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From Food to Crafts – 8 Ideas for Homemade Gifts this Holiday Season

For the holidays, there is nothing more special than a homemade gift. A hand-knitted scarf, a beautiful drawing, a delicious cake, a handmade ornament… the list is endless, and the creativity abounds. And coffee makes a wonderful medium for these gifts. Here are some ideas for coffee-themed handmade gifts you can make and give this holiday.   homemade gifts for the holidays  

Food Recipes

Making food items with coffee may be the easiest homemade gifts. As a food itself, it only makes sense. There are so many recipes out there, you have many ideas to choose from. For a sweet treat, and a twist on a holiday classic, try this coffee fruitcake.  

Coffee Fruitcake

3 1/2 cups plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour 2 teaspoons cinnamon 1 teaspoon salt 1 teaspoon ground cloves 1 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg 1 lb dried currants (3 1/3 cups) 1 lb raisins (3 cups) 1 cup lukewarm strong coffee 1 teaspoon baking soda 2 sticks (1 cup) unsalted butter, softened 2 cups packed light brown sugar 4 large eggs 1 cup molasses (not robust or blackstrap) Special Equipment 2 (9- by 5- by 3-inch) loaf pans
Put oven rack in middle position and preheat oven to 250°F. Brush loaf pans lightly with oil, then line bottom and sides with foil, pressing corners to help adhere.
Sift together flour, cinnamon, salt, cloves, and nutmeg in a large bowl.
Toss currants and raisins with 2 tablespoons flour mixture in a bowl. Stir together coffee and baking soda in a small bowl until dissolved.
Beat together with butter and sugar in a large bowl with an electric mixer at medium-high speed until light and fluffy, 5 to 7 minutes. Add eggs, 2 at a time, beating well after each addition, and beat in molasses. Reduce speed to low, then add flour mixture and coffee mixture alternately in batches, beginning and ending with flour mixture and mixing until just smooth. Fold in dried fruit mixture.
Divide batter between loaf pans and smooth tops by gently rapping the bottom of each pan against the counter.
Bake until a wooden pick or skewer inserted in center of each cake comes out clean, 2 3/4 to 3 1/4 hours (cakes may sink slightly in center). Cool pans on racks 10 minutes, then loosen foil from sides of pans with a knife and turn out cakes onto racks. Peel off foil and cool cakes completely, about 3 hours.
Found on epicurious     If something savory is more their style, this beef rub would be a lovely gift, especially when presented in a decorative jar.  

Prime Rib Rub

1/3 cup finely ground coffee 2 tablespoons kosher salt 1 tablespoon freshly ground black pepper 1/4 vanilla bean, split and seeds scraped
In a bowl, thoroughly blend the coffee with the salt, pepper, and vanilla bean seeds. Place mix in a resealable plastic bag or a small mason jar. Include a tag with a recipe suggestion like the following:
One 12-pound, bone-in prime rib roast (5 bones)
Set the rib roast in a roasting pan and rub it all over with the coffee mixture, concentrating most of the rub on the fatty part of the meat. Turn the roast bone side down and let stand at room temperature for 30 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 450°. Roast the meat for 15 minutes. Reduce the oven temperature to 325° and roast for about 2 1/2 hours longer, until an instant-read thermometer inserted in the thickest part of the meat registers 125° for medium-rare.
Transfer the roast to a carving board and let rest for 20 minutes. Scrape off any excess coffee rub. Carve the meat into 1/2-inch-thick slices and serve.
Found on Food & Wine        

Beauty Products

Coffee is a great ingredient for exfoliating skin. Here are a couple of recipes that can be presented in beautiful jars and bottles for a delicious way to soft skin.  

Body Scrub

1 cup ground coffee 1/2 cup brown sugar 1/4-1/2 almond oil 1/4 tsp vitamin e oil 10 drops orange essential oil (optional)
Combine ingredients in a small bowl.
  To use: Wet skin and use a small scoop to apply scrub to skin.
Gently rub coffee scrub in circles to help remove dry skin. Remove as much as you can with a paper towel; rinse the rest in the shower or kitchen sink. Store in an airtight container.
  NOTES Begin by using 1/4 cup almond oil and increase until you reach your preferred texture.1/2 cup almond oil will make a thinner, more oily scrub. The scrub pictured was made with 1/4 cup almond oil. Best if used within 2-4 weeks.    

