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ecobites

Global. Healthy. Lifestyle.

DIY/Recycle A-Z Eco Valentine's Day Gifts
A-Z Eco Valentine's Day Gifts PDF Print E-mail
DIY Projects

children-cutouts-red-283pxKeep the love alive for another year! With self-painted pottery, a photograph you took, hand-knitted socks, a self-composed love song, a donation in his or her name to your Eco-oriented non-profit of choice. Go to the co op, the thrift stores, and fair traders, and have a good consciousness this Valentine's with your gifts. The gifts we treasure most are always the ones from the heart! Instead of gifts coming from obligation, give handmade gifts that you made with love, or sought out with love from places that make the planet healthier, greener and support local artists. 

To help you produce the perfect gift for everyone on your list, we have found a wealth of wonderful things to cook, sew, craft or grow for Valentine's giving from A-Z. Enjoy!

A APHRODISIACS  Time with your loved ones is always time well-spent, but who can resist the allure of good, healthy eating?  Design your own meal-to-remember this Valentine’s Day with passion ... asparagus, radishes and capsicum (bell peppers) have been celebrated as aphrodisiacs throughout history, and celery is a symbol of love immortalized on frescoes found in the ruins of Pompeii, an Italian city that existed nearly 2,000 years ago. Anything with figs as an ingredient is sure to summon sexy thoughts.

Basil is a symbol of love in Italy. Being a herb that has been sacred to Hindus for ages, and in 16th century attractive_couple__coconutEurope, it was used as a remedy against heartache.  "The smell of basil is good for the heart and the head, that the seed cureth the infirmities of the heart, taketh away sorrowfulnesse which cometh of melancholy..maketh a man merrie and glad" General Historie of plantes John Gerard 1597

APRONS are always handy for the busy cook, or make a serviceable one in strong calico or canvas for the gardener or handy-person. Homemade appliqued aprons for the barbecue (his or hers).

A SPECIAL VERSE or poem.  A few well-chosen words can spread a lot of happiness to share for years to come!

A  WHOLE CASE of your own grown / from your local organic farmers market fruit or veggies.

biscuit_heart_shape_tb.jpgB BISCUITS bake your own heart shape cookies and sprinkle with chopped organic dried fruits (cranberry / goji berries for a nice red Valentines sweet touch).

BEADS There are many ways of making beads and many materials that are suitable. The following are a few methods that work equally well. Don't limit your thinking or use of beads just to make necklaces and bracelets, their potential is quite diverse. Bead making is a family affair, and lots of fun when it is too wet to go outside. Bead Making

BREAKFAST IN BED  Why not start the special day with a candle lit breakfast? Show your love for the planet as well as the palette. Don't forget to buy organic, locally grown food and wine for a fresh and authentic flavor.

Complete with herb tea, poached organic eggs, muffins, berry smoothies, bircher berry muesli and fresh fruit from the garden.

BONSAI TREE in shallow handmade pottery container.

BIRD SEED for those who enjoy bird watching.

BOOKMARKS for those fond of reading, a personalized bookmark would just be apt for the occasion.

BASKETS Grapevine baskets made from own grapevine / coiled grass, and fill with special homemade Valentine's treats.

bath-oils-228px.jpgBATH OILS For centuries we have been using oils in the bath to soften and scent the skin. 1 bottle of organic olive oil + 1 tablespoon castille soap + fragrant essential oil of choice. Combine all together, except essential oil. Place into bottle or jars and add oil drop by drop. Shake to combine. Nice accompanied by a drawstring bag filled with dried herbs. The bag can be hung around the tap while the bath is filling or just thrown into the bath.

BATH SOAK in the centre of a hemmed calico square place 1 cup oatmeal, 1/2 cup almond meal and 1/2 cup cornmeal. Tie up into a ball with a length of lace. The mixture will diffuse into the bath water.

BAGS DIY bags make the perfect Valentine's green gift for wrapping or to fill with treats.

BEER MAKING  

Creative Beer Making

DIY Beer Brewing

C COLLAGES  collage-1-275px.jpg These collages look wonderful hanging in windows, worn as pendants and used as an Eco-friendly card. Let your imagination run wild and create a range of different craft items.

