I was recently asked by the J.M. Smucker Company to create a unique holiday post featuring their Dunkin' Donuts® coffee since they're available in one of my local Walmart stores. In return for my time and creative effort, I'm being compensated financially for this post. Thank you for allowing me to keep creating great content by supporting partnerships with brands I collaborate with on The Rising Spoon. As always, the opinions expressed here are 100% my own.
Imagine this scenario: the holidays are fast approaching and you want to show your appreciation to family, friends, neighbors, teachers, and helpful employees of local establishments you frequent, but you don't have time (or money) to tailor gifts to each person's taste (especially if your list is long). Sure, gift cards work, but they're not memorable.
What do you do? Stress out about it and scramble together a lackluster gift last minute (with hardly any thought put into it)? I've been there. This used to be my sister and I every year right before the holidays.
The solution is DIY gift baskets filled with practical items that work for a variety of people. Things like bath & body products (everyone showers and grooms themselves), snacks & treats (only grinches dislike this kind of stuff), and drinks like coffee, tea, or alcohol. Pick a theme and fill your baskets with an assortment of homemade gifts and/or store-bought products and you're good to go!
Themed DIY Gifts Make Your Life Easier
If you've been following my blog for awhile now, you know I love making homemade gifts all year long and especially around the holidays, but even I get stressed out trying to juggle a bunch of different DIY gifts last minute.
Last year I did homemade beef jerky, lotion bars, bath salts, lip balm, shower fizzies, and mini soaps. These projects were super fun to make, but doing them all at once in a three-day time span + packaging everything by hand was stressful!
So this year I'm simplifying things for myself by focusing on coffee-themed gifts with a few other goodies thrown in for good measure. The vast majority of people LOVE coffee, so this is a safe and practical gift theme to choose for all the teenagers and adults in your life.
To keep things simple for myself (and my readers, like my two sisters, who live in small towns + remote areas) I stopped by my local Walmart to pick up some bags of Dunkin' Donuts® coffee (ground and whole bean) to use in all the recipes for the gift baskets.
I went with all dark roasts, specifically Dunkin' Dark® and French Roast, plus their medium roast whole bean Original Blend. Walmart has a large variety of Dunkin' Donuts® roasts and seasonal flavors to choose from, which is great for gifting to different types of coffee lovers, but I'm always trying to convert people to dark roast coffee since I love it so much.
Please come to the dark side. Our coffee is amazing here. ;)
Including a whole bag of coffee in the gift baskets, whether it's pre-ground or whole bean, is a sure-fire way to score some extra brownie points with your giftee, especially if they're a coffee lover. That's one less bag they have to buy for themselves (score!), one less trip to the store during a hectic shopping season, and it's something they can brew up over the holidays when they're relaxing at home with visitors. #DunkinToTheRescue
Coming up with the other coffee-inspired recipes for the gift basket took me all of five seconds since I'm such a die-hard coffee
Coffee Gift Basket Idea #1: Homemade Sugar Scrub
First things first, I made a big batch of my favorite homemade sugar scrub: coffee & cacao brown sugar scrub with peppermint essential oil.
Guys, this sugar scrub smells aaaahhhh-mazing!!! The mix of coffee, cacao powder (chocolate), and peppermint is so invigorating.
Because coffee is the highlight here, I went through all my bags and smelled them first to see which one I liked best. The Dunkin' Dark® won (hands down), so I saved that bag for this specific recipe.
Coffee Gift Basket Idea #2: Chocolate Dipped Coffee Beans
After the scrubs, I worked on two kinds of dark chocolate dipped coffee beans. Have you ever tried them? You can usually find them in specialty chocolate shops and candy stores.
They're very crunchy and strong, so not everyone will like them, but coffee lovers consider them a treat. They're a delicious way to get a boost of caffeine (great as an afternoon snack) without having to brew up a new batch.
