Fashionably Late Mom

DIY Gift Ideas: Homemade Vanilla Extract

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You can just call me Martha Stewart this Christmas season. I didn’t have luck baking her cookies back when I was in high school [just ask my dad], but I’m all about the DIY gifts currently. I first learned about homemade vanilla extract from Darylann Denner a few months ago. I’m always a sucker for her stories on Instagram and am glad I caught them the day she shared how they make vanilla extract for gifts.

In case you haven’t noticed, most groceries have gone up at the grocery store including vanilla extract. Now that I’ve realized how easy it is to make, I don’t think I’ll ever buy it again!

homemade vanilla extract, diy gift ideas, homemade baking essentials
This is how the vanilla extract looks after almost 3 weeks.

What You Need for Homemade Vanilla Extract


These glass jars are perfect for storing the vanilla extract. The lid is attached and it keeps them well sealed.


No need to get the top shelf stuff. Just a mid grade Vodka like Stoli will do.

Vanilla Beans

Now, I was a little shocked how many different vanilla beans there are to choose from. Also, the fact you can order them off Amazon! Tahitian beans seemed to be a popular recommendation when I did some researching.

That’s it! Just two ingredients and jars!

Steps for Making Vanilla Extract

whole vanilla beans, tahitian vanilla beans, homemade vanilla extract

Use five whole beans per jar. Take a knife or scissors [I found a knife worked easiest] and slice the beans down the middle. LEAVE THE TOP SECTION ATTACHED. Place the beans in the jar.

vanilla extract, stoli vodka

Use a small silicone funnel and place it in the top of the jar. Fill with vodka until the beans are fully covered. Close up the jar.

That’s it! It’s truly that simple. If you’re giving it as a gift, just add a ribbon at the top to dress it up.

It’s made, but now what?

  • Give the jar a little shake daily.
  • Store in a cool spot not in the sunlight. Mine is sitting in the pantry.
  • Wait at least 8 weeks before using.
  • As you use the vanilla extract, just add more vodka to cover the beans. If someone doesn’t plan on continuing to make the vodka, remove the beans once you start using.
  • If you plan on refilling, the beans can be good for a few years!
vanilla extract

I was able to make five bottles of vanilla extract to gift with one pack of beans and a little over a full bottle of vodka. I’m proud to say during our family gift exchange this was one thing my sisters-in-law were fighting over!

Have you ever made homemade vanilla extract? Let me know if so! I’ll be sharing a full video on Facebook & Instagram.

I’m a stay at home mom of three kiddos, and wife to my high school sweetheart. I’ve always had a love for fashion and styles that you won’t find on just anybody. Follow me on this journey so I can share with you all of my favorite things!

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