DIY ORGANIC CHOCOLATE It is possible to make your own chocolates, and fill them with nourishing centres. A box of your chocolate creations makes a delicious personalised gift for the chocolate lover /s.

Instead of buying chocolates with packaging sure to end up at a nearby landfill, make your own chocolate. DIY Chocolate Plus, easy to make yummy raw chocolate.

CHOCOLATE VALENTINE TREATS

After-dinner treats such as chocolate-covered organic brazil nuts and organic strawberries – simply, melt organic (like Green & Blacks) dark chocolate in a bowl over just-simmering water, skewer your nut, strawberry, fig (or organic dried fruit), and dip into the melted chocolate. Then lay it on greaseproof paper to set.

Then write letters in organic frosting, or cut out the shapes in edible rice paper, and feed your Valentine one chocolate at a time - it’s up to you to decide the message you want to spell out!

COCONUT  BALLS made with organic ingredients and love - dried dates, apricots, rolled oats, carob powder, orange juice and rind, coconut. Add everything blender / vita-mix/ food processor and blend until smooth. Roll in coconut.

CHOCOLATE LIP GLOSS Use Valentines Chocolate Kiss to heal dry, chapped lips fast!

CRAFT You can really make any craft Eco-friendly by choosing papers and supplies that are environmentally friendly. Such as; Use what you have! We all have bits of paper, odds and ends everywhere - use them to create fun Valentines! Not all Valentines have to match, so let Eco Kids get creative and create different ones for their friends. Also just use recycled paper or paper, ribbon etc bought from thrift / recycling/ resale shops.

CARDS

Make a beautiful Valentine's Day card from a brown paper bag / any old paper/ board and some ribbon. 
Supplies needed: Brown paper (from a grocery bag) or construction paper or fabric scraps (red or pink is nice)
Pinking shears or scissors
A hole punch
Red or pink ribbon (about 1/4 inch wide) or thick yarn. Bees wax / Eco - friendly crayons.
 
collage_small.jpgCut a large heart from brown paper or fabric using pinking shears. Using a hole punch, make a series of holes around the edges of the card. Make an even number of holes. String ribbon or yarn through the holes. Tie the ends in a bow (this is the hardest part of this project). If the bow doesn't look good, you can glue the ends of the ribbon to the back of the card instead.
Write a message, verse, poem (or draw a picture) on your Valentine card.

CANDLES to light your special Valentine Dinner. Make (Paraffin -free) beeswax candles.

Use old beeswax candles which are nearly used up and re-melt them into new! Try pouring them into small canning jars, mugs, tins or any pretty container.

Paraffin candles are made from petroleum residues. Neither are good for your health or the environment. Soy, beeswax or natural vegetable-based candles are preferable because they biodegrade, are smoke-free, and are so more Eco-friendly.

COUPONS  Make up coupons that can be redeemed for everything from a massage, hug to weeding the garden and taking out the trash, whatever comes from the heart. Use a hole punch and ribbon, a stapler, or paper brads to hold your coupons together. Breakfast in Bed Coupon, Walking the dog Coupon, An hour of silence Coupon, One hour control of the remote control, Big hug Coupon, Washing the dishes Coupon.

Ask  the recipient what they would like added to the coupons. Once you have the requests, all you have to do is make them a reality!

chocolate-beauty-273x168.jpgCHOCOLATE LIP BALM

1 teaspoon beeswax
2 teaspoons organic prime-pressed cocoa butter
3 teaspoons organic oil of choice - organic coconut or olive oil or rice bran oil /jojoba 5-10 drops peppermint essential oil

Slowly melt ingredients in a double boiler or in 30-second spurts in microwave. Cool slightly and fill recycled containers. You may like to adjust the ratio of ingredients to suit your liking.

D DRIED FLOWERS Do an arrangement in a bowl, basket or jar, or glue to a woven place-mat and use as a decorative wall hanging / collage / or for a place-mat for the tray for breakfast in bed.

