Homemade Holiday Gift Guide

Project 6:  Vanilla Extract

This is the last up in our series of homemade holiday gifts!!  I hope you enjoyed everything we’ve created along the way.  Of course you can see all of our gifts here.   

How much fun is it to create your own extract?!  Now I will say that this one does require a little bit of prep.  First off, it is much cheaper to buy vanilla beans online!  You can get them at the store for about $7 for 2 beans if you are only doing a small batch though.  For us, bulk was necessary as we wanted to create about 12 small jars of the extract.  Secondly, this will have to sit for 6 weeks!  So…if you are like us and didn’t plan 6 weeks ahead, just instruct your recipients or include a sticker on the bottom of the jar that lets folks know not to use until a certain date.  Along the way, you should also give these jars a shake almost daily.

To Create:

You will need 1 vanilla bean for every 2 oz. of 70-90 proof vodka.  No need to use the expensive stuff – save that for your holiday libations!  Slice the vanilla bean down the length of the bean and then cut into 1 inch segments.  Add the vodka to the container of your choice and drop in the vanilla bean segments.  Let sit for about 6 weeks, shaking daily, before use. 

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To Decorate:

This year, we decided to use these Snap Top Jars from Michaels.  Each jar holds about 2 oz. of contents, which is the same amount needed for 1 vanilla bean.  To adorn them as we did, print our Vanilla Extract Labels and cut just under the text in 2 inch strips.  The words will be at the very bottom of each strip.  You will also need to cut a strip of holiday scrapbook paper in a 1 1/2 in strip. Using double sided tape, secure the paper strips together around the jar so that a 1/4 inch of the bottom paper shows through on both the top and bottom.  Finally, use festive Washi Tape to go around the jar once before adding a 3D sticker.

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