz.) candles:
Jars: 16 oz. (SKS, duh.)
Wax (I got the 10 lb. block)
Wicks (I used wood because I love the crackling sound when they burn)
Lavender (8 oz.)
Grapefruit/Jasmine (8 oz.)
Ylang Ylang (2 oz.)
Note if you want to make a different size candle, here is the formula:
Per pound of wax, you will get about 20 ounces of volume. To find how much wax you will need, multiply the number of candles you are making by the amount of wax it will hold, and then divide that by 20. For example, if you want to make 30 - 8 ounce candles the math would be as follows:
30 (containers) x 8 (oz per container) = 240 total ounces / 20 = 12 lbs wax needed.
To calculate the amount of fragrance, the math would be as follows (assumes a fragrance load of 11%):
12 (lbs of wax) x 11% (or 0.11) = 1.32 lbs of fragrance
You can also convert the total fragrance needed to ounces by multiplying by 16:
12 (lbs of wax) x 16 (oz per lb) = 192 oz x 11% (or 0.11) = 21.12 oz of fragrance
So I am not kidding when I say that these we SO much fun to make! I loved it so much that I have already ordered the supplies to make 50 more candles for an event we have coming up! Scroll through the slideshow above to see the step by step directions.
One tip I have is don't freak out when your candle shrinks. When the candles had set I noticed it looked that have just caved in. That is normal. Just top them off and they should be fine!
Here are my final products! I am beyond happy with the way they all turned out.
Don't hesitate to ask if you have any questions about the recipes or supplies above - I am here to help! Wishing you a very Happy Thanksgiving and holiday season!
XO - C
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