Secret Santa Gift Ideas From The Garden

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There’s nothing more special than a Christmas gift that you made yourself from materials out of your own garden. Here are a few gift-giving ideas that are inexpensive, unique and require only a little talent and creativity to put together.

Sachets

One way to turn your herbal harvest into a special Santa gift is to make homemade sachets. Start by drying some fragrant herbs such as lavender, rosemary, lemon verbena or mint. Spices such as cinnamon or cloves can also be used. Or, add a citrus punch with dried orange, grapefruit or lemon peels. It’s easy to make a sachet:

  • To make one sachet, cut two pieces of fabric into either same sized circles or squares.
  • Match the right sides together and sew around the edge. Be sure to leave an opening that is large enough for the herbal filling.
  • Turn the fabric inside out, so the inside of the fabric is now showing, inclosing the stitching inside.
  • Fill the sachet with the herbal mixture and sew the opening closed.

Herbal Bath Teas

Do you know someone that enjoys a relaxing bath? Pick a few more herbs, dry the herbs and whip together a tub tea bag. Bath teas are best if soothing herbs, such as lavender or chamomile, are used. To make an herbal bath tea:

  • Dry the selected herbs.
  • Place an ounce of the dried herbs in the center of a round coffee filter.
  • Gather the ends of the coffee filter and tie with waxed twine to make the tea bag.


Seasoning Mixes

Cooks will enjoy a Santa gift from the garden. Dried herbs can be packaged in Mason jars and given as seasonings. Here are a couple of recipes.

To make a seasoning for pasta sauces, mix the following:

  • 4 parts dried basil
  • 2 parts dried oregano
  • 1 part dried thyme
  • 1 part dried garlic
  • 1 bay leaf

For a dry rub for barbeques, mix together:

  • 3 parts dried basil
  • 2 parts dried oregano
  • 2 parts dried rosemary
  • 1 part dried savory


Flavored Vinegars

Another Santa gift for the cook is a bottle of homemade herbal vinegar. Make your herbal vinegars special by bottling the vinegar in a decorative bottle. Here’s how:

  • Place clean and dry herbs in a clean jar and fill the jar with vinegar. Use a quality vinegar such as white wine vinegar.
  • Put a lid on the jar and store in a cool and dark place for two weeks.
  • Strain the vinegar and throw the used herbs in the compost pile.
  • Pour the vinegar into clean bottles. Add some fresh herbs or chili peppers to the vinegar for decoration.
  • Seal the bottles.

Seed Packets

If you have a special or exotic plant or vegetable growing in your garden, save the seeds. The seeds can be packaged into decorative envelopes and decorated. To make your seed packet even more special, add growing and care instructions along with a photograph of the plant.

Dried Flower Arrangements

For the flower lover, give a gift of everlasting flowers. There are many types of flowers that can be dried and used in dried floral arrangements. Amaranth, hydrangea, strawflowers and statice make a colorful arrangement. To add some fragrance to a dried flower arrangement, add some herbal scents such as lavender or cinnamon basil.

Handmade Stationery

Flowers, herbs and leaves can be pressed and used to create handmade cards and stationery. The best type of plant material is flat and not bulky. Materials such as pansies, rose petals, ferns, bay leaves, larkspur and Queen Anne’s lace are easy to press. To make the pressed flowers, place clean plant material between two sheets of paper and put a heavy book on top. Let sit for a couple of weeks. When your pressed flowers are dry, the flowers can be arranged on a variety of objects to make decorative Santa gifts. Here are a few suggestions:

  • Greeting cards
  • Framed artwork
  • Medallions
  • Candles
Last Updated: December 12, 2012
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About Coletta Teske Coletta Teske has 25 years' experience in tech journalism, as well as home and gardening topics. She has freelanced for Fortune 500 companies such as Boeing and Microsoft, published more than two dozen computer books for Prima Publishing and Macmillan, and worked as a freelance correspondent for West Hawaii Today. Coletta has been an avid gardener since she was 2 years old. While living in Hawaii, she achieved a lifelong dream of becoming a certified master gardener.

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