Three DIY Garden-Inspired Gift Ideas

by Fern on December 15, 2009

in Frugal Container Gardening,Popular,Winter Gardening

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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.

121509_Gift Basket

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)
  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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

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.

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{ 13 comments… read them below or add one }

Shawn December 15, 2009 at 8:47 am

Good gift idea :) Plus it has pretty much endless personalization options. Different containers, plants, plant markers, etc etc.

I’m enjoying the vlogs by the way.


Liz Baloutine December 15, 2009 at 9:22 am

That seems so much easier than I would have made it. I think I’ll make that for my Secret Santa.


melanie watts December 15, 2009 at 9:37 am

What wonderful gift ideas. I’m filing them away for next year since where I live it’s next to impossible to find rocks under the snow :) My basil is all preserved in oil and fresh herbs are not available anywhere. I do like the stone plant marker idea tho.


Cool Garden Things December 15, 2009 at 9:42 am

I like the rock idea…I am always on the look out for heart shaped rocks…while I’m kind of done with stocking stuffing, I might be able to find a use for those for Valentines day-great idea!


Louise @ Buddy Garden December 15, 2009 at 10:44 am

Great idea. Thanks for the tip of starting the letters backwards, I would have never thought of that! :-)


Mary C December 15, 2009 at 10:56 am

All good ideas! I’m going to steal the hostess herb basket and oils for birthdays next year.
The stone markers are a good idea! I was actually starting to make some out of polymer clay and wire for next year too.

Alas, I’m so last minute that my xmas gifts will be vouchers for handmade decor/home & garden items…


Helen December 15, 2009 at 11:05 am

Oh, I do like that herb gift basket idea a lot! And it’s got so many variations possible in the plants and tissue color and baskets. And I did look at the link for the recipe in a jar too. Another great idea!


shari December 15, 2009 at 3:14 pm

I love the plant markers and little herb basket! Both easy and clever ( I also would not have thought about starting at the end and working backwards on the stamping). My daughter will be taking some stamped stones back to Oregon after Christmas, of this I am certain. :-)


kathryn December 16, 2009 at 12:22 pm

These are lovely ideas Fern & I’m going to be last minute gift organising, so they’re good timing for me. I think the massage oil is perfect for my sister-in-law. I also love your separate post about an indoor jasmine – I think we need one of them.


Fern December 16, 2009 at 10:05 pm

Happy to be a gift enabler Kathryn!

Andrea at Heavy Petal December 17, 2009 at 9:20 pm

Thanks for the link love, Fern!

I also like making seed bombs to give as gifts. They actually look not half-bad packed in cellophane and tied with a ribbon.


Fern December 17, 2009 at 9:46 pm

That’s a good idea Andrea! It gives people a little nudge to maybe toss one onto that abandoned lot that has become an eyesore…

Nova's Home Herb Garden January 9, 2010 at 3:50 am

What a wonderful idea especially on the stone plant markers. I have some herbs ready for cutting and propagation. This [idea] makes it a lot nicer to give to gardener friends. Sure beats the temporary plastic cups I put them in. Love love it! Thanks for sharing =)


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