Home chefs, gardeners, and just about anyone in cold climates during the winter can regularly have problems with dry, cracked cuticles. This soothing balm is packed with a herbal blend that will mend those cracks and make hands soft again.
Moms love to get handmade presents from their children. The time and love that goes into creating the present exudes priceless thought and consideration. Whether you’re 2 or 42, here are 21 handmade gift ideas sure to brighten her day.
For moms who love the garden you can surprise her with garden-inspired creations like 1. Block Printed Tea Towels, 2. a Hanging Globe Terrarium 3. Lavender Sachets 4. Serenity Now! DIY Lavender Eye Pillows, or 5. a Salad Bowl Terrarium.
Some moms need a little pampering. Whip up some of these recipes from the Natural Skincare Series and present it in a vintage mason jar. 6. Easy Homemade Bath Salts, 7. DIY Bath Bombs, 8. Simple Sugar Scrub, 9. Cold-Process All-Natural Handmade Soap, 10. Hemp & Honey Lip Balm, 11. Mango Citrus Body Butter
If making crafts just isn’t your thing here are some gorgeous handmade items available on Etsy that any gardening mom would love. UPDATE: a few shops are offering discounts to Garden Therapy readers which is listed after the item link – woo woo!
12. Spring Garden Grass Green Half Demi Half Apron $30.00 (Use Coupon Code GARDENTHERAPY and save 15% on aprons and other stuff in http://www.akitschykitchen.com shop), 13. Keep Calm Spoon Plant Garden Marker $10.00, 14. Mini Patio Mix Kit For Miniature Gardens $16.95
15. Garden Therapy Handmade Sunflower Photo Print Pillow $80.00 (use code SPRING for 10% off), 16. Coin purse – Autumn Patchwork print $23.00, 17. Green Leaf Earrings $22.50, 18. Fabric Flower Brooch Pin Yellow Poppy $10.00, 19. Oat and Poppy Scrub Soap $10.00
20. DIY Succulent Wreath Kit $45.00.
If you are looking for the perfect gift for Mother’s Day that says, “you are my sunshine”, check out the Garden Therapy Handmade shop. Order now through May 3rd to ensure your purchase will arrive in time to make it for Mom’s big day and use the code “SPRING” for 10% off your entire order.
Garden Therapy Handmade pillows are made from fabric designed with photographs from my garden. Macro imagery of each flower has been carefully giclée-printed on a gorgeous a linen-cotton blend. The fabric is sturdy and the print is washable making this truly art you can use. For more information, please visit the Garden Therapy Handmade Shop.
Purple and green Oxalis planted in painted mason jars make a modern arrangement for this St. Patrick’s Day.
St. Patrick’s Day typically reminds folks of leprechauns, green beer, Ireland, and shamrocks: the symbol seen on green-felt fedoras. But I’m a plant nerd so I think about the shamrock from a botanical point (and I try not to remember those nights drinking green beer). The symbol of Ireland is the three-leaf old white clover, Trifolium repens, which is common in North America and Europe in grassy areas as well as a pasture crop. I fondly remember summer days as a child searching for a lucky four-leaf clover lying in park grass. While many launch a year long fight to get clover out of their lawns, I’m happy to leave it blooming for the bees and give the lawn a rich green colour.
There are a few other three-leaf herbaceous plants that share the Shamrock moniker my favourite being Oxalis. Native to South America and Africa, this genus of over 500 species are often grown as ornamental plants in home gardens or as houseplants.
Oxalis in my garden in tucked in shady woodland areas where it generally hides from the camera. To get a few better shots and really enjoy the beauty of the plant, I picked up a few from the garden centre to use in my spring arrangements.
Oxalis regnellii is typically grown in this zone (7-8) as a houseplant due to its vulnerability to frost. Pale lavender to white flowers bloom regularly on healthy plants given plenty of light but away from direct sunlight.
With Oxalis regnellii ‘Atropurpurea’, the blooms are hardly worth considering when compared to the dark eggplant foliage, often with brighter purple centre leaf margins.
Inspired by the colour palette provided by the two false shamrocks, I created a St. Patty’s day floral arrangement using painted mason jars as planters and as a case for some deep purple tulips.
Painted Mason Jar Tutorial
- Mason jar(s)
- Latex house paint
- Craft paint
- Foam paint brush
- Flowers / plants
This is a simple project that I have seen done with spray paint. I chose to tint some leftover latex trim paint as : a) I had some, b) I wasn’t keen on the fumes from the spray, and c) I wanted more control over the colour.
Simply mix up the colour that you want by added craft paint into the latex pain in a yogurt container. Mix really well then pour a little into your mason jar. Use the brush to paint the inside evenly and leave to dry. Apply a second coat if necessary. One coat is shown here.
To make into a planter, fit a plastic nursery container containing your plant onto the top. Ensure there is a little lip holding it on the edge so you can remove it when necessary.
