I love sharing gifts with loved ones, no matter what time of year. Most of the time, my gifts go straight to someone else’s belly.
What could be better than receiving — or giving — a simple, traditional, handcrafted gift? Even handwritten cards are becoming a thing of the past, but I think it is important to keep these traditions alive.
It warms my heart to craft something unique and special for someone, whether it be knitted, carved, painted, penciled, or baked. With each gift, I wrap up a whole lot of love and care.
Baking has become something of an art in our home, so I often give cookies, breads, or candies to friends or family. Plus, I keep an eye out for little trinkets at local antique stores or thrift stores that would suit the special someone, and I add those along with handmade gift tags.
My most recent idea for gifting is to turn old flour sacks into gift bags filled with scrumptious goodies. They were well-received and fun to make as well!
At an antique store, I found many old, small flour sacks at an unbelievable price. I bought them, washed them, and learned how to embroider a simple wildflower pattern on them. I coordinated the color of the flowers with the recipients’ favorite colors. I love knowing that these gifts came through my own kitchen — from a kitchen long ago. If only each bag could share the story of where it has already been!
Interested in trying this but can’t find old flour sacks? These muslin produce bags would look lovely embroidered, too. Or you could embroider on plain white flour sack towels — bundling up your goodies with a ribbon.
Inside my gift bags I placed homemade maple roasted almonds, apricot and cranberry granola, and… these delicious hard honey candies.
Hard Honey Candies
- 1 cup honey
- 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla (optional)
Add the honey and vinegar to a sauce pan and heat it to a boil. Reduce the heat so that the ingredients are still boiling, but not scorching. Check the temperature with a candy thermometer. When it gets between 250 degrees Fahrenheit and 275 degrees Fahrenheit, turn the burner off and remove the pot from the heat. Let sit for a minute and then add vanilla (important so the vanilla doesn’t scorch). Stir the candy, line a container with parchment paper, and pour the candy over top. Place in the refrigerator or freezer. Or use cookie cutters or molds to turn your candy into shapes, like the heart shape pictured above.
What handmade gifts do you love to give and receive?
Also see: Wrapping and Packaging Food Gifts
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