Zero Waste DIY Gift Guide

Get inspired to give more meaningful and eco-friendly gifts with this zero waste DIY gift guide. Find ideas you can use this Christmas!

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Gift-giving is one of the oldest traditions on Earth which all animals, especially human beings, practice. Mostly people give gifts to friends and family. This tradition, usually upped during the Christmas holidays with all the partying around, has grown to be a massive to the mountain of waste we already produce during the holidays. It also is one of the most expensive aspects of important occasions such as Christmas, with many going to stores to buy presents. You will all the more get swept away by the ease of spending a fortune on gift-giving alone, including unwanted gifts.

But gift-giving doesn’t have to be so heavy on one’s budget. Nor should it be so wasteful. In ancient times, people gave gifts they either made or worked on. That is something we should return to. DIYing gifts would mean that you pour your efforts and love for the person into the gift item. This is where zero waste DIY gifts come in. Zero waste DIY gifts are handmade, homemade items that help someone refuse and reduce disposable or plastic waste.

If you want to save money and give gifts that are better for the planet and more fitting for the person, try zero waste DIY gifts. Most such gifts cost little and just a little labor of love to make. Here are some zero waste DIY gift ideas for you to try..

Zero Waste DIY Gift Ideas

These ideas come from bloggers who are experts in DIY gift-giving for everyone from women to kids to families.

DIY christmas wreath – by Joanna Logan of Backpack and Bushcraft

Advent Wreath - Zero Waste DIY Gift

If you love natural products and festive crafts then a DIY foraged Christmas wreath is the perfect project for you. This gift is ideally suited to men or women and families. Anyone with a home to decorate at Christmas will appreciate this present.

Hanging on the front door to welcome guests, or used as a table centrepiece for Christmas dinner, this gift is going to be a hit with friends and family. A natural wreath brings the outdoors, indoors and it looks and smells wonderful.

Your Christmas wreath can be decorated with pine cones, holly leaves, slices of orange and whatever else your heart desires. Keep it 100% natural or go one step further and add ribbons or bows to brighten it up.

Making your own Christmas wreath is easier than you might think and can be 100% free!

This DIY gift can be made in a matter of hours and personalised in any way you wish.

Shopping for Christmas gifts shouldn’t be stressful. Foraging is a relaxing hobby, spending time in nature and breathing in fresh air.

With this helpful guide from Jo at Backpack and Bushcraft, you can turn a winter walk into an incredibly thoughtful gift.

Jo will take you through the items you need to collect from local hedgerows and then guide you step-by-step on how to put the wreath together.

Homemade Body Butter – by Valentina Djordjevic of Valentina’s Destinations

Homemade Body Butter - Zero Waste DIY Gift

Homemade body butter is the perfect gift for moms, grandmas, sisters and all your girlfriends! Dry skin in the wintertime is a friend to no one… The body butter in this recipe is ultra-dense, nourishing & skin saving! You’ll need sea butter, cocoa butter, grapeseed oil, tapioca starch, an essential oil of your choice and 4 mini mason jars. If you want to add color, you could also add cosmetic grade mica pigment. This is available on amazon.

PRO TIP: You can choose a choose a mica pigment color that matches your essential oil choice. Use pink with rose essential oil or purple for lavender.

This recipe is super easy!

First create a double broiler. Melt 1 cup of shea butter, ½ cup of cocoa butter and ¼ cup of grapeseed oil together in the double broiler. Once combined, remove from heat and add 2 tablespoons of tapioca starch. Mix. Finally, add in about 20 drops of your favorite essential oil. Add the color pigment if desired and mix it all together once more. Next, you’ll pour the mixture into the mini mason jars. I like to wrap a ribbon around their necks as a final touch (Makes 4 mini mason jars worth) 

PRO TIP: If you like to upcycle, start collecting small jars throughout the year. I collected a bunch of pine nut jars, and then painted the lids. 

