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
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.
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!
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.