As you’re making your list and checking it twice, are you running out of gift ideas for the creative DiYer on your list? She makes everything from scratch already. She handcrafts her own makeup, lip stuff, hand lotions, air fresheners, cleaners, bath fizzies, soap, and moisturizers already. She is the ninja in garden-to–jar preserves. She’s into herbal remedies and is the one everyