Got some time on your hands? Feeling crafty? Check out these homemade plastic free Christmas gifts!
By Arwa Lodhi
Christmas is undoubtedly a seriously wasteful time of year, with its discarded wrapping, single-use greeting cards, food scraps and unwanted presents. But it needn’t be that way – half of Britons said they would be happy to receive unwrapped Christmas presents, for example, to slash the amount of waste generated during the festive season, according to a recent poll.
What’s more, 46% said they would rather receive a digital Christmas greeting such as a text, email or social media message, than a paper card, and 84% of consumers voiced concerns about the amount of plastic packaging used on gifts.
But despite that concern, a quarter of people surveyed said they were too busy during the holidays to try to curb the amount of plastic they were using, and 22% even claimed there was too much waste in their homes over Christmas to be able to recycle it.
Luckily, there are some easy solutions: you can make your own Christmas tree decorations, ban straws and plastic bottles from your dinner table, and make your own customised gifts and wrapping paper – a great idea since most wrapping paper is, in fact, at least partly plastic and cannot be recycled.
But maybe the best idea is making your own gifts. Not only does this reduce plastic packaging waste, but when you customise presents to suit what you know the recipient will love, they’re far less likely to stuff the gift in a closet or worse, throw it away!
Here are 10+ homemade plastic free Christmas gifts you can easily whip up yourself – and it won’t cost much to do so, either.
10+ Homemade Plastic Free Christmas Gifts To Make
1. Bath Bombs
One of the easiest homemade plastic free Christmas gifts you could make are basic bath bombs. You can create bombs with all kinds of different vibes, too!
For example? You could make romantic bombs, such as the pink ones above, that contain jewellery or other small gifts at their core. If someone has had a totally ‘crap’ year, why not go for the poop Emoji bath bombs, below? (Um, don’t worry – they smell like cocoa!) Or you could just make some ‘regular’ bath bombs, like these tangy lemon ones.
No matter which ones you choose to make, they’re great for the skin, and are a welcome gift for anyone of any age. It’s an easy-to-make at home recipe that allows for you to add any essential oils you like. And when you gift them in little punets from the grocery store, they look fresh and ‘good enough to eat’!
2. Homemade Lemon Honey Body Scrub
Sweet smelling and rich in natural goodness, this scrub is soooo easy to make! It easily helps slough off rough skin, and won’t go off to quickly thanks to the antibacterial honey and antiseptic Vitamin C from the lemon. It looks great gifted in a simple Mason jar, with a painted lid and decorated with a bit of string or ribbon. Want to give it a go? Find the simple recipe here. Image: sixsistersstuff.com
3. Homemade Lip Balm
Totally necessary for winter, this balm doesn’t take long to make at all. Add a few drops of essential oil to personalise the scent. If you want to make a lip scrub instead, all you need to do is add a spoonful or two of coffee grounds or brown sugar.
Of course, it’s great if you have tubes to put this in, but if not, tiny jars like these or tins like these are just as gorgeous. Find the recipe for homemade lip balm – and free printable labels – here.
4. Decorative Spice Jars
These are a great gift for the cook in your life. Find some spice mix recipes here, then add them in pretty layers to an interestingly shaped, clear glass jar, and tie with a bit of ribbon. Alternatively, find some minimalist spice jars, type up some labels with a label maker, and keep the look cleaner.
Recipient not into spices? You could also make your own tea blend to gift, using green or black tea and a mix of dried fruits.
Image credit: abeautifulmess.com
5. Non-toxic ‘PlayDough‘
This is one of the best homemade plastic free Christmas gifts for the kiddies, and best of all, you can add your own scent. My wee friends love drops of cinnamon oil and cacao in theirs! Find the recipe here.
Bonus! You can also use this recipe to make your own Christmas tree decorations: just cut out shapes with a cookie cutter, punch a hole at the top of each piece so you can tie a string in it, bake at a low heat for an hour, and you’re done!
6. A Cool Blackboard Mug
Got some old mugs lying around? Recycle them! Use some black chalkboard paint to cover up the old design, then write a sweet message on them with simple chalk! Or, just use simple black paint and a white or silver paint pen to customise your message. This is one of the best homemade plastic free Christmas gifts for colleagues, or for coffee lovers. Be sure to add a bag of premium coffee, or maybe a coffee alternative, in your mug as part of the gift!
7. Personalised Calendar Magnets
This is one of the best homemade plastic free Christmas gifts for preserving memories with friends and family! All you need to do is use a free template to drop your photos into these cute photo calendar magnets for a quick, easy and highly personalised Christmas gift. January could be a reminder of your family hike; February could be a pic of a family pet with a red bow around her neck; March could be a reminder of a past beach holiday….you get the idea!
Want to learn how to do this? Just click here.
8. Coffee Syrup Trio
Christmas time calls for a little something special, and there’s nothing more indulgent than a freshly made, steaming cup of coffee – with a sweet kick. These homemade syrups make a great gift, and I highly recommend making all three – vanilla, caramel and raspberry. It’s so easy!
You can, of course, look for the fancy spouts for the bottles, but it’s not really that necessary. all you need is any decent (recycled!) bottle, and a nice label.
Get the recipe here.
9. A Movie Night Gift Box
This is definitely the best of the homemade plastic free Christmas gifts for movie buffs! Just get a box, and download or design some decorations. Then, pack in some snacks, drinks, and maybe some DVDs – everything you need for a cozy movie night in! Personally, I would add some fuzzy slippers or a soft blanket, if you have the budget!
10. Chocolate Coconut Date Truffle Bites with Sea Salt
These sound and look utterly decadent, but they’re are actually sugar-free, using the natural sweetness of dried fruit instead of refined sugar. Pile them into a Mason jar or pack them into a gift box with little paper wrappers, just like these.
Ready to cook up a yummy Christmas gift? Get the recipe here.
11. Homemade Beard Oil
Why a beard oil, you may ask? They’re surprisingly useful! Not only do they condition the hair of the beard, but they also encourage hair growth, depending on what’s in them.
You can easily custom-make a homemade beard oil with just a few ingredients. It will save you a small fortune – these retail for quite a bit! Plus, it will come with all the love of a homemade Christmas gift, of course.
Get the instructions and free labels to print out here.
12. A Sundae In A Box
Got a friend who’s crazy for ice cream? This is one of the best homemade plastic free Christmas gift ideas for them! All you need is a box, some jars of toppings like caramel or hot fudge sauce, some sprinkles, sweets like Smarties or gummy bears, and some biodegradable paper sundae cups.
Add some wooden spoons if you like, and maybe print out some vegan ice cream recipes, so they can have some of the sweet stuff whenever they want it, too!
13. DIY Heating Pads
Heating pads are basically the gift of warmth! And who wouldn’t want that? All you need to make a super eco-friendly heating pad is some rice, cloth, and essential oils. You can make these small, to heat your hands in mittens, or super large, to bring to bed
Heat these babies up in the microwave, and you’re good to go!
Get the instructions here.
Don’t Forget the Wrapping!
Christmas wrapping can be seriously wasteful. It’s downright depressing when you see the bags and bags of waste after all the presents are open.
Instead, recycle newsprint to make some beautiful wrapping – embellish with natural evergreen boughs or ribbons, brooches, hair jewellery or other objects that will be re-used, not trashed.
Image above: designmag.fr Main image: Itsalwaysautumn.com