Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Homemade Christmas presents handmade with love part 1

In December I had two handmade gifts on my radar for Christmas.  One I saw in an email from Bake at 350 and the other was one I'd seen years ago at a friends house. 

The first was Homemade Vanilla Extract.  All you need is vanilla beans, vodka, cute bottles, and 8 weeks of time!  I love the bottles that Bake at 350 used. In the blog she said she got the bottles from The Container Store right now they are on sale, but when I looked back in October they were $2.99 each then add shipping and they were like $6-$7 a bottle, more than I wanted to spend.  By a pure stroke of luck, I had to go to training in San Diego, CA.  If you've never been to San Diego they have awesome shopping.  While I was doodling around I found The Container Store out at Fashion Valley.  I went in and bought 14 bottles, 10 for me and 4 for my buddy Teresa.  The only issue was how to get them home, my suit case was slammed coming out to San Diego, and even more so after visiting the zoo, all my shopping, and my trip to Disneyland and California Adventures.  I ended up buying a new carry on bag and packing the bottles and only the bottles in that bag.  They weighed a ton and I carried them on 2 planes and through 3 airports.  Making it home safely all bottles in tact!

 Anyway back to the vanilla,  the recipe calls for 1/3 cup vodka for each bean.  Because I have OCD about measuring things out first I measured out how much each bottle would hold of vodka, that way I new how many beans to put in each bottle.  I bought 1 pound of Mexican vanilla beans from Beanilla, I had my brother-in-law get me a giant bottle of Smirnoff Vodka and got to work.  With my measurements I needed 3 beans per bottle, I actually added 4-5 beans per bottle just cause I really like vanilla.

First I cut the beans in half at different lengths so the wouldn't be the same in the bottle, then I split each bean down one side and kinda opened it up.  I put the beans in each bottle and used my measuring cup and funnel to fill each bottle to the top with vodka.  I closed them up tight and put them under the bed in the guest room.  It take about 8 weeks for the beans and vodka to mix or come together.

When Christmas rolled around I used twine and some cute free printable labels from The Graphics Fairy.  I printed 2 labels per bottle, glued them together picture out, laminated them, and punched a hole in the top and tied them on the bottle.

The ones I used were  not black they were a yellow color like old paper but my computer won't let me see that picture so I grabbed this one.
As you use the vanilla you can refill with vodka and fresh beans.

I don't have any pictures right now but you can see exactly what they look like at the below link:

Bye Y'all!


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