DUFFLE BAG made from hessian or calico with recipient's initials in bold colors + a heart or two.

DONATION in his or her name to your Eco-oriented non-profit of choice. At the end of the celebration, your loved ones will have a smile in their hearts, happy memories, and the confidence that comes from helping others. That's worth more than anything money can buy.

E ENERGY (in the form of job vouchers), ie. 'I promise to mow the lawn for one month' or 'I promise to tend the compost heap for one month' or 'I promise to rake the leaves for one month'.

woman-rose-petals-283pxF FLOWERS, fresh bunches from your garden of... tied up with pretty fabric and a big bow, or pressed flowers framed, or glued to notepaper, cards or a bookmark, will be sure to please.

Flowers by post is also an easy option to save you time and effort in your gift delivery.

Give your Valentine a rose bush or a tree (why not a beautiful organic fruit tree?) to plant in the garden.  

FLOWERING potted plant.

FLOOR CUSHIONS with bright screen print designs, or appliqued heart designs.

FLEECE is a great gift. Look for sales and thrift stores. You can do a scarf easily as well as a blanket, mittens or hat. Fleece does not fray at the end, so you needn't worry about sewing the edging because it won't unravel. To make a nice finished edge, either do a yarn blanket stitch, which loops from one side to the other, hooking the last stitch as you go so there is a line going along the top. Experiment because it's easier than it sounds.

Easier still is to cut in from the edge about three inches and 1/4 inch apart and you have a fringe. To get fancy, put two different fleece together, two solids or one pattern other solid color, sew them together or blanket stitch on the sides, then on the ends of the scarf cut the fringe. Take one fringe from each side and tie them together. It looks great!

G GIFT WRAPPING IDEAS use your imagination to present your homemade Valentine gifts in useful items  for example; kitchen compost bin, organic cotton tea towel / towel /sheet, scarf, chamois cloth, pillowcase, coffee cup and reusable shopping bags that will be appreciated for itself.  Place several small gifts in an attractive little basket that will have future decorative uses or decorated jars for cookies and treats, shells for small soaps, decorated clay pots or painted tins for plant cuttings and herbs.

Consider re-purposing items from around the home and office - blueprints, wallpaper and fabric scraps, brown paper, butchers paper (that the children can help decorate), graph paper, rice paper, children's drawings, A3 or A4 paper (cut out the used print or paint or glue pictures if printed both sides, get your children to draw on one side) for attractive effects. Use ribbon, string, rope, wool, instead of sticky tape. For avid sewers the choice is easy. Use up some more of your scraps of fabric to create personalized gift wraps. For larger presents you may find you need to sew a few pieces together, so choose some bright contrasts for extra effect. The options are endless.

Make your own gift boxes from old cereal and tissue boxes.

art-and-craft-100px.jpgGIFT BOX  filled with hand-written love letters.

H HEARTS

It's easy to make a small heart shaped wreath. Wrap kitchen herbs and flowers along two equal lengths of wire or vine. Bind together at one end, then form a heart shape. Decorate with ribbons.

Fabric Hearts

For this craft you will need:

1.wire coat hangers

2.wire cutters,

3.measuring tape or ruler

4.scissors

5.fabric scraps of bright colours.

FORM A WIRE HEART: Untwist the hanger and cut off the hook and twisted ends. Now cut the hanger in half. This will form two wire heart frames. Straighten as much as possible with your hands. The section should be about twelve to fourteen inches long.

Fold the wire in half and then curve the ends in to form a heart shape.

At the top center junction of the shape, bend the wire of each end into a hook shape.

Hook the ends together. Squeeze the hooks closed on each other. They should pull on each other so holding the heart in the right shape.

PREPARE THE FABRIC STRIPS: Cut or tear rectangles of fabric into strips about 1 inch wide and eight inches long.

(To tear cloth, lay a block of fabric measuring eight inches long and several inches wide flat. Along the side cut a straight slit in the edge about an inch long. Cut another every inch along the block's side. Now gently tear from the slits until you have a batch of strips each eight inches long.)

