DIY Copycat: Homemade Vanilla Extract

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A few days ago Morgan @ Pepper Design Blog posted a how-to for homemade vanilla extract and I immediately knew it would be so perfect  as a  Christmas gift for a few people on my list. I’m not much into the zillions of gift guides happening in blogland right now, but this was the one. So thanks Morgan- you totally helped me cross a solid dozen people off my list.

The reason this stood out to me was because the only thing I needed to buy was the vanilla stalks- I had the bottles, the corks, the liquor, the and label ties already on hand (because I’m a hoarder). And she had already made a label template that I could just alter and print.

Here’s the easiest how-to ever on making a dozen Christmas gifts in  15 minutes:

And just to clarify what happens to those vanilla bean stalks:

Next I added the rum (we had Captain Morgan’s and Bacardi that people left here when we hosted Matt’s 30th bday party), topped with a wine cork, and tied on the label. Done!

If you need to buy bottles, or are wondering where to get vanilla, check out the post I copycatted from here. She’s got links to both. I used 1 stalk per 4oz jar, and I had a few 8oz jelly jars in my stash too so I put 2 stalks in each of those and will gift them to the hardcore bakers on my list (and, ahem, keep one for myself).

It’s important to note that these need to steep for at least a month, so you’ll notice my labels state “use after January 2014″…. actualllllllllly I just noticed on the label in the picture it says “use after January 2013″ because I am a doof. Soooo… I made a new label just now:

vanilla label

Feel free to save and use it! Here’s a blank one:

vanilla label- blank
  • Right click over the image and save to your computer
  • Optional: Load the saved image into PicMonkey.com (or Paint if you don’t want a fancy font) then add text with your name, then and save it again.
  • Once saved, insert it into a Word document and copy and paste it to fill the page
  • Print & cut out!
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