The short days and weak light of winter always have me feeling like I’m missing out on the beauty of nature. So I look for small ways to bring nature indoors.
Last year, I frosted alliums for holiday decor.
And every year, I start paperwhite bulbs indoors for the holidays.
For my annual DIY holiday wreath, I usually forage my neighborhood for the materials.
When it comes to holiday decor, give me nature over man-made glitz.
Shopping My Own Garden
So last year, I shopped my own garden for natural materials to make “bows” and decorations to use with my holiday gift wrap. These little package adornments were fun to make, unique, and nature friendly. And they cost me almost nothing.
And today, I’m sharing my two favorites.
A Boxwood Mini-Wreath
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I cut short twigs from our boxwood hedge for this buttoned-up little wreath that measured just 5 1/2 inches in diameter.
To make it, I bent 19-gauge steel wire into a 3 1/2-inch diameter circle. Then I used brass-colored beading wire to wrap two-inch lengths of boxwood to the wire circle. Of course, since I was working with wire, I wore gloves.
I had to work with it for a while to get it right. I tucked in additional boxwood sprigs where it still looked thin.
Then I tied it up with a bow made of narrow cloth ribbon.
Simple, and it looked so nice on the package. But it could also be used as an ornament.
For a bow that smelled fresh and wonderful, I used rosemary sprigs and bay leaves from the garden and then added a couple of sticks of cinnamon.
I tied them into an attractive bundle and simply taped the bundle to the package.
Since the the fragrance bow consisted of herbs and cinnamon, it was a nice garnish for a kitchen-themed gift.
These gift wrap decorations were eco-friendly because, once the ribbons and wires were removed, they could be composted. Or, in the case of the bay leaves, they could be used to lend flavor to a roast or a stew.
So if I can make nature-inspired bows, why not wrap up a few nature-inspired gifts?
And especially since, often times, natural or eco-friendly gifts are made by small companies of artisans. I’d be helping to support the “little guy,” and I always love that.
Here are just a few of the gift ideas that have me dreaming today.
Gifts for Warmth and Comfort
These comfy-looking Merino sheep woolen natural slippers by MerinosShop are treated with Lanolin. I can’t vouch for the science, but Lanolin, a natural wax, is said to help relieve inflammation.
I’m guessing even the woman who has everything might not have these natural yak woolen gloves by Handcombed.
An Oatmeal and Honey Deluxe Bath Bomb by CopperCatApothecary would make a fun stocking stuffer for someone who needs a little pampering.
Gifts for the Cook/Baker
It seems embossed rolling pins are everywhere this year. This “Herbs” rolling pin by MoodForWood is designed and made in Poland using wood from environmentally responsible sources.
These spools of biodegradable, eco-friendly cotton baker’s twine by DoltYarns would make wonderful – and affordable – hostess gifts or stocking stuffers for the cooks or crafters on my list.
I love the look of BackBayPottery’s four-cup batter bowl, which is handmade in California.
Gifts for the Bird Watcher
I’d never heard of bird nesters before, but they seem like a great way to attract birds to the garden by providing them with fibers to build their nests. And some bird nesters are also very decorative – like this llama fiber bird nester by FoxHillLlamas.
This spiral birdseed wreath by PartyInTheBarn would make a cute stocking stuffer for the bird watcher on my list.
And in case you’re looking for a little more holiday gift wrap inspiration, check out these easy holiday gift wrap ideas.
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