To make a vase, insert a thin glass vase into the painted jar.
Choosing interesting shapes and patterned jars will add even more interest to the project. I like the simplicity of them on my fireplace mantle where they contrast with the painting.
It has also been quite fun to watch the Oxalis “go to sleep” at night, or rather the leaves droop down as a result of nyctinasty, a plant’s chemical response to the onset of darkness that causes the leaves to tuck in for the night. It gives these guys a bit of personality which may leave you unconsciously whispering at night as to not disturb them.
Thanks for visiting this weekend’s project.
What’s better than a gift that sprouts up beautiful flowers or yummy veggies when planted? For this weekend project you’ll make plantable seed paper then turn it into Valentine’s day cards.
- 8-10 sheets of shredded paper
- 1 packet of seeds
- 1 heaping tbsp dried lavender or other dried flowers / leaves
- Old towels, strainer, blender
- Stencils or cookie cutters of woodland creatures
- Card stock
- Scissor, glue, etc.
1. Shred or tear up a bunch of paper. Scrap paper, old craft paper, anything without a glossy finish will work best. To get coloured paper like the pink shown in this project, add one sheet of shredded red paper to the mix. Place paper in a big bowl or the sink and soak in warm water for 45 minutes to an hour. The paper should be soft and break apart easily at the end of the hour.
2. Scoop paper into a blender, filled about halfway full and scoop a cup or so of the water it was soaking in into the blender. Pulse a few times until you get a mushy pulp like that shown here. Add more water as needed to get this consistency.
3. Pour pulp through a strainer to remove some of the moisture. Don’t squeeze it all out or your paper will not form together very well.
4. Add the seeds and dried flowers and gently mix. Shown here are lavender buds, bergamot petals, and dried mint leaves for flecks of interest in the paper. Radicchio, Rhubarb chard, and Alta Globe radishes are the seeds I have chosen as each will produce an edible red plant and they can be planted at the same time (started inside now and they can be moved to the garden once they have true leaves). Other good choices are flower mixes, like butterfly or bee blends that attract pollinators to the garden and produce a variety of flowers.
5. Set up a few towels on a flat surface where you can leave the paper for a day or more to dry. Dump the pulp out onto the towel and spread out gently patting paper. You can use a rolling pin to flatten the paper out a bit, but be gentle as to not crush the seeds or break the pulp. Leave undisturbed to dry.
6. Trace and cut out woodland creatures out of the dry seed paper. Decorate cards with cute messages and with a few little glue dots, affix seed paper critter. Include instructions on how to plant the seed paper by copy /pasting or writing the following on the card back:
The critter on this card is made of plantable seed paper containing radicchio, Rhubarb chard & Alta Globe radish seeds.
Directions for Planting
Rip seed paper into many small pieces and spread throughout the garden or in a pot filled with good potting soil. Cover with 1” of soil and water regularly until you get yummy veggies.
Now making your own lavender eye pillow is not a unique concept but add linen, popcorn, an ink jet printer, and a just a dash of Seinfeld, and you got yourself a fun & funky Weekend Project, baby!
The concept behind this DIY came from 4 different ideas melded into one relaxing project:
2. I had some left over popcorn from making door socks a few weeks ago. Popcorn has the perfect weight and feel for eye pillows, it doesn’t go rancid like flax and some other fillers, and it’s cheap. Also, you can heat it in the microwave (so I hear) and it won’t pop. Now since I don’t have a microwave, I can only assume that it won’t pop because you won’t heat it long enough. So microwave for only 30 seconds or so and let me know how it turns out.
Materials for one eye pillow:
- linen or other scrap fabric measuring 10”x 10”
- 1 cup dried popcorn
- 1 heaping tbsp dried lavender
- Ink jet printer
- Freezer Paper
- Sewing machine or needle and thread
1. First, fold your fabric in half and print one of the sides following the directions here. That being said, I didn’t follow that tutorial, I just taped the fabric to a sheet of paper and fed it through my printer. Let me be clear, I DO NOT RECOMMEND doing it that way. It worked beautifully for me, but it can really mess up your printer so unless, like me, you want to print on fabric more than you care about your printer, do not try it at home.
2. Fold and iron a hem on the sides of the fabric.
3. Folding the fabric so that the back is on the outside (print inside), sew the long side of the together. Turn right side out and sew one of the ends together.
4. Fill the bag with 1 generous cup of popcorn and 1 heaping tablespoon of lavender. Adjust quantities for your personal tastes.
5. Push all the filling toward the end of the bag, and pin about halfway to help prevent popcorn from creeping towards the open end. Sew the open end closed and you’re all done!
Thanks for visiting for the weekend’s project.
