Easy DIY Gifts Made with Herbs

Herbal gifts you can easily make at home

For easy one-of-a-kind gifts, store herb-infused oils, vinegars, astringents & liquid soaps in pretty bottles from the flea market or local junk shop.
For easy one-of-a-kind gifts, store herb-infused oils, vinegars, astringents & liquid soaps in pretty bottles from the flea market or local junk shop. | Source

HOMEMADE HERBAL BEAUTY PRODUCTS

Herbal infusions, the basis for herbal hand soaps and skin toners, are simple to make, requiring no fancy equipment or special skills. What do you need?

  • fresh herbs, a
  • sealable jar &
  • rubbing alcohol or witch hazel.

Lavender skin toner graces an old decanter from a flea market.
Lavender skin toner graces an old decanter from a flea market. | Source

Herbal Skin Toner

To make herbal skin toner, pour one cup of witch hazel into a sealable jar. Then add a big handful of fresh herbs.

Set the mixture in a warm spot. After two weeks, strain the witch hazel mixture into a clean container. The skin toner is ready to use.

Directions for Use

After cleansing face, apply toner with a clean cotton ball. Follow with moisturizer.

Herbal Hand Soap

To make herbal hand soap, fill approximately ¼ of a wide-mouthed Mason jar with fresh herbs, packing the herbs down into the jar with a wooden spoon.

Fill the jar with unscented alcohol, leaving about one inch of room at the top.

Seal the jar and let it stand out of the sun two weeks, shaking up the mixture occasionally.

Strain the herbal infusion and then add about two tablespoons of unscented liquid soap. For a more strongly scented soap, add one or two drops of essential oil as well.

Directions for Use

Soak work-roughened hands in herbal liquid soap for ten minutes to soften cuticles and calluses.

CULINARY GIFTS MADE WITH FRESH HERBS

All sorts of herbs may be added to oil & vinegar. Pictured (left to right): lavender, chocolate mint, rosemary.
All sorts of herbs may be added to oil & vinegar. Pictured (left to right): lavender, chocolate mint, rosemary. | Source
Rosemary oil looks pretty in a decanter from an old cruet set.
Rosemary oil looks pretty in a decanter from an old cruet set. | Source

Herb-Infused Oil

To make herb-infused oil, add two to three sprigs of clean, crushed herbs to a sealable jar that has been sterilized and allowed to dry.

Many herbs may be used to flavor oil; however, rosemary, savory and thyme are good choices for oil that will be used in savory dishes. To flavor oils that will be used in sweet batters, try lavender or herbs in the mint family.

Pour oil that has been warmed on the stove into the jars, covering the herbs completely. (Light olive oil or canola oil both work well.)

When the jar has cooled to room temperature, seal it and store it in a cool, dark location for a week. Then strain out the herbs. The oil is ready to use.

Directions for Use

Herb-infused oils taste great in salads. They are also excellent for sautés. Use oil infused with rosemary and/or thyme in place of butter when basting chicken. Or, drizzle it over steak fries prior to baking.

Herb-infused oils will keep approximately two months when stored in a cool, dark location.

Adding a fresh sprig of herbs to the vinegar after straining is optional.
Adding a fresh sprig of herbs to the vinegar after straining is optional. | Source

Herb-Infused Vinegar

Add clean herbs of your choice to dry, sterilized, sealable glass bottles, half filling each jar. Dill, rosemary and thyme are good choices.

Lightly crush the herbs to release their oils.

Pour vinegar that has been brought to the boil over the herbs, leaving about ½ an inch at the top.

When the jars have cooled a bit, seal them. Let them set for at least a day or up to a week before straining.

Directions for Use

Add herbal vinegar to salads and salad dressings. It lasts up to two months when refrigerated.


A few tablespoons of colored sugar & a cupcake liner add fun color to a jar of herbal sugar.
A few tablespoons of colored sugar & a cupcake liner add fun color to a jar of herbal sugar. | Source

Herb-Infused Sugar

Place three to four sprigs of clean, fresh herb that have been slightly crushed to release their oils into a sealable jar.