Facial Soap

This cool black soap is easy to make and is a nice way to put your used coffee grounds to work.   INGREDIENTS
8 ounces glycerin soap 1/4 cup used coffee grounds 1 teaspoon vanilla 1 teaspoon powdered milk (optional) Small saucepan Small metal or glass bowl Muffin tin Ladle Butter knife
Gather together what you'll need for making the soap. You can use any kind of soap, but we found glycerin-based soaps work the best with really pretty results. Adding the powdered milk gives the soap a bit of substance, but isn't an essential ingredient. Create a double boiler by filling the small saucepan with one cup water, topping with the metal or glass bowl, and placing over medium heat. Now add the soap to the bowl and let it melt completely with the help of the steam from the boiling water below, which only takes a couple of minutes. While the soap is melting, lightly grease four rounds of a muffin tin and place a small spoonful of coffee grounds at the base of each. Once the soap has become liquid, turn off the heat, add the vanilla, and add one teaspoon of the coffee grounds. You can also add the powdered milk and give things a stir. Now carefully ladle the soap into the muffin tin, filling to the top of each round. Allow the soaps to cool for several hours, and then pop them out with the help of a butter knife. Wrap in parchment paper and give to your favorite guy. The homemade soap cleans with a java-infused lather, but remind your guy to keep his soap on a soap dish or tray to prevent unwanted coffee stains.
Found on Popsugar    

Coffee Coconut Exfoliating Cubes

For this exfoliating bar, use coconut to add moisturizing to the exfoliating. These little cubes would be cute in a little dish or a decorative bag or maybe a wide mouth hinge jar.   INGREDIENTS
1 cup finely ground coffee (freshly ground beans are best, but store bought espresso-ground works fine as well) 1 + 3/4 cups coconut oil 2 tbsp pure shea butter 1/4 cup sugar a few drops vanilla essential oil (optional) Ice cube tray or soap mold
Place the shea butter and 1 cup of the coconut oil in a glass jar and heat in the microwave until just melted, but not hot (about 15-20 seconds). If the shea butter is still solid, stir the oil for a few minutes to melt it down. Combine the oil mixture with the coffee grounds and sugar in a small bowl and mix thoroughly. Add a few drops of the vanilla essential oil, if using, and mix. Fill the ice cube cups halfway with the coffee/oil mixture (about 2 tsp each, depending on size), and place the tray in the freezer. Once frozen, remove from the freezer and melt the remaining 3/4 cup of coconut oil. Pour the melted oil over the frozen coffee cubes, and place back in the freezer. Allow to freeze completely before removing the cubes from the tray. Store the cubes in the freezer until you’re ready to use one!
  TO USE Face: After removing any makeup, rub a cube on your face to exfoliate, rinsing grounds away with warm water. Pat dry. Body: Use as you would an in-shower salt or sugar scrub, exfoliating with the grounds. After your shower, pat skin dry and allow the coconut oil to soak in before dressing. Be sure to rinse all grounds down the drain with hot water to avoid clogging. Found on Free People  


A quick search of coffee crafts brings up too many ideas to share them all, but here are a few that are easy and inexpensive.  

Coffee Bean Art

You can use whole beans as an art medium to make pictures. With an inexpensive framed canvas in the size of your choice, sketch a design and use Mod Podge® to adhere the beans to the canvas. Coat the design with more Mod Podge to keep everything in place. You can see an easy coffee mug piece here.  

Candle Holders

There are countless ways to use coffee beans and candles together. You can fill coffee cups, small bowls, glass vases, or even mason jars to varying levels and place a candle on top. Any size candle will do, from tea lights to 3” pillars in different heights will work just fine, depending on the size of your vessel. Use a scented candle, vanilla is the best, to impart a little extra scent with the coffee.  


For a simple coffee candle, spread a layer of glue on inexpensive candles and roll them in coffee beans for a uniquely rustic looking piece of décor. For something a little more advanced, make your own coffee candle.   INGREDIENTS
vessel candle wax candle wicking essential oils (optional) coffee beans
Find a pretty vessel—a mug or cup, a pretty bowl, a glass compote dish—anything would work. In a double boiler, melt your candle wax of choice—pieces of old, unscented candles would work, or purchase candle wax from your favorite craft store. If you want to add more scent, a few drops of vanilla or hazelnut oil might be nice. Measure your wick and wrap it around a pencil or stick placed across the top of your vessel so the wick is centered (be sure the wick reaches the bottom of the vessel). Once the wax is melted, pour a little into the vessel and add some coffee beans. Alternate pouring wax and beans until filled. If desired, use a bamboo skewer to move the beans as desired before the wax hardens.
Found at Hello Glow   You can also make your candles with used coffee grounds. Use the same method as above. Found at eHow  

So Much More

Like I said before, there are too many ideas to include them all here. A quick search on Pinterest will have your creative juices flowing in no time. If giving handmade gifts is something you’ve always done, or you want to start a new tradition, coffee is a great place to begin. Share your creations with us; we look forward to seeing them. Happy holidays!
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