If I were to write my own version of the Sound of Music’s “Favorite Things” song, cloved apples would most definitely make the cut. As a kids, my sister and I loved to smell the mysterious, spicy smelling ball that’s been on my grandmother’s dresser for decades.
It’s a very simple process, if a bit sticky, sticking all the whole cloves you can into an apple (other fruits work, too, oranges are very popular). You want enough cloves to throughly dry and preserve the fruit, but with enough space that you don’t split the apple apart. Leave the fruit on a plate in a sunny, dry spot, and in a few weeks any spaces will disappear. A totally natural, DIY, air freshner that lasts for years. How can you beat that?
I recommend buying cloves at a bulk store or ethnic food store (I’ve found Indian Grocery Stores to have the best price), using the small grocery store jars will get pretty pricey.
Okay, I’m the first to throw an internal temper tantrum when I see Halloween candy in the stores in August and then replaced by the Christmas candy November 1st. But I make an exception for handmade preparation for holidays starting early, because the reality is you probably can’t make all of your Christmas gifts by hand if you start on the first day of Advent. Lizzy House issued a challenge to go handmade this Christmas, which I had been planning on doing, so I’m officially joining up. Some bigger gifts I’ve had underway for quite a while now, but now it’s time to really start thinking hard for those tougher to make for people (i.e. men…I’m sorry, you’re hard to craft for!). I won’t be posting everything I’m making as I don’t want to spoil any surprises, but I’ll post some things and I’ll also be posting resources for simple handmade gifts throughout November.
You can click back to my post House Warming Present for the first idea. I made some simple cloth napkins, which would be a nice little Christmas gift. Mine had hand embroidery, but if you aren’t an embroidery person you can just use a print fabric instead, meaning if you can sew a straight line, you can make this present!
My first suggested resource is Instructables.com. If you haven’t checked out this site, do it! Basically, if there is a way to make something or do something yourself, this place has the instructions. It’s a great resource all year round, but in terms of making stuff for the holidays, if you have an idea of what you’d like to give someone, just search for a great “how-to” on the site or browse around the categories to find ideas!