Crafts You Can Make from Your Backyard Garden

Author: Meera, May 12, 2014

Invariably, when fall and winter holidays roll around each year, I find myself wishing that I’d planned ahead and utilized more raw materials from the garden for gift-giving. If you have had a similar experience, here are some ideas for turning what you grow into heart-warming gifts.



Seeds from your picture postcard-perfect giant sunflowers can be gifted

Seeds from the heads of giant sunflowers make great gifts



At summer’s end, harvest the seeds of your favorite flowers like cosmos, sunflowers, nasturtiums, zinnias, and even vegetables. Dry and re-package into paper envelopes that you hand-stamp, emboss, or otherwise embellish for gift-giving. Be sure to include information about how to grow the plant.




Rose petals, Spanish lavender, and French perfume lavender can all be used to make a flower essence

Rose petals, Spanish lavender, and French perfume lavender can be used to make a flower essences or potpourri



Flowers and herbs, picked at their zenith, can be turned into potpourri, fragrant soaps, soothing lotions, and skin moisturizers.



If you keep bees in your backyard garden, consider using the extra wax for dipping candles. Of course, honey is highly prized for its healthful properties, so be sure to jar up plenty of honey for gift-giving occasions.



Vines, berries, and pine cones are easily transformed into wreaths and dry arrangements.



A bottle of vodka, gin, or other spirits can be transformed into a gourmet gift by the addition of sun-ripened berries, herbs, vegetables (such a cucumber), or fruits and then stored in a dark, cool place for at least six weeks.



Gourds make lovely bird feeders and bird houses.



California chili turns red when ripe

Dried chilies can be made into wreaths



Just imagine the delight a dried-pepper wreath, a garlic braid, or jars of dried beans and seeds might evoke.



Make sheets of homemade paper, incorporating  colorful rose petals, lavender, or pansies. Making paper is easy if you have a blender, some scraps of paper (junk mail works), and water.



Seed cakes, created from crunchy peanut butter, seeds, nuts, and dried fruit, make great gifts for bird lovers who can place them near feeders during the cold months when the bird must vigorously forage for food.



A Shropshire Lad adds color to the back yard

Re-potted cuttings of your garden favorites make lovely gifts for other gardeners in your family or circle of friends




Take cuttings in fall or early spring from your roses, dip the cuttings into root hormone, and plant the cuttings into a pot of soil that you keep damp until the roots have formed.  Or dig bulbs (bearded irises, for example) and place in a tin for gift-giving.



Preserve jars of pie-filling, do up crocks of pickles, or create mouth-watering chutneys and special relishes. Wrap the jar lids in gingham and ribbon. Use hot-water canning of fruit and citrus into jam, jelly, and marmalade. Place jars of these items into a  food basket, made festive with the addition of colorful tea towels or tissue paper and ribbon.


Use clean, dry corn husks for tamale-making, or craft them into corn husk dolls.



With a little forethought and advance planning, you’ll have plenty of backyard bounty to harvest and turn into gifts for almost any holiday or special occasion.



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