21 Last Minute Gift Ideas for the Holidays

Still looking for those last minute gifts?  We are here to help!

21 Last Minute Homemade Gift Ideas from The Happy Housewife
Check out these 21 homemade gift ideas from edible treats to indulgent bath & face scrubs to a personalized hot sauce bar for men!  There are ideas for everyone on your list and all can be made in these last few days before Christmas!


Last Minute Gift Ideas for All Ages

DIY Microwavable Heating Pad | The Happy Housewife

Health & Beauty Gift Ideas


Edible Gift Ideas

And, don’t forget that you can always give the gift of gift cards!  We’ve got a huge round-up of retail and restaurant gift cards that are offering bonus gift cards with purchase.

Need more ideas?  Check out our collection of 300 Homemade Gift Ideas here!

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No Mantle Stocking Holder

DIY No Mantle Stocking Holder at The Happy Housewife

By contributing writer Jordon

Can you believe Christmas is this month?! It is one of the most special times of the year and also one of my favorite holidays to decorate for. We just moved into a new home, and I was thinking about how I was going to decorate it for Christmas (I plan this out in my head before hand….I get overly excited about decorating), and the thought of where to put our stockings popped in my head.

Our new home does not have a fireplace with a mantle like our old home did, so what is a girl to do?! I had an old piece of wood and thought it would make a neat stocking holder. I started researching some ideas and came up with this stocking holder! I love the idea of personalizing it with pictures. It brings such a warm feeling into the room. I am so happy (or should I say merry!) with how it turned out! :)

DIY No Mantle Stocking Holder at The Happy Housewife

How to Make a Stocking Holder

Supplies Needed

  • Piece of wood 12 x 36 inches or bigger, depending on size of family . If you do not have an old piece of wood lying around, you can purchase your wood and distress it yourself. Or paint/stain it a color you like!
  • 1-inch hinge clips 15/pkg Antique bronze or antique nickel
  • 1-inch antique bronze hooks
  • 4 x 6 inch pictures of each member of your family. I cropped the pictures to get a close up of our faces.
  • Copper wire
  • Wire cutters
  • 4 1-inch nails
  • Hammer
  • Phillips screw driver or cordless drill with Phillips screw driver head
  • Needle nose pliers
  • Christmas greenery
  • Saw-tooth hangers for the back, to hang on the wall
  • Satin polyurethane
  • Cheese cloth or a paint brush (I used cheese cloth so I could throw it away and not worry about cleaning it.)


1. Put one or two coats of the polyurethane on your piece of wood. This protects it.

2. Nail the saw-tooth hangers to the back of the wood. I used two, one on each end.

DIY No Mantle Stocking Holder at The Happy Housewife

3. Arrange your clips and hooks on the wood to your liking, leaving about 4 inches of space from each end of the board for your greenery. Nail or screw in your hooks and clips. Use the clips to hold the pictures.

4. To keep your greenery in place, you need to make a holder for it with the copper wire. Cut a 2-inch piece of wire. Grab the needle nose pliers and make a loop on each end of the wire. Then bend them up so the loops will be flat against the wood. Nail it in to secure it and arrange your greenery.

DIY No Mantle Stocking Holder at The Happy Housewife

Find the perfect spot to hang up your stocking holder and then add your stockings!

Side Note: The neat thing about making this stocking holder is it can be used for more than just stockings. You can remove the greenery and add flowers or any other creative decor you can think of and use the mantle for hanging up coats, hats or just as a cute decoration. And, you can switch out the pictures anytime you want. Just take the old ones out and clip the new ones in! :)

DIY No Mantle Stocking Holder at The Happy Housewife

Merry Christmas!

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Countertops! Renovation Adventures

This is quickly becoming the blog of half done remodel projects! The days have been so busy trying to find things (this is probably the WORST move in terms of things broken/ missing) and finish the house projects.

Today our countertops were installed! We probably won’t finish the kitchen until this weekend, and the backsplash is another story, but I wanted to give you a preview because I LOVE MY ISLAND!

Yes, I am shouting because I’m so very excited and you are the first people (other than my parents) to see it!

Of course I’d love to invite you all over and we could sit around my island and chat for hours, roll out a few pies, and make some bread, but for now you’ll have to enjoy it virtually.

I’m not sure if I ever showed you the pictures of the kitchen when we moved in. Here’s the view from the dining room looking into the kitchen.


Here’s a view from the opposite side of the kitchen, looking towards the dining room.


New view from the dining room into the kitchen. Cabinets are fully put together and we still need trim, touch up, and clean up. But look at that island!


View from the opposite side.



We had a platform and legs custom built to match the island and support the six by nine slab of granite. Pardon the dust and construction dirt.


The house is a typical Florida 1970’s ranch with large rooms that are closed off from one another. We wanted the kitchen to be the gathering space so I designed this huge island (we’ll be getting stools tomorrow) so that people could gather, sit, and relax.

I envision this as a space for food, school, family, and fun, craft projects, cookie frosting, bread baking and maybe even a game of ping pong. :-)

We’re still working to get this place in order, but every day I love this house even more.

Stay tuned!!!

Don’t miss a renovation update! Subscribe here and get daily updates delivered to your inbox.

