5 DIY Holiday Gift Ideas From the Garden

If you love gardening, give a personal gift for friends and family. Make one or more of these creative DIY holiday gifts with a garden theme!

DIY Holiday Gifts

The holiday season has arrived and if you are like me, you are busy trying to find just the right gift for the friends and family in your life. As a horticulturist, I like to look for creative and easy DIY holiday gifts that I can give that have a gardening theme. Because I made the gifts myself, I feel that the gift is more personal than if I just ran to the store and bought it.  Also, DIY holiday gifts tend to be less expensive, which is especially helpful this time of year.

Here are 5 of my favorites DIY garden gifts, all of which include links to instructions so you can make them yourself!

1. Basil Salt

Basil SaltNoelle Johnson

This year, I made my first batch of basil salt. Once I tasted it, I knew that this was going to be a great gift idea. But first, I had to make enough for my family before I could make some for others because they loved it so much. Basil salt is made from fresh basil and Kosher salt – that’s it! It retains the flavor of the fresh basil . You can use it to season your favorite pasta dishes, salads and bread. Package it in small glass jars and add a label, listing the ingredients.

I used fresh basil from my garden, but you can certainly use fresh basil from the supermarket to make this delicious herb salt.  Learn how to make your own basil salt.

2. Concrete Stepping Stones

diy stepping stonesNoelle Johnson

Would this colorful stepping stone look great in any garden? A couple of years ago, I visited a garden that was filled with colorful stepping stones. The colors of the stepping stones gave the garden a personal feel that just added to the overall beauty of the surrounding plants. The owner graciously showed me how to make my own personalized stepping stones. I was amazed at how easy it was using ordinary items such as plastic food containers and molds, cooking spray, broken plates, glass beads and Portland cement.

Imagine how happy the recipient would be to receive a personalized stepping stone for their garden!  You can make a single stone or several. This is a great DIY holiday gift for kids to make for grandparents. Get step-by-step instructions for making stepping stones.

3. Seed Balls

diy seed bombsNoelle Johnson

One of the most interesting garden trends are seed balls, also known as ‘seed bombs’. They are small balls that contain seeds, which are surrounded by a mixture of red clay and potting soil or compost.  The idea is that you simply throw the seed ball into the garden. It will begin growing once the temperature is right for the particular seed AND enough rainfall or supplemental water is received. Seed balls containing wildflower seed can be thrown onto bare dirt. The seeds will stay protected within their clay/soil cocoon until the optimal growing conditions arrive. Other types of seed can be used in seed balls like basil, leaf lettuce, sunflowers. Also try other herbs, annual and perennial flowers.

The packaging of seed balls is quite creative and sustainable. Simply cut up a paper towel roll (or toilet paper roll) and wrap with a strip of paper. This is a fun and easy gift to give!  Here’s how to make your own seed balls.

4. Herb Container

DIY herb containerNoelle Johnson

If you are looking for a creative DIY holiday gift for the cook in your life, how about making them an herb container filled with a variety of herbs? In addition to a fresh supply of herbs just steps away from the kitchen, an herb container is also attractive and easy to grow. All you need is a container, potting mix and a variety of herbs. I have several herb containers in my garden. My younger kids recently made an herb container as a birthday gift for their oldest sister.

Most herbs for cooking grow well in containers including basil, chives, parsley, rosemary, sage and thyme. You can also start growing your herb container indoors by a sunny window. Then move it outdoors once the weather warms up. Learn how to make your own herb container and how to care for it.

5. Natural Air Fresheners

DIY holiday giftsNoelle Johnson

Do like to add natural scents to the air inside of your home? An easy way to add a light, natural fragrance to the air in your home is to create air fresheners. Use citrus fruit, herbs and other items from the garden. Citrus fruit makes the best base for many natural air fresheners and when herbs such as basil, mint or thyme are added. The combination really adds a fresh fragrance that is not overpowering. Unfortunately, the most commonly available air fresheners are made up of chemicals that usually do not resemble anything like the natural scents they claim to smell like.

I am often looking for ways to use the lemons and oranges from my trees (psst—here’s how to grow a clementine tree indoors) as well as the herbs from my garden. But you can certainly use citrus and herbs from the supermarket. Packaging is simple. A simple jam or mason jar works just fine, which makes it easy to give them as gifts. To use, simply place in a simmering pot of water or freeze them until you are ready to use. In addition to adding fresh fragrance to your home, they are also quite pretty in their jars. Learn how to make your own air fresheners.

As you sit down this holiday season to compile your gift list, you may find that one or more of these five DIY holiday gift ideas from the garden will fit the bill perfectly!

Next, check out 10 easy-care holiday houseplants.

Noelle Johnson
Noelle Johnson is a horticulturist, writer and certified arborist who lives and gardens in the desert Southwest. She is the CEO and owner of 'AZ Plant Lady,' an education company that aims to help people garden successfully in the desert climate. She is the author of the book, Dry Climate Gardening, and her byline has appeared in publications such as Birds & Blooms and Phoenix Home & Garden magazine. She is an instructor at the Desert Botanical garden and Tucson Botanical Gardens.