Homemade Vanilla Extract – Christmas Gift Idea

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!

Homemade Vanilla_Giggles Galore

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

Homemade Vanilla Extract Ingredients

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.)

Homemade Vanilla Extract_Cutting Vanilla Bean

Place the beans in a jar with a lid.

Homemade Vanilla Extract_Beans in the Jar

Next, pour in the vodka until the vanilla beans are covered.

Homemade Vanilla Extract_Vodka and Vanilla Beans

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!

Homemade Vanilla_Giggles Galore

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.

Homemade Vanilla Extract Gift Tag

Make sure you check out all of the creative and thoughtful gift ideas you can whip up this holiday season!

Neighbor Gift Ideas for Christmas time

 Our Thrifty Ideas – Soda Tags Neighbor Gift

Dessert Now Dinner Later – Muddy Buddy Popcorn

Pretty Providence – Treat Pops

Blooming Homestead – Cookie Decorating Kit

Neighbor Gift Ideas for Christmas time

 Frenchi Wraps – Yummy Bars

Yesterday on Tuesday – Cookie Mix

The Happy Scraps – Homemade treat packaging

Over The Big Moon – Pepper Jelly

Neighbor Gift Ideas for Christmas time

Just Us Four – Paleo Pumpkin Granola w/ Tag 

Wait Til Your Father Gets Home – Rudolph Ornament

Happiness Is Homemade – Holiday Cookie Dough Tag

Cupcake Diaries – Twizzlers Holiday Tag

Neighbor Gift Ideas for Christmas time

One Artsy Mama – Crochet Gift Card Pouch

Reasons to Skip the Housework – Hot Cocoa Set

Made to Be a Mama – Dishes Gift Set

Let’s Eat Grandpa – Easy-Sew Two-Hand Casserole Pot Holder

Neighbor Gift Ideas for Christmas time

 Dukes and Duchesses – Home for the Holidays Cocoa Gift

See Vanessa Craft – Cinnamon Vanilla Sugar Scrub

Carissa Miss – For Your Mistletoes

Occasionally Crafty – Salsa Neighbor Gift

Neighbor Gift Ideas for Christmas time

 Simply Designing – Mulling Spices

Domestically Speaking – Cinnamon Crumble Apple Pie + Printable

Creations By Kara – Christmas Bread Wrapper

Frog Prince Paperie – Luminary Kit

Capturing Joy with Kristen Duke – The Gift of Dishes

Neighbor Gift Ideas for Christmas time

 Giggles Galore – Homemade Vanilla

One Krieger Chick – Playdough in a Jar

Food Folks and Fun – DIY Coasters Gift Set

My Craftily Ever After – Printable Neighbor Gift Bags

Rae Gun Ramblings – Neighbor Gift Treat

What are you giving friends and family for Christmas this year?


Mariah Leeson is the creative mind behind www.gigglesgalore.net. With a passion for celebrating, Mariah created Giggles Galore to inspire families to celebrate life’s little moments with creative, budget friendly ideas. She loves cooking, reading, crafting, hosting parties and most of all spending time giggling with her family.

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  1. I’ve always wanted to make vanilla, but I’ve been scared to screw it up. You make it look doable! Thanks for the idea.

  2. Oh man, I’d love to get homemade vanilla. Such a great idea! I sure hope some of my neighbors see this post. 😉

  3. This looks amazing! Great idea and gorgeous packaging. Pinned!

  4. Could you use some of the flavored Vodkas that are out now? Maybe coconut vodka or others?

    • Yes Tammy, I’m sure you could. I haven’t tried it, but you can infuse the vodka with anything (cocoa, rosemary, ect) so mixing the flavors might produce a really great combination of flavors!


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