Pour two cups of granulated sugar over the crushed herbs a ¼ cup at a time, mixing well after each addition.

Place the jar in a cool, dark place, stirring or shaking it every two to three days.

The sugar is ready when the the sprigs dry and break up into small pieces.

Directions for Use

Like ordinary sugar, herb-infused sugar can be added to tea and coffee. It may also be used in recipes for cookies, cakes and other sweet treats.

GIFTS FOR THE HOME MADE WITH DRIED HERBS

Incense made from dried, grated lavender dispels unpleasant odors.
Incense made from dried, grated lavender dispels unpleasant odors. | Source

Herbal Sachets

Place dried herbs in the center of a pretty hankie or scrap of material at least five inches square. Gather up the corners and tie off the "hobo sack" with a length of ribbon or a piece of raffia.

Herbal Incense

To make herbal incense, rub dried lavender, rosemary or some other herb of your choice through a sieve or against a grater. Then store the grated herbs in sealable jars.

Directions for Use

Pile a pinch or two of dried, grated herbs into a candle holder or incense burner and light. The pleasant herbal aroma will dispel cooking odors, tobacco smells and other unpleasant scents.



Source

About the Author

The Dirt Farmer has been an active gardener for over 30 years.

She first began gardening as a child alongside her grandfather on her parents' farm.

Today, The Dirt Farmer gardens at home, volunteers at community gardens and continues to learn about gardening through the MD Master Gardener program.

© 2012 Jill

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Comments 29 comments

The Dirt Farmer profile image

The Dirt Farmer 3 years ago from United States Author

Thanks, Dolores. I'm very much a novice photographer, but I found that having a backdrop made the objects look better. I used old linens. Great to hear from you! Glad you stopped by. --Jill


Dolores Monet profile image

Dolores Monet 3 years ago from East Coast, United States

Love your ideas for using herbs and making gifts with them. Your photographs are so beautiful! I have always thought it difficult to photograph still life.


The Dirt Farmer profile image

The Dirt Farmer 3 years ago from United States Author

Thanks, SAM! Appreciate it. --Jill


SAM ELDER profile image

SAM ELDER 3 years ago from Home

nice article


moonlake profile image

moonlake 3 years ago from America

Great idea and great gifts. I love this kind of thing. Voted up.


The Dirt Farmer profile image

The Dirt Farmer 3 years ago from United States Author

Hi azrestoexp. Welcome to HubPages! Thanks for leaving a comment. It's always good to get some positive feedback. Take care, Jill (:


azrestoexp profile image

azrestoexp 3 years ago

Glad to discover you. Great ideas, will be trying several of them.


The Dirt Farmer profile image

The Dirt Farmer 4 years ago from United States Author

Hi Ov! Your mom sounds like my kind of girl. Thanks for stopping by! Take care, Jill (:


Ov Strickland profile image

Ov Strickland 4 years ago from El Segundo, CA

What a great idea!!! I know my mother would love this. Thanks so much for posting.


The Dirt Farmer profile image

The Dirt Farmer 4 years ago from United States Author

Hi tebo. It's nice to have dried herbs on hand for burning after cooking. Lavender particularly is good for this. A pinch or two of home dried is much less cloying when burnt than commercially made incense. Nice to hear from you! Take care, Jill


tebo profile image

tebo 4 years ago from New Zealand

What a lovely hub to read and admire the photographs. Lots of great ideas. I didn't realize how easy some of these things could be made. The incense made that way is different and simple. I shall have to come back to this one. Thanks.


The Dirt Farmer profile image

The Dirt Farmer 4 years ago from United States Author

Hi Londonlady! I have no idea how to make henna, but ... I'm sure there's a recipe out there somewhere. Cool idea! Glad to hear from you. Take care, Jill (:


The Dirt Farmer profile image

The Dirt Farmer 4 years ago from United States Author

Hi RTalloni! It's never too late. Even if you're short on time, you could still mix it up and include the directions on a pretty little card.

Hey Kris, I don't have any essential oils. Wonder if a herb-infused vodka base would work. Sounds cool!

