DIY Upcycled Gifts: Thoughtful and Eco-Friendly Presents

Are you struggling to think of unique and environmentally friendly gifts? With the rising trend of DIY upcycled gifts, more people are choosing handmade items over mass-produced goods.

This article will show you how to create sustainable and thoughtful presents that are also kind to our planet. Be prepared for a tsunami of creativity – let’s dive right in!

Key Takeaways

  • DIY upcycled gifts are a thoughtful and eco-friendly alternative to mass-produced presents.
  • Examples of sustainable DIY gifts include homemade bath salts, shower steamers, reusable tea bags, pressed flower candlesticks, stovetop potpourri, festive wreaths, macrame ornaments, finishing salts, homemade vanilla extract, candied nuts, and soup mix in a jar.
  • These DIY gift ideas promote sustainability by using recycled materials and reducing waste.
  • By making your own upcycled gifts, you can personalize them and create unique presents that leave a lasting impression.

Sustainable DIY Gifts for Personal Care Lovers

Create a luxurious spa experience at home with DIY bath salts, shower steamers, and reusable tea bags.

Bath Salts

Creating bath salts at home is fun. You just need three items. Sea salt, baking soda, and essential oil are the main parts. First, mix two parts of sea salt with one part baking soda. After that, stir in a few drops of your favorite essential oil for smell. Make sure to save old jars to store your bath salts. These jars can be from food like jam or pickles. Clean them well and they are ready to use again. Now you have a nice gift that is eco-friendly too!

Shower Steamers

Shower steamers are a great DIY gift idea that can provide a spa-like experience at home. These little fizzy tablets release essential oils when placed in the shower, creating a relaxing and invigorating aroma. With just a few simple ingredients, you can make your own shower steamers to give as thoughtful and eco-friendly presents. It’s a fun and creative way to upcycle and personalize your gifts while promoting sustainability. So why not try making some shower steamers for your loved ones this holiday season? They’ll appreciate the thoughtfulness and enjoy the luxurious experience in their showers.

Reusable Tea Bags

Reusable tea bags are a great DIY gift idea that is both sustainable and practical. They can be easily made using fabric scraps or old t-shirts, reducing waste and promoting eco-consciousness. With reusable tea bags, your loved ones can enjoy their favorite loose-leaf teas without the need for disposable tea bags. They are easy to clean and can be used again and again. Gift a set of reusable tea bags along with a selection of organic teas for a thoughtful and earth-friendly present.

Sustainable DIY Gifts for Home Decor

Create a cozy atmosphere with pressed flower candlesticks, stovetop potpourri, festive wreaths, and macrame ornaments.

Pressed Flower Candlesticks

Pressed flower candlesticks are a beautiful and eco-friendly DIY gift idea. You can easily create these unique candlesticks using dried flowers and old candle holders. Here’s how:

  1. Collect flowers: Gather a variety of flowers from your garden or local area. Choose flowers that are flat and thin, as they press better.
  2. Press the flowers: Place the flowers between wax paper or in a flower press, and apply pressure by stacking heavy books on top. Leave them pressed for about 1-2 weeks until fully dried.
  3. Prepare the candlesticks: Clean old candle holders or purchase plain ones from a thrift store. Ensure they are clean and dry before proceeding.
  4. Attach pressed flowers: Using craft glue or a hot glue gun, carefully attach the dried flowers to the candle holders in your desired arrangement. Be creative and experiment with different designs!
  5. Allow to dry: Let the glue dry completely before handling or wrapping the candlesticks.
  6. Package and gift: Once dry, wrap the candlesticks in eco-friendly packaging, such as recycled paper or fabric scraps, and give them to someone special.

Stovetop Potpourri

Stovetop potpourri is a wonderful DIY gift idea that will make any home smell amazing. It’s easy to make and can be customized with different scents. Here are some ideas for stovetop potpourri combinations that you can create:

  • Citrus Delight: Combine slices of oranges, lemons, and grapefruits with cinnamon sticks and cloves. This combination will give your home a fresh and uplifting scent.
  • Cozy Winter: Mix together apple slices, cranberries, cinnamon sticks, and a few drops of vanilla extract. This combination will create a warm and comforting aroma.
  • Refreshing Mint: Combine mint leaves, lemon slices, and a touch of eucalyptus essential oil. This combination will give your home a clean and invigorating scent.
  • Spiced Apple: Mix together apple slices, cinnamon sticks, cloves, and nutmeg. This combination will fill your home with the delicious scent of freshly baked apple pie.

Festive Wreath

Creating a festive wreath is a fun and eco-friendly DIY project for the holidays. Here are some ideas to inspire you:

  • Use natural materials like pinecones, twigs, and dried flowers to make a rustic and earthy wreath.
  • Repurpose old ornaments or use fabric scraps to create a colorful and unique wreath.
  • Get creative with upcycled materials like wine corks, bottle caps, or recycled paper to make an eco-conscious wreath.
  • Personalize your wreath by adding family photos, handwritten messages, or small trinkets that hold sentimental value.
  • Consider making a living wreath using succulents or other plants that can be planted after the holiday season.

