I hope there are some hard core gift buying procrastinators like me out there, because this post was originally scheduled for last week. I just couldn’t get all the little odds and ends I needed in time to create these gifts in time. Luckily Chanukah is 8 days long and Christmas is 10 days away. So, if you’re like me and have waited until the last minute and need some thoughtful handmade gift ideas that won’t bust your budget, here are not one, but three suggestions.
Herb Garden Basket
During the holiday season, there are lots of dinner parties to go to, which means lots of hostess gifts to give. It can be hard to find something that isn’t the same ole same ole (bottle of wine) that doesn’t cost an arm and a leg. This is a really short video about creating a little gift basket with herbs that the hostest can grow in a sunny windowsill or outdoors if your climate permits.
Here’s the cost breakdown: $7.00 for the plants, $1.00 for the basket, and $.15 for tissue paper. All the other materials are things that you probably have on hand. That’s a grand total of $8.15.
Cinnamon Basil Massage Oil
This year I grew several different varieties of scented basils, and I’ve really enjoyed finding atypical ways to use up all those basil leaves. I saw this cinnamon basil massage oil recipe in the latest issue of Herb Companion Magazine, which I thoroughly enjoyed.
- 2 teaspoons dried basil leaves and flower buds
- 1 tablespoon dried orange peel, grated
- 1?2 cup light oil (such as almond, sesame or walnut)
- Place ingredients in a small saucepan and warm gently; do not boil. Allow to cool completely, place in a clean jar and let sit for at least 1 week.
- Strain out leaves and peels; pour into a clean bottle with tight-fitting lid. Add a few decorative dried leaves or an orange peel to the bottle, if you wish.
- Put a label on your masterpiece and deliver it to the lucky recipient!
I reused a jar that orignally had something else in it, (be sure to clean it thoroughly and sterilize it if you do the same), made my own labels, and used basil and oil that I already had on hand. But if you had to buy the oil, I’d imagine it would cost around $7.00, and the the jar costs about $3.00. You probably won’t be able to buy cinnamon basil, so hopefully you grew it–or some other scented basil–this past season.
Stone Plant Markers
I originally saw the idea of using small river rocks as plant markers on Heavy Petal. These are so simple to make, but the results are really sophisticated looking. I think these stones fall into the category of “I could do that, but I’d never get around to making them myself.” Which, in my mind, makes them the perfect thing to give as a gift.
To make these plant markers, find several flat, smooth stones. Then label each one with the name of a plant using alphabet stamps permanent ink. I drew a faint line with a ruler to help me. Also, if your stone isn’t completely flat, rock the stamp gently so that the entire stamp comes in contact with the stone’s surface. Allow them to dry completely before wrapping.
Oh, and if you need to make even more homemade gifts, I really liked these “Recipe in a Jar” ideas from Food Network Magazine. They’re more creative than what I usually see.