Photo by Chris Casella

GIY: Gift It Yourself

Here are three super easy (I PROMISE!) handmade holiday gift ideas that anyone can make! I would even go as far to say that I would bet that you have a handful of the materials already on hand at home in a drawer somewhere. These make great gifts for any person in your life, holiday or no holiday, and no matter what their gender or beliefs are. And sometimes, it’s just nice to give somebody something you made for no reason. And it’s a pretty beautiful feeling to make someone else feel good with something you made yourself.

Give these DIYs a try, and double your recipes so you can treat yourself too.

Photo by Chris Casella

Photo by Chris Casella

Geode and Rock Display

I have a pretty extensive collection of geodes and rocks that my brother and I started in our childhood, so I decided to pick out some favorites, freshen them up, and update their display into a bit more of a personalized visual reminder for my loved ones.


• Assortment of geodes, rocks, crystals, minerals (even seashells or burls of interesting wood—there is no right or wrong here)

• Wire (I went with a thicker, easy to manipulate gold floral wire available at any craft store or nursery)

• Photos or whatever little loving memory you choose to display (think: old postcard, favorite quote, Polaroid…)

Clip the wire however long you want the “neck” of the display to be, plus extra to wrap around the geode/rock, and about an inch on top for the actual secured bit. There is no right or wrong here in terms of height, it’s up to whatever you dig. Wrap the wire around the rock, secure it around the base, and curl the top of the wire around at least 2-3 times to create an almost paperclip-like secured curly-q for your photo or whatever sweet momento you choose to display. Ta-da! You created an updated photo display from a beautiful piece of nature. 

Photos by Chris Casella

Photos by Chris Casella

Air Plant Wreath

Tillandsias (air plants) are awesome. They are a type of Bromeliad, which is just a fancy way of saying a pretty, kill-proof plant that doesn’t require to be planted in soil. They absorb their necessary moisture and nutrients through their leaves. Which means, you can make an adorable living wreath that is super easy to care for and makes a stunning statement in your home. This is a great way to freshen up those pesky, plastic, wirey Christmas wreaths you got on sale in 2002 and lug in and out of storage once a year. The only care your air plants require are an hour-long dunk bath once a week. That’s it! I promised, right?


• Selection of air plants (there’s no right or wrong here—choose many or a few, the same variations or different—really, it’s up to you)

• Grapevine wreath (available at any craft store or nursery)

• Reindeer moss (available at any craft store or nursery)

• Hot glue gun

I picked out an assortment of different green colored reindeer moss to keep it in the holiday spirit (and timely year-round). I played around with its placement with the air plants on top of the wreath, and once I liked the way it looked, removed the air plants and put a few super small dabs of glue on the back of the moss and glued the patches of moss to the wreath. Because air plants don’t require soil, their roots mostly serve as support for he plant, so you can gently nestle your air plant into the reindeer moss and grapevine wreath, and the little buddy should be safely secured amongst your beautiful air plant wreath and yet still removable for its weekly baths.

Photo by Chris Casella

Photo by Chris Casella

Apothecary Bath Shots

I strongly believe that a nice bath will pretty much fix, if not momentarily relieve you, from any bad vibes. And most times, we don’t take the time to pimp out our own baths, treat ourselves to a little rest and relaxation, and give ourselves the time to take in good vibes. Bath timeouts with an Apothecary Bath Shot are kind gestures so small and sweet and something that anyone can appreciate at any time.


• Assortment of apothecary bottles (available at any craft store or most health food markets in pharmacy area)

• Epsom salts

• Dried lavender

• Rosa damascena petals and buds

• Geranium essential oil

• Lavender essential oil

*note: for every cup of Epsom salt, use about five drops of essential oil)

Mix together all of your ingredients—I chose geranium, rose, and lavender because not only do the three mixed together create a beautiful aromatic experience, but lavender is great for soothing and calming, geranium can relieve stress and depression and reduce inflammation, and rose helps stimulate the senses and and increase well-being. Feel free to explore other essential oils and herbal/floral combinations–the sky is the limit. Once you have found the combination you dig, mix the ingredients together in a mixing bowl and fill your apothecary bottles with the bath soak mixture. I topped mine off with some extra dried lavender and wrapped them with little tags and twine. They make excellent gifts for anyone because we can all use a little extra self-love and self-care.