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winePhoto: The Daily Green

Stop. Before you get ready to start making homemade candles, read this condensed list from Brokelyn first. Trust me; you won't be sorry:

DO: Infuse liquor. So easy. Just put the right thing in the right liquor and let it sit for three days. Examples: ginger in vodka, jalapeños in tequila, vanilla and cherries in rum. If the recipient likes expensive gin, you can actually make some yourself by buying a bottle of cheap-as-you-dare vodka and infusing it with juniper berries. I found an easy recipe at Gourmet, but mixologist Jeffrey Morgenthaler has this step-by-step guide. Peel off the label of the cheap liquor you bought, slap on your own, and tie the ingredient you infused to the ribbon for extra "oohs and aahs!"

DON'T: Make your own wine. It requires all this stuff, and corking and bottling, and here's the thing: You. Can. Get. Cheap. Wine.

Make a personalized Barbie for your friends.
For an opening-night gift, my actress friend Carm's co-stars bought a brunette Barbie, dressed her up like Carm's character, and gave it to her in a box they made. Who doesn't want a collector's item of themselves?

DON'T: Make candles. I asked a lot of people if they had any sure-to-fail-DIY's and 87% of the people immediately said "candles." Second was soap.


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