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15 Best Sustainable DIY Gifts For An Eco-Friendly Holiday Season

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Danielle Alvarado


Intentional and thoughtful store-bought gifts sure are special, but there really is nothing quite like a homemade gift from the heart. We have gathered up over 15 of our favorite sustainably DIY gift ideas to please anyone and everyone on your Christmas list and Holiday lists!

p.s. Looking for some out of the ordinary gifts to gift this season? Why not check out our top 25 Super Unique Gifts For 2022?

This post is about DIY Gifts For The Holidays

DIY Holiday Gifts
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Holiday season is upon us and that means a heck of a lot of useless gifts, waste, plastic, returns, and debt. Yikes!

Not to fear, we at SKL have got you covered and this gift guide is going to take you on the journey of our absolute favorite way to gift: Doing It Ourselves! DIY Gifts for the holiday season are such a wonderful way to pour all your love into creating the perfectly imperfect gift for your friends, family, and loved ones.

Choosing to opt for DIY gifts over store-bought is an all around win. Saving money, choosing the materials, making the gift super personal unlike anything at the shops, and mindful creativity are just some of the perks to DIY gif giving.

In order to save the most money, we highly recommend using materials you already own, finding materials secondhand, looking in buy nothing groups, or asking friends and family to dig through their attics and storage space! 

What are the best DIY gifts for friends?

The best DIY gifts for friends include scrapbooks, DIY framed photos, homemade baked goods, DIY beauty recipes, and a super thoughtful homemade card! Of course, you can take your DIY gift giving for friends to endless heights and creations.

What are the best DIY gifts for dad?

The best DIY gifts for Dad includes the love calendar, DIY framed photos, scrapbooks, photobooks, and pretty much anything thoughtful and sentimental!

What are the easiest DIY gifts to make?

Some of the easiest DIY gifts to make include DIY framed photos, propagated plants, hanging herbs, DIY sugar scrub, DIY lip balm, and DIY cleaning sprays. So many easy gifts in the DIY world!

This post is about DIY gift giving.

DIY Holiday Gift Ideas

1. Hanging Herbs / Plants

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I was scrolling through Etsy a few weeks ago, looking for some inspiration on my new craft obsession of macrame wall hangings, when I saw this idea. Hanging eucalyptus leaves, hung from a branch, and then hung in the shower or just in the bathroom. Every time steam hits the leaves, the entire room smells like a rainforest dream! Is that not a gorgeous idea?!

All you need are some eucalyptus leaves, a stick and some string. Take a look at the Etsy shop here to check out the final product.

Tutorials For DIY Hanging Herb/Plant Gifts:

2. Homemade Macrame

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Speaking of macrame wall hanging addictions! One of these wall hangings would make a gorgeous gift for anyone. 

You can purchase a macrame wall-hanging kit OR you can simply head to your local craft store and load up on macrame cord. 

From there, just head to youtube and look through the hundreds of tutorials! I have made three off of youtube so far and love every single one. This is really a beautiful gift.

Homemade Macrame Tutorials:

3. DIY Clay Gifts

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Have a bit more time on your hands than the average last minute holiday shopper? Then let’s get some clay and have some fun!

The options are endless with DIY clay gifts  – no roller or expensive set up required. You can pinch-pot your way to epic jewelry bowls, mugs, and super fun creations like animals, hearts, and more!

Check out some tutorials below to get started on this super fun and creative way to gift give.

DIY Clay Gift Tutorials:

4. DIY Bodyscrub

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Walk into any beauty shop and you will most likely see containers of body scrub for sale for anywhere from 10 bucks to 25 bucks. The ingredient list is long and a tad confusing. But guess what?! You can make your very own sugar scrub with just 3 ingredients!

  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup sweet almond oil
  • 5 vitamin E capsules
  • A couple drops of essential oils if you wish

Simply add all of the ingredients in a bowl and mix well. For the capsules, simply open and squeeze into the mixture. Pour the body scrub into small glass jars and gift away!

DIY Bodyscrub Tutorials:

5. DIY Lip Balm

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Another fantastic DIY beauty gift! Simply follow the directions and then use adorable zero-waste lip gloss containers like these. 

Melt all of the ingredients (except essential oils) together in a double boiler on low heat. Mix well with a spoon and then add in the essential oils. Immediately pour the lip balm into the containers. If the balm begins to harden too soon, just melt again on low. Let cool for a few hours until fully solidified.These will last about 1 year. Enjoy!

Homemade Lip Balm Tutorials:

6. DIY Paintings

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What I love most about this gift is that no matter how it turns out, it is still a beautiful work of art. I am absolutely NOT a good painter but the very first painting that I ever did of a monstera plant is now hanging on my wall right behind my head as I write this (and thus, is the muse for numero 5 on this list) and I love her! I think I love her more because of how awful (yet beautiful) she is!

