Five last minute green gifts you can make

Don’t have a minute to spare and still need to get that special someone a gift? Here are five DIY gift ideas that won’t break the bank or hurt the environment this holiday season:

Sugar Scrubs

Possibly the simplest thing to make, the base of all good sugar scrubs are, you guessed it, sugar. Any sort of sugar works, but you can experiment with different kinds (like brown or cane sugar) to see what you like best. To make a simple scrub, just combine sugar and olive oil in a jar. If you want to get fancy, you can add lavender, vanilla, almond, peppermint, or citrus essential oils to your scrub for scent. Add as much of each ingredient as needed. To decorate the jar, you can tie a bow on it, buy a chalkboard sticker at Michael’s, or draw/label your jar using sharpies.


Transform an old wine vase, or any glass bottle for that matter, into a beautiful vase with acrylic paint. Get creative and wing it. You can make it holiday-themed or just design something you know the other person will love. When you’re done, and it’s dry, you can fill it with candy or little folded notes, depending on how big the hole is.

 Gardening Gift

Know someone who loves to get their hands dirty? Take an old terra cotta pot and saucer, or buy them for cheap at a craft store, and paint them with acrylic paint. Use whatever fun design you want and get as creative as you like. Then, once it dries, put potting soil in the pot and place a packet of seeds on top. If you’re feeling really creative, grab a rock from outside, paint it, and then write the name of the seeds you bought on it, such as carrots, so they can identify their plant once it’s planted. Take the saucer and put it on top of the pot, making sure to cover it. Tie them together with a ribbon.

Peppermint Lip Balm

To stave off cracked lips, try making this simple concoction. All you need is 1 tablespoon of coconut oil, 1 tablespoon of beeswax, one tablespoon of olive oil, and 8-10 drops of peppermint essential oil. Heat the coconut oil, beeswax, and olive oil together until thoroughly melted. Turn off the heat and add the peppermint essential oil, mixing it thoroughly. Carefully pour the liquid into a small container of your choice (you can probably get one at CVS or a craft store for cheap). Let sit until cool (approximately 30 minutes).

 Customize a blank mug

You can find one in your cabinet you don’t use or go get one for cheap at a dollar store. Using sharpies, you can write and draw whatever you want on the mug. Perhaps some cute saying like, “I love you”, “Obligatory Christmas Mug (Available for use from December 1- 31)”, “Happy Holidays”, “Slurp away” or “The Handy-Dandy Mug” will inspire you. Doubt your drawing skills? Worried your writing will stink? No worries: purchase some cheap letter stencils from a craft store to stay in the clear. The  part about this gift is that you can stuff goodies, like hard candies, chocolates, and cookies, into the mug too.

By Ariana Storniolo (Palmieri)

Ariana Storniolo is the founder of Greenify-Me, a blog dedicated to zero waste and sustainability. Her work has also been featured on Going Zero Waste, Green Matters, Mother Earth Living and several other online publications.

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