The first installment of the the 12 Days of Craft-mas series features a homemade Christmas present, perfect for a tea drinker. I love giving meaningful, personalized Christmas gifts, and what better way to do that (and save some money!) than to go the homemade route.
My mother is a big tea drinker, so last year, I made her a Chai tea kit. (I know, it’s kind of cheating to use something I did last year, but I can’t exactly write about gifts that I haven’t given out yet! That would certainly ruin the surprise on Christmas morning…) Unfortunately, I don’t have a picture of the result, since it’s already in my mom’s possession (and hopefully all used up by now!). But here was my inspiration (from Purpose Design):
As much as I love supporting Etsy businesses, the $40 price tag was a bit steep for me. So I mosied on over to The Container Store to look for a perfect partitioned container. I purchased a clear plastic box, which was divided into eight different compartments, found here.
I then went over to my local Sprouts Farmers Market, where they sell bulk spices and loose leaf tea pretty cheaply. I picked up all of the required ingredients for Chai Tea: star anise, cloves, allspice, cinnamon bark, peppercorns, cardamom, and several kinds of black tea. Another good source of bulk spices and loose leaf tea is Monterey Bay Spice Company. I discovered them a few months ago when Groupon had a $15 for $30 deal and I needed to restock my tea supply. Their spices and teas are very reasonably priced, but the shipping can start to add up. Word of warning: a pound of tea is a lot of tea (probably should have realized that, but now I have probably a year’s worth of tea to drink…).
I then created a label for the outside of the tea kit, with the recipe. I made this in Powerpoint (of course), and printed it out on some label paper than I had leftover from my wedding. I made it the same size as the top of the box, so that it would cover the entire top.
I also created individual little labels for each compartment, to identify what each item was. I placed these labels on the underside of the box cover.
And tah-dah! A personalized Chai Tea kit for around $10. Not quite the sleek stainless steel look of the one sold on Purpose Design, but pretty cool nonetheless. And a perfect gift for a tea drinker.