Holiday gifts can be so hard, especially if you or your loved one is trying their best to be more eco-conscious. Handmade gifts can be a great way to use few resources, and to give someone a gift with a little extra love. But what if you are not a dedicated crafter? Well, I've got a bunch of super easy gifts that you can make that are eco friendly!
1) Homemade Vanilla Extract in a repurposed bottle.
Growing up, we never bought vanilla extract. We always had a bottle of the homemade stuff brewing in our cabinet. And I’ll tell you, our vanilla pound cakes were to DIE for. If you’ve got a baker in your life, this seriously simple DIY (honestly less than 5 minutes!) is perfect for you. You can use bourbon or vodka, but I prefer bourbon for a richer flavor. Kids can help with the pouring and stuffing, but just don’t hand over the booze to them. Make vanilla extract>
2. Beeswax Wraps.
Help someone you love move away from plastic by giving them beeswax wraps. With just a few supplies, you can make wraps that will last for over a year. Just remember to hand wash these gently. Make beeswax wraps>
3. Wool Dryer Balls.
We try to limit the use of our dryer, but these woolen balls are a good alternative to dryer sheets and help clothes dry faster. They do speed up wear on your clothes, so I recommend saving these for drying towels, sheets and the like. If you are a knitter, you may have some spare wool around that would be perfect for this. If not, check your local freecycle listing to see if anyone is parting with leftover wool. Be sure it is 100% wool though, and not merino--it needs to be something that felts. Make wool dryer balls>
4. Bread or Produce Bags.
Everyone can use more bags for bread or produce. Why not upcycle extra dishtowels or old sheets into easy to make bread or produce bags. Make produce bags>
5. Beeswax candles in repurposed glass jars.
If your kids are like mine, they go through a LOT of peanut butter. I save most of those glass jars for reuse in our kitchen. They are great for storing leftovers and dry goods. That said, we are still overflowing with them. A great reuse for them is as paraffin-free candles. Paraffin is a petroleum product, and not something you really want to put in the air you breathe. Instead use beeswax or soy wax. Make beeswax candles>
6. Candied citrus peels.
With citrus season in full effect, this is a great way to go zero waste on your food and put those peels to use. They are delicious and fun to make. Take it to the next level and dip them in tempered chocolate! Make candied citrus peels>
7. Pink Himalayan sea salt scrub.
This scrub uses only ingredients you might find at a local health-food store. It’s super nourishing in the winter months when everyone is feeling a bit dry. Make sea salt scrub>
What are your favorite homemade gifts? Have you ever tried making any of these?