Thursday, January 20, 2011

Green, Money Saving Gift Giving Ideas - Part #3

This post is part 3 in the series. Each post will contain one or 2 green gifting ideas. Click here for part 1 or here for part 2

Green, Money Saving Gift Giving Ideas
10 Gift giving ideas that will save you money, reduce waste and save resources.

5. Paint a pot and plant it with a propagated house plant or divided herb or flower from the garden
I love gardening. So this gift idea is one of my favorites. Every spring when I plant seeds in starter trays in my greenhouse I always plant too many. I assume that some of the seeds won’t germinate and some that do may not survive as seedlings. But even taking these factors into account, I always have extras. When I have extras of herbs, veggies and flowers, I have the perfect start to a great hostess or birthday gift. Terracotta pots are very inexpensive at the garden store, hardware store or even a discount store. You probably have some old ones in your garage or tool shed. I often get several when they are on sale to have on hand when I need them. I, then, paint them with any paint I have on hand. Stripes, polka dots, flowers and vine designs work well and will fit into most home decors. Be sure to plant your start several weeks in advance of your gift giving date to give the seedlings time to grow and mature into a nice plant or bloom into a beautiful flower. Alternatively you can propagate a house plant such as an African violet or spider plant or divide a plant that has outgrown its spot in your garden and use that plant in your decorated pot.

6. Make memory pillows or quilts from scraps
If you can sew a straight line either by hand or on a machine you can make a gift that any recipient will cherish for years. Although the word quilt may bring to mind something complicated, huge and very difficult, a decorative quilt doesn’t have to be any of those things. After my kids were born I made memory quilts of their hand or footprints for each of their grandmothers. I simply made hand or foot prints on a regular sheet of paper, scanned it into my computer and printed it onto printable fabric I got at the craft store. This square of fabric became the center of a very simple 18 inch by 18 inch quilt meant to be hung on the wall. The same quilt front could also be attached to a backing and stuffed to become a pillow. Other than the center printed square, the rest of the fabric used to make the patchwork front came from remnants I had on hand and scraps of old clothing that had a nice pattern.

Another idea I plan to get around to making some day is a memory quilt made from baby and toddler clothing my kids wore when they were little. I’ve saved a lot of t-shirts that have a graphic pattern on them and plan to cut those into squares and sew them together into a childhood memory quilt. I have so many memories of my kids wearing particular outfits and want to preserve those memories in a physical way that I can look at whenever I feel the need. Or maybe they’ll take the quilt to college with them. Who knows.

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