15 Easy Homemade Gift Ideas For An Organic, Earth-Friendly Christmas
Making homemade gifts helps you to ‘reduce, re-use, recycle‘ by offering lovingly made, earth friendly gifts. This is also a great activity if you have children not only because it’s great fun, but also because it serves as an example that you can create special gifts which support sustainability through recycling, the environment by reducing the use of plastic and shipping and that the intention and motivation behind a gift are of greater value than actual monetary value.
Earth-friendly, Natural, Organic: To make these gifts extra special, use only organic materials to show your support for healthy, earth-conscious farming methods, contributing to the well-being of your fellow brothers and sisters worldwide – we don’t want to be putting anything on our skin or in our body that could pollute our health or Mama Nature’s. Earth-friendly, Recycle: I have a collection of recycled pots and bottles at home to use on these occasions and I also ask my friends to recycle and pass empty glass containers back to me. They (the containers) did a great job first time around and can do so again and again…recognising the importance of singular objects helps us to be more conscious with regards to how we purchase and discard items in our daily lives.
Jazz your gifts up with pretty bows and handmade labels, wrap them in old magazine pages, recycle wrapping paper or wrap them in brown paper bags that you can decorate with flowers, leaves, drawings, paint, old magazine clippings…
For those of you who start to panic at the word ‘homemade’ as I used to, don’t worry. I’m no seamstress, knitter, chef or overly creative personage (I once told someone ‘I have no imagination’, go figure) so you can be sure that the below are all incredibly simple ideas that, made with love and care, create gifts that are one in a million.
Tip: where essential oils are mentioned, go easy on the amounts as the smell can be quite over-bearing. Start off small and you can always add more later or next time.
Now, go have some festive fun!:
- Almond and Essential Oil Body Oil: Add 10 drops of the essential oil of your choice – or more precisely, the oil that you feel would best suit the person you are gifting this to! – per 200ml Almond Oil. I like to use lavender as most people tend to like the smell. Used as a body oil after a bath or shower, it is best absorbed when applied to damp skin.
- Rose Face Toner: There are two ways of making this. The quickest and easiest is to add 6 drops rose essential oil to 1 cup distilled water. Make sure you shake the bottle before each use as the essential oil and water will separate. Alternatively, dry your own or buy dried rose petals & buds. Infuse 2 handfuls in 1 cup distilled boiling water for about 2 hours. Sieve the liquid into spray or regular bottles and place in the fridge to cool and for storage. Use within 2 weeks. Apply toner with a cotton ball after cleansing, before moisturising.
- Lip Balm #1: mix equal amounts shea butter and coconut oil. If they are both too solid due to cold weather, make them more liquid by placing them in a bain-marie (place them in a bowl which you put inside another bowl/saucepan that is filled with boiling water). Add half the above ratio of raw honey and raw cacao. You can add a drop of vanilla essence if you like, but the raw cacao gives it such a wonderful
tastesmell that you probably won’t need to.
- Lip Balm #2: mix 2 drops essential oil with 1 T coconut oil. Peppermint or Orange give a lovely fresh sensation on the lips.
- Lip Balm #3: 1 part shea butter or cocoa butter to 1/2 part raw honey.
- Homemade Soap: you can look up recipes to make your own actual soap, but the easiest is to buy a block of glycerin soap from any make-your-own-beauty-products store (Urtegaarden in Denmark, Neils Yard in London – not sure for the rest of the world but I’m sure Google does or your local health food shop). Melt it down in a saucepan and add your choice of: orange or other citrus zest, herbs, spices such as cinnamon and cloves, essential oils. We used orange zest, 2 drops jasmine, 2 drops lavender essential oil in an 8cm block of soap. To make a richer soap add 1 T of shea butter for every 2-3 cm slice of (dried) glycerin.
- Lavender Eye Pillow: You’ll need a piece of soft material to make a rectangular pocket large enough to cover the eyes (around the size of a cheque book kerching!). Sew 3 edges, leaving one end piece open. Fill the bag with flaxseeds that you have previously mixed well with 6-8 drops lavender oil (per 1/2 cup flaxseed). You can also add dried lavender. When the smell begins to die down after some months, you can simply sprinkle a couple of drops of lavender on the pillow itself. It will soak through and infuse. You can also make mini-pillows to gift as drawer sachets for floral smelling smalls! Instead of sewing the end of these, leave a bit of extra space inside (i.e less flaxseed) and sew a bit further down from the top edge so that you are able to tie a ribbon at one end. So pretty.
