Friends! I am back for a special edition TGIDIYFriday craft. In all honestly, life has been outta control busy for myself and the hi, friend ladies. But, let’s be honest. We’re suckers for a good DIY, and with the holidays approaching, we couldn’t resist. Plus, the key to DIY vanilla extract is timing and patience. Therefore, if you make the extract in October, it will be ready to go by the holidays. We’re all about planning ahead and prepping holiday gifts in advance, and this craft is certainly one you can make ahead.
1.) Five vanilla beans, split lengthwise
2.) Eight ounces (1 cup) vodka
1.) Split vanilla beans lengthwise with a knife, stopping about 1-inch from one end. It’s best to use fresh vanilla beans. Beans that are hard and dry are not ideal for this DIY.
2.) Once cut, place beans in an 8 to 12-ounce jar with a lid (rule of thumb is 5 beans per 8 ounces alcohol).
3.) Pour vodka over the beans to nearly the top of the jar, about 95% full. Seal jar, and shake for 30 seconds. Then, set aside in a safe place out of direct sunlight. The jar will stay here for 2-ish months. Once per week, shake the jar for 10 seconds. Or, it will most likely be a-okay if you just forget about it:).
4.) Once mature, pour the extract into individual bottles. We found these at The Container Store (4 oz. glass cork-top bottle) for $3.49 and thought they were the perfect size for gifting.
*IMPORTANT NOTE* When will the DIY vanilla extract be ready? The extract will be ready to use in 6-8 weeks. The longer the extract matures, the better. As weeks pass, the alcohol disappears and the vanilla flavor will strengthen. If you aren’t certain if your vanilla is ready to use, give it a good smell. If it smells prominently like alcohol, it’s not ready. The vanilla will always smell somewhat like alcohol, but it should smell like vanilla extract. It should NOT smell like an alcohalic beverage, and if it does, it’s not quite ready for use.
5.) When the extract has matured, USE! Add to cookies + other baked goodies and taste the vanilla goodness.
The beauty of this craft? It can be used for a long time – vanilla extract keeps for many years if stored properly – at room temperature and out of direct sunlight.
- Kirsten, Restored Style