Nothing says "I love you" more during the holidays than a little something crafted with the heart and hands. Sure, that new pair of merino wool socks is a great gift (you're talking to some die hard Darn Tough fans), but there's a just a little more magic in those trinkets and treats we put some time and creativity into.
Year after year, our loved ones are so immensely smitten by the sweet little custom gifts we create, from teas to carefully curated adventures out in nature. Not to mention, you can actually make something really quite wonderful on a modest budget. Again, it's the love and intention that really makes give-giving priceless. So, in a year where we're all maybe doing a little less in-person shopping and leaning into our creative nests and kitchens, we'd thought we'd share some of our favorite, budget-friendly handmade holiday creations. Trust us, your loved ones will be completely delighted.
What You'll Need:
Glass (preferred) or plastic clear ornament - we like antique-looking ones with tear drop bottoms, like the one in the photo above.
A selection of dried herbs and flowers such as calendula, chamomile, lavender buds, rose petals, pine needles, rose hips etc (The skies the limit here!)
A small funnel (optional)
Ribbon or lace (optional)
Wire for hanging
Select your herbs and prepare them in separate bowls
Using a funnel, if you have one, carefully add the herb material through the top of the ornament. Take care to not push too hard to avoid cracking. Some gentle shaking may help ease plant material through the opening. Mix and match your herbs - you can even make a blend for drinking as future tea, such as tulsi, rose, and milky oats!
Firmly cap the ornament with the cap provided. Add your wire hanger and a ribbon if desired.
Viola! Herb magic!
CBD Aromatherapy Rollers
What You'll Need:
Carrier oil of choice - we like sunflower, hemp seed oil, jojoba or apricot kernel. Extra virgin oil is also a great option that is probably already in your kitchen! Note: whatever oil you choose, make sure it is liquid - solid oils, such as coconut, will gum up your roller bottle, so best to skip it for this one.
Essential Oils - You can tailor this to your loved ones preference, or for whatever goal you're trying to achieve. You can also just use what you have on hand!
For a relaxing blend try lavender, sweet orange, clary sage, and spikenard.
For a focus blend try a combo of peppermint, rosemary, pine, and vetiver.
For an energizing blend think of citrus/grapefruit, bergamot, ginger, and pine.
For a respiratory blend, use eucalyptus, rosemary, pine, and peppermint.
10ml Glass Roller Bottles - Available at some craft stores, health food stores, or online. You can also up-cycle ones you already have, just sanitize thoroughly before re-using.
Hillside Botanicals (600mg) Full Spectrum CBD Oil -optional
Measure out the desired amount of oil. For (6) 10 ml bottles, use 60 ml, or 2 ounces. As a rule of thumb, generally you can say 30ml = 1 oz.
Add your essential oils. You can either do this by adding directly to each roller bottle, or to your carrier oil if you are making one batch of the same blend. For topical aromatherapy use, you will want to use a 2-2.5% dilution, or 1% for children or elders. A 2.5% dilution equates to 15 drops per ounce of carrier oil, or 5 drops per 10ml
If adding CBD oil, add it to directly to the 10ml bottle to dose appropriately. We suggest adding 1-2ml (10-20mg CBD) to your bottle. Then pour your carrier oil in to fill the remainder of the bottle.
Tightly cap and shake. Don't forget to label!
To use: Roll onto wrists, temples, or gently under nose to encourage aromatic bliss. Note: It's always a good idea to encourage folks to do a skin test before applying fully to ensure there is no allergic reaction.
Solstice Spa Balls
What You'll Need:
Glass or clear plastic ornament.
1 part organic rolled oats (gluten free if your person is sensitive to gluten!)
1 part salt(s) of choice - Himalayan pink sea salt, Celtic sea salt, Epsom salt. Sky's the limit!
1 part organic dried herbs such as rose petals, lavender buds, rosemary, evergreen needles, and calendula flowers.
Essential oils (optional) diluted in 1 ounce carrier oil. Use a 2.5% dilution.
Biodegradable tea bags, cheese cloth, or small mesh bags (optional, but helps avoid a tub mess when using in the bath)
Remove the cap from your chosen ornaments
Working in stages to create a layered effect, add oats, salt, and herbs. You can do multiple alternating layers, or simply make it appear as three layers.
If you are choosing to use essential oils, make sure they are diluted in a carrier oil - up to 1 ounce. Blend that into the salt blend before adding to your ornament.
Cap your ornament and add a ribbon, if desired.
To Use: Add 1 - 2 generous tablespoons spoonfuls to a biodegradable tea bag, cheese cloth (tied off), or small mesh bags - this will help avoid making a mess in the tub! Add to warm bath and allow to steep for a few minutes before hopping in and enjoying a splendid spa experience.
Garden Party Culinary Oil
What You'll Need:
Culinary oil of choice - Use EVOO for salad dressings or a finishing oil. Use oils with a higher smoke point, such as sunflower or avocado oil, for a cooking oil.
Flavoring herbs - We like adding a couple sprigs of fresh rosemary, fresh garlic, sage, thyme, and a little bit of dried chiles for some added heat.
Sanitized glass bottle with cap
Add your herbs to your chosen bottle. This part is kind of an intuitive step - add as much or as little as you like. You can always start small and adjust to taste. For a 12-16 ounce bottle, we usually add 1 springs of fresh rosemary, 1-2 cloves of fresh garlic (knick them with a knife or roughly chop before adding), 1 tsp each of dried sage and thyme, and 1 small dried chile.
Carefully pour your chosen oil to the top of the neck of the bottle - leave 1-2" of headspace
Cap and gently shake.
Let the oil sit for at least 2 weeks to allow the flavors to develop. Use as desired for culinary favorites. Store in a cool, dark place.
There you have it, a full repertoire of easy and fun holiday and Winter Solstice creations to share with your friends, family, and neighbors! Wherever this holiday season finds you, we hope it is with good health and a heart of gratitude for the little things.