Macrame Ornaments

Macrame ornaments are a lovely and eco-friendly addition to any holiday decor. They can be made using recycled materials, like old t-shirts or fabric scraps, making them a sustainable choice. Macrame is a technique that involves knotting cords together to create unique designs. By making macrame ornaments yourself, you can personalize the colors and patterns to match your loved ones’ preferences. These handmade ornaments are not only environmentally friendly but also a thoughtful and heartfelt gift idea.

Sustainable DIY Gifts for Foodies

Create unique and eco-friendly gifts for food enthusiasts with these DIY ideas.

Finishing Salts

Finishing salts are a simple yet thoughtful DIY gift idea for foodies. These salts add a burst of flavor and complexity to dishes, making them a great addition to any kitchen. Here are some ideas for homemade finishing salts you can create:

  1. Lemon Herb Salt: Combine kosher salt with dried lemon zest, thyme, and rosemary for a refreshing and citrusy flavor.
  2. Spicy Chili Salt: Mix kosher salt with crushed red pepper flakes and smoked paprika to give your dishes a kick of heat.
  3. Garlic Rosemary Salt: Blend kosher salt with dried garlic flakes and finely chopped rosemary for a savory and aromatic seasoning.
  4. Smoky BBQ Salt: Combine kosher salt with smoked paprika, brown sugar, and a touch of cayenne pepper for a smoky barbecue flavor.
  5. Citrus Sea Salt: Mix sea salt with dried orange and lime zest for a tangy and zesty salt that pairs well with seafood.

Homemade Vanilla Extract

Make your own homemade vanilla extract for a unique and sustainable gift. Here’s what you need:

  • Glass bottle or jar with a tight – fitting lid
  • High – quality vanilla beans
  • Vodka or bourbon (make sure it’s at least 40% alcohol)
  1. Slice the vanilla beans lengthwise, exposing the seeds.
  2. Place the beans in the glass bottle or jar.
  3. Pour enough vodka or bourbon to cover the beans completely.
  4. Seal the bottle tightly and give it a good shake.
  5. Store the bottle in a cool, dark place for at least 8 weeks, shaking it occasionally.

Candied Nuts

Candied nuts are a delicious and easy DIY upcycled gift idea. Here’s how you can make them:

  1. Choose your favorite nuts, such as almonds, pecans, or walnuts.
  2. In a saucepan, melt butter and add brown sugar, cinnamon, and a pinch of salt.
  3. Stir the mixture until it becomes thick and bubbly.
  4. Add the nuts to the saucepan and coat them evenly with the caramel – like mixture.
  5. Spread the nuts out on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
  6. Bake in the oven at 350°F for about 15 minutes, or until they turn golden brown and crispy.
  7. Let the candied nuts cool completely before packaging them in a jar or decorative bag.

Soup Mix in a Jar

Looking for a thoughtful and eco-friendly gift idea? Consider making a soup mix in a jar. It’s a simple yet impressive present that will delight foodies and environmentally conscious friends alike. Here’s how to create your own soup mix in a jar:

  1. Choose your favorite soup recipe: Start by selecting a delicious soup recipe that can be easily made with dry ingredients. Popular options include lentil soup, vegetable soup, or bean and barley soup.
  2. Layer the dry ingredients: Begin by layering the dry ingredients in a clean and sterilized mason jar. Start with the base ingredients like beans, lentils, or barley, then add layers of spices, dried herbs, and dried vegetables.
  3. Add instructions: Include a small piece of paper with the jar that provides clear instructions on how to prepare the soup. Mention any additional ingredients needed, cooking times, and steps to follow.
  4. Decorate the jar: To make it extra special, decorate the jar with ribbons, tags, or labels. You can also attach a small spoon or ladle to the jar for added convenience.
  5. Personalize it: Consider adding a personal touch by including a handwritten note or message with the jar. This will show the recipient how much thought and care went into their gift.


In conclusion, DIY upcycled gifts are a great way to show thoughtfulness and care while also being eco-friendly. Whether it’s homemade bath salts for personal care lovers or pressed flower candlesticks for home decor enthusiasts, there are plenty of sustainable options to choose from.

With these creative and environmentally-conscious presents, you can make the holiday season extra special for your loved ones while also reducing waste and supporting sustainability efforts.

So get crafting and spread some joy with thoughtful DIY upcycled gifts!


1. What are DIY upcycled gifts?

DIY upcycled gifts are presents that are made from repurposed or recycled materials, giving them a new life and reducing waste.

2. How do I make a DIY upcycled gift?

To make a DIY upcycled gift, you can start by collecting materials like old bottles, jars, or fabrics. Then, use your creativity to transform these items into something useful or decorative, such as a candle holder or a tote bag.

3. Why are DIY upcycled gifts considered thoughtful and eco-friendly?

DIY upcycled gifts show thoughtfulness because they require effort and creativity to make. They also promote sustainability by reducing the need for new resources and preventing items from ending up in landfills.

4. Are DIY upcycled gifts suitable for any occasion?

Yes! DIY upcycled gifts can be personalized to suit various occasions such as birthdays, holidays, or even weddings. The unique and handmade nature of these gifts adds an extra touch of care and thoughtfulness to any celebration.