DIY Holiday Gift Ideas
Stop right there! Before you run out to the store this holiday season, consider utilizing the resources you have around you. DIY gifts are not only thoughtful and well received, but also an enjoyable and creative process!
DIY: abbreviation for do-it-yourself: the activity of decorating or repairing your home, or making things yourself, rather than paying someone else to do it for you.
The pro’s of DIY:
- Recycle old materials
- Make use of household items you rarely use
- Fulfill your creative side
- A thoughtful gift
- Save money while helping the environment
- Crafting is relaxing!
Find POP DIY inspiration below!
Herbal Sachets provide a pleasant and personalized smell in a easy and aesthetically pleasing way. Herbs make great companion plantings for fruit trees and are planted in every POP community orchard!
What you need:
- breathable cloth
- your favorite (smelling) herbs
- Whether you buy pre-made sachet bags, or sew them using your breathable cloth, the size is completely up to you. For those without sewing skills, herbal sachets can be as simple as a square of fabric tied at the top with twine
- Once you have your bag, it is time to collect fresh or dried herbs. For mint-family plants, harvest by making a small cut with scissors or hand-pruners along the stem above the point where two new leaves emerge. If you choose to fill your sachet with fresh herbs, make sure your fabric is breathable (a good cotton or muslin mix). If you over-stuff your bag, you could develop mildew or mold. To dry herbs before filling your sachet, strip flowers and leaves from their stems and place in a paper bag to dry into crispy, then fill your sachet! Some common orchard and garden herbs for use with sachets:
- Mints (calming, soothing)
- Lemon Balm (reduces stress)
- Lavender (aromatherapy)
- Rosemary (rich in antioxidants)
- Thyme (antibacterial, insecticidal)
- Anise Hyssop (digestive, improves stomach acid)
You can use one, or as many as you’d like! Put them in the bag, and close the bag with your ribbon/twine/string.
… And it is as easy as that! Transform your car smell, sock drawer smell, or the smell of just about any space with this simple and unique trick. And of course, these are great gifts as well!
“Closet Hanger” Wreath
This wreath-making technique is easy and convenient to make!
What you need:
- wire closet hanger
- First, take your wire hanger and stretch into as round of a circle as you can.
- Next, gather the greens that you want to be on your wreath. These can be bought from the store (or seasonal holiday sales at public gardens like POP partners Bartram’s Garden and Awbury Arboretum), cut from the bottom of your Christmas tree, or simply pruned from your own backyard!
- From here, take your first piece of greenery and place in one direction on the hanger. Secure to wire with thread or twine.
- Place your next piece of greenery slight on top of the last piece you secured to the hanger, so that the woody part of the greenery is not seen.
- Continue this until the hanger is completely covered in your greens. Feel free to add pops of color with other plants, such as holly or hawthorn.
- Finally, use the hanger at the top of your wreath to conveniently display your new creation anywhere. Enjoy!
“An apple pomander – aka a clove apple – is a wonderful present, because it works exactly the way that Laura Ingalls Wilder describes it: it smells wonderful, it won’t rot, and the stem provides the perfect place to tie a serviceable piece of twine or a fancy ribbon to hang your clove apple in a closet or hallway.”
-Julie Finn, Crafting A Green World
Most people think of citrus for use with pomanders, but apples are also traditional and were mentioned in the ever popular ‘Little House on the Prairie’ books! Read in the article linked below how to make an Apple Pomander (from local fruit of course). Enjoy!
With these neat ideas in mind, have fun with your crafting and don’t be afraid to try something new!
This POP Blog post was written by 2018 POP Administrative Assistant Natalie Agoos.
SUPPORT US! If you found this entry useful, informative, or inspiring, please consider a donation of any size to help POP in planting and supporting community orchards in Philadelphia: phillyorchards.org/donate.