Now is the perfect time to start working on DIY gift ideas to share your love of holistic health with family and friends! While I definitely buy some Christmas presents, I also enjoy being able to give gifts that I made myself for several reasons:
- Homemade gifts seem more personal than store bought items.
- I can share my love of all things natural with those I love.
- I save money!
I’ve pulled together several DIY gift ideas for you to make this Christmas. Maybe your sister will love a custom herbal tea blend, and your husband can make good use of an all-natural muscle rub after a long day at work.
The beauty of DIY gifts is that you can customize them for each individual recipient. Orange-flavored lip balm for the kids, a lavender sachet for a new mom, and horse chestnut salve for your grandmother’s varicose veins – perfect.
If you begin now, you’ll have plenty of time to make any of these gifts for everyone on your list. Some of them need a couple weeks to infuse, so don’t wait too long to get started!
Herbal Infused Oil
I’m putting herbal-infused oil at the top of this list because it needs the most time to complete. The finished product will be a soothing oil that contains all the goodness of healing plants. Herbal-infused oils can be used as massage oil, skin-softening lotion, bath additives, or as the base for an herbal salve.
Almost any herb can be used, but common choices include:
- Calendula (great for burns and hot rashes)
- Dandelion (for diaper rash)
- Plantain (first aid for cuts, scrapes, burns, etc.)
- Mullein flowers (helpful for earaches, especially when combined with garlic oil)
- Yarrow (helps staunch bleeding and repels insects)
You can use fresh or dried herbs to make an herbal oil, though I personally prefer using dried herbs.
How to Make an Oil Infusion
To begin, chop, cut, or crumble your herbs. Put them in a clean, sterile glass jar. I like to use quart jars, but any size will work.
Pour olive oil over the herbs to completely cover them. Depending on the herb, you may need to let the oil soak in for several minutes and then add more to make sure all the herbs are covered.
Seal your jar tightly and place it in a dark place – either in a cabinet or inside a closed paper bag. You now have a choice to cold-infuse or warm-infuse your oil. Either method will work well.
For a cold infusion, simply put the jar into a cabinet or other dark place (not the refrigerator).
For a warm infusion, put the jar into a paper bag, fold it down tightly, and place the bag in a warm spot. In the summertime, I leave the jars on my picnic table outside. In winter, I put them on my mantle where the wood stove will keep the oil nicely warmed.
Check your jar the following day to make sure the herbs are covered by at least ¼ inch of oil. If they’re not, add more oil.
Shake the jar once or twice everyday for the next two weeks.
At the end of two weeks, your oil will be gloriously infused by the herbal goodness. Strain out the herbs and store the oil in a tightly-closed jar in the refrigerator (or turn it into salve).
Once you have an herbal-infused oil, you can easily turn it into a salve by melting it together with some beeswax. For complete instruction, see my How to Make Homemade Herbal Salve article.
I love making herbal salve and use it for so many purposes. I keep homemade antibiotic ointment and calendula salve for burns in our medicine cabinet at all times.
Essential Oil Blends
Almost everyone falls in love with essential oils as soon as they try them. Who can resist those naturally exquisite aromas? A custom essential oil blend is sure to be a welcome gift for anyone on your list this Christmas.
Put together a blend of your own design or try one of these ideas:
- Sweet Dreams: 3 parts lavender, 2 parts frankincense, 1 part Roman chamomile
- Old Fashioned Holidays: 3 parts sweet orange, 2 parts cinnamon, 1 part clove
- Christmas Tree Farm: 4 parts spruce, 2 parts Siberian fir, 1 part juniper
- Memory Master: 3 parts rosemary, 1 part peppermint
- Try one of my Uplifting Essential Oil Blends for anyone who needs a pick-me-up.
These blends can be placed in a diffuser or added to a carrier oil for applying to the skin.
For storing essential oil blends, I love these glass dropper bottles.
Soothing Muscle Rub
Know someone who works hard all day and ends up with sore, aching muscles? Make a soothing muscle rub to bring quick relief!
Simply melt coconut oil, shea butter, cocoa butter, or a combination and add a blend of relaxing essential oils. For each ounce of oil/butter, use a maximum of 12 drops of essential oil.
My personal favorite blend for muscle rubs uses equal parts lavender and basil EOs. It smells inviting and herbaceous – perfect for men or women – and relieves my muscle pain within about 20-30 minutes. I’m always amazed at how well it works!
Other blends to consider:
- equal parts Black Pepper and Ginger (Nicely warming to ease tired, sore muscles.)
- 3 parts Marjoram, 1 part Eucalyptus, and 1 part Thyme (Excellent for rheumatism, arthritis, and the pain of overexertion.)
Check out more blends for sore muscles at Essential Oil Sanctuary.
Whipped Body Butter
Luxurious whipped body butter makes anyone feel pampered, and it sells for a pretty penny in stores. But you can make your own easily and quickly!