Personalized Photo Calendar by Catrina McGrail of 24 Hours Layover

Image by The Spruce Crafts

What better gift to get a loved one than a personalised photo calendar of all the happy memories you have created together! I love this gift as you can make it for a real variety of people: parents, siblings, friends, partners, even your children! As long as you have enough photos of them, you can make it for just about anyone! I make a new one of these every Christmas for my mum and she never gets tired of it – she loves opening it and seeing the collection of pictures over the year I have selected!

There are many different kinds of designs to choose, from A4 wall calendars to desk calendars and diaries – you get to choose the layout! What’s also great is that making a personalised photo calendar isn’t that expensive (less than $20 usually), but because so much thought was put into the gift, it’s bound to make whoever receives it very happy as it has been specially made for them!

Making a personalised photo calendar isn’t too time consuming – I use the Photobox website, upload my pictures, move them around where I want, and then once I have paid it only takes a few days for the parcel to arrive in the post!

For more gift ideas from 24 Hours Layover, click here.

Magnetic Picture Frame and Kitchen Scarf by Helen Reynolds

The magnetic picture frame tutorial is actually a video that shows how to make the frame. Then, on the blog itself, it gives the best supplies to use and extra tips.

To learn more about it, go here.

The scarf tutorial explains where to get inexpensive supplies and gives picture galleries with explanations about how to sew the project. The scarf goes around a cook’s beach so that it is always handy to wipe hands or to use to pick up a hot dish.

Latch–Hook Crafting by Sally Flint,

Latch-hook crafting can appeal to any age group, but is particularly appropriate for the young and old whose concentration or attention span may be quite short. Latch-hook crafting kits are available in various sizes. For a beginner I would recommend a cushion-cover or door mat size of project.

As a beginner the simplest way to enjoy latch-hook crafting is by purchasing a ready-made kit. It will comprise of a printed pattern on a quite stiff piece hessian piece of matting which will have a printed pattern on it. In addition the set will include a latch-hook crafting hook and a selection of the appropriate coloured wool. This is along with instructions for using the hook.

The crafting process is a simple one that involves inserting the hook into the hessian, wrapping a piece of approximately 5 cm wool around the hook and securing it into place before pulling the hook back through the hessian so as to make a secure loop. This process is repeated until all the cross-stich squares of the hessian matting have been filled. If the instruction sheet seems confusing then there are lots of you-tube clips that visually demonstrate this simple crafting process.

Once this basic skill has been mastered it is a hobby that can be completed whilst enjoying listening to music, or even watching television. It is also something that a family can complete as a family team. For more expert crafters the separate components can be purchased separately as hook, hessian and wool. Crafters can go on to design their own intricate patterns and make large hooks to suit their personal taste. Sally is hoping to gather her  brood together for some family latch-hook crafting this Christmas holiday.

Soap Snowman by Minu Gabi

soap snowman

Christmas is coming. It’s only a few days away and we’ll all be unwrapping our presents. Finding the perfect gift is not always easy, but creativity and originality are often the keywords for the best gift idea. This is because for many of us a beautiful gift does not mean choosing the most expensive item or the most famous brand but the one that surprises for its uniqueness.

The solution for wonderful and original gifts is to make them yourself at home. DIY gifts are not only gifts but the demonstration of how much we love who we are giving it to. In it there is research, our time, our desire to surprise; in short, it has a more complete Christmas spirit than a simple gift bought at the mall.

Here I want to show you an easy and original gift idea. A soap snowman.  To make it we will only need two ingredients – soap base and food colorants – and a bit of creativity. It’s perfect if you’re looking for a handmade Christmas gift idea that’s original and doesn’t take much time and money. I love this gift idea because it can also be an activity to do with children to have fun by making them express their creativity.

To create it, all you need to do is melt base soap and work it into the desired shape. The addition of food colouring will allow us to create a scarf, a hat, a nose and other small details. Follow the tutorial to make it and have fun at home. You’ll get original DIY gifts!

  • soap snowman tutorial

Wishing you all a super Happy Holidays!


A zero waste DIY gift is a meaningful gift to anyone. It is the product of love and creativity. All the more, it’s the best gift of love for Mother Nature because you don’t participate in the wastefulness of traditional gift-giving.

Do you have another zero waste DIY gfits in mind? Let us know in the comments below.

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