What’s that? What are all those goodies in that basket?
I know… I mean who doesn’t like like to open up a bunch of fun little gifts?
My friend Liz, from the Dear Andi blog, and her husband just bought their first place! Mazel tov you guys! I know how stressful and grueling it is to go through the process of buying a house (or in their case, an apartment). All the paperwork, and bank checks, and inspections, and lawyers, etc. So when they finally closed on their place after weeks of rescheduling, I was super excited for them! I was feeling extra crafty and so I decided to make a DIY, personalized housewarming gift.
Whenever someone moves into a new place I usually try to bring them either homemade bread or wine (NOT homemade, obv) when I come to visit for the first time. For this gift, I decided to make a basket of small things that they could use in their new home. I was thinking something a la , Its a Wonderful Life. You know, the part where Mary and George Bailey welcome The Martini family into their new home. She presents them with gifts: “Bread – that this house may never know hunger, Salt – that life may always have flavor, Wine – that joy and prosperity may reign forever”.
What a cute idea for a housewarming! I set out to research what goes into a “traditional” housewarming gift, and as it turns out, there is a whole list of traditional gifts one can give for a new home:
- Bread- May those in your home never go hungry.
- Broom- May your house always be clean and free of evil spirits
- Candles- May you always have light through the darkest times
- Coins- May you receive luck and good fortune
- Honey- May you always enjoy the sweetness of life
- Knives- May your home always be protected from intruders
- Olive Oil- May you be blessed with health and well-being
- Plants- May your home always have life
- Rice- May the love in your home multiply (fertility)
- Salt- May there always be flavor and spice in your life
- Wine- May you always have joy and never go thirstty
- Wood- May your home have stability, harmony and peace.
Anyway, I chose to include most but not all of these things. For some of the gifts, I updated them or changed them to suit the recipients. For example, the new homeowners are proud parents of two adorable cats, so for the plant gift, they got edible grass for their cats to enjoy. I mean…the cats had to endure a stressful move too, don’t they deserve a gift?!
Here is the basket I made
Instead of honey for sweetness, I made homemade vanilla extract (a lifetime supply, because 8oz is the smallest jar I could find!) Liz had been wanting this for quite a while so of course I made her a batch!
Homemade bread with rosemary and olive oil… fresh baked that day!
Cause that’s how I roll (excuse the pun)
On a prior occasion, we had tried to mull some wine together, but didn’t really do a great job. I remembered that Liz liked my large infuser that I used (instead of cheese cloth or whatever). So of course I bought her one, and some mulling spices. This was an alternative to the ‘salt’ gift. I added that pizazz to the jar top 🙂
Instead of real coins I included the chocolate coins, and wrapped them in one of the many lace pouches I’ve amassed from buying so much of Liz’s jewelry!
Then I made this cute jar of matches. They are ‘strike anywhere’ matches, with a piece of sand paper on the lid. I cut a small hole in the top so you can slip one match out at a time. I stole this idea from the internet, sadly its not mine
To let them know what each gift symbolized, I wrote a rhyming poem (yes I’m THAT cheesy).
Each brown envelope has a stanza explaining each gift. The frame served as the ‘wood’ item.
Lastly, I included a few organic fibrous confetti hearts, mostly as decoration (see vanilla extract pic). I love these because they are actually plantable! They grow into wildflowers. I thought this was a fun little touch that Liz and her husband might appreciate, since they gave some sort of seed packets (or was it plantable paper?) as their wedding favors last year.
At this point I thought about somehow including a line here about “home is where the heart is” …you know, heart confetti…housewarming gift…
But that would be just too cheesy. Even for me.
Aaaannnnndddd, I had fun playing with my new embossing supplies from my favorite store– like these fun tags I made!
Perhaps in a future blog post I’ll give you a little embossing tutorial.
In the mean time, since the basket seemed to go over well with Liz, I’ve decided to list my housewarming gift basket on Etsy. Surprisingly, there’s no one selling anything like it! I almost can’t believe that I came up with an original idea on Etsy, haha! Anyway, if you know someone with a new place , you should consider one of these baskets. Make one yourself, or buy one of mine and pretend you made it 🙂 Its totally customizable.
Also coming soon to my Etsy shop (and a future blog post) will be jars of homemade vanilla extract and vanilla sugar, yumm.
Until next time, I look forward to hearing your comments/suggestions, etc. Mi casa es su casa!