I’m excited to announce that I have teamed up with 29 incredibly talented and creative bloggers to share some fun neighbor gift ideas. Make sure to check out all the ideas below and visit everyone’s blogs for more details.
This holiday make Homemade Vanilla Extract, it’s an easy and affordable Christmas gift idea for everyone on your list. I made homemade vanilla with some friends for the first time last year and handed it out as gifts to our teachers, neighbors and my husbands co-workers. It was a simple, yet thoughtful gift that anyone can use and enjoy so I decided to make more this year!
Pure Vanilla extract consists of only two things: vodka and vanilla beans. Yep, that’s it. I promise, check the back of the label on the vanilla in your cupboard. And that’s the beauty of making your own, you can make as little or as much as you want. All you have to do is adjust the number of beans and the amount of vodka. The standard ratio is: 2 vanilla beans to every 4 ounces of vodka.
To make homemade vanilla extract you will need:
- Vodka, the quality of vodka doesn’t matter…the cheap stuff will work.
- Madagascar vanilla beans, I ordered mine from Beanilla and was very pleased with the quality.
- 4 oz glass bottles
Vanilla beans can be a little expensive, but you don’t want to skimp on the quality here. There are lots of varieties out there but my favorite are the Mexican Vanilla Bean or the Madagascar Bourbon Vanilla Bean, but pick your favorite and go for it! When your beans arrive they should be fragrant, plump and oily, that is the sign of a good bean.
Cut the beans in half lengthwise and then cut them in half again. You’ll get two halves from one bean pod. If you are making 4 oz of homemade vanilla extract you will need 2 vanilla beans (or 4 cut sections.)
Place the beans in a jar with a lid.
Next, pour in the vodka until the vanilla beans are covered.
Your vanilla will need to “cure” for at least 6-8 weeks before using. Store the Vanilla in a dark place and about once a week, shake the bottle for 10 seconds to mix it up. Then put it back and wait until it’s reached it’s peak before using!
I poured my vanilla into a pretty bottle and tied a black and gold tag I made with my Cricut Explore to the bottle with black and white striped ribbon. I think that this Homemade Vanilla Extract is a simple, pretty and practical Christmas gift that your friends and family will love.
Make sure you check out all of the creative and thoughtful gift ideas you can whip up this holiday season!
What are you giving friends and family for Christmas this year?