unique handmade gift ideas for a zero waste holiday season

homemade jelly

This post is all about the best unique handmade gift ideas I could find on the interwebs for you!

Anyone else trying to keep things low waste this holiday season? Just because we’re trying to stay conscious of our environmental impact, doesn’t mean we have to give up on gift giving. It is possible to enjoy this time of year, gifts and all, in an intentional way.

The topic comes up every single year – what are some great zero waste gift ideas? I personally think the best options for zero waste gifts are 1. purchasing new, sustainable & ethically made gifts from trusted brands, 2. making your own homemade gifts or 3. experience gifts. A couple of weeks ago, I shared with y’all some sustainable & ethically made gift ideas. I really love supporting small businesses that are doing kind things for humans and the planet. But also, I’m a huge fan of making handmade gifts this time of year as well. I’ve compiled a list of unique handmade gift ideas that won’t break the bank this holiday season. Next week, I’ll whip up a list of experience gifts that are great for gifting this time of year too.

DIY Bird Feeder

My sister and I actually made these cute DIY bird feeders a couple of years ago. My sister has her feeder hanging on her porch, and it’s so fun watching the birds enjoy it! Not only are these bird feeders super adorable, but I love how easy it was to make them. No need for crafty experts to create this beautiful feeder. This actually would be a great holiday gift project if you have kids. The instructions are simple and easy to follow, great for crafting with little ones. I also did some browsing on Pinterest, and there are some other really interesting DIY bird feeder designs other than this mason jar one. I even saw one feeder made with an upcycled tea cup and saucer. Too cute! You could get really creative with this idea using found objects to create a cool feeder for your backyard feathered friends šŸ™‚

P.S. I also found this blog post about other fun and easy ways you can turn a mason jar into a Christmas gift!

unique handmade gift ideas

Hanging Lightbulb Terrarium

My sister made a hanging lightbulb terrarium for me for Christmas a few years ago. The photo I have to share doesn’t actually have plants in them, but you get the idea. I like that she chose several different sizes and shapes for the terrariums. They also vary in length when hanging them, so gorgeous! This is a project I definitely wouldn’t recommend working on with little ones. However, kiddos can take part in choosing the plants that can go inside these pretty hanging lightbulb terrariums for sure.

Homemade DIY Body Scrubs

This is a fun idea, because it’s also a great way to upcycle used coffee grounds. I haven’t actually made homemade body scrubs to gift to friends and family, but I have made body scrubs to use for myself. If you go take a look at Pinterest, there are a bajillion different homemade body scrub recipes. You don’t necessarily have to use coffee grounds in your recipe like this one. I’ve seen some scrubs that include sugar or essential oils as well. Body scrubs are great for exfoliating and making your skin super soft. You can gift you homemade body scrub in a mason jar. Dress is up with a cute ribbon or some twine!

Homemade Bath Bombs

Here’s a unique homemade gift idea I haven’t actually tried myself, but I saw the recipe for these Gingerbread Bath Bombs on the The Pistachio Project website and thought they sounded so fun and festive. Also, I love the smell of gingerbread! Again, these cute little bath fizzies could be packaged in a mason jar and tied up with a cute ribbon. Easy peasy. There’s also a gingerbread cookie sugar scrub recipe on her website too. It could be fun to pair these bath fizzies with the sugar scrub as a gift!

Photo credit: The Pistachio Project

Infused Vodka

I gave mason jars filled with homemade infused vodka for Christmas several years ago. It was a hit! Yes, another gift packaged in a mason jar. I’m seeing a trend here! This is a really fun gift idea but you’ll need to be sure to plan for this in advance. You need to have some time to let the ingredients sit in the vodka to make the best infusions. Here are just a few recipes I’ve seen online, but you can get really creative with this one and make your own flavor combinations!

Fig, Vanilla Bean & Cardamom Infused Vodka

Strawberry Basil Infused Vodka

Blackberry Thyme Lemon Infused Vodka

Caramel Apple Vodka Recipe

Herbal Tea Blends

Who doesn’t love a good cup of tea? You can experiment with making your own herbal tea blends, or I’ve found some really great tea recipes on the Healing Harvest Homestead blog. I recommend the Happiness Herbal Tea blend recipe. The Rosy Chocolate Chai sounds pretty amazing though too and would look so cute packaged in a, guess what… mason jar! šŸ˜‰ If you try out some of the tea blend recipes and learn that you really love working with herbs, I want to recommend checking out Heidi’s online course The Confident Family Herbalist (this is my affiliate link). It would also be a great experience gift to gift. Don’t worry guys, next week I’m going to share a whole list of experience gifts with you. I just wanted to go ahead and mention Heidi’s course while we’re talking about herbs.

Hand Poured Candle

Oh look, another gift you can prepare in a mason jar! Maybe I should have titled this blog post, unique handmade gifts using a mason jar. I’ve made hand poured candles before using beeswax. I actually used to carry the handmade candles in my online zero waste shop. Maybe I should bring those back. This recipe I found for easy to make hand poured candles uses soy wax. I like making candles at home, because a lot of store bought candles contain harmful chemicals. When you prepare the candles at home, you can choose to scent them using essential oils instead! Although, I honestly like making plain beeswax candles without any scent at all. Also, making candles at home is a lot cheaper than purchasing them pre-made.

unique handmade gift ideas

Homemade Jelly

Each year, we have an abundance of muscadines at the farm. I like to use them to make homemade jelly. I make a batch for my family but am always sure to prepare an extra batch to gift. It’s so delicious! Of course, you don’t have to make specifically muscadine jelly. There are lots of different jelly and preserve recipes on the internet. Choose a fruit you have an abundance of or maybe just one that you really find delicious and hunt for a recipe! I really love fig preserves for gifting as well.

Unique Handmade Journal

No I didn’t make this journal myself but it is handmade. While writing in my journal the other day, I got to thinking. I bet there are some tutorials on Pinterest on how to make your own journal. And guess what, there are! There are a bunch of different tutorials for making handmade journals. I thought this one sounded pretty good. This handmade gift idea is probably not the simplest of the list, but I think if you have the time and patience, it could be a really great gift!

unique handmade gift ideas

If you still haven’t found what you’re looking for in my list of unique handmade gift ideas, I found this awesome list of 36 Completely Genius Trash-to-Treasure Crafts. You might see something else you’d like to make in that list.

Do you have any unique handmade gift ideas to share? What have you made as gifts for friends and family in the past?

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2 thoughts on “unique handmade gift ideas for a zero waste holiday season

  1. I love these! Was wanting to make a bird feeder, and your picture with the upcycled fabric and mason jar will definitely do the trick. šŸ™‚

    1. Aw yeah!! It’s super easy to make and makes the birds so happy! šŸ˜€

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