Holiday Crafts

Published on December 27th, 2009 | by Becky Striepe


Handmade Holidays: Show it Off!

[Recycled Ornament Tree based on a tutorial from Indie Fixx]

The gifts are all gifted, and maybe the ambitious among you have even recycled your Christmas tree already. Here’s your chance to show off all of your holiday hard work! We’d love to see your handmade gifts and decor. Feel free to share away in the comments!

Pictured above are what several of my pals got this year: jars of curried lentil soup mix. Here’s how you make it:

In a one pint mason jar, layer:

  • 1/2c organic green lentils
  • spice mixture (recipe below)
  • 1c organic jasmine or basmati rice
  • enough organic red lentils to fill the jar the rest of the way

Then, you just attach a tag to the jar with the additional ingredients and directions:

You’ll also need:
2T olive oil
1 large onion
3 cloves garlic, minced
8c water
1 can coconut milk
salt (to taste)

In a large pot over medium heat cook the onions for about 5 minutes in the olive oil, and then add the garlic. Cook for a total of about ten minutes, or until the onions are soft and turn translucent.

Add the water and soup mix to the pot and bring to a simmer. Turn down low, and cook until the lentils and rice are cooked and very soft (about 45 minutes).

Add the coconut milk, and bring back to a simmer, adding salt to taste, and serve. Enjoy!

Spice Mixture
I mixed these individually for each jar, so this mix makes enough for just one jar. Combine:

1/2t tumeric
3/4t ground cardamom
1/4t cinnamon
1/4t cloves
1/4t freshly ground pepper
1/8t ground nutmeg

So, what was your most triumphant handmade gift? Share your photos in the comments! We hope you had a successful Handmade Holiday!

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About the Author

My name is Becky Striepe (rhymes with “sleepy”), and I am a crafts and food writer from Atlanta, Georgia with a passion for making our planet a healthier, happier, and more compassionate place to live. My mission is to make vegan food and crafts accessible to everyone!. If you like my work, you can also find me on Twitter, Facebook, and .

24 Responses to Handmade Holidays: Show it Off!

  1. Wendy says:

    I love the idea of soup mixes! So fun.

    Today I plan to make firestarters out of some of the branches of the Christmas tree. I hope to get pictures up Monday or Tuesday.

  2. Lisa says:

    I gave my family local organic syrup and honey and wrapped it up with ornaments I made from felted wool coats and vintage buttons:

  3. Katie says:

    I made many gifts this year, and I do most years actually. I’ve posted a few, and the others are in the wings to get posted. I made an apron, a skirt, a few wallets, some coffee sleeves (all sewn), a cookbook, and some embroidered towels. I love making stuff (hence the name of my blog!) so I kind of go a little crazy this time of the year!

  4. I made some pretty shirts for various nieces – the pix are starting to arrive!

  5. Lynn says:

    I loved the dowel tree I made, but am looking forward to making the same type but from our Christmas tree once we take it down. I have an idea how to do it. It will be interesting to see how it goes. Thanks for all the great posts during the holidays.

  6. Kiki says:

    I made fabric pinwheel Christmas ornaments for all of the extended family members, family friends, and coworkers. Everyone loved them!

    I was on the receiving end of some beautiful handmade gifts as well– stockings for my new house, an embroidered tea towel, and a snowman door hanger.

  7. * TONYA * says:

    I absolutely love the ornament tree. What a great idea. I have a lot of ornaments that are missing their ends for hanging and a lot of old ones that we no longer use. I think I’ll adopt this idea for next year.

    My two favorite crafty projects this Christmas were the gifts that I made for my two youngest children.

    A dollhouse for my little girl –

    A barnyard for my little man –

  8. So many great projects! Thank you guys so much for sharing. Keep ’em coming!

  9. TJ says:

    That soup mix looks great – I wish I’d read this sooner! And maybe I’ll make some for dinner this weekend :^)

  10. Thanks, TJ! I’ve been getting good feedback as my friends have been making theirs.

  11. Coachpolly says:

    Regarding the cloves – whole or ground?

  12. Janartfan says:

    Love the zen simplicity of these decorated branches and the colorful look of this soup gift. I bet it’s delicious.

  13. Collas Anne says:

    Hello, I am reading your post from France, where it’s VERY cold, and I think the soup idea is really brilliant !!
    I would just need some precisions in the directions you give.
    Does the lettter “c” stand for “cup” ? And the letter “T” for “teaspoonful” ? And also, what is the volume of a “can coconut milk” in the States ? ;o)
    Thanks for this really good idea, I would be very grateful for an answer, too !

    • Anonymous says:

      Hi Anne! Here are the abbreviations:

      c = cup
      t = teaspoon
      T = tablespoon

      For the coconut milk, I used a 13oz can. I hope that helps!

  14. Guest says:


    Are you sure about the one pint container?
    All that stuff will NOT fit a one pint container! How about a one QUART container! And I, too, would like to know what size can of Coconut milk you are talking about.

  15. David says:

    DON’T MAKE THIS RECIPE-IT IS WRONG!! The ingredients will NOT fit in a one PINT mason jar. I bought a case of mason jars, hoping to give this great-sounding recipe as gifts. Now I am stuck with the jars and have to find another last-minute gift. Grrrr!!!

    • Anonymous says:

      Ack! You are so right. It should have been a half cup of lentils. I’ll change that right away. I’m so sorry your gift idea got ruined!

  16. Sarah says:

    Now I’m really confused. Please check how many cups of green and red lentils go into this recipe and whether it was really meant to be put into a quart size mason jar, rather than a pint size one. It’s a great idea…just needs to be tweaked

  17. Marie says:

    Are “green lentils” the standard (brown) ones found in the grocery stores?

    Do you know where can I find red lentils?

    • Green lentils are different from the brown ones you’d find at the grocery store. I get mine in the bulk food section at the Dekalb Farmers Market here in Atlanta. An Indian grocer would most likely have more lentil options than the regular grocery. You can use those brown ones in a pinch, you just won’t have the lovely colors that way. Maybe you can make up for that with a pretty label that you wrap around the jar!

  18. Pingback: The Thursday 13 – Gifts in a Jar – 13 Soup Mixes

  19. Pingback: Last minute Christmas gifts for lazy people | The Tab

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