‘Tis the season of giving and I know a little something about finding the perfect gift for people. In fact, when I recently reactivated my OKCupid profile, I laughed at what I had last written in the “I’m really good at…” category: gift-giving and listening. Still true, two-years-ago-Corinne.
Consider me your holigay elf, gifting you all the best gift guides for every occasion. While I already listed my top 20 favorite lesbian and queer-owned businesses to support this season — this time I want to dive into DIY projects as gifts. Yes! You too can make your own holigay gifts and save a little coin in the process.
I’ve been really into making decorative astrological charts for all my friends’ birthdays lately. It’s super fun because not only do you learn something new about them in the process, you get to empower them with a ton of information about how their birth chart impacts their lives and who they are.
I followed these amazing instructions from Little Red Tarot and it worked out perfectly. You want to make sure to include some fun and positive information about their birth chart. Feel free to go to our queer astrology expert, Alice Sparkly Kat for extra information. Explore your creative side while decorating the chart with colored pencils or water colors. I prefer water colors, because it looks more ~artsy~ to me.
Herbal Body Scrub
I recently made my own honeysuckle body scrub from wild honeysuckle growing in my backyard. If you’re not as lucky as me with fresh wild herbs growing all around you, then pick some up from a local herb or flower shop. The herb or flower you chose for this project will indicate the smell of your body scrub. I recommend rose petals, sage, or chamomile.
Take said herb or flower and put it in a jar that has an airtight seal. Pour a copious amount of olive oil, grape-seed oil, or sunflower oil (your pick!) over the herb/flower. Then seal it tight for about 3 weeks. When the three weeks are up, add the oil to an organic sugar. You kind of guesstimate the measurements here — add enough oil that it feels like a scrub, but not too oily or too dry. Viola! Now you have delicious smelling body scrub for all your friends. You can add pretty packaging to the outside if desired.
It’s about to be cold season so this elixir is the perfect gift! It’s also just plain delicious, so there’s that too. I like to call this blend the Triple Sweet Ginger Elixir.
What you’ll need: (makes a half a cup)
1/2 cup / 120 ml honey (preferably organic unheated)
2-4 tbsp freshly grated ginger (or ground ginger), depending on how strong you prefer
2 tsp ground turmeric (or freshly grated turmeric if you can find it)
1 organic unwaxed lemon, freshly grated zest
2 pinches ground black pepper
A dash of cayenne pepper
Combine all these ingredients in a bowl and stir. You want to aim for a strong flavor, since this is meant to be a boost for your immune system. Test for taste and add only add a few teaspoons of water if needed. Then put it in a nice glass jar for the gift. Print out a cute label with instructions, which are: Boil a cup of water and let slightly cool (to keep the benefits from the honey intact), stir in a few teaspoons of the honey mixture and drink. You can of course also add this to your favorite brewed tea.
This is the most ideal gift for bae if you are a writer and want to show your love for her. Making a zine is so easy and incredibly meaningful at the same time. It could be a narrative of your love story together or a collection of poems or whatever you want it to be!
You take some simple white paper (or whatever color you desire!) and fold them in half the hamburger way (I used to be a kindergarten teacher, stick with me here). Then you decorate them however you please! I suggest writing your messages first and painting/coloring afterwards. You compile the pages in the correct order and can bind the book with a decorative string (see photo above). There you have it, babes! A romantic gesture and meaningful gift she’ll be able to keep forever.
The holigay season always gets me feeling festive and creative — all at once. And what better way to release that energy than into loving gifts for others? The best part about DIY gifts is that they truly come from your heart and I think that makes them so much more meaningful than gifts purchased to feed the capitalist machine. But enough of me getting sappy, babes. Lez us know how these gifts worked out for you!
Corinne Kai is the Managing Editor and resident sex educator at GO Magazine. She looks at the world through the lens of a pleasure activist, femme-of-center queer woman. You can listen to her podcast Femme, Collectively or sign up for her witchy wellness newsletter or just stalk her on Instagram.