Enjoying a sustainable Christmas means reducing your reliance on external systems. It means rejecting mass consumerism and a throw-away culture. One great way that gardeners can enjoy a more sustainable Christmas is to think about DIY natural gift ideas using materials from their very own gardens.
There are many different sustainable, eco-friendly gifts gardeners may be able to consider. Making use of natural materials to make your own gifts is a great way to show people how much you care, and to reduce your negative impact on people and planet over the holiday season.
Here are just a few DIY natural gift ideas that you might like to think about this year:
One obvious thing which keen gardeners can consider is gifting seeds and spreading the gift of gardening itself to their friends and loved ones. Giving seeds for Christmas is a great way to spread the joys of home growing.
For example, you might:
- Nicely package a collection of seeds from common annual heritage crops, so someone else can get started with growing their own at home.
- Put together a mix of herb seeds for windowsill or herb garden growing.
- Provide seeds so someone can start growing micro-greens on a windowsill.
- Collate a collection of seeds from wildflowers, for a wildlife friendly garden.
- Give someone seeds from some of your favourite ornamental flowering plants.
Of course, another obvious choice for DIY natural gifts is to give plants from your garden. You might:
- Raise plants from seed to give away at Christmas.
- Propagate plants from cuttings to give as presents.
- Divide mature perennials to gift to friends or family.
One of the great things about giving plants is that you can tailor the gift to the person to whom it is given. For example, if someone you know is already a keen gardener, you could give them a gift of a plant which you know will fit in well with their existing planting scheme.
You might give a plant propagated from an existing plant in your garden to someone who has admired that particular plant in the past.
You might give a plant which gives a personal message, or shows someone that you have given some thought to what they like, and who they are.
Placing a plant in an attractive pot can make it a really lovely gift.
Food Related DIY Natural Gift Ideas
Of course, another obvious idea for home growers is to give a gift that someone can eat (or drink). There are a huge range of food related DIY natural gift ideas to consider. For example, you might gift:
- A nicely prepared basket of fresh produce.
- Preserves such as jams, jellies or chutneys made from edible crops you have grown.
- Baked goods made from produce from your garden.
- Dried fruits or dried herb/spice blends.
- Home-made herbal teas/ tea blends.
- Fruit-infused spirits, cider or home-made juices or wines.
- Infused vinegars or other home-made condiments.
DIY Natural Gift Ideas for Cleaning & Beauty
Remember that plants in a garden can provide for other needs – they don’t just produce food. You might also consider a range of gifts made from herbs and/or flowers which can be used for household or personal cleaning. Or home-made natural beauty products.
For example, you might consider making one of these DIY natural gifts:
- Natural soaps.
- Scented household cleaners.
- Pot pourri or scented sachets for drawers etc..
- Bath bombs.
- Scrubs or exfoliants.
- Homemade hair rinses, shampoos or conditioners.
- Natural balms.
Many herbs and flowering plants are useful in making home-made natural gifts of these kinds.
DIY Natural Gift Ideas Using Wood from a Garden
Another interesting way to make use of the natural resources from your garden is to use wood coppiced or pruned from trees or shrubs to make more DIY natural gifts.
For example, you might make:
- Boxes or other containers.
- Whittled wooden spoons, or other utensils.
- Plaques or wall decorations.
- Decorations (such as wreathes or Christmas tree decorations, for example).
- Wooden toys.
- Even greenwood carvings or greenwood furniture.
Of course, making gifts from wood will involve some skills. But over time, a gardener can grow a lot of materials that can be used in honing skill in woodworking and other traditional crafts.
Plant Fibre Gift Ideas
Gardeners can also learn how to make their own gifts from plant fibres. There are a number of plants which can yield useful fibres – such as stinging nettles, for example. Learning how to use plant fibres to make natural gifts can be a great idea.
You might, once you learn the requisite skills, be able to make:
- Woven bags or baskets.
- Paper/ stationery.
- Even clothing or other textiles for a home.
You might also be able to make natural plant dyes to use in your crafting projects.
Artistic Natural Gift Ideas
Of course, these gift ideas are just the beginning. By getting creative, you are sure to be able to find many more artistic projects that you can take on using the plants that you grow.
Whether you use plant pigments to make your own paints and create personalised pictures for your loved ones to hand in their homes, burn wood to make charcoal for your beautiful drawings, or sculpt something unique using natural materials from your outside space… there are an amazing array of options to consider.
So this year, before you rush out and buy gifts for your family and friends, consider the bountiful options that your garden may already provide. A good garden can provide for a huge range of DIY natural gift ideas, if only you use your imagination.
Do you have any of your own DIY natural gift ideas to share? Please do share these by following the links below. We’d love to hear how you have used materials from your own garden to craft thoughtful gifts for your loved ones.
Elizabeth Waddington is a writer and green living consultant living in Scotland. Permaculture and sustainability are at the heart of everything she does, from designing gardens and farms around the world, to inspiring and facilitating positive change for small companies and individuals.
She also works on her own property, where she grows fruit and vegetables, keeps chickens and is working on the eco-renovation of an old stone barn.
To get in touch, visit https://ewspconsultancy.com.