Thanks for commenting, tlpoague. Hope you do try to sugar. It's yummy! Take care, Jill (:


Londonlady profile image

Londonlady 4 years ago

Awesome hub! The glass bottles look perfect for a pretty display in the kitchen. I also thought of another one! Could one make henna from scratch? I'm not sure what the herbs for that would be but it sounds like a cool idea if anybody is into temporary tattoos. Voted up and awesome


tlpoague profile image

tlpoague 4 years ago from USA

What a wonderful idea for the upcoming holidays. I love products made from herbs and are homemade. I will have to try out your sugar one. Amazingly enough I had never heard of that one before, but know of plenty of family members that will enjoy it. Great hub!


Kris Heeter profile image

Kris Heeter 4 years ago from Indiana

Thanks for sharing these great ideas! I'm always looking for things like this that are unique. I just recently made some herbal hand sanitizer using essential oils, witch hazel and vodka and loved it. Voted up and sharing:)


RTalloni profile image

RTalloni 4 years ago from the short journey

Each one of these ideas deserves a bravo, and there's still time to make some up for Christmas giving! They are easy and useful and just plain lovely, especially for herb lovers--thanks for a great post!


The Dirt Farmer profile image

The Dirt Farmer 4 years ago from United States Author

Hi aviannovice--The herbal sugar seems to be everyone's favorite. It's particularly nice at a tea or for the holiday table. Thanks for stopping by. (: --Jill


aviannovice profile image

aviannovice 4 years ago from Stillwater, OK

This is fantastic. I love all these ideas, especially the sugar, which I had never heard about.


The Dirt Farmer profile image

The Dirt Farmer 4 years ago from United States Author

Hey, Crystal Tatum. Thanks for commenting. Using herbs really can be simple. Herbal toner is particularly easy to make. Hope you give it a try. It's super refreshing. (: Take care, Jill


The Dirt Farmer profile image

The Dirt Farmer 4 years ago from United States Author

Hi Glimmer Twin Fan. Herbed sugar really looks pretty (the herb dries up and flakes) in a glass sugar bowl. As always, nice to hear from you! (: --Jill


Crystal Tatum profile image

Crystal Tatum 4 years ago from Georgia

How interesting! This seems simple enough and I love using fresh herbs in skincare products. Voted up and interesting.


Glimmer Twin Fan profile image

Glimmer Twin Fan 4 years ago

I love the idea of herb-infused sugar. That is a great idea! Beautiful hub with great gift ideas. Thanks.


The Dirt Farmer profile image

The Dirt Farmer 4 years ago from United States Author

Hi Suzie HQ-- Most of the bottles are from an incomplete cruet set that was passed down to me. The bottle with lavender toner in it was purchased by my mom at a flea market for $1.50. Can you imagine that?!

Thanks for linking with me! Appreciate it. Take care, Jill


Suzie HQ profile image

Suzie HQ 4 years ago from Dublin, Ireland

Hi Jill,

What an awesome hub, loved your info and beautiful pics. Your bottles are gorgeous! Going to link into some of my DIY skin care and gift hubs. Thanks so much for a really informative and interesting hub. Definitely giving some of these a go!

Votes, shared and pinned!


The Dirt Farmer profile image

The Dirt Farmer 4 years ago from United States Author

Hi coffeegginmyrice--I bet your kids like the peppermint sugar, esp. if you put a little colored sugar in it. Thanks for commenting! --Jill


coffeegginmyrice profile image

coffeegginmyrice 4 years ago from Toronto, Ontario

I love herbs and enjoy adding them in my cooking. Thank you for these useful, awesome and interesting gift and kitchen ideas. I love your beautiful photos too and definitely would start mixing sugar with herb (just for me for the start); don't know what kids might think, lol.


The Dirt Farmer profile image

The Dirt Farmer 4 years ago from United States Author

Hi Carol! Yes, these would be very easy to make on a regular basis for yourself if you're a herb grower. Nice to hear from you! Jill


carol7777 profile image

carol7777 4 years ago from Arizona

Loved this about herbs. What great ideas for gifts and even for my own pantry. Thanks for sharing with fabulous photos. Great hub as always!

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