Guest post by Brandy Searcy
Make yourself Sustainable DIY Christmas Ornaments & Gift Ideas
If you’re looking to gift extra thoughtful sustainable gifts this Christmas, we’ve put together a great list of inspirational ideas for you. We’re starting out with the truly DIY ornaments and gifts and also giving you some ideas for personalized gifts so you can mix, match, and make the best Christmas present(s) for every person on your list.
DIY workshops to make your own personalized Christmas Ornaments
Bond with your best friend over a Christmas ornament wood burning workshop where you’ll make your own customized wood burned ornament. The class is taught virtually by Mosstangle’s very own Crystal Bailar. Be sure to sign up for Mosstangle’s newsletter to stay tuned for all her wood burning classes.
DIY Christmas Gifts
If you want more DIY gift ideas and ways to celebrate Christmas more sustainably, check out the complete list of courses offered by Kula Academy including a beginner’s guide to knitting, painting with coffee (yes, literally painting using coffee as your paint), and a DIY botanical wrapping paper course.
Craft sustainable, clean laundry detergent with soap shavings from Redbudsuds. Mix 1 bag of Redbudsuds soap scraps with 15 ounces baking soda (just shy of a pound), 15 ounces washing soda (you’ll find this next to the borax at your local grocery or home improvement store), and 7.5 ounces borax (a hair under a cup).
Each batch makes enough detergent for 100 small loads of laundry and makes enough detergent to easily fill 3 large Mason jars (about 30 loads of laundry each). You’ll find complete instructions for DIY laundry detergent plus a video at Redbudsuds.
Once you’ve whirred up your laundry detergent, pack in reused glass jars and attach a custom notecard featuring limited edition dress prints by Nuu-Muu. You can include directions for use of her laundry detergent on the inside of the card so she’s able to enjoy it with every wash: Use 1 Tbsp. of this hand blended laundry detergent for small loads & 2 Tbsp. for large loads.
If you have a gluten-free, vegan hiker on your list and want to try your hand at mixing up some dehydrated meals for her to take with her on the trail, pick up a few ingredients from Fernweh Food Company. Fernweh does the dehydrating for you and sells their ingredients already flavored and ready for pairing with other ingredients to make incredible trail meals. Fernweh sells all ingredients in compostable packaging or reusable cotton/muslin bags, and you can order select ingredients in bulk by request.
If you’re short on time, create beautifully scented simple homemade sugar scrubs quickly using Rain Organica’s Meadowfoam + Fog Body Oil plus organic sugar. Just add 4 ounces of the body oil (an all-natural blend brimming with skin nourishing botanical oils and scented with blends of fair trade, organic essential oils) to a cup and a half of sugar (12 ounces), pour up into cute, clean, reused jars, and voila! Three 4 oz. sugar scrub gifts that smell like you spent an eternity blending essential oils.
Skip wrapping paper and use one of Tawa Threads table runners (or bandanas) instead. Each runner reflects the contours & silhouettes of nature. Tawa Threads is committed to inclusivity, donating to organizations that work with underrepresented communities to break down boundaries to the outdoors. Tawa Threads table runners are the perfect gift because they’re so versatile. Aside from a sustainable substitute to wrapping paper, she can wear the runners as:
- a scarf (these 100% cotton vibrant prints make beautiful scarves)
- a swimsuit cover-up (in the heat of summer)
- or a head wrap
If you want even more clever ideas for gift wrapping, Sisu Magazine offers two sizes of Mungo Itawuli Towels. Featured in the second issue of Sisu’s quarterly magazine, the prints on these towels are inspired by the African landscape and heritage and are made in South Africa.
Give her the gift of DIY gear repair with one of the clothing and gear patches made by Queen of Patches and available through Sisu Magazine’s site.
Handcrafted Gifts for a sustainable Christmas
Gift her a one of a kind mug Becca Bee’s nature inspired pottery. Becca Bee Pottery makes some of the most gorgeous mugs and planters. They’re all hand-thrown in Portland by an avid outdoors girl (and gardener), and the scenes on these pieces reflect Becca’s love of the outdoors. Custom order one of these today to receive it by Christmas.
There’s no better way to pair up a hand-crafted mug than with one of Trail Toddy’s hot toddy mixes blended in small batches in the PNW. She’ll love these with or without a shot of her favorite liquor, and you can gift her one of four flavors all made from organic ingredients and packed into 100% biodegradable pouches and just waiting to be paired with a cup of hot water (a shot is optional).
Give her the gift of wool softness in the form of a merino wool blanket for her water bottle. Citizen Burro’s wool sleeves, made in New Mexico, allow you to pick up wool softness rather than cold, hard steel on a chilly day. Merino wool is naturally anti-microbial, and these sleeves are machine washable. Citizen Burro offers their sleeves in a wide range of sizes and supports carbon farming initiatives to mitigate climate change.
Personalized & Custom Christmas Gifts
Nuu-Muu (the same company that makes notecards featuring their unique dress prints with recycled kraft envelopes) also creates multi-functional dresses intended for all types of bodies and any environment (lounging, traveling, running, hiking, even biking). These quick drying, breathable dresses are all made in limited edition prints. Nuu-Muu is also thinking ahead by including a pocket in some of their designs (sheer brilliance). These exercise dresses elevate the day and allow her to seamlessly transition from one activity to another. The dresses are sewn in the US, and Nuu-Muu is a member of both 1% for the Planet and The Conservation Alliance.
Gift her four-legged friend a personalized bandana or hands-free dog leash from Wag Theory. All Wag Theory products are hand cut, hand sewn, and hand grommeted in Portland. Wag Theory partners with Portland Animal Welfare (PAW) Team to support their mission of providing free veterinary care to the pets of people who live in extreme poverty.
If you’ve been searching high and low for the perfect gift for the tall woman on your list, Sequoia Clothing is your answer for well-designed robust pants that fit right and are made for tall women by tall women. If you want to gift her a unique, high functioning gift from a tiny clothing company focused on environmental health this Christmas, Sequoia Clothing is your answer.
Finally, gift her a unique pair of mitts by White Paws Run Mitts. These wind and water resistant run mitts are made so that she can peel back the outer flap quickly without having to completely remove her mitt leaving her fingers free to quickly tap to the next song on her phone or do anything else that requires tactile touch.
More Sustainable Christmas Ideas
Above we’ve talked about a host of ways you can DIY your Christmas gifts this year from completely DIY (like creating wood burned landscapes on trivets and making your own Christmas ornament) to a little more kitted (like creating your own sugar scrub with a body oil that’s already made for you). I hope you’ve also found some great ideas for personalized and custom gifts so you can pick up something for everyone on your list.
Before you go, be sure to sign up for our newsletter to be the first to know about upcoming workshops to nourish your creative spirit.
About the Author
Brandy Searcy is an outdoor girl who loves hiking, gardening, bird-watching, and body boarding. Nearly obsessive about her skincare, she started developing products to pack with her on day hikes and soon realized her backpacking friends were searching for a portable skincare routine as well. That’s how she founded Rain Organica.