Every year I like to choose a few personal gifts to put into our family stockings as personalised stocking fillers. This year I've made every one of us a personalised mug, either a Hot Chocolate mug or a Coffee cup. I created the mugs using our favourite photos from the year on Photobox.co.uk and then filled them with hot chocolate or coffee cones to make them into fun stocking fillers with a personalised touch. Here's how you can make your own...
You will need:-
A mug of your choice!
Cellophane sweetie cones (I bought 50 for less than £2.50 on amazon)
Bag ties (my brightly coloured ones came free with the sweetie cones but regular bag ties will do just fine!)
Sharp scissors (blunt ones just won't curl)
Hot Chocolate Mugs
A packet of drinking chocolate
A bag of mini marshmallows
A bag of whole coffee beans (or ground coffee if you prefer)
Mini coffee biscuits - Amaretti biscuits or Caramelised Lotus Biscuits work best
I used the Photobox website to create individual photo mugs for each member of the family. For Holly and Lara I chose pictures from our summer holiday in Portugal because they regularly talk about wanting to go back. Lara's mug is a Colour Bright Photo mug with a brightly coloured interior. Holly's has a sparkly silver interior which I just know she is going to love (mind you, it does mean I won't be able to heat milk in it for hot chocolate in the microwave!). For Dave I chose a mug from the Mug Collection with his favourite colour and chose a design featuring just one large photo of the view from our most favourite place on the planet! For me I chose a striking black and white design from the Letters range with my initial; it goes well with the photo I chose of Bella, our little black cat who was incredibly interested in the curling ribbon I used when creating these DIY stocking fillers.
Once you've chosen your mug, you need to choose a filling - Hot Chocolate for my girls, Coffee for the grown-ups! You know your friends and family best.
To make the Hot Chocolate cones, use a teaspoon to pack drinking chocolate powder down into the end of a sweetie cone wrapper. Fill it about half-full and then top it up to about two-thirds full using pink and white marshmallows. Tie it up tightly using a bag tie to ensure that the marshmallows don't dry out. Tie three pieces of curling ribbon around the bag tie to disguise it and then use a pair of open scissors with a sharp blade and pull the blade down over each piece of ribbon carefully to curl them.
To make the Coffee cones, follow a similar pattern. I used a big spoon to pack coffee beans into the very tip of the sweetie cone wrapper and then filled up to just under half way. I placed two little packets of coffee biscuits into the cone and tied up tightly to ensure the coffee doesn't lose its flavour (and to try and stop the entire house from smelling of coffee and giving away the surprise!). Curl ribbon around the top of the cone using the sharp scissor blades.
To complete the effect, place a cone inside the mug to make the perfect personalised stocking filler. For other ideas, how about making a cone with the contents for a gingerbread latte? or loose tea leaves for someone who enjoys a brew?
Look out for more personalised gift ideas from Photobox this Christmas.