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15 Delightful DIY Gifts for Homesteaders and Gardeners

Let’s face it – gift giving can be hard.

How many times have you plastered on a fake smile and forced an, “Oh, this is…nice,” over a gift you weren’t super-chuffed about?

Or on the other side of that coin, have you ever visited a friend and found your gift, pushed aside, unused and unappreciated?

As if things weren’t hard enough already, homesteaders and gardeners tend to be practical folks. Most of them lean towards the “less is more” lifestyle.

So, when holidays and birthdays roll around, it can be downright headache-inducing figuring out a meaningful gift to give these folks.

I’ve put together this list of wonderful homemade gifts for the gardeners and homesteaders in your life.

Specially curated with usefulness and thoughtfulness in mind, these gifts are sure to bring a smile to your loved ones face each time they use them and think of you.

Before you dive into cooking and crafting away, I encourage you to put some thought into who you are giving the gift to and why.

So often, people approach homemade gift options with a one-size-fits-all mentality. Ask yourself if the person receiving the gift would actually use it. If not, save yourself the time and go with something else.

Take the time to add a small note; it makes a homemade gift even more personal. After all, isn’t that what gift-giving is about – showing someone you care.

For instance, homemade hand salve for the homesteader, “My Darling, use this salve to keep those strong wood-splitting hands soft enough for me to hold on our walks together. Love, your sweetie.”

A homemade bootjack to remove muddy boots at the back door. “Dear Bro-in-law, I hope this handy bootjack will keep the floors mud-free and you out of hot water with the wife! Love, your Sis-in-law P.S. Your nephews stained it all by themselves!”

You get the idea, just something to personalize your gift and show them they are special to you, and worth the effort of a homemade gift.

I’m sure you’ll find something here for even the most pragmatic homesteader or gardener!

1. Pine Needle Fire Starters

Pine needle fire starters

Give a basketful of homemade pine needle fire starters (#15 on the list) to those with a woodstove or fireplace.

For the truly practical recipient, skip the basket and use a cardboard box. They can burn the box when the fire starters are all gone.

2. Homemade Bootjack

How about a homemade bootjack for the gardener with muddy boots? You can make this simple bootjack over a weekend, and it will last your loved one a lifetime.

3. Homemade Pickling Spices

Chances are if you know a gardener, you know someone who also makes their own pickles. Gift them a jar of homemade pickling spices, and you may find yourself gifted with a jar of homemade pickles next summer!

4. DIY Bath Salts

How about a gift for when the workday is done?

Any hardworking gardener or homesteader is sure to love a long soak in a nice hot tub filled with soothing bath salts.

Use this DIY bath salts recipe to create the perfect blend. The recipe starts with a base of Epsom salt, which is magnesium sulfate.

Magnesium is excellent for tired, achy, and cramped muscles and promotes relaxation and good sleep as well.

While the recipe says you can use food coloring, I like to skip the food coloring, opting for a more natural product overall. Some great scent combinations are lavender and mint, bergamot and pine, and peppermint and orange.

5. Five Gallon Bucket Garden Tool Organizer

If you’re handy with a sewing machine, consider whipping up a 5-gallon bucket gardening tool organizer for your favorite green thumb.

Don’t forget to purchase a lid along with the bucket so your gardener can sit on their tool caddy while they are busy weeding.

This is just one of many uses for a five gallon bucket in the garden and on the homestead.

6. Sourdough Starter

How about a gift for the tiny home homesteader?

If your beloved homesteader lives in a tiny home, show your consideration of their space-limitations with a gift they can consume.

Make a fresh loaf of homemade sourdough bread and a give them a jar of sourdough starter. Add in some homemade butter for their bread, and you’ve got a wonderfully comforting and delicious gift.

7. Mulling Spices

Many a homesteader is also a homebrewer, choosing to create their own mead, hard cider, and wine from their harvest.

A jar of homemade mulling spices for them to add their homebrews is a tasty and warming way to brighten someone’s holidays.

8. Seed Packets

Saving seeds is becoming increasingly popular among gardeners these days.

Create some beautifully made seed packets for them to store their preserved seeds in.