START COVERING THE WIRE HEART: Fold a strip of fabric in half. Lay the folded end across the wire at any point. so that it is folded end is toward the inside of the heart. Fold the ends under the wire and pull them back up through the loop of the cloth. Pull both ends tightly, so that a slip knot is formed holding the scrap to the wire.

Continue adding fabric strips until the wire is completely covered.

CHANGE SOME FACTOR TO MAKE EACH HEART UNIQUE: Once you have the wire hearts formed and have learned the basic method of attaching the strips to the wire, you will be able to make each heart a unique piece of art.

Change the thickness or type of fabric for a fuller, fluffier heart.

Change or combine colours of material to get different effects.

Change the lengths of the strips to make the hearts look different.

Change the length of wire so the heart is larger or smaller.

When you have covered the wire, carefully stretch and pull out on the fabric ends. Trim the ends, if needed.

Add a satin ribbon or coloured yarn loop to the top of the heart for hanging. These are a blast to make and friends will love them! They can be hung on the wall, doors or windows as great decorations. They are special Valentines that won't be pitched after February and make nice gifts year round.

GARDEN miniature, of herbs and vegetables in assorted pots.

GINGER BEER homemade of course and carefully bottled.

DIY Ginger Beer

GREEN GIFTS Give Valentine gifts that teach. Show your loved ones how they can contribute to helping the environment. Many people don’t participate in Eco-friendly processes because they don’t know enough about them and worry that they are difficult.

Give gifts that help loved ones live sustainably, such as organic seedlings for a veggie patch / organic seeds / fruit and local native trees / herb garden /  water tank / worm farm / sustainable living books.

HAMMOCK one made in macrame or fish-netting is a real labor of love.

DIY hammock

HAND printed / batik ed organic fabric.

istock_biscuit_heart_shape_1HOMEMADE The nicest gifts are always those that have been handmade, fashioned by the hands of the giver and full of warm vibrations. Making your own need not be expensive or difficult. It just requires imagination and a little skill. The varied ideas we have included here should start you on the absorbing and productive path.

HERBS freshly  picked in bunches, dried, or pots.

HERB BUTTERS And HONEY  flavoursome gifts for the dedicated chef.

HAND MASSAGE The loving touch!

HAND AND BODY BUTTER

2 oz Cocoa Butter,1 oz Olive Oil,1 oz Coconut Oil,2 oz Shea Butter,1 oz Jojoba Oil,1 oz Beeswax (grated). Melt all ingredients, and mix well, while cooling, if desired, add essential oil. A drop or two of Rose Geranium Essential Oil is a nice addition.

HERBS FOR HIM

It is hard to find herbal gifts for men that are not flowery and over perfumed but this recipe for ginger liniment  is great especially for the athlete!

Bundle these herbal remedies with a reusable ice pack, a natural sunscreen and some homemade lip balm for the active lover /s on your list.

Ginger Liniment This healing massage oil is great for muscle aches and stiff joints.

2-inch piece fresh ginger
1⁄2 cup almond oil

Grate ginger and combine with oil in a small, nonmetallic saucepan. Cover and simmer over low heat for 1 hour. Remove from heat and steep for another hour. Strain oil to remove bits of ginger. Using a nonmetallic funnel, pour liniment into a four-ounce glass bottle with a tight-fitting screw top.

Attach the following instructions on a gift tag:

To use, gently massage the oil into affected area twice a day until symptoms have disappeared.

HERBAL AFTERSHAVE SPLASH

This is an ideal gift for a man. A refreshing, mildly antiseptic and delightfully aromatic aftershave lotion.

10 drops rosemary essential oil 6 drops bay essential oil 6 drops lemon essential oil 5 drops lime essential oil 2 drops sage essential oil 1/3 fl oz (10 ml) tincture of benzoin (friar's balsam) 1/2 fl oz (15 ml) witch hazel 2 fl oz (50ml) rosewater 2 fl oz (50 ml) cider vinegar.

Dissolve the essential oils in the tincture of benzoin, and then mix with the witch hazel, ensuring that the mixture is well blended. Mix the rosewater and cider vinegar together, and then thoroughly blend the two solutions together. Store in a glass bottle with a tight-fitting, non-metallic lid.

