Homemade Gift Idea: Hot Cocoa in an Ornament

Homemade Hot Cocoa mix gifted in a plastic ornament - Super cute!

Are you looking for a fun and festive homemade gift for friends, neighbors or coworkers?     You can give these plastic ornaments filled with homemade hot cocoa mix.   The presentation is super cute!

Hot Cocoa Ornament Supplies

Ingredients for Hot Cocoa Mix

  • 10 cups of powdered milk
  • 2 cups unsweetened cocoa
  • 1 3/4 non-dairy creamer powder
  • 5 cups of powdered sugar

Supplies for Hot Cocoa Gift Ornaments:

Mix homemade hot cocoa

To make your own homemade cocoa you will mix all of the hot cocoa ingredients in a very large mixing bowl.  Mix well.   Recipe makes enough for 40 cups of cocoa.   You can very easily 1/2 the recipe if you don’t need that much.

Fill ornament with hot cocoa mix

To fill the ornaments, take off the top and add hot cocoa to the ornament until is is 2/3 of the way filled.

filled hot cocoa ornament

After you have added the hot cocoa fill with Christmas sprinkles and Marshmallow Bits until it is completely filled.

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Lastly, tie a bow on the top of the ornament and you are all ready to give these super cute hot cocoa gifts to your friends and family for the holidays.

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To make the hot cocoa you will combine 1/3 cup of hot cocoa mix to 3/4 cup of water.

Recipe for cocoa mix adapted from All Recipes.

Chocolate Covered Pretzels & Packaging from Target Dollar Spot

Chocolate Covered Pretzels

I love to make chocolate covered pretzels! They are super easy and I love the sweet and salty combo. The fun thing about making these is you can dress them up to match any holiday just by using different colored sprinkles. I made some for a Valentine theme and I used sprinkles and packaging I bought at the Target Dollar Spot to make them perfect for gift giving.

Pretzel ingredients

Here are the things you need:

  • Snyder Pretzel Rods
  • Chocolate Chips
  • Sprinkles (I got mine at Target One Spot)

pretzels cut in half

You can dip the big long pretzel rod in chocolate, but I like to cut them in half, it makes it much easier for gift gifting and you also get more that way. I use a serrated knife to saw a little notch in the middle of the pretzel and then break them in half. This makes for a nice clean break.

pretzels double broiler

I recommend using a double broiler to melt your chocolate chips (on medium/low heat). Make sure you stir when they start to melt to make sure there is no scorching. I don’t have a double broiler, so I create my own by sticking a smaller pot on top of a slightly larger one. Works like a charm!

pretzels coat in chocolate

Once you chocolate chips are melted, you can begin covering the pretzels. I find it works well if a take a spatula with some chocolate and roll the pretzel until it is covered on all sides.

pretzels wax paper

Place chocolate covered pretzels on wax paper and cover with sprinkles. Let them cool and harden, should take a couple hours to be complete. You can speed up the process by sticking them in the freezer.

I like to lay my wax paper on cooling racks, it makes it easier to move them around and into the freezer if necessary.

Target dollar spot items

If you want to pass these out as gift, I recommend checking the Target Dollar Spot for packaging, they usually have some kind of cute packaging for any holiday that comes along. Here are the items I picked up for Valentine’s Day.

  • Cello Bags
  • Twine
  • Heart Tags

pretzel target dollar spot bags

Here are the pretzels all packaged up and ready to give as gifts!

Sleigh S’mores Kit (Easy Gift)

Sleigh S'mores Kit - Quick and easy gift to put togehter

I made these Sleigh S’mores kits to give as gifts to friends and neighbors. These are super cute and they are so quick and easy to make!

sleigh s'mores supplies

Here are the supplies you need:

graham crackers and marshmallow

Add Graham Crackers and Marshmallows inside the 3×3 box.

add candy canes

Use glue dots to attach the candy canes each side of the Hershey candy bar, to make a sleigh.

Sleigh S'mores Kit - Gift

Use glue dots to attach the clear box to the back of the candy bar (sleigh).  Tie with Baker’s Twine and add a tag.    Super simple!!

These cute treats were not my original idea, I spotted them on the Faith’s Cookie and Crafts Facebook page.  They didn’t have any instructions, so I re-created them with some instructions for you.  I love them!!

Gifts in a Jar: Salted Caramel Sauce

Salted Caramel Sauce - Great for gifting!

I love the flavor of Salted Caramel. YUM! This sauce is perfect for gifting. You can use this sauce on top of ice cream, cheesecake, apples, or pretty much anything.

