Homemade DIY Valentine’s Day Gift Ideas – Creative Ideas for Custom Handmade Gifts

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Valentine’s Day is officially less than ten days away. So whether you are still hunting for that perfect Valentine’s Day gift, want to craft a homemade Valentine’s Day gift, or just want to make yourself something super awesome – well, you’re gonna need some ideas. Here are some of my latest favorites.
Homemade Valentine's Day Gift Ideas - Creative Ideas for Custom DIY Handmade Gifts - Handmade Leather Bracelet Tutorial
Lend your favorite person some inspiration or just tell that person he or she is loved with a bracelet! Happy Hour Projects has several great diy bracelet tutorials. Pictured above: Handmade Stamped Leather Cuff – Also check out Adrienne’s projects for making a Hammered Hand-Stamped Cuff, Conversation Heart Charm Bracelet and Stamped Cuff Bracelet.
Homemade Valentine's Day Gift Ideas - Creative Ideas for Custom DIY Handmade Gifts - Hand Embroidered Paper Cards and Keepsakes
Remember those sewing card books you could buy at the grocery store when you were a kid? They had pre-punched holes to sew around colorful images with yarn and huge plastic needle. I loved those! My favorites were always the Holly Hobby ones. Well this embroidered journal page (pictured above) from One Sheepish Girl brought back those awesome memories and has me kicking myself for not picking up needles and embroidery thread when I was out at A.C. Moore on Saturday.
I love the idea of paper embroidery. It’s a great way to save your favorite memories and make a terrific keepsake to pass down through generations in your family. You could use paper embroidery to customize a blank journal to give as a gift, to create a souvenir of your relationship with someone special, or simply embroider an image onto card stock to make a lovely handmade Valentine’s Day card.
Homemade Valentine's Day Gift Ideas - Creative Ideas for Custom DIY Handmade Gifts - Homemade Customized Candy Conversation Hearts Recipe
If cooking is more your style, then you’ll definitely want to try out a homemade conversation heart candy recipe! With just a little bit of gelatin, clear soda, powdered sugar and food color and flavoring of your choice, you can create your own custom candies with any message you like! You’ll find the step by step photo tutorial and recipe at Instructables.
Homemade Valentine's Day Gift Ideas - Creative Ideas for Custom DIY Handmade Gifts - Handmade Scented Soy Wax Tart Melts DIY
If sweetly scented fragrances are more up your alley, then I’d suggest making these homemade soy wax melts from Zolea. They are super simple to make and can be customized with any candle safe fragrance of your liking. All you need is soy candle wax, fragrance, and a mold! You’ll find the soy wax tart tutorial over at Zolea. (It’s in Dutch so you may have to give Google Translate a quick visit.)
Want even more awesome ideas like these? Well then head right over to Pinterest and follow me! For Valentine’s Day you may be especially interested in these boards: DIY Valentine’s Day Gifts, Valentine’s Day Gift Ideas, Printables and  Pretty Packaging. Also be sure to check out my Gift Guides and Valentine’s Day Gifts right here on Soap Deli News.
What’s your medium of choice for gifts this Valentine’s Day?

DIY Cranberry Gummies Recipe – How to Make Candy Gummy Shapes

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DIY Gummy Shapes Recipe - Perfect for Toasting in the New Year
Love gummy worms and gummy bears? Then make your own gummy shapes with this easy diy gummies recipe! They’re perfect for soaking in vodka for that big New Year’s Eve party or for dropping in a glass of bubbly for that special New Year’s toast! Or cut them into heart shapes and drop a few in two glasses of wine for a romantic Valentine’s Day dinner with your sweetheart!
DIY Cranberry Gummy Shapes Recipe
Adapted from a recipe for homemade gumdrops on Mom on Timeout blog.
1 Cup white sugar
3/4 Cup applesauce (I used Kroger brand regular applesauce)
1 3-oz. package of Cranberry Flavor Gelatin or flavor of choice (I used JELL-O brand)
1 package of unflavored gelatin  (I used one packet of Knox Gelatine)
1/2 teaspoon lime juice
Coat a 9×9 square glass baking dish with non-stick cooking spray and place in the refrigerator. Next combine 1 Cup sugar, 3/4 Cup applesauce, 1/2 teaspoon lime juice, the whole package of flavored and unflavored gelatin in a saucepan. Allow to stand for one minute, then place on the stove top and set to medium heat. Stirring constantly, bring the mixture to a boil. Allow to boil for a full minute, then pour immediately into the cold baking dish and place in the refrigerator until it solidifies completely. This took about 1 1/2 hours in my fridge, but set up times can vary so don’t get carried away too soon!