HERB MINI GARDENS

These small gardens are very useful in the kitchen so a few extra for friends are an idea.

First you need a few clay pots, short, wide pots are best.

Use a good quality organic potting mix to give them a good start.

Now you need some fresh herbs, obtain five to six different kinds for variety.

All you need to do is to plant the herbs so they look great and water them in.

HAT crochet, fabric, knit, whatever is your thing.

HUGS GIFT BOX Get the children to help make a tiny box from scrap board and gift wrap with ribbon etc. Attach a gift tag which reads ...

This is a very special gift
That you can never see
The reason it's so special is
It's just for you from me.

Whenever you are lonely
Or are ever feeling blue
You only have to hold this gift
And know I'm hugging you.

You never can unwrap it
Please leave the ribbon tied
Just hold the box close to your heart
It's filled with hugs inside.

HERB PILLOWS are easy to make with  fabric scraps and ribbons etc. Air dried herbs work best. You may cheat a little with some pure essential oils if stocks are low in the garden.Try Rosemary, Basil, Scented Geraniums etc.

HERB-SCENTED STATIONERY

Any of the sweet scented herbs can be used to decorate and perfume recycled or fair-trade note paper and greeting cards.

A slit can be made at the back of a card and a sprig of herb attached to the card. Boxes of stationery can be decorated with pressed, dried herb leaves or flowers, and a little bag of the same dried herb placed in a box to perfume the paper and envelopes.

soaps-homemade-380px.jpgHANKIES tie a cake of homemade soap in a pretty bundle with a ribbon bow or roll a cake of soap in a handkerchief and tie with a pretty ribbon.

I IKEBANA arrangement.

IOU write out IO Us on recycled paper or card. Offer gardening, seasonal meal prepared, hand massage, picnic, day out, art exhibition, etc.

For example, you could give your spouse an I-O-U for two hours of back massages redeemable at any time.

For a friend, you could write “I-O-U three home-cooked meals."

The I-O-U has two parts. First, write what you are giving the person. Second, write when that person can redeem the gift. For a loved one, write “redeemable at any time.”

Inexpensive Herby Ideas  herbs for the kitchen, bathroom everywhere!

INCENSE aromatic gift with a difference.

J JEWELS fun jewellery handmade from sea-shells, pottery, beads, and found items from nature. If bling is your thing, check out local craft markets.

JARS decorate empty jars with simple flower designs or colourful heart patterns. Fill with treats made with love and organic ingredients. Memory Jars Write out some of your best memories (a dozen or more) on small pieces of pretty recycled paper. Include things you've done together, things that made a difference to you. Fold them and put them into a jar so that they can be "munched on over time".

JARS FILLED WITH HOMEMADE JAMS of every description are always pleasing. Present two or three small  jam jars (use baby food jars) in a basket. To make jam jar covers, cut circles of colorful fabric saucer size. Pink the edges and secure to top of jar with a small rubber band. Finish with a thick coloured wool, raffia,string or twine and a bow and tie a personalized label or glue a label on the jar.

A dash of the right organic pick-me-up turns a humble conserve into a gift suitable for the most discerning recipient. Who would guess that Black Grape and Port Jelly was once Grandma's humble grape jelly or that Vintage Whiskey marmalade began life as Great Aunt Mary's staple conserve - jam made with bush lemons from the backyard. Even the man who appears to have everything does not yet have a personally-labelled pot of homemade Drambuie Breakfast Marmalade. Variations to basic jam : 2 tablespoons organic orange-flavored liquor.

JIGSAW BOARD

DIY Jigsaw Board

K KNITTED slippers or socks.

KITCHEN GIFTS make a special pie for dinner with 'I love you'.

If you're talented in the kitchen, you could make chutneys, preserves, cakes, cookies, herb vinegar, pies or chocolate truffles as presents. Or make your own flavored organic oil, adding dried chillies, garlic or herbs to a pretty bottle and filling it up with best-quality organic oil.

