- Chocolate-dipped spoons
First, melt milk chocolate (chocolate chips work great). Then, remove the chocolate from heat; the chocolate should be melted, but thick and cool enough so that it doesn't melt the plastic spoons. Dip spoons into the melted chocolate just past the base of the spoon and add toppings if desired (crushed bits of toffee, candy cane, or sprinkles are good choices) before the chocolate on the spoons begins to chill. Then, lay the spoons on wax paper (wax paper on a cookie sheet is the easiest way to transport the spoons) and transfer to cool in the refrigerator. When finished, store spoons in Ziploc baggies, cellophane, plastic wrap, or the like. Tie bags with ribbon to decorate.
- Organza gift bags full of candy
- Sachets filled with potpourri
Buy lacy handkerchiefs and loose potpourri. Spoon a bit of potpourri into the center of each handkerchief, draw up the ends, and tie closed with a bit of ribbon.
- Take-out containers full of fortune cookies (or whatever you like)
- Bath salts
Mix combination of about a cup of Epsom salt with a 1/4 cup of sea salt and a couple of tablespoons of baking soda. Add a few drops of essential oils (try lavender or eucalyptus for a soothing spa-like scent). Stir until all ingredients are blended, then spoon the mixture into glass jars like these. Finish the glasses with pre-printed labels or write "Lavender Bath Salts" (or what-have-you) on the top of the jars with a skinny permanent marker. You can batches of bath salts that are as small or as large as they need to be to accommodate all of your party's guests.
- Votive candles wrapped in organza circles
- Personalized candy bar wrappers
Buy candy bars that come enclosed in silver or gold foil, covered by paper wrappers. Remove the candy's original paper wrapper, and make your own, using patterned scrapbook paper or colored paper embellished with stickers or stamps. Then, simply fit the personalized paper over the candy bar and secure with a piece of double-sided tape.
- Candy in paper cones
- Embellished picture frames
Buy simple flat-front picture frames and embellish them with 3-D alphabet stickers that spell out the names of your guests, the year of your event, or simple messages like "Hope" or "Faith".
- Mixed CDs (with songs that match your party theme)
- Recycled crayons
If you're hosting a party for kids, you can make custom-shaped crayons as party favors. Preheat your oven to about 150°F. Sort old crayon stubs (paper removed) by color family. Then, line mini-muffin pans with foil baking cups (or use shaped pans like these) and add sorted crayons. Bake for 15 minutes, until the crayons have melted. Let cool.
- Chocolate-dipped pretzels (or cookies or whatever)
- Candy Cane Reindeer
Getting ready for Christmas? Glue two googly eyes and a red pom-pom nose onto the curve of a candy cane. Then, shape a brown pipe cleaner into "antlers" and twist around the top of the candy cane.
- Small vases (or bottles or cans or what-have-you) of wild flowers
Buy clear glass Christmas bulbs with removable tops. Remove the tops, fill with multicolor glass beads (or any tiny trinket that will catch the light). Replace tops and attach a brightly-colored ribbon or suction cup for hanging.