I’m proud to say that all of my holiday shopping is done, wrapped, and mailed. I know, I know, many of you may be cursing me right now. But I’ve been preparing for this all year. Those of you who follow Garden Therapy know I love to make things inspired by the natural elements found in the garden: jam, pickles, candles, soap, bath bombs, etc. Now there all sorts of pretty little jars of homemade goodness all over the house, stashed for when some wonderful person invites us to dinner or has a need for a gift. When the holidays come around, I focus on making a few very special things for the people in my life and pull together gift boxes filled with homemade treasures.
If you are looking to pull together some last minute gifts for loved ones, for hostesses, or friends and co-workers, here is a selection of tutorials or recipes that you could work on one evening and have done in just a few hours. Many of the materials you just may have around the house. I’ve added a few suggestions or notes here to help get you on your way.
- Homemade Bourbon Cranberry Sauce Recipe - all of these common ingredients you should be able to pick up when you do your regular shopping. Plus there are some printable labels in this project that will really finish it off with style.
- Soy Beeswax Jar Candles - if you have some old candles you can remelt them and pour them into the jars – just grab some wicks at your local craft store.
- Beeswax Flower Mason Jar Candles - this project is best done if you have a wicks and wax store you know of where you can buy the supplies. But it’s easy once you have all the materials and looks impressive.
- DIY Bath Bombs - know where to buy citric acid and witch hazel? Then you’ve done most of the work! Use ice cube trays as the mould and you’ll end up with cool rectangular bath tablets.
- Simple Sugar Scrub Recipe - only 3 ingredients needed: almond oil (check your natural food store, mine came from Trader Joe’s), sugar, and essential oils. Easy peasy.
- Easy Homemade Bath Salts Recipe - you probably have everything you need at home. If not, check your drugstore. Skip the lavender flowers if you don’t have any and use mint or chamomile tea leaves instead.
- Gardening For Your Front Door: Making Fresh Wreaths - get outside and clip some of your shrubs, wrap around a wire hanger (like in this project), and secure with a string of Christmas lights. A pretty and festive gift.
The final icing on the cake is the wrapping. Pretty bows, candy canes, cheery messages are an important part of spreading holiday cheer. It’s what makes the receiver’s eyes light up, and communicates the effort that went into the homemade package. Since most of these projects are in mason jars, here are some printable holiday labels and matching tags.
- Garden Therapy GIFT TAGS Holiday RED & TEAL
- Garden Therapy 2 Inch Canning Labels Holiday RED & TEAL
- Garden Therapy 2.5 Inch Canning Labels Holiday RED and TEAL
Please enjoy these labels as our gift to you. Print on label paper and cut out with a large craft punch or scissors. Add some ribbons, raffia, or tissue paper and you are all set to dress up your projects.
Wishing you all a wonderful holiday with your friends and family.
Love those awesome fizzing bath bombs but don’t want to spend $6 a piece? It’s easy to make your own with natural ingredients that soften your skin.
As this recipe is part of the Natural Skincare Series the ingredients are natural and safe. While there are many other recipes that recommend using synthetic fragrance and coloring, there are many options available that are 100% natural and will not harm you when absorbed into your skin.
You can feel confident that when you use these natural products, or give them as gifts, that they are healthy for the body.
Ingredients / Materials:
- 2 cups baking soda
- 1 cup citric acid
- 100% pure witch hazel
- spray bottle
- 10-20 drops of 100% pure essential oils (do not use fragrance for any bath or body products)
- natural colorant (green=spirulina, yellow=turmeric, purple=ratanjot)
- plastic moulds
1. In a large bowl, measure in the baking soda, citric acid and mix well.
2. Add a 1/2 teaspoon of coloring and mix well. Add more colouring if you want a deeper colour, but keep in mind that too much coloring will leave a ring in your tub, so go easy. The color will become more pronounced when you add the witch hazel anyhow.
3. Add 20-30 drops of essential oils and mix well.
4. Using an atomizer or spray bottle filled with which hazel, spray the entire surface of the powder mix and mix with your hands. Keep spraying and mixing rapidly until the mixture holds together when scrunched with your hand (think of making snowballs).
5. Working quickly, firmly press mixture into moulds. You can use soap-making moulds, chocolate moulds, ice cube trays, or even plastic Christmas tree ornaments that snap into two parts. The key is that they are plastic and large enough for the bath bomb to combine and set.
6. Gently tap the mould so that the bath bomb releases and carefully lay on a towel or tray to dry. To make a round bath bomb, over-fill two moulds and press them together firmly before tapping the mould to release the bath bomb.
7. Let the bath bombs dry for 30 minutes or until they are firm and won’t fall apart.
Tip: use the extra powder from the bowl and counter and shake it into carpets or rugs, then vacuum. Instant deodorizing!
Making fragrant jars of homemade bath salts couldn’t be easier. In vintage mason jars, bath salts look beautiful on display and make wonderful gifts. Here is a recipe to make your own as part of the Natural Skincare Series.
- Epsom salts
- 100% pure lavender essential oil (not fragrance)
- dried lavender
- vintage mason jars