It’s so simple, it almost feels like cheating.
Simply scoop your desired amount of coconut oil, shea butter, or a combination of the two into a heavy-duty stand mixer. Using the whisk attachment, whip the oil or butter for 15 minutes or more until it is completely “whipped.” It will look light and fluffy when it’s finished.
You may need to scrape the sides of the bowl a few times, especially early on, to get all of the oil/butter whipped well. If you’d like, add one teaspoon of another oil per ounce of coconut oil or shea butter. A few possibilities:
- Vitamin E Oil
- Almond Oil
- Grapeseed Oil
- Jojoba Oil
When your body butter is fully whipped, add essential oils for fragrance and extra skin soothing qualities. (This is optional, but most people enjoy scented body butter!)
One of my favorite blends is to use equal parts lavender and frankincense. To me, it has the perfect balance of floral and earthy. Other possibilities:
- 3 parts Lavender, 2 parts Rosemary, 1 part Ylang-ylang
- 3 parts Rose Absolute, 2 parts Bergamot
- 3 parts Sandalwood, 1 part Clary Sage, 1 part Geranium
- Use any of the essential oil blends given in the sections above.
- Or come up with your own unique blend!
Homemade lip balm is something anyone will love to receive. The scent and flavor can be adjusted to fit each one’s preferences, from the kids to the seniors.
I like to use coconut oil, shea butter, and sometimes honey to make my lip balm. Beeswax is also needed to keep the oils from melting and making a mess everywhere.
I love these beeswax pellets – they melt much more quickly than larger chunks and are super easy to measure.
Melt together 3 parts coconut oil, 2 parts shea butter, and 1 part beeswax in a saucepan. (In other words, if your “parts” are one-half ounce each, you could use 1 ½ ounces coconut oil, 1 ounce shea butter, and ½ ounce beeswax.)
For each ounce of lip balm (the total measurement of coconut oil + shea butter + beeswax), you can add a teaspoon of honey for flavor, scent, and its healing qualities. Or add vitamin E oil, almond oil, or another oil – keeping to the 1 teaspoon per ounce ratio.
Finally, scent your lip balm by adding essential oils – a maximum of six drops per ounce of lip balm.
Scent/flavor ideas (added per ounce of lip balm):
- 6 drops Sweet Orange (yummy!)
- 4 drops Spearmint, 2 drops Peppermint
- 5 drops Sweet Orange, 1 drop Clove
If you can sew (with a machine or by hand), an herb-filled sachet makes a wonderfully old fashioned gift. My mom and I made sachets when I was maybe 8 or 9. I think I still have one in my dresser drawer!
Town and Country Living provides easy instructions for making sachets: 5 Easy Steps to Make French Lavender Sachets. Of course, you can fill them with any herb that you wish.
- Lavender is perfect for relaxing and promoting a good night’s sleep.
- Chamomile is very calming and would be lovely alone or mixed with lavender.
- Peppermint is invigorating and would help wake someone up when opening drawers in the morning.
- Rosemary and Sage can be helpful for boosting memory and alertness.
If you want to get really creative, make bear- or bunny-shaped sachets for the kids on your list. The instructions linked above use plain white fabric, but a print material would work just as well. (I do suggest using cotton or other natural materials instead of synthetics, though.)
If you can’t sew, no worries! Pioneer Woman has instructions for making no-sew sachets. She puts rice in hers, but you can certainly fill them with crushed herbs instead.
Herbal Tea Gift Pack
For your tea-drinking friends, an herbal tea gift pack can be the perfect gift. I love putting together little sets like this to match a friend’s unique personality.
In a cute basket or box, put together:
- Herbal Tea
- A Pretty Mug
- Tea Ball
Since I buy my herbs in bulk, I make almost all of my tea using a tea ball instead of tea bags. When I’m not using it, my tea ball sits in my china cabinet as a pretty decoration.
Of course, buying a tea ball and a mug aren’t DIY (unless you can throw pottery and make your own mug!), but putting together an herbal tea blend is definitely something you can do yourself. Like making EO blends, select herbs that fit your friends’ personalities and needs.
A few ideas:
- Invigorating Blend: Peppermint, Spearmint, and Wintergreen
- Peaceful Sleep: Chamomile and Lavender
- No More Nightmares (for kids): Chamomile and Catnip
- Stress Relief: Green Tea, Passionflower, and Kava Root
- Healthy Mama (for expectant moms): Red Raspberry and Nettle
Making homemade gifts allows you to share your heart for holistic health with others. Who knows? You may even prompt someone to explore a more natural – and healthful – lifestyle. I hope you enjoy using these DIY gift ideas to bless those you love this year!
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This information has not been evaluated by the FDA and is intended only for educational purposes. It is not intended to diagnose, prevent, treat, or cure disease. Always consult a healthcare professional before making significant changes to your healthcare routine.
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