Last week I continued the series I’ll Be Homemade for Christmas with some tips about making gifts that use arts and crafts. Today I would like to switch gears and offer a few ideas for homemade gifts using plants. If you come around this blog at all on Mondays, then you’ll quickly discover that I am a huge fan of plants! While there might not be as many options with this type of homemade gift as with general arts and crafts, you’ll quickly find that there are still plenty of good ideas to work with. Let’s start by brainstorming a little when it comes to gifts that can be made using plants.
Brainstorming plant gift ideas
Whether you are a green thumb or not, there are several great homemade gifts you can create using our green friends. Here are just a few to get you started:
- Grow a brand new plant
- Take cuttings from one of your plants and start a new plant
- Divide one of your plants (indoor or outdoor)
- Save seeds from your garden plants (flower or vegetable) and package them to give away
- Share in your garden harvest (e.g. canned tomatoes, dried herbs, etc.)
- Decorate a pot
- Make a pot
- Dry flowers and create a collage
- Pound leaves or flowers onto cloth
An example of a homemade gift using plants
A few years ago I spent a summer in Alaska working for the Unites States Forest Service. I got to meet all sorts of people who knew a lot about native plants and the interesting ways you could use them. Besides using some of the native plants for making jam and flavored honey, I also got to make some crafty gifts. My favorite was a process known as leaf or flower pounding. I discovered how fun and easy it was as soon as I struck the hammer for the first time. Let me explain.
To get started with leaf or flower pounding, you need a hammer, some cloth, and some leaves or flowers. The cloth we used was muslin because it has the qualities needed to get good results. Find a flat protected surface and lay down some newspaper or cardboard. Then choose your leaves or flowers. Don’t be afraid to get creative! Arrange your specimens in a pleasing way and then cover your design with the muslin. At this point you are ready to begin pounding. This part is pretty fun because not only do you get to pound a lot, but you also get to see the beautiful pigments from your leaves or flowers start to show through in your cloth. It’s really remarkable actually!
After you finish your design, you can let it dry and then find a creative way to display it. Framing is nice, but you might also choose to sew it onto something or make a collage. Keep in mind that you can leave it as is, but you can also try to treat your creation to help it last longer. I found a good resource about this here.
Having trouble finding a living plant because it’s winter where you live? You can certainly try leaves or flowers from your houseplants and you can also take a trip to the flower shop or a greenhouse to find good specimens. You’ll soon discover that not only will people love your gift, but you will become addicted to this fun process!
Homemade plant gift ideas from around the web
There are many great ideas floating around the web when it comes to interesting and creative plant gifts. Here are just a few I found:
Have you ever made homemade gifts using plants? Feel free to share any ideas here.
Coming up next week
Next week we will learn about creative gifts you can make using food!