Here is a recipe for homemade real vanilla extract. It is actually simpler and cheaper than you think.
Ingredients: 3 vanilla beans (you can attain these from any local health food market or produce market) and 1 cup rum or vodka (If using Vodka opt for vanilla flavored for an extra vanilla kick!), a sterilized airtight canning jar.
Sterilize jar and lid by pouring boiling water over them and let sit in the purifying bath for about 10 minutes.
Holding the tip of the vanilla bean, use a sharp paring knife to slit the vanilla bean in half, leaving from about one inch from the end you are holding.
Pour 1 cup of Rum or Vodka into the jar and add the vanilla beans. You will want to make sure to fully immerse them in the alcohol. You will want to label the date and contents of the jar, I use a blank, self stick address label. Place in a dark cabinet for about two months. Be sure to shake the bottle of extract once a week. I suggest wrapping the bottle in a kitchen towel even when placed in a cupboard to ensure it is kept dark fro optimum steeping of flavor.
Now you can pour your extract in a beautiful glass bottle and are ready to give as a holiday gift or keep for yourself.