L LIQUEUR in fancy bottles - Homemade Tia Maria - 2 1/2 cups water + 2 cups organic sugar + 1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla + 1 tablespoon instant organic coffee + 750ml bottle organic brandy or rum. Simmer the first four ingredients for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Leave to cook and then add the brandy. Leave 10 days before drinking.

LUSCIOUS Lip Gloss - 1 cup organic coconut oil + 1 cup beeswax + 1/2 cup caster oil + fragrant oil of your choice (peppermint) + beetroot juice, as much as you need for Valentines colour.

Place the coconut oil and the beeswax in a pan over hot water. Stir until melted then add the caster oil. Stir well to combine all the ingredients then add your fragrant oil drop by drop until the perfume you require + the beetroot juice. Remove from the heat and pour into small containers or jars. Before giving as a gift add a pressed and dried flower to the top of each lip gloss, replace the lid and wrap with rice paper. Decorate each gift with a little of your personality.

istock_diy_cardsLOVE HEARTS make soaps, cards, craft, chocolates, biscuits, cakes, dessert in heart shapes.

LOVE SONG self-composed love song.

LOVING is ecologically very sound, does not upset the environment, energy efficient, saves heat, portable, requires no extra equipment, always working with benefits, eases tension, fights insomnia, makes every great day, even greater. A wonderful feeling of belonging, feels great, dispels loneliness and opens doors to feelings, communication and the list goes on. What value, what price if it could be sold?

LOCAL Buy locally-made items from your markets or craftspeople.

M MOBILES to hang in the gentle breeze and remind you of your love for each other.

Maidenhair fern in hanging pot.

N NUTS organically grown , if you are fortunate enough to have a nut tree in your yard and place in a decorated jar, bag or basket. Nibble dishes made from pottery or woven grasses.

sand-love-228x94px.jpgNO COST GIFTS lovingly crafted from homemade or recycled materials. Write your message in the sand on a beach.

O ODDMENTS of fabric, ribbon etc for a craft basket. Thrift shops and recycle stores at your local dump / tip are great places to make a gift box of useful oddments - nuts and bolts, screws, timber offcuts etc. for the handy-person.

Orange rings spiced and bottled. Olives home grown and preserved.

DIY Pickled Olives

Greek Style Pickled Olives

ORGANIC HAMPER Indulge with a local, organic hamper made up from your own grown or the local farmers market or give gifts of homemade or locally-brewed beer or organic wine.

Let loved ones indulge guilt-free with the huge range of organic wine, beers and spirits available, which are kinder to the planet and kinder to them. Organic wine is produced using a natural system of farming and limits the use of sulphur to control fungus. Organic regulations also limit sulphur dioxide which is added to wine as a preservative. On average organic producers use just one quarter of the legal maximum of sulphur dioxide allowed for non-organic wines, which may even lessen the chances of a hangover.

Organic beer is made from organic malt and hops. The average non-organic farmer is estimated to spray hops up to 14 times each year with an average of 15 pesticides.

Organic spirits are available through specialist suppliers and some supermarkets. The main difference lies in the use of organic raw materials, non-organic vodka is made from grain produced in systems usually reliant upon multiple applications of pesticides and artificial fertilisers.

ODDMENTS of fabric can be cut into 15 cm by 15 cm (6 x 6 in) squares with pinking shears. Place a dessertspoon of lavender in centre. Gather up in your hand and secure with a rubber band and tie with a pretty ribbon. Makes a pretty lavender sachet to hang in a wardrobe or tuck into a drawer or handbag.

P PHOTO FRAME insert a favourite photo and decorate the frame. Write a message on the back of the frame.

Try making your own wood picture frame for the perfect gift, just slip a photograph in.

DIY Wood picture frame

PERFUMED herbal pillow.

POTPOURRI Potpourri and pomanders.

bridal_paperPAPER (hand-made, recycled) and tied up with ribbon and some heart shape fabric or recycled board.

Step 1:   Cut junk mail into small shreds, soak it in warm water for about 2 hours, and blend it in a blender.

Step 2:   Add small quantities of flowers, grass, and leaves for fun, color, and texture.

Step3:   Spread it out on a flat, fine-holed, wire-mesh screen—use a rolling pin to flatten it.

