Holiday Open House Handmade Favors?

organicgirlNovember 22, 2006

Hey Gang:

Does anyone have suggestions for handmade favors to give out at a holiday open house? We're expecting between 40-50 people (mostly couples) to come by and would love to send them home with something handmade for the holidays. There's a mix of religions, so we're steering away from ornaments (though the idea is tempting! our 5-year old would LOVE to take on that craft!).

Thanks in advance for sharing your thoughts. Oh, and if you can't think of anything handmade, just share whatever else you have. Party day is Dec. 16 and I'd like to make the final decision soon! :-)

Happy Holidays!

--organicgirl

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carla35

I know you may not be thinking of food, but one of my friends once gave everyone a mini size bread...you know, like pumpkin or banana breads in those mini sizes.

Handmade soap is another idea. Or, even homemade candles.

    Bookmark   November 22, 2006 at 11:58PM
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caliloo

I lvoe the idea of giving small food gifts to guests. I often make several small jars of jelly/jam, loaves of homemade bread and/or small tins of holiday cookies.

They are all wrapped and placed in a basket near the door to hand to the guest as they are departing.

Alexa

    Bookmark   November 23, 2006 at 7:41AM
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ilovepink

I love food as a favor. It is perfect. I think giving cinnamon rolls for breakfast the next day would be great.

Jams perfect.

Tiny breads.

I love little tarts like lemon, pecan, chess. They would be so great.

    Bookmark   November 23, 2006 at 10:25AM
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earthlydelights

i agree with the food idea. there are so many options.

if you made larger cookies and put it in a decorative bag tied with a ribbon and made a little tag with a small worded thank you and the date. candy bars or mints - like tic tacs/lifesavor mints or mentos and make decorative holiday labels - stars/snow - that say something like "thanks for sharing our holiday mo-mints and the date and your family name. chocolate covered pretzles, again in the holiday bag. coffee or tea. there's so many option with food as a favor. the bags are available at dollar stores, paper stores and i'm sure craft stores.

i always go with some type of edible. people do love it. my name places for yesterday's dinner were mini pumpkins - placed on a doily covered board, wrapped and bowed with a name tag for seating arrangements. a new guest of thanksgiving called it a "parting gift". i used the mini bundt pan and inverted one on the other to resemble a pumpkin and lightly iced it. they do make mini tree or snowman pans or you could just go with a cupcake, or rice crispie treats.

again, anything you put in a decorative bag is just a lovely touch.

good luck,
maryanne

    Bookmark   November 24, 2006 at 9:56AM
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labmomma

I think guests love taking something home especially something to munch on. I like making the popcorn with drizzled white and dark chocolate, you can do caramel, etc. You are limited only by your imagination. Put in glassine bags and tie with festive ribbons. Put in basket by the door, your guests pick one up as they leave.

For a holiday party I've done dark chocolate/white chocolate with crushed peppermint candies on top bark. Melt dark chocolate and spread onto styro-type pans you get at party store. Cool dark. Melt white choc. and spread over dark chocolate once it has set up. While the white chocolate is still warm press in crushed red and white peppermint. When it has completely cooled you just break it up into 2" or so pieces. YUMMY! Simple to do, put broken pieces in the same kind of bags. Everyone likes chocolate, your 5 year old can help do it since you just use a microwave to heat the chocolates.

The things you have to watch out for are nut allergies and dietary (religious) restrictions.

Have a great party!!

    Bookmark   November 24, 2006 at 9:13PM
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craftfetish

I think all of the food suggestions are good ones.

But if you were looking for non-food options, making your own soaps or candles is a good option. They sell kits that are easy enough to follow if you haven't done it before and a little bit of cinnamon or peppermint will make things smell seasonal without being religious.

Your 5 year old could help cut snowflake shapes (or use a decorative hole punch) in fancy paper. Wrap a dark blue paper with a snowflake hole around votive holders and add a tea light for a festive candle. Punch snowflakes into lunch bags or small gift bags - send guests home with a small bag of sand or stones and some tea lights for luminaires (sp?)for their walkways at home. Wrap dark blue paper with a white cut snowflake glued in the center around a nice bar of (handmade or store bought) soap. Punch snowflake shapes (or any fun shape - I seem to be fixated) into contact paper. Carefully peel off the backing, wrap around a cheapo glass and use glass etching cream (that part is not for 5 year olds) to make winter glasses.

Getting away from my snowflake hole punch obsession, there are lots of internet recipes for bath salts and fizzies, lotions and lip balms. All a little feminine, but could be fun for your helper (bath salts = epsom salts, a little baking soda, a little peppermint oil and a few drops of food coloring in a freezer bag shaken up by an energetic kid)

If you have a polaroid camera, you guys could make picture frame magnets out of those foam sheets at the craft store and send guests home with a picture from the party.

Real Simple (I think) had a great suggestion for politely letting guests know that the party was ending by bringing out a tray of hot cocoa for the road. (not entirely subtle, but sometimes you have to go there) You could adapt the idea with little packets of cocoa decoratively packaged in seasonal coffee mugs or cute bags with a note thanking guests for the sweet memories of the evening - actually you could do this with any of the food suggestions.

Okay, that's all I can think of for the moment. I've been posting a running list of holiday gift crafts on my blog - I'll probably be adding some of the above in the near future. We'll see if I can come up with anything else.

Here is a link that might be useful: craftfetish blog

    Bookmark   November 25, 2006 at 12:26PM
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organicgirl

WOW - you guys are all amazing and provided me with some serious food (pun intented, haha) for thought. This is our first official holiday party (yeesh, I'm 32, should know what to do by now) and am just getting bogged down with all of the other details ... what to serve ... what to wear ... and most importantly, how the heck are we gonna fit all these people in our house, anyway ... that I was really struggling with this favors one.

I have just printed everything out and will be making my decision in the next day or so. Again, thanks heaps -- I am so incredibly grateful for the fab suggestions and well-party wishes. This place -- and its members -- are just the best!

Oh, and craftfetish, you and your sis have an uber-fantastico blog and I love love love it. (It's even made the 'bookmarked' list). You've given me (and the little lass) perfect ideas not only for our party favors but for handmade gifts all around. Perfect!

Happy Holidays, Ya'll!

    Bookmark   November 29, 2006 at 11:11PM
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organicgirl

Hey! Party time is almost here and I thought I'd post back with our 'final decision'.

Well, we whipped up Alton Brown's hot cocoa recipe and will be sending guests home with little antique jars of our homemade cocoa mix. We also bought straight peppermint sticks and coated one end with white chocolate and fine sprinkles. The peppermint stick is even better when soaking IN the hot cocoa. YUM. For our most special guests (Moms and Dads, Grandparents and Great-Grandparents), we made paper mache ornaments -- little girl took over the ornament painting and did some very cool Christmas scenes.

Thanks again to you all for these wonderful suggestions!

    Bookmark   December 12, 2006 at 10:23PM
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