Homemade Vanilla Extract Recipe

July 22, 2016

Hey y'all! As you can see, I am making a few changes round here!
My blog looks different! AND I am going to be sure to focus more on what I originally intended this blog to be...all natural living!!

So as I am working on revamping my sight, you are going to see some guest posts from wonderful people who are here to help me out!

My first guest is Kendra from the blog Blessings Managed.
She is bring us a step by step recipe in making your own Homemade Vanilla Extract!!
Can you say YUMMM!!!

If you try this, let me know how it turns out!!

The most simple and sweet gift you'll ever give - Vanilla Extract!


I am so honored to have the opportunity to guest blog for Brandy here at Wonderfully Messy Mom!

I'm Kendra from the blog Blessings Managed. I'm first and foremost, a proud wife and mother to my sweet 6 month old son. I also work full-time and started running my blog in June of this year. My life is busy and satisfying and I'm always searching and developing ways to manage my life and each of my blessings better!

If there is one baking ingredient that I use every single week - it's vanilla! I add it to my oatmeal, put it in my smoothies, and of course - cookies, cakes, bars, etc. Yum! And if you're like me - artificial vanilla is NOT an acceptable substitute for real vanilla extract (no matter how cheap it is). Yet, I go through my pure vanilla extract fast! In fact, in my area, a small 4 ounce bottle runs around $7.00. Yikes!

A couple of years ago while trying to pay off my student loan debt (my nemesis!) we worked to be extra frugal at Christmas time. I wanted to share special gifts with my family, but I still needed to save money. I wasn't about to hand out ugly homemade ornaments or cheap dollar store gifts. This is where my idea for pure vanilla extract comes in! It was a very simple project, I didn't have to be terribly crafty or creative, and knife and vanilla beanbest of all - it was frugal! Let me show you:


Step 1: Purchase bottles, vodka, and Madagascar Vanilla Beans. * While I'm going to share with you a lot of links for the items I purchased, I am NOT an affiliate for any of these products. ** Also, please don't be offended by the Vodka! While artificial vanilla doesn't have alcohol in it, pure vanilla extract you purchase from the store will have alcohol in it.
  • I purchased my 4 ounce Amber Glass Bottles on Amazon. They are the best price for the amount that I wanted.
  • I purchased my Madagascar Vanilla Beans from Olive Nation. They were fresh and not at all dry (which makes for poor vanilla).
  • I purchased my Vodka at the local liquor store. I purchased the cheapest kind I could find, which happened to be Karkov Vodka!
Step 2: Slice the vanilla beans open lengthwise, nearly all the way through. Then, cut each in half. Place 4 - 6 halved vanilla beans into each bottle.

Step 3: Using a funnel, fill each bottle with vodka. Next, screw on the top and shake the bottle well. Then, if you desire, add a label.

Step 4: Store in a dark closet or in the basement. Shake the vanilla once or twice a week for up to two months, until the vanilla extract begins to turn a beautiful auburn color. Finally, after the two months of "melding" is completed, enjoy your beautiful vanilla extract and share as gifts!

See? Easy!


I am not terribly creative or crafty. While I enjoy decorating and doing a few crafty things here and there, I don't spend a lot of time on being creative. If you want to save money-making gifts, or just want to create something more personal than what you can find on store shelves, yet you aren't terribly crafty, pure vanilla extract is a great gift for you to create!

You can see from the photos, these jars of vanilla look excellent! They look like someone creative put these jars of vanilla together. Wrong! It was me! The pretty jars really help with the look. The pretty chalkboard labels I purchased on Amazon. While they hey look creative and thoughtful, but were so simple!

vanilla beans and bottles


As a young family, we are always looking for ways to be frugal! I'm happy to save money on gifts, and yet, I feel this is a great gift to give! Gift recipients have always reacted very happily when receiving this gift. Prior to making pure vanilla, I broke down the cost to ensure I would be saving money:

4 ounce Amber Glass Bottles - .88/piece ( I purchased two packages of 12 packs)

Bourbon Madagascar Vanilla Beans - approximately $2.89/5 pieces of vanilla bean (I purchased 50 beans, cut them in half and placed 4-6 in each jar)

Karkov Vodka - approximately .60/4 ounces (I purchased 2 liters of vodka at about $6.50 a bottle)

Chalkboard Labels - .19/1 label

The most simple and sweet gift you'll ever give - Vanilla Extract!

This means, my total expenses were: $4.56 per jar of Pure Vanilla Extract. On top of the fact that this saves my family money every week as we go through a lot of vanilla, this also makes for a very personal gift!

Don't forget to stop over and visit me at my blog, Blessings Managed. I love developing simple and tasty recipes - I just wrapped up a 4 week one skillet dinner series that will save you a ton of time, and I love sharing ways to save yourself time - check out my posts on creating some routine in your life! On top of this delicious pure vanilla extract, I plan on doing additional simple and frugal gift giving ideas later on in the fall, so stop by for that as well! Don't forget to find me on Facebook and Pinterest too!


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  1. I can't wait to try it! Great idea for gifts! I'll share with my mom since she loves real vanilla from Mexico!

    1. Anonymous3:49 PM

      I am going to try this too! I looks sooooo easy, and so good!

  2. Anonymous3:48 PM

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  3. Great job, Ladies. You make it look so simple. I will share this with my friends.


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