Step 4:   Smear a tablespoon of cornstarch over the paper to increase its strength.

Step 5:   When it dries, you can use this paper as stationary, to decorate used boxes, or even to make Valentine Cards. (For an even prettier look, glue dried flowers on top of the paper).

Perfume - DIY Fragrance

Pressed flower gifts.

PICNIC BASKET fully stocked and head for your nearest picnic spot and enjoy!

PAMPER and melt worries away with relaxing DIY botanicals and other soothing stress busters. Potions and lotions - homemade holistic beauty.

PEN OR PENCIL HOLDER Rinse an empty can out and smooth away any sharp edges around the top. Let the children decorate with cut out heart motifs or left over scraps of material or found items from nature. Fill with recycled pens or pencils for Daddy or friends.

PEN STAND Sand the edges of a piece of scrap pine ( 14 x 6 cm is a handy size). Rule a line down the centre and mark off the holes. Carefully drill holes wide enough for pencils or pens to fit it. Paint or decorate with the children's help!

istock_flower_pots_diy_smallPLANT a tree that will last a lifetime.

PLACEMATS made from old calendars or magazines are easy. Just cut out the pictures and lay down on clear laminate. Then put a layer of laminate on top making sure to smooth it out to prevent air bubbles or wrinkles.

PICKLES in jars will be gladly received by the gourmet chef.

Q QUICHE baked to your favorite recipe.

QUILTING place mats to serve your special dinner or breakfast.

QUESO BLANCO goats milk cheese and other simple variations.

R RAIN GAUGE made from suitable mounted bottle with measurements marked up one side.

RECYCLED THREADS This is one of the great joys of thrift-shop-crafting - it's the chance to make truly original crafts. Apart from the savings for your pocket and the environment, you are helping a deserving charity. As well as avoiding the commercialism of Valentines Day.

Any zips and buttons are bonuses and can be put away for future projects. From a velvet or silk dress or skirt you could make cushions, pincushions, jewellery boxes, Eco bags or patchwork items, great for a gift for a friend on Valentine's Day.

From adult dresses make herb pillows, aprons, place mats, patchwork articles, handbags, shopping bags, coat hanger covers.

Denim jeans make great Eco bags or peg bags.

Wool jumpers can be unpicked and knitted or crocheted into new gifts. Make sure the garments you buy are not matted. Wind the wool into hanks, wash and steam to remove crinkles. From this wool you can make gloves, caps, bags, tea cosies, golf club covers and cushion covers.

Re-incarnate old sweaters and jumpers

These are just a few suggestions for starters, the possibilities are almost endless.

RUG crochet or knit for a cosy rug to snuggle up when the kids are in bed.

S SCENTED SACHET tie up dried lavender, jasmine or orange blossom into small fabric squares to hang under the hot tap for a special Valentine's bath! You might like to add a bottle of organic champagne ( again, after the kids are in bed!).

SUGAR AND SPICE Making potpourri and other scented delights is enjoyable, easy and doesn't necessitate owning an old-fashioned cottage garden. You can beg, borrow or buy most of the aromatic flowers and leaves and with the addition of a pinch of spice, a little orris root powder and a few drops of essential oil, create a nose-twitching mixture. Packaged colorfully and artistically you have a beautiful and unique gift to cherish.

strawberries_220px.jpgSEEDS selection of seeds saved from your garden, in marked packets with comical sketch on packet. Strawberry plants.

T  TERRARIUM of selected tiny plants set in pebbles.

TEA a selection of various dried herbs suitable for tea-making.

TOOL KIT for a beaut bike or a sewing kit can be made from a strip of heavy material such as denim, with loops to hold tools or cottons and sewing accessories, then rolled up and tied with a strip of material.tool-kit.gif


For the bike kit add extra strips to tie the kit to the bike.
This idea can also be used to make a manicure set, a shoeshine kit, or a picnic set with a larger cover which becomes a cloth when unfolded.

 

U

UNDERWEAR his / hers homemade smalls from organic / recycled fibre, or sew a pretty silk camisole and french knicker set for a special lady.

