7 Easy DIY Zero Waste Gifts For The Holidays

The Holidays can be a stressful and expensive time for some. Not to mention the eco-anxiety is through the roof! 


To learn some facts about how much waste is created from the holidays check out my infographic

holiday waste

       I am personally a very crafty, thrifty, and cheap person. I am also an avid last minute gift giver because I get SO excited to give someone something that I can not get gifts in advance because I will just turn around and give it to them. 


SO, that brings me to sharing some fun DIY gifts you can do your self to spread that holiday cheer AND the zero waste message without breaking the bank. 


If you would like to see my zero waste gift giving guide (for both the eco-conscious …and the not so much) Click below!  




Sew and No Sew Projects 

Reusable Cosmetic Rounds 

 You can simply cut for a rustic appearance (be warned that they will fray) or you can sew your very own reusable rounds- this would be a great gift for a makeup lover pared with some DIY makeup remover !

Fabric Suggestions
Rough side; course cotton, linen, bark cloth, denim, muslin
Soft side: flannelette, cotton, cotton lawn, fine corduroy, fine velvet, jersey
If you are worried about staining I would suggest staying away from white and light colors.
Recommended Size: 3.4 inches x 3.4 inches (8.5cm x 8.5cm) But have fun with it!
If you are using fabric off-cuts from new fabric or fabric that you don’t know how they have been treated be sure to give it a good wash 

I always recommend using what you have first - scrap towels, flannel shirts,  and pillow cases work great! 

You can cut into squares or a traditional circle shape- if you are a new sewer I would recommend squares because they will be easer to sew with a machine (you can also hand sew them though it might take forever depending on how many you are making).

If you are using a sewing machine use the a zig-zag stitch t. Stay close to the edges of the square. Be sure to back stich a few times when you reach the end and tie off lose ends of thread before trimming.  I recommend making little sets of 5 but you can make however more or less!

For the no-sew option simply cut out rounds/ squares. You can use a bit of fabric glue on the edges to help rescue fraying.

 We offer handcrafted makeup remover rounds here 


Set Of Cloth Napkins

 Cloth napkins can last years. You will need a durable, hard wearing fabric because  napkins are going to see a lot of laundry time. Some suggestions are: linens, cottons, polyester (this can be from scrap fabrics you have laying around), cotton, or even fabrics like gingham of flannel can be used.

The directions to make your own cloth napkins are basically the same as the cosmetic rounds except you are going to cut 18 inches by 22 inches squares.

After your squares are cut you are going to sew along the out sides using the zig-zag stitch. This is so your napkins wont fray.

Note: unless you fold the edges in and sew you will get SOME fraying but it will stop by the stitching. I personally don't fold the edges in because I don't have that kind of time... and I like the look of the frayed edges. 

Reusable Grocery  Bags

 Here is a great 10 min tutorial on how to make a no sew bag.

These can be so fun because you can use t-shirts which makes it such a unique gift! 

When I was first starting into zero -waste I made a TON of these and gave them out as gifts!

I like this tutorial because she shows you a cute potholder idea with the scrap fabric.

For all my seamstress out there here is a great resource for all kinds of free bag patterns  

Soap Saver 

 Have you ever heard of a soap saver? They are amazing, all you do is slip your favorite bar inside holder making it easier to hold on to in the shower, lather up and use! It even helps extend the life of your bar which will save you money (we are all about that here)  and is also a great way to use up all the odds and ends pieces of soaps that get thrown away.

How- To:

Cut your washcloth in half. It doesn’t matter which direction since it is square, and there is no grain to follow like you would with fabric.

Then cut 1/3 off the length. Just eyeball it-no need for precision in this project. 

Then hem the shortest raw edge by folding it over 1/4 of an inch, and folding it onto itself once more. also no need for an exact measurement here either its what makes the project come together so quickly and we are ALL about convenience!

Sew a straight stitch down both sides of the washcloth INSIDE the binding. You can also use a zigzag stitch . 

Trim each end close to the stitches with scissors to eliminate the bulky seams.

Fold the BOTTOM of the wash cloth up until it meets the bottom of the ribbon. Fold the TOP of the wash cloth down until the edges meet.

Essay Crochet Patterns 

Crochet Drink Cozies  I have been obsessed with making drink cozies the past few weeks! We also have these on the site (not this specific pattern- its a pattern I made up)


zero waste crochet

Crochet Produce Bags  Here is a resource full of free bag patterns 

DIY Scrubs & Body Butters 

 Holiday scrubs can be a bit cliche... but they are fun gifts that are a GREAT way to use up all those spare jars you've been hording! Here are some of my favorite recipes 

Non-drain clogging Exfoliant 

I enjoy this because unlike other common scrubs they will eventually clog your drains and cause a ton of problems down the line where as this one is completely safe to use.


  • 1 part granulated white or brown sugar
  • 0.5 parts aloe vera gel
  • 0.25 parts liquid Castile soap

If you’re using fresh aloe, make a small quantity only as it won’t be shelf-stable. This will last for 1 week.


mix all ingredients and then put in a decretive jar! 

3 Ingredient Body Butter 


1 cup organic coconut oil

1 cup organic cocoa butter

essential oil of you choice


Measure out and put the coconut oil and cocoa butter into a small to medium saucepan on medium heat. Melt the contents until completely liquid, and there are no longer any chunks. 

Transfer to a mixing bowl and refrigerate until the liquid becomes a soft solid again. This took about a few hours for me, but I’m sure all refrigerators are different.

Add your essential oil to your liking. I like to use peppermint or lavender.

Mix until light and fluffy, similar to whipped cream consistency. This took me about 10 minutes on a mixer or you can hand wipp it.

Put in a decretive jar and done!



Which homemade gift is your favorite?