Use pretty colored paper or the pages from an old seed catalog. I love this pattern because it’s origami style, so no glue or tape is needed; just a square template, scissors, a pen, and paper.

9. Hand Scrub

As anyone who works with their hands can tell you, getting them clean after the job is done can be challenging.

A good coconut oil-based hand scrub not only softens your hands but does a fantastic job at cleaning the grimiest hands. I use mine after decorating our Christmas tree as it even removes stubborn pine pitch.

Scent your scrub with peppermint or lavender essential oils for a delightful gift. These also make a great last-minute gift because of how quickly you can make up a batch.

10. Classic Cuffed Hat

Give this gift of warmth in the colder months.

If you’re a knitter, I highly suggest this easy and classic hat pattern from Purl Soho.

I’ve lost track of how many of these I’ve knit over the last few years. All I know is they keep your ears warm and are always well received. If you have kids around, enlist their help in making the pompoms, they are great fun!

11. Mittens

A nice warm pair of mittens is always a thoughtful gift in the winter.

If you don’t have time to knit, try this pattern for mittens made from an old sweater. This is a great gift idea for the whole family as you can usually make several pairs of mittens from one sweater.

Give the gift of matching mittens!

12. Herb Infused Skin Salve

Dry, uncomfortable, itchy skin is quite common in the wintertime.

Give your favorite gardener or homesteader the gift of dry skin relief. Make them an herbal-infused skin salve. A personal favorite herb to use is chamomile!

13. Sore Muscle Oil

Every gardener and homesteader knows all about sore, achy muscles.

Make them up a batch of horseradish massage oil to soothe even the achiest muscles. Mix two tablespoons of prepared horseradish with a cup of olive oil. Let sit for an hour and then strain through cheesecloth into a clean jar. Rub this oil into tired muscles for warming pain relief.

14. Garden Labels

Get the kiddos involved and create some colorful garden labels to give your favorite gardener. Have them decorate paint stirrers. This is an excellent gift for gardening grandparents!

15. Homemade Dog Treats

Don’t forget the dog!

And don’t forget a batch of homemade dog treats for the homesteading and gardener’s best friend.

My little four-legged helper is always by my side when I’m out digging in the dirt. And nothing says, “You’re special to me,” like remembering my dog with a gift too.

I guess we’re not such a tough crowd to figure out gifts for after all.

Each of these gift ideas is easy, quick, and inexpensive, and more importantly, they’re a great way to show someone you care.

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Tracey Besemer

Hey there, my name is Tracey. I’m the editor-in-chief here at Rural Sprout.

Many of our readers already know me from our popular Sunday newsletters. (You are signed up for our newsletters, right?) Each Sunday, I send a friendly missive from my neck of the woods in Pennsylvania. It’s a bit like sitting on the front porch with a friend, discussing our gardens over a cup of tea.

Originally from upstate NY, I’m now an honorary Pennsylvanian, having lived here for the past 18 years.

I grew up spending weekends on my dad’s off-the-grid homestead, where I spent much of my childhood roaming the woods and getting my hands dirty.

I learned how to do things most little kids haven’t done in over a century.

Whether it was pressing apples in the fall for homemade cider, trudging through the early spring snows of upstate NY to tap trees for maple syrup, or canning everything that grew in the garden in the summer - there were always new adventures with each season.

As an adult, I continue to draw on the skills I learned as a kid. I love my Wi-Fi and knowing pizza is only a phone call away. And I’m okay with never revisiting the adventure that is using an outhouse in the middle of January.

These days, I tend to be almost a homesteader.

I take an eclectic approach to homesteading, utilizing modern convenience where I want and choosing the rustic ways of my childhood as they suit me.

I’m a firm believer in self-sufficiency, no matter where you live, and the power and pride that comes from doing something for yourself.

I’ve always had a garden, even when the only space available was the roof of my apartment building. I’ve been knitting since age seven, and I spin and dye my own wool as well. If you can ferment it, it’s probably in my pantry or on my kitchen counter. And I can’t go more than a few days without a trip into the woods looking for mushrooms, edible plants, or the sound of the wind in the trees.

You can follow my personal (crazy) homesteading adventures on Almost a Homesteader and Instagram as @aahomesteader.

Peace, love, and dirt under your nails,