by The Plant Runner
Make it personal this Christmas with handmade gifts that are sustainable and a whole lot of fun to create. From terrariums to plant drawings, floral bookmarks and painted pots, DIY gifts are a great way to show someone you love them and keep the kids entertained for hours.
Dominic Hooghuis and Duncan Hilder, co-founders of The Plant Runner, have put together a list of their favourite DIY Christmas gift ideas inspired by the garden.
Note: adult supervision is always advised.
Terrariums are mini, living ecosystems. They can be kept in any room of the house and require very little maintenance. Made as simple or complex as you like, terrariums are gifts that can be grown and maintained as little or as much as desired.
Some terrariums are sealed, others are open. The plants and the soil release water vapors that hit the roof of the container and condense back to water, making them essentially self sufficient.
The glass container can be anything at all – an old jar, a fish tank or a vessel made specifically for terrariums. One of the most important parts to a terrarium is the potting media – terrariums work best when the plant is planted out into layers of pebbles, activated charcoal and potting mix.
First, take your vessel and place a layer of small pebbles at the base. Next, add a very thin layer of activated charcoal and the potting mix. Plant your plant and add another small layer of pebbles on top of the potting mix.
Tip: adding miniature toys to the terrarium can give it a magical touch. Who doesn’t love seeing a dinosaur peeking out from behind a succulent?
- Flower bookmarks
Collecting and pressing flowers is a year-round activity and a great way for kids to see seasonal change. They also make wonderful gifts!
Take the family for a stroll around the block or head down to the local park to collect fallen flowers.
Once home, lay them out on a flat surface and place a heavy item, like a book, on top for 24-hours. Alternatively, use our Kids Flower Press made from bamboo and recycled cardboard – sustainable and practical!
Remove the heavy item or flower press and place each flower onto a clean surface.
Using spare paper or cardboard, cut out 20cm by 3cm rectangles. You will need one for each flower. If you have child-safe paint or coloured pencils lying around, get creative with fun patterns.
Once dry, stick one flower to each cut out with an adhesive. Attach a tassel with a spare piece of string or ribbon and viola! A beautiful gift for bookworms.
Tip: frame the pressed flowers to make a lovely hallway feature.
Note: it’s important to encourage children not to pick flowers from plants, but rather collect those that have naturally fallen to the ground. This teaches them to respect the natural life cycle of plants.
As household plants flourish, they outgrow their pots. Depending on the species, a plant can outgrow up to 3 or 4 pots in a lifetime. Give your leftover gardening materials a new lease on life this festive season by creating beautiful gifts for plant lovers.
First, clean out your old ceramic, terracotta or plastic pots, and dry them in the sun.
Open up your arts and crafts cupboard, get the kids, and let their imagination run wild! From patterns to initials, shapes and emojis, encourage them to be as creative as possible.
Tip: spare ribbon, sequins and paper cutouts are great ways to bring designs to life!
Nothing says ‘I love you’ more than a handmade drawing.
Download and print our free colouring in pages at theplantrunner.com and set up a clean flat surface with drawing utensils.
If you don’t have a printer, let the kids draw their own designs by setting up a drawing station in the backyard. Alternatively, sketch your own templates or use household items to trace shapes.
Once complete, gift the designs as they are or laminate and frame them before wrapping.
Tip: you can also use the colouring-in pages and/or handmade paper creations as wrapping paper and present toppers.
For more family-friendly gardening activities or sustainable plant care products and information, head to theplantrunner.com or follow us on socials at @plantrunnertruck.