Salted Caramel Ingredients

Here are the simple ingredients you will need to make this Caramel Sauce:

  • 1/2 cup light Corn syrup
  • 1/2 cup Sugar
  • 3 tbsp Butter
  • 1/2 cup Heavy Cream
  • 1/2 tsp Sea Salt

salted caramel process

Here are the steps to make the sauce:

  1. Place corn syrup in a medium pan and heat on medium heat.
  2. When corn syrup is heated (starting to bubble) add sugar and stir until well mixed.
  3. Let syrup cook without stirring until it turns a golden color.
  4. Remove from heat, add butter and stir until blended.
  5. Slowly add cream while stirring constantly to blend.
  6. Add salt and stir until dissolved.

Salted Caramel Jar

Add to jars for gifting or for home storage. For decoration, you can garnish the sauce with a little of the salt. It’s best to keep this refrigerated.

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To print the FREE Salted Caramel labels, just click the image above or follow this link to print the labels.

Target: iTunes Gift Cards 10% off (Great Gifts for Teens)

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All iTunes gift cards are 10% off this week at Target.com and at Target stores. When they have a sale like this I buy a multi-pack to have on hand for when teen birthdays pop up.

itune and earbuds

I just gave one of these gift cards to my nephew over the weekend. I paired one of the gift cards with a set of earbuds that I picked up at 70% off a couple of months ago.

itunes gift

It made for a quick and easy gift that I didn’t even have to run to the store, because I already had everything on hand! These sale prices are valid through 9/14/13.

Make Inexpensive Party Treat Bags using Target Holiday Clearance

I love shopping the Target holiday clearance, and some of the items I like to look for are items that would make some inexpensive party treat bags. I have put together a couple examples for you.

Here are all the items I picked up at 70% off. I do my best to find candy that doesn’t have a holiday theme to it, and these Tootsie Rolls were perfect, the only Valentine theme is on the outside bag, they are plain colored Tootsie rolls on the inside.

Here are the boys items:

  • Treat bags with Stickers (12) $1.20 ($ .10 each)
  • Sports Erasers (24) $ .90 ($ .04 each)
  • Sports Notepads (20) $ .90 ($ .05 each)
  • Rulers (4) $.45 ($ .11 each)
  • Tootsie Rolls $1.34 ($ .03 each)

I used the following items to put together the boys bags for only $ .53 each!

Here are the items for the girls party treat bags:

  • Nail Files (12) $ .90 ($ .08 each)
  • Fingernail Polish (4) $ .90 ($ .23 each
  • Flip Flop Key Chains (4) $ .45 ($ .11 each)
  • Tootsie Rolls $1.34 ($ .03 each)

These are the items that went into the girl’s treat bags for a total cost of $ .57.

Here are the final party items all packaged up!

Target Dollar Spot Gift Idea: Popcorn Movie Night Gift

Do you have a group of people that you would like to give a Christmas gift to, but you don’t want to spend a ton of money. I put together this movie night gift with items I picked up at Target, and the final cost comes in at just under $3.00.

Here is what you will need to make some of these up:

  • 2-Pack Plastic Popcorn cups (Dollar Spot)
  • Market Pantry Single Microwave popcorn (10-pack)
  • Theater Box Candy
  • Redbox Gift Certificate (one-night movie rental)
  • Cellophane
  • Ribbon

In the Target Dollar Spot you will want to pick up some of the plastic popcorn containers, make sure you look for the 2-packs, they are a little bit smaller and since there are 2 of them, they end up costing you only $ .50 a piece.

I bought the Market Pantry 10-pack of Microwave Popcorn Singles, since the box was $2.59, it works out to $ .26 each.

Next up, get a theater style box of candy. These run $1.00 at Target.

I bought some e-gift cards from Redbox, so I could put a FREE movie night rental inside of each popcorn container. To do this, you simply send the e-gift card to yourself, and then you can print each one out individually. As a bonus, when you buy and e-gift card you will get an FREE movie rental for yourself. The cost is $6 for 5, so they end up costing $1.20 each.

When I printed out the gift card, I reduced the image to 75%, so it would fit in the popcorn container better.

I took all of the items and added them to the popcorn container. The cost of everything comes in at $2.96.

To finish it off, I wrapped it in cellophane and tied it up with a bow. Cheap, easy and thoughtful!

Target Dollar Spot: My Stache Gift Can

I mentioned that I had plans for some of the Halloween candy I purchased, and I am sharing the final project with you today.   Not sure why, but the tweens seem to love ANYTHING with a moustache on it.   So, going with that theme I made some of these “My Stache” containers that can be given as gifts.

I picked up a couple gift tins at the Target Dollar Spot.   I love this section for little containers suited for gift giving.

I used my Silhouette Cutter to cut out the Vinyl moustache and the words “My Stache”.   To make sure I was able to adhere the words in a straight line, I attached a straight piece of vinyl and then make sure the letters matched up with the line.   I am sure you could easily find some moustache and letter stickers if you don’t have access to a vinyl cutter.

Lastly, I added some of the candy I bought at 70% off and finished it off with a bow.   These were super quick and easy, and super cheap too!   The finished product cost me around $1.50 to make.

Anybody else have a weakness for the cute little containers in the dollar section?