- Brown Sugar Vanilla Body Scrub: Mix 2 cups brown or regular sugar (I prefer muscovado as it’s super soft and smells divine!) with 1 cup oil of your choice – almond/sesame/olive (be aware that sesame and olive oil used in beauty products is not to everyone’s olfactory taste). Add 1 T vanilla extract (this is quite expensive, which is why you’ll want to make your own for next year, see below). Place in a (recycled) glass jar and tie with a pretty bow. You can be creative here and instead of the vanilla, add 8-10 drops essential oil of your choice, orange or lemon juice, dried lavender, or how about some Christmas spices such as cinnamon, clove, ginger.
- Bath Salts: 3 parts sea, dead sea or other mineral salt, 1 part Epsom salt (you can also just use sea/mineral salt), add 1 ml essential oil of your choice per 100g of salt. Mix it all really well. Try lavender for a lovely, soothing bath, vanilla for a sweet smelling sensation or eucalyptus for the winter season. For a bit of colour, use pink Himalaya salt for your base. How about including a little wooden scoop or sea shell (to use as a scoop) as part of your gift?
- Rolled Beeswax Candle: we use this simple beeswax rolling method to make our candles. No heating involved. Just place the thread wick (we bought ours in an arts and crafts shop) on the edge of the sheet of beeswax, roll, then cut the ends of the wick to size. Too Easy.
- Massage Bar: Prepare your mold with a plastic lining, hanging well over the edges of the mold so that you can ‘flip’ the solidified bar out or use a flexible silicon type mold. Melt 2 parts cacao butter in a bain-marie until fully melted. Take off the heat and add 1 part almond/jojoba or even coconut oil (this solidifies so will give a harder bar). Add a few drops vanilla essence or essential oil of your choice – how about bergamot, jasmine or ylang ylang…You could also add some beans to the bottom of your mold to give the massage bar some texture (until they fall out of course). Pop it in the fridge or freezer to solidify. This can also be used as a face / body moisturiser.
- Homemade Herbal Christmas Tea: equal amounts chamomile flower, rosehips, dried orange peel (purchase these or make your own by drying them in the oven), 1/2 amount crushed cinnamon sticks, 1 tsp dried ginger OR equal parts chamomile and rosehips, 1/2 part dried apple slices and rose petals, 1/4 part crushed cinnamon sticks. Crush them all together to release the flavours. Experiment with different herbs, flowers and spices.
- Homemade Raw Chocolate: follow my talented friend Raw Lou Lou’s super easy Chocolate recipe which is quite delicious, or try: 1 cup cacao butter, 3/4 cup raw cacao powder, 2-4 T raw honey or maple syrup. Gently melt the cacao butter in a bain-marie, take it off the heat, add the rest of the ingredients, pop it in a mold, in the fridge. Voila! Experiment by adding nuts and seeds, goji berries, raisins, orange zest or oil, mint, vanilla, cinnamon etc.
- Homemade Raw Chocolate Snowball: process/blend up 1 cup nuts of choice (walnuts, cashews, almonds), chop up 1.5 cups pre-soaked dates as finely as possible (I prefer to use medjool as they are so juicy) then pop these in the food processor (alone, without any other ingredients is much easier), 2 heaped T raw cacao, 2 heaped T maple syrup, couple of pinches salt. Mix all ingredients together in your food processor then roll into balls. If the mix is too dry, add coconut oil (melted in a bain-marie) 1 T at a time. Roll the finished balls in coconut flakes. You can try out different combinations by adding cayenne pepper, mint, ginger, cinnamon, orange juice / zest, vanilla, using dried figs, apricots, raisins instead of dates, carob instead of cacao.
- Vanilla Extract: If you get cracking on this now, it’ll be ready in time for you to bottle it and offer as Christmas gifts. We’ve had ours brewing for 6 months already!
Do you have a creative flair for making homemade gifts? Please share your favourite simple, innovative, eco-friendly gift ideas below!