The little things that make me happy here on Bliss Road~~Emily Keaton

Friday, December 30, 2011

Neighbor Gifts for FWF

It's the last Friday of 2011--bring on the Friends with Flair! Be sure to check the Unity blog for a complete list of participants (there's a randomly drawn prize for commenting!!).

Today I'm sharing one last Christmas project! We have a great neighborhood--our neighbors invite our kids to swim in their pool, support our kids' Girl Scout and Cub Scout fundraisers, take turns with me walking the elementary kids to school, and keep an eye on one another's homes. Christmas is a great time for my family to let everyone know how much we appreciate them, so I like to remember everyone with a gift--but with six families in our neighborhood, it has to be something that doesn't break the bank. I keep the costs down (way down!) by making treats to give in pretty handmade packaging.

This year I made peppermint bark as our neighbor gift. So easy! I start by crushing 8 full-sized candy canes. My kids love doing this part! After they've unwrapped the candy canes and dropped them in a plastic bag, I hand them my heavy-duty ice cream scoop and let them go to town. While they crush, I melt a pound of vanilla candy wafers (I use Melting Wafers from Make 'n Mold) in the microwave. Once the wafers are smooth and melty, just stir in the crushed candy canes, then pour the mixture out onto a cookie sheet covered with waxed paper. After spreading out and smoothing the mixture with a spatula, just pop the tray in the fridge to chill for 20 minutes or so. When it's all set up, break the peppermint bark in to pieces, and that's it. Done! (Each recipe makes 20 ounces of candy.)

I bought the candy wafers for our peppermint bark at my A. C. Moore store before Thanksgiving when they went on sale for $1.67 per pound. I snagged candy canes as soon as they started going on sale, too. That meant I could give our neighbors about a pound of peppermint bark candy for less than $2 per family. Now that's something I can get behind! I picked up some Wilton Cookie Totes at A. C. Moore using some 50% off coupons--these were perfect for packaging the peppermint bark, and I love that they are resealable. All that was left to do was add a handmade gift tag:

At the beginning of the month, I helped a friend make tags and gift bags to package Christmas cookies. We had a few large tag shapes left over, so I used those as the basis for these tags but used images from my new Greetings of Christmas stamp set from Unity. I love how these turned out! I'm linking up this tag to the Unity Gift Wrapping challenge (which includes gift tags), the Simon Says Anything Goes Challenge, and over at Paper Sundaes Challenge #100: Celebrate.

Here's what the complete package looked like:

And here's a closer look at that yummy peppermint bark showing through the treat tote window:

Thanks for stopping by today!
Emily

40 comments:

Pam said...

Your peppermint bark looks yummy! Thanks for sharing the recipe! Love the gift bags, and what 'sweet' tags!! Have a Happy New Year!!!

Auntie Em said...

What a great gift idea. Your tags are so pretty. I have never seen gift bags like those before. They really make a nice way to present that very yummy looking treat.
Wishing you a very Happy New Year Emily! :)

Houses Built of Cards said...

Oooo...that looks SOOO yummy! And love the tags - they are beautiful and perfect!!!

housesbuiltofcards@gmail.com
www.housesbuiltofcards.blogspot.com

Rachel B said...

I wish I was your neighbor! Beautiful tags and gifts.

Michelle said...

The tags are so modern and fun. The peppermint bark looks yummy!

Jessica said...

I can almost smell the peppermint from here. Your tags are wonderful! What a great addition to an already cute treat!!
:O)
Jessica

Erin (Homemade Cards by Erin) said...

Wow, talk about a fabulous goodie bag, great treat, affordable, well packaged, you've got a winner!

Meg said...

Oh, fantastic inexpensive gift idea! I may be stealing this one next year!

~amy~ said...

YUM!!!

Gwen said...

Love this tag! Super clean and cute!

Anne Tussing said...

Great neighborhood gift!! I love the totes you used and your tag adds the perfect finishing touch.

Mary Anne / MA54K said...

Perfect tag for such yummy treats!

Glenda J said...

Love the simple brilliance of your card. Great little details.

Ruby said...

LOVE these Yummy gift bags. The tags are gorgeous. What a great gift.

Jingle said...

Emily, these are gorgeous! I love the design!

Marisa said...

What a wonderful neighbour indeed :) Sure they will thoroughly enjoy your peppermint goodies too :)

Linda said...

ho my word great tag. it is very cute.

Crystal said...

Super cute tags! LOVE peppermint bark, made some for the first time this year and put it into a cheesecake, droolworthy!!!

sharon g said...

The tags have the perfect amount of color and designs. SO nice!!

B. Poteraj said...

These are some of my favorite tags!

Lori said...

I adore peppermint bark and I love your tags...just perfect.

chickadee3357 said...

So adorable!!

joetterer said...

Oh wow! Great, I mean GREAT tag!

BloomingPink said...

YUM. Being selfish, I wished I was your neighbor.

Being a creative peep, I LOVE LOVE LOVE that tag.

JPScraps said...

I love the tag!

Tameko said...

Such yummy tags. Nice design.

nwilliams6 said...

Emzi - If I could, I would move next door to you just to get fun presents like this (oh, and to craft together - wouldn't that be the best!!!). Fun creation! Happy New Years Hugz to you!

onecraftymama said...

Gorgeous packaging, and the treats look yummy! Sounds like a perfect "kids helping to make" gift - we did dipped pretzels last year :) I love the font of the sentiment, a lot, and the fab holly you made!

Benzi said...

Oh yes, the peppermint bark...wonderful! Love your tags and these are just great gifts for your friends.

Emily, you have to quit sharing recipes. I must have gained 2-3 lbs. eating those awesome peanut clusters after you gave the recipe. But, how simple and ooooh so tasty. (I haven't weighed). :-)

lisa arana said...

Eeeeeeek! Adorable tags and look at that yummy gift. Lucky neighbors. Happy New Year Emily!

Karen B. said...

Ooh, that bark looks absolutely divine! What a great way to package it too, super cute!

~Tammy~ said...

These are absolutely fantastic Emily! You do everything top notch!

Your neighbors sound like my new neighborhood, and I feel blessed!

Thanks for sharing your gift giving treasures!

Happy New Year!

jennifer mitten said...

Fabulous idea and love that tag!!

Emily Leiphart said...

Oh my gosh, Emily, just reading about how you made the peppermint bark totally made me salivate! LOL Your tags are gorgeous and so do all those bags of goodies. You are so sweet to give these to all your neighbours. Happy New Year to you and your family!!

Sue Lelli said...

WOW! What a really nice thing to make and do! So very Emily of you because YOU are the sweetest! Happy New Year! Look forward to visiting with you more in 2012! CONGRATS on being the Moxie Fabber of the Week! i left you some LOVE over there!

Linda R. said...

Boy do those look yummy. And your tags look so cute.. I hope you and your family had a Happy New Year!!

Hugs, Linda

Pryn said...

What a lovely neighborhood you live in! I think that is so awesome that you are all able to do such wonderful things for each other :) Your treat bags turned out fantastic! The tags really rock!!!

Colleen Dietrich said...

Seems like this was a hit among commenters, Emily! I am glad you posted how this peppermint bark came about, and the packaging you put together is first class. Bet the neighbors counted themselves lucky to live near you! (wish I was one :)

Aleks said...

I love this!!! I never know how much I need a set until I see someone using it!

Nancy Perez said...

Emily, I just love the tote bags you used for the peppermint bark neighbor gifts. I have been looking for something just like that for by business. Would you mind telling me where you got them? Thanks!