DIY Christmas Gifts – Idea #8

Chocolate Turtles Recipe | sprightliest.comI used to work for a lady taking care of her dogs and other various household jobs. She had a big sweet tooth and loved these little treats called Chocolate Turtles that were made of chocolate, caramel and toasted pecans. Whenever I would go over to work she would always feed me sweets and one day I got to try one of her beloved Chocolate Turtles.
I have to say I was impressed. I never thought I liked pecans all that much but cover them with chocolate and caramel and they are delicious. Anything covered in chocolate and caramel would be good! I have noticed though that my taste for certain things has changed the older I get. I like quite a few things now that I did not used to like, pecans being one of those things.

Chocolate Turtles Recipe | sprightliest.comChocolate Turtles Recipe |

I took a little shortcut on this recipe and used already made caramel candies but you can make your own caramel if you are feeling up to it.

Chocolate Turtles Recipe

Yield: Makes about 35 Clusters
1 Cup Pecan Halves
9oz Package of Caramels
1 Cup Chocolate Baking Chips (choose your favorite chocolate chips: milk, dark, bittersweet, or semi-sweet)
-Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. Set aside.
-In a skillet over medium heat, toast the pecans for about 3-5 minutes or until they are fragrant. Stir around every so often to prevent burning.Chocolate Turtles Recipe |
-Place 3-4 pecans in little clusters on the baking sheets. If you want to make the turtle shape place 4 pecans like the picture:
-In a microwave safe bowl, add the unwrapped caramels along with 1 tablespoon of water. Heat for 1 minute and stir well. If the caramels have not all melted, heat in 15 second intervals and stir well.
-Drizzle some caramel over each pecan cluster.
-Once you finish adding caramel to one of the baking sheets, place it in the freezer while you work on the second baking sheet.
-Heat the chocolate for 1 minute in a microwave safe bowl. Stir well. Heat in 15 seconds intervals until melted, stirring well after each interval.
-Remove the first batch from the freezer and place the second batch in the freezer.
-Drizzle some chocolate over each cluster and use the back of the spoon to spread and smooth over the top.
-Switch out the baking sheets and drizzle chocolate on the second batch.
-Store in the freezer or refrigerator.

DIY Christmas Gifts – Idea #7

DIY Bracelets | Sprightliest.comI can’t believe Christmas is only a week away. It sure came fast this year (I think I say that every year). These DIY Bracelets are another great DIY Christmas Gift Idea that are simple and inexpensive to make.
I came across these “Jubilee Bracelets” from Quiet Lion Creations and got inspired to make some myself. I even made a pair of matching earrings.

DIY Bracelets |

DIY Bracelets

What you’ll need:
.5 mm Stretch Cord
2.5 mm Crimp Beads (2mm would work also but I couldn’t find this size)
4mm Crimp Closures
Flat-nosed Pliers (for squeezing crimping beads and closures)
Diagonal or Cutting Pliers (for cutting the chain)
Step 1– Measure your wrist and cut 2 pieces of chain 1/2 inch less than that measurement. If you are making these as gifts, the average woman’s wrist size is about 7 inches. If you are unsure you can make a longer bracelet and add a clasp closure so it becomes adjustable. There is a little give in these bracelets from the stretch cord but there’s a chance they will break if stretched too much.
Step 2– Cut a piece of stretch cord about 8 inches long. I found its better to have extra stretch cord to work with when you have to feed it back through the crimp bead. The excess can be cut off at the end.
Step 3– String a crimp bead and the end of each chain onto the stretch cord. Use your thumb to hold the two chains to the side while you string the end of the stretch cord back through the crimp bead. Pull the crimp bead flush to the end of the chains, making sure the ends of the stretch cord are even. Use flat-nosed pliers to squeeze the crimp bead flat onto the cord.
Step 4– Place a crimp cover over the flattened crimp bead and squeeze shut using the flat-nosed pliers.
Step 5– Thread your beads onto both strands of the stretch cord.
Step 6– String on another crimp bead and the other two ends of the chains. String both ends of the stretch cord back through the crimp bead pull tight and make sure it is flush against the last bead.
Step 7– Crimp down the bead and place a crimp cover over the bead. Trim the excess stretch cord.

DIY Bracelets |

I made a matching pair of earrings using earring hooks, stretch cord, beads, crimp beads and crimp covers.

DIY Christmas Gifts – Idea #6

Duct Tape Bag | Homemade Christmas Gifts

My next DIY Christmas Gift Idea is a Duct Tape Bag. You can fill it with all kinds of goodies and use any color or pattern of Duct Tape you like. I chose to go with a Peppermint Theme and filled my Duct Tape bag with red nail polish, peppermint lotion and a peppermint foot … Continue reading

DIY Christmas Gifts – Idea #2

Reindeer Wine Bottle
My next DIY Christmas Gifts inspiration came from these Reindeer Rootbeers I found on Pinterest.

Paint a nice bottle of wine or sparkling cider for a non-alcoholic version and decorate it to look like a reindeer. Then attach one of these free printable tags to the bottle and you have a cute Christmas gift to give. There are two tag designs to choose from. The tag reads: “I don’t know if there’ll be snow, but have a cup of cheer…from this bottle of “wine-deer” or “ci-deer” depending on which version you choose.

Printable Wine/Cider Gift TagsClick Here to Print Gift Tags

Reindeer Bottle – Idea #2

What you’ll need:
Favorite bottle of wine or sparkling cider
Rubbing Alcohol (to clean the outside of the bottle)
Paint (craft or spray paint)
Pipe Cleaners (I used the pipe cleaners that have the “bumps”)
Pom Poms
Googly Eyes
Glue or Tape
Step 1– Clean the outside of the bottle with some rubbing alcohol and allow to dry.
Step 2– Paint the bottle using craft or spray paint. I used Anita’s Glossy Craft Paint in Chocolate and it worked well and dried pretty quick. I did 2 coats.
Step 3– Twist a pipe cleaner around the top of the bottle for each side of the antlers.
Step 4– Cut pipe cleaners in half to make the shorter antler pieces and attach.
Step 5– Glue or tape on the googly eyes.
Step 6– Glue or tape on the pom pom nose.
Step 7– Tie a ribbon around the neck of the bottle and attach the printable gift tag.

See Also:
DIY Christmas Gifts – Idea #1 DIY Christmas Ornament

DIY Christmas Gifts - DIY Christmas Ornaments