What do you need? Paint, sturdy paper, 1-2 paint brushed and a muse. I like to paint the plants around my house but feel free to use google!

p.s. This is the paint set that I have (I have had it for years now and have made well over 20 different gifts from it!)

7. DIY Plants

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What? How the hee-haw-sally does this work!?

Did you know that if you snip off a leaf from a big plant and then add that cutting to water it will (usually) grow roots?!

Here’s how it works: 

  • Find the plant you wish to cut from. PLEASE, I beg of you…do not cut from a plant that does not belong to you. If you would like a cutting from a special plant, you must ask permission. Us plant mamas and papas truly do love our plants!
  • Find the root node on your plant or vine. If you are unsure, ask someone to help you!
  • Carefully cut just below the node with a clean sharp knife or scissors.  About 1/4″ below the node.
  • Place the cutting in a clean glass of room temperature water.
  • Switch the water every 3-5 days.
  • Watch the roots grow. This can take weeks or even months.
  • Once the roots have reached 5 inches, add to soil!

8. Bohemian Rope Baskets

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I love this DIY holiday gift so much because I had no idea one could make a rope basket so easily! I’m all about easy DIY gifts, especially when it’s so aesthetically pleasing and on point.

Take a look at some tutorial videos below to create your very own bohemian rope baskets for anyone on your gift giving list!

Homemade Basket Tutorials:

9. Old School Mixed Tape or Playlist

Best DIY Gifts for Friends
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Remember the days of mixed tapes and CD’s that your loved one would play on repeat, over and over, just thinking of you (or vice versa?!).

How about we take that amazing gift idea and make it work for 2022 and beyond?!

Today, we are gifted with endless songs and apps that can create playlists with the simple click of a button. You can add your recipients name as the playlist title and gift it via a link or QR code!

10. Morning Ritual Kit

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small jar of matcha green tea, some non-toxic soy candles, your favourite essential oil blend, a list of beautiful affirmations and a small gratitude journal all wrapped up nicely in a vintage scarf to fend off the early morning chills. How lovely does this sound?! I just thought of it. Woohoo!

p.s. An extra perk would be a nice note in the journal telling your friend why he/she means so much to you!

11. DIY Calendar of Love

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Did I ever tell you how amazing my best friend from Hawaii is? We were roommates and every year she would blow me away with the gift ideas that she came up for her brothers, father and other family members. Once she found old letters from her grandfather who was in the war and made the most gorgeous book for the family to cherish forever. Another year she made a love calendar….

You can do this anyway that you want…it really depends on the person. Either purchase a calendar with their favourite things (i.e., cats, dogs, babies…who knows haha) or create your own calendar at your local photo shop. Once you have the calendar, start to fill in the days. This can be as simple as adding birthdays, memories that you share (don’t forget that FB memories can help SO much with this!!), future plans OR….this beautiful idea…

Listen to your heart and tell the future. Add love notes to days where you think your friend may need an extra pick me up. Tell him or her how much you love them, how they are deserving of love and light….how you miss them when you are not around.

12. Scrapbook

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We all know what a scrapbook is, but when was the last time you actually made on? Scrapbooking is a dying art and we are ready to bring it back in full force!

Check out super simple tutorials below, gather some memories and photos, and get to photo booking!

Scrapbook & Photobook Tutorial:

13. Sourdough Starter

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I was gifted some sourdough starter earlier this year by a visitor and it has truly been a gift that never stops giving.

One good sourdough starter can last years and years and create endless bread recipes that not only taste amazing but help to aid in proper gut health!

Here are a few quick sourdough starter recipes for you:

  1. Ultimate Sourdough Starter Guide
  2. Easy Sourdough Starter Guide
  3. The last sourdough starter guide you’ll ever need

14. Homemade Jam & Jelly

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When is the last time you had some proper Homemade Jam or Jelly?!

It’s probably been far too long, but I’m sure you remember exactly how amazing it tasted and how much you loved the adorable homemade quirkiness that comes with homemade items.

The jar. Maybe a little tag on it. The perfectly imperfect chunks of fruit. It’s just magic.

Whether you want to make raspberry jam, marmalade, or extra sugar filled jelly – your recipient will fall in love!

15. Homemade Bread

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You know what could be really special if you had the time? Baking a sourdough bread and packing it in a homemade bohemian rope basket with homemade jam and sourdough starter. Goodness. That would take some serious time, but how amazed would your loved ones be?!

Not to fret, if you don’t have that extra time (I feel you!) – a simply homemade bread will do just the trick. A cute addition? Add your favorite soup recipe on a card to pair with it!

Easy Homemade Bread Recipes:

This post was all about Sustainable DIY Gift Ideas!

This DIY gift guide could have gone in so many different directions – there really is no cap as to what someone could make at home if they really wanted to. However, we decided to keep it as budget friendly, minimal, practical, and useful as possible. We sure hope you loved it!

Do you have any more ideas for homemade and DIY gift ideas? Leave them in the comments!

If you liked this post, you’ll definitely want to check out these other posts from SKL:

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