How to make homemade gummy shapes - DIY Cranberry Gummies Recipe

Once your gummies have set up in the fridge, use a spatula to loosen the sides of the gummies then invert onto a sugar coated cutting board. Then dust the tops of the gummy sheet with white sugar. Using a knife or small cookie cutters, cut the gummies into desired shapes.

Homemade DIY Gummy Shapes - A Gummy Bear Alternative with a Bit of Moxie

Once your shapes are cut, dip the sides of each gummy shape into white sugar so the sides are coated and no longer sticky. Allow to dry completely if necessary then place in an airtight container until ready to use.

Looking for more fun ways to use flavored gelatin? Then be sure to check out the recipe blog, Jelly Test Shot Kitchen! Psst. You can also use unflavored gelatin to make homemade marshmallows! Grab the recipe for mocha coffee vanilla marshmallows here.

How to make Homemade Caramels

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How to Make Homemade Caramels - DIY Homemade Caramels Recipe
I’ve been trying to give new things a try lately and while food is definitely not my specialty, I did venture into making homemade caramels for the first time. I used a recipe I found at High Heels and Grills Blog and cut the recipe in half. And I’m pretty glad I did. Even half a batch made a ton of caramels – which by the way took FOREVER to wrap. I think these would look so sweet for holiday gifts, handmade stocking stuffers or wedding favors tucked inside a little pillow box and tied up with ribbon. I decorated a few of my wax paper wrapped caramels with Japanese Washi tape which I thought added a cute touch.
Having made this particular recipe I can attest that it does take a while. You can’t really rush the process. I didn’t have a candy thermometer – which looking back I do sort of wish I had one – but I persevered without and learned what firm ball stage was much to the amusement of the men in my life who follow my personal facebook page. (Yes, grown men are perpetually trapped at the age of 12.) According to About.com, firm ball stage occurs at 245-250 degrees. You can tell when you’ve reached firm ball stage by dropping a bit of the caramel into a cup of very cold water. If you’re able to roll the caramel into a ball that holds it’s shape in the water, but loses shape when you remove it from the water and reintroduce to room temperature, then you know you’ve got it.
Now to be honest I thought I’d hit firm ball stage, but I may have just almost been there, because my end caramels were still a little soft. I remedied this by dusting the caramels lightly with flour before wrapping. This also kept them from sticking to my hands. It didn’t affect the flavor at all. So my suggestion would be that cooking the caramels a little longer than you think you should may be in your favor. Especially if you don’t have a thermometer handy. Just don’t stop stirring.
Just for fun, I dusted half of the pan of caramels with Himalayan Pink Salt after pouring which made them taste absolutely fabulous. However, I doubt I’ll make these again unless I am just insanely bored because they really are a lot of work. You have to give some mad props to the handmade sellers who make these for a living. It’s probably just as time consuming as soapmaking, but soaps are a ton simpler to wrap even if it’s my least favorite part of making soap. I do think these would make excellent gifts though. After the first twenty-four hours I was afraid I was going to eat more than I would wrap.
Has anyone else ventured into making caramels yet?

Handmade Valentine’s Day Gift Guide

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Don’t just give any gift this Valentine’s Day, give the gift of handmade! Following are a few of my favorite handmade Valentine’s Day gift ideas.
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(Clockwise from left to right.)
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(Clockwise from left to right.)
For more handmade Valentine’s Day gift ideas, be sure to check out my Valentine’s Day Gift Ideas board on Pinterest!

Turkish Delight Recipe for the Narnia Lover in You

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I love the books, The Chronicles of Narnia, by C.S. Lewis. I remember reading through the entire series in my school’s elementary library as a child. The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe was, and still is, my favorite book. I was thrilled when I saw the original movie as a child and so I was, of course, insanely excited when they came out with a new version of the movie in 2006. I actually went to see it in the theater, and that’s a rarity for me. So when I stumbled across a recipe for Turkish Delight, I just had to share it!
Turkish Delight from Sprinkle Bakes Blog
The author of Sprinkle Bakes Blog, Heather Baird, is also a huge Narnia fan. She was psyched when produced with the challenge for creating and featuring Turkish Delight on her blog in response to a birthday request from a girl turning 13. The result was a fantastic recipe for a sugary sweet, pink candy treat that can be made in the microwave! The ingredients for the recipe are simple. The candy recipe calls for cold water, cornstarch, sugar, corn syrup, pure lemon extract, powder sugar, ground pistachios, and little food coloring for that lovely pink. The rest is up to you. You can grab a printable recipe with the full ingredient list and recipe instructions from Sprinkle Bakes here.