This is part of our ongoing renovation project for our new home in Florida.  Our goal is to be done by Thanksgiving or else.  Follow the daily accounts of our real life during this DIY renovation process here.

This post may contain a link to an affiliate. See my disclosure policy for more information.

DIY Microwavable Heating Pad ~ Easy Sew!

Heating pads are amazing for muscles and backs that are sore from working out, sleeping wrong, or tweaking something.  It’s always nice to have several around your house for unexpected needs!

DIY Microwavable Heating Pad | The Happy Housewife

Prepare your house with a supply of DIY Microwavable Heating Pads with this easy sew tutorial!  Most people will be able to create their own in less than an hour even if you aren’t an expert seamstress.  Plus, these make for fantastic homemade Christmas gifts!

I chose a scarf shape for these DIY Heating Pads as they can be used for all ages and sizes and will easily cover body parts while staying in position.

Supplies for Microwavable Heating Pads

  • 7-1/2″ x 40-1/2″ rectangle of cotton
  • 7-1/2″ x 40-1/2″ rectangle of flannel
  • thread
  • measuring tape
  • iron and ironing board
  • scissors
  • straight pins
  • 9 cups of uncooked rice (4 pounds)
  • 6 drops essential oil – I used lavender.  You might also consider cinnamon bark or frankincense.

DIY Microwavable Heating Pads 1


  • Iron all the fabric.
  • Pin the cotton and flannel rectangles with their right sides together.

DIY Microwavable Heating Pads 2

  • Arrange the pinned fabric so that one of the 7-½” ends is in your right hand.  This is going to be the end where you’ll start sewing.  But don’t start sewing at the top. Arrange the fabric so that you start sewing 1-½” from the bottom corner.  (See image below.)
  • Back stitch and then begin sewing at this point ¼” from the edge.
  • Turn that corner and continue sewing all the way around the rectangle until you come back to that end.  STOP sewing 1-½” from what would have been the top corner from where you started.  Back stitch to lock that thread in place before finishing.  (See image below.)

DIY Microwavable Heating Pads 3

  • This will leave about a 4 inch opening in the middle of that end.

DIY Microwavable Heating Pads 4

  • Clip the corners of the fabric so that the “corner” fabric comes within ⅛” from the stitched thread on the corner.  This will reduce the amount of fabric in the corner so it will be a sharper finished corner at the end.

DIY Microwavable Heating Pads 5

  • Pull/roll up the fabric like a sock and then pull the right side out.  Push out the corners carefully with the end of the scissors.  Be sure not to poke the scissors through the fabric.

DIY Microwavable Heating Pads 6

  • Find the center of the top long edge and mark this with a pin as seen below.

DIY Microwavable Heating Pads 7

  • From the center pin, use the tape measure to find 6 2/3″ from that point in both directions and mark with a pin.  Then measure out 6 2/3″ again going left on the left pin and going right on the right pin and mark the new measurements with a pin.  There will be a total of 5 pins on the top.  Repeat this on the bottom of the rectangle with another 5 pins.

DIY Microwavable Heating Pads 8

  • Now to prepare the rice.  In a large measuring cup with a spout, place 1-½ cups of rice and one drop of essential oil.  Mix thoroughly and pour the rice into the rectangle.  The spout on the measuring cup with make it easier to get the rice into the opening.

DIY Microwavable Heating Pads 9

  • Hold up the rectangle with the opening at the top and the rice will fall into the bottom section.  This will not seem like a lot of rice compared to the compartment size that has been pinned.  But this amount will easily allow you to sew that compartment closed.  This amount of rice also makes it easier for the heating pad to conform the shape of your neck.
  • Fold up the rest of the rectangle and place it to the right of the bottom section of rice.  This will make it much easier to handle while sewing.

DIY Microwavable Heating Pads 10

  • Sew shut the first section with a straight stitch from the top pin to the bottom pin as shown below.

DIY Microwavable Heating Pads 11

  • Mix another 1-½ cups of rice with a drop of essential oil, add to rectangle, move rice to the bottom, and sew shut with a straight stitch from the top pin to the bottom pin of that section.  Repeat for all areas except the last one where the opening is to the rectangle.
  • Before adding rice to the last area, iron the opening so that the edges are folded in and ready to sew shut.

DIY Microwavable Heating Pads 12

  • Mix and add last 1-½ cups of rice.  Sew the end shut with a straight stitch from the top to the bottom making sure to back stitch at both ends.
  • Trim all threads and your heating pad is finished!

A bonus about this heating pad is that it has built-in sections to fold it when storing!

DIY Microwavable Heating Pads 13

How to Heat Up the Heating Pad

All microwaves are different.  You’ll need to experiment to see what settings you need to use to get the heating pad warm and cozy without overheating the rice.  The rice can burn upon overheating.  DO NOT add water or get the heating pad wet before microwaving.  This can lead to serious steam burns.

For this size heating pad, I start with 60 seconds on high, which is often warm enough.  If it’s not quite right, add 15 seconds on high until reaching the desired toastiness.

Since this makes for a great homemade gift, be sure to check out all of our Homemade Christmas Gift ideas here!

This post may contain a link to an affiliate. See my disclosure policy for more information.