Gifts to Make


Old crayons
Cold water

This one needs some supervision, but it’s awfully fun.

Take paraffin and melt it (boil some water in a big pot and put the paraffin in an old coffee can inside the pot of water). Fill some small little water balloons with water. Take old crayons and melt them into the paraffin to add color. Dip the water balloon (holding the tied end) into the melted paraffin. Keep the paraffin about 1/2-inch from the top of the balloon. It works great if you dip in hot water then dip in the bucket of cold water to cool it. Just keep dipping until there is a thick layer of paraffin around the balloon. Let it dry overnight and harden. Then pop the balloon, and fill the shell with more melted paraffin and a wick. The candles turn out really cool shapes. You could try dipping hands in the mixture and make candle hands…

Cinnamon Ornaments

1 large bottle ground cinnamon (about 1 cup)
3/4 Cup applesauce

Combine cinnamon with applesauce to form stiff dough (adding additional applesauce if necessary). Roll out dough to 1/4-inch thickness. Cut with cookie cutter. Make hole for ribbon. Carefully place of wire rack to dry. Let air dry several days but turn occasionally. Makes 12.

Flower Preservative I

1 pt Powdered Borax
2 pt Cornmeal
Covered cardboard box
Fresh flowers

Thoroughly mix borax and cornmeal. Cover the bottom of the box with 3/4 of an inch of this mixture. Cut flower stems about 1 inch long. Lay the flowers face down in this mixture. Spread the petals and leaves so that they lie as flat as possible. Do not place flowers too close together. Cover the flowers with 3/4 of an inch of the mixture. Place the lid on the box and keep at room temperature for 3 to 4 weeks. This is an excellent way to preserve corsages or flowers from someone special. Try daisies, pansies, apple blossoms, asters, violets, and other flowers with this method. They will stay summer fresh indefinitely.

Flower Preservative II

Fresh Flowers (roses, pansies, violets, sweet peas, chrysanthemums, zinnias, marigolds, daisies)
Florist’s wire
Airtight container such as -a coffee can
Plastic bag
Wire or string
Soft brush

Pick flowers at the peak of their bloom. Remove the stems. Make new stems with florist’s wire. Run wire through the base of the flower and twist the two ends together. Line the coffee can with the plastic bag. Pour enough borax into the plastic bag to cover the bottom to a depth of 1 inch. Place flower face down in the borax. Pour about 1 inch of borax over the top of the flower. Add more flowers and borax until the container is full. Gather the top of the bag, squeezing out all the air inside it. Fasten shut with wire or string. Place lid on can and set aside in a dry place for at least 4 weeks. Remove flowers from borax and carefully brush away all borax with a soft brush.

USES: Flowers preserved in this way make colorful “permanent” floral arrangements. Flowers picked at the peak of their bloom remain fresh looking indefinitely.

TO USE: Using the wire stems, makes an attractive flower arrangement as you would a fresh-flower bouquet.

Fragrant Soap Balls

Have children make homemade soap balls to give as a holiday gift or just as a middle of the year surprise to someone special in their lives.

Ivory Soap Flakes

Use water to moisten Ivory snowflakes to the consistency of very stiff dough. Divide the dough into several bowls. Add a different perfume and food coloring to each bowl for variety.

Have children shape large spoonfuls of the soap into balls. Have them make about three balls each. Place the balls on trays (labeled with their modeler’s name) to harden for several days.

Have children wrap their three soap balls in colored cellophane paper and tie the package with a pretty ribbon.

Homemade Bath Salts

2 1/2 lb. Epsom Salts
Food Coloring

Combine Epsom salts with food coloring and perfume in a large bowl. Mix well so color is even. Put into smaller jars and let stand 4-6 weeks before using. This causes the odor to blend with the salts.

This bath salt is very soothing and makes for a very relaxed bath.

Spicy Applesauce Ornaments I

3/4 Cup Ground cinnamon
1 Cup Applesauce
1 Tbsp. Ground nutmeg
1 Tbsp. Ground allspice
1 Tbsp. Ground cloves

Mix together above ingredients. Roll out the dough to a 1/4-inch thickness (dust the tabletop and rolling pin with cinnamon to prevent sticking). Let the children use cookie cutters to cut shapes out of the dough. Place the shapes on waxed paper. If you plan to hang, poke a hole in the top of each shape. Allow the shapes to air-dry for several days (or bake them on a cookie sheet for several hours at 250 degrees). Turn the shapes often to prevent curling. To complete the spicy ornaments, tie on loops of ribbon or yarn for hangers.

Spicy Applesauce Ornaments II (Cinnamon Applesauce Hearts)

1 lb. jar sweetened applesauce
8 oz. Cinnamon

Drain jar of applesauce overnight (you will be amazed at how much water seeps out!!). Add cinnamon and mix together well. Pat into a ball, press hard to solidify and mix. Then pat out in 1-cup units onto wax paper, push to 1/4″ thickness and cut with cookie cutters. Dry on wax paper. Oh – poke a hole in the top with toothpick (I used a chopstick!). Turn over and dry in a warm place for several days. Then hang a ribbon through the hole, use as a decoration or a kind of sachet. They are definitely NOT edible.

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