Post by Contributing Writer, Katie
With Christmas just around the corner, it’s easy to get caught up in the need to get “that right gift” for everyone on your list. Malls are swarming with people; it can be a bit crazy just trying to get out.
These past few years I’ve started making more of my own gifts. First out of necessity, because I live three hours from the nearest mall, and even if I lived closer, it just wasn’t something I could afford to do.
Simple homemade gifts are a great way to bless everyone on your list without breaking your budget and without consuming all of your time. You don’t think you have time? Think of all the time you will have just not going out shopping!
I find them to be more personal and fun to make, and many of them are projects that you can include the kids in too! Here are 8 ideas for simple homemade gifts that I have given and received over the years.
I love making lotion! It is perfect gift to give in the winter when our hands are constantly dry and cracked from the cold and the wind. It is just as easy to make a large batch as it is a small one. It’s a luxurious gift that everyone is sure to love.
2. Wheat or Rice Bags
I honestly think my wheat bag is one of my favorite and most useful gifts I have received in years. They are one of my favorite things about winter time! They are more cozy and soothing than hot water bottles or electric heating pads.
Wheat or Rice bags are perfect for those aches and pains, as well as taking off the chill if you stick it in your bed before you sleep at night. Michele used her Lavender Rice Bags for soothing postpartum aches. All you need is a little scrap fabric, wheat berries or rice and some herbs if desired. I like to add chamomile, peppermint, white willow bark and lavender for a soothing and healing blend.
3. Lip Balm
Suffer from dry, cracked lips all winter? Try making your own lip balm with three simple ingredients, or the Three-in-One Balm recipe in Herbal Nurturing for efficiency. Lip balm is my go-to gift anytime of the year. You can add different essential oils to scent it how you wish.
4. Vanilla and Peppermint Extracts
Homemade extracts are the perfect gift for a friend that loves to bake. They take only mintues to start. It’s a little late this year to start your own for Christmas, but be sure to keep in mind for next year.
5. Seed Packets
If you have a garden and saved the seeds, they can make a perfect gift for a friend that is wanting to start gardening. It’s a gift that takes a little work but costs nothing. It’s the gift that keeps giving if they save their own seeds the following year. Here is a great tutorial on how to make your own seed packets from paper grocery bags. Label, add a cute doodle or photo and write planting instructions on the back.
My girls and I have had fun whipping up batches of homemade peppermint marshmallows the past couple weeks. Not so good for you, but still a lot better than the ones from the grocery store. They are a fun way to make hot cocoa even more special. Wrap them in parchment paper and tie with a bit of festive yarn.
Even if you are not an expert at knitting and crocheting, you can still make a simple and beautiful scarf. Or how about making a cowl? They take less time to make and don’t unwind. You can find yarn for a good price at discount stores or thrift stores. YouTube is full of videos if you want to learn how.
You can fill simple cotton muslin bags (or unbleached disposable tea bags that you iron shut) with your favorite tea to give to the tea lover on your list, and attach a card with instructions. (Besides the beverage, you can make “Bath Tea” bags, as well!
I found my supplies at Mountain Rose Herbs. Kimi has a wonderful recipe for Chai Rooibos, for example. For a holiday seasonal blend, our sponsor Savvy Teas & Herbs has a delightful selection of festive teas, such as the Organic Cranberry Orange Tea.
What are you making this year?
Katie is a dorm “mama” to 12 amazing girls ages 8 to 18 at a home and school for the Deaf in Baja California, Mexico. She and her “hijas” can be frequently found in the kitchen, the garden or making friends with their new chickens. She loves to read, hike the hills near her home and spend time with her girls. In her spare time Katie blogs at Mexican Wildflower about nourishing foods, herbal remedies, simple living, raising her girls and encouraging other women in their walk with Christ.