Thursday, November 20, 2008

Holiday gift-giving made easy!

This year I have resolved to de-stress my family's Christmas, and I don't know about you, but organizing is the key for me. Often that means getting things crossed off my list early! One thing that I tend to put off to the last minute are teacher's gifts, so this year that is getting bumped right to the top. I'm sure I'm not alone this year in trying to come up with ways to economize for the holiday without feeling like I'm scrimping, so I was pleased with the way this came together.

I started out with some kraft coffee bags that I got from Papertrey Ink and some 'gourmet' hot chocolate that I found at Costco.

I stamped the coffee bag and layered some coordinating pieces on to it. It's coming together great - but that's when it hit me, this still needs a little something extra! That's when I remembered that I had all the supplies I needed for making chocolate covered spoons right in my pantry.

If you've never done this before, it is fun and so EASY, I bet you'll be itching to give it a try! You start with melting chocolate wafers:

There are a couple of ways to melt the wafers, including in the microwave. I prefer using the double-boiler method (and don't worry if you don't have a double-boiler - I don't think many of us do any more!). You simply heat up some water in a larger pot, and fit a smaller pot or stainless steel mixing bowl on top of it. The simmering water will melt the chocolate, but since you don't have the chocolate directly on the heat, it isn't as likely to burn (are you hearing the voice of experience in that statement?! Mmm hmm!). ;)

Just stir the chocolate until it has melted (stirring=good!) and then dip your spoons in! Here, since I was giving them as a gift, I used plastic spoons. I did pick a more solid plastic spoon, as I would think the lighter-weight ones could potentially melt, as well.

You're going to want to let them set up, so have a mat or cookie sheet nearby for placing the spoons on. If you're impatient (like me!) you can place them in the fridge to speed up the process.

Once they were well-set, I started wrapping them. To do that, I cut sandwich bags in half vertically and placed the spoon in the corner. I cut off the top of the sandwich bag and tied it with a piece of coordinating ribbon. So simple!

(Oh, and how about that leftover chocolate? Well, I pulled out a bag of pretzels from the pantry, too, and made a surprise after-school treat for my kids. You have to test the chocolate, don't you?!)

The best thing about this gift is that it will actually be used by your recipients! It's a simple, low-cost way to let the teachers, co-workers, neighbors, etc. know that you're thinking of them.

Be well.

Supply List

Stamps: (Polka Dots Basics, Holiday Treats) Papertrey Ink

Coffee Bag, Ribbon, Ink: Papertrey Ink

Die cuts: (Labels One) Spellbinders Paper Arts

Hot chocolate: Costco; Spoons, chocolate wafers: grocery store


DeeDee said...

WOW!!! What an AWESOME gift...thanks for sharing your tips and tricks!!!

Linda Beeson said...

I am in awe of your creations! Very clever and I think some things that about anyone should love to receive. Your photos and your step outs are great!

Anonymous said...

oh yum!! What a great gift, thanks for sharing the details!

retiredheather said...

What a wonderful gift. As a retired teacher I know they`ll like it.

betsy (pharmgirl) said...

great idea!

Anabelle O'Malley said...

Awesome idea, Jenn! Yum! And that bag couldn't be cuter!!!

Amber said...

LOVE this idea Jenn! And you know the best part? I have some Papertrey bags and the set of Holiday stamps you used:) So I guess you know what I'm going to be working on the next few days.

Julia Sandvoss said...

This is a great gift idea and excellent photos to go with it too! YUM!

Unknown said...

mmmmmmm chocolate spoons. Such a great idea!

Stacey S said...

Lovin' this idea, Jenn! I bet those spoons are tasty in the hot cocoa! Yummm...thanks for sharing the idea!