For variety and ease, I made one batch that I dipped in 1/2 a bag of dark chocolate chips melted down with a teaspoon of coconut oil, then rolled them in raw cacao powder (cocoa powder works, too). This version looks fancy schmancy but is less sweet. It's also more time consuming.
For the other batch, I scooped small spoonfuls of the coffee beans out of the melted dark chocolate, dropped them onto parchment paper, then popped them into the freezer for 20ish minutes to firm up.
This saves SO much time versus painstakingly coating the coffee beans individually. I then packaged a mixture of both in 4-ounce mason jars (my favorite way to give out gifts since they're re-useable).
Coffee Gift Basket Idea #3: Homemade Hot Cocoa Mix (To Stir into Coffee For a Mocha Experience)
To finish off the DIY aspect of this gift basket (for now), I made a big batch of my homemade spicy hot cocoa with cacao powder (just the dry mix) and measured 2/3 cup into zippered plastic bags to stick into themed holiday mugs that I found at the thrift store (remember to wash them first).
For any coffee lover who is a fan of mochas, mixing homemade cocoa or hot chocolate with freshly brewed coffee 50/50 is so yummy!
To save time and money, you could totally use pre-made cocoa mixes, but I prefer not to since most of the brands out there have a bunch of weird ingredients added that upset my stomach.
Plus, it's easy to make a decadent homemade mix with simple ingredients like cacao powder (or cocoa powder), turbinado or sucanat, powdered sugar, and any additional spices you want to add.
DIY Coffee Lovers Gift Basket
To make things as easy as possible for you if you want to replicate what I did, here's a list of everything I put in the basket + what I used for wrapping & decorating and some additional ideas for other goodies you can include.
- 1 bag of coffee (I used Dunkin' Donuts® pre-ground French Roast)
- 1 1/2 cups of homemade coffee & cacao brown sugar scrub
- 2/3 cup of homemade spicy hot cocoa mix or a pre-made cocoa mix
- holiday themed mug (I found "almost new" one at the thrift store)
- dark chocolate covered coffee beans coated in cacao powder
- dark chocolate covered coffee bean clumps
- an organic peppermint candy cane
Note: Hop over to my other posts linked above for the ingredients + full instructions for the first two gifts. For the chocolate covered coffee beans, I bought a pound of whole bean coffee beans and a 10-ounce bag of dark chocolate chips, then melted that down with 1 teaspoon of coconut oil PER 5 ounces, and added in the coffee beans to coat. I used this tutorial for the cocoa covered coffee beans and this tutorial for the chocolate covered clumps.
Containers + Wrapping
- holiday themed photo boxes or wicker baskets (easy to re-use!)
- crumpled newspaper for filling/base (easy to recycle & I used a free local paper)
- 4-ounce mason jars
- 16-ounce (pint) mason jars
- recycled wrapping paper
- pinecone stamp
- brown ink pad (like this non-toxic one)
- candy cane themed baker's twine or cording (like THIS)
- card stock paper (for printing out instructions - not pictured)
- brown cardboard gift tags (not pictured)
Other Add-In Ideas
- homemade caramel toffee
- dark chocolate coated peanut butter balls
- marshmallows (homemade or store-bought)
- biscotti (homemade or store-bought)
- dark chocolate covered stirring spoons
- sharpie oil-paint decorated mugs (instead of holiday themed ones)
Save on Dunkin' Now! If you're thinking of heading out to Walmart to pick up some Dunkin' Donuts® coffee for DIY gifts this holiday season (or just for drinking at home), you can grab $1.00 off coupon via Ibotta. :)
I'd like to hear from YOU!
Are you a coffee lover? What's your favorite way to enjoy coffee during the holiday season? Have you ever tried it for DIY gifts?
This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Dunkin’ Donuts®. The opinions and text are all mine.
Keep Reading! More Posts From The Rising Spoon:
50+ Easy Homemade Gift Ideas For Happy Bellies & Bodies
Baked Brie with Lemon, Rosemary & Berry Jam