Upcycle a T-Shirt to Underpants from Zen of Making (External Link)
DIY Easy Eco Lingerie @ Crafting a Green World (External Link)

Making Boxer Briefs for the Man - a Tutorial from This Busy Mommy (Extenal Link)
Sewing Pattern: Unisex Boxer Shorts @ Craft Passion (External Link)

UMBRELLAS make pretty lavender umbrellas from small print fabric, lace and ribbons. Cut a circle the size of a dinner plate , fold in two and cut in half (makes two umbrellas). Sew lace trim to right side of fabric on outer edge of one semi-circle. Fold semi-circle, with right sides together, into a cone shape and sew seam leaving a small opening at the bottom. Insert a pipe cleaner into the hole, leaving 22 cm (9in) protruding. Secure chenille stick or pipe cleaner to base of cone shape with hand stitching. Turn right side out and half fill with lavender. Secure with rubber band, tie a ribbon bow to trim, and bend hook in top of chenille stick or pipe cleaner to form "umbrella".

UNUSUAL POTTED PLANT bromeliad, a Venus fly- trap or pitcher plant.

holding_handsV VALENTINE CELEBRATION Plan an evening stroll through a nearby park, forest, or beach. Hold hands, stare at the stars and moon, and listen to the sounds of nature. If it’s raining, find a covered vista or gondola and kiss to keep warm.

Have a family picnic under the stars or make reservations at an Eco-friendly organic restaurant, or don your chef’s hat and prepare an organic feast that’s good to the tastebuds and good to the planet.

VINEGARS AND OILS  make up herbal vinegars and organic salad oils in glass jars with sprigs of rosemary, tarragon, parsley, etc and season with garlic and peppercorns.

VIOLETS fresh, dried or potted.

VOUCHERS for services like massages and gardening have a low Eco-impact as do gifts like movie, concert or sports tickets. Also consider giving someone GreenPower or offsetting their carbon emissions.

VINTAGE-CHIC handmade apron and peg bag set, made in the prettiest prints. A beautiful wall hanging embroidered with a special message to give with love.

When you DO have to buy gifts try to buy used. Vintage gifts that have some meaning behind them as opposed to the regular Valentines chocolates, jewels and flowers.

Try flea markets, antique jewellery and vintage clothing and re-sale shops for gifts - you'll be giving a unique present, as well as recycling.

W WINE -home - brewed, in fancy bottle and personalized labels.

WIND CHIMES made from pottery discs or anything recycled that takes your fancy.

X X-TRAORDINARY  homemade gifts are also extremely appreciated by their recipients because of the time, care and love taken in the making. Keep the love alive for another year!

Y YOURSELF there's some of you in every gift, because of the pleasure in the making and the giving.

YOGURT CHEESE

Z ZANY hand printed organic T shirt.

ZESTY HERBS hand picked from the garden and turned into culinary delights - pesto, to accompany a fresh home baked herb loaf.

ZZZZZZZZ a good sleep after a wonderful organic Valentine's Celebration Feast, that helped celebrate your loved ones and the love of the planet!

With just a little help, even your children will be enthralled making some of these special gifts all year round or for unique Valentine's Day gifts.

Related Recipe Articles: greenrule-490px.gif

  
recipe_article_tb_75px.jpgHEALTHY BITES  Recipe ideas without all the nasties using love and care + organic ingredients. Enjoy ecobites' collection of fully illustrated recipes (with photos). All written exclusively for ecobites by CEO Lyn Stein (or user submitted). Eating healthy doesn't have to be bland. Choose from soups, starters, snacks, drinks, exotic fruit treats, vegetable dishes, pasta and more. Click here to visit ecobites' recipes.

ECO KIDS CORNER Tasty recipes for children to eat and/or create. Tried and proven healthy recipes without sugar and processed foods that children love. Get your children to create these recipes and you will have started them on a lifelong journey of great food and excellent dietry habits. Click here to visit Eco Kids Corner Recipes. 

 

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There are no passengers on Spaceship Earth.  We are all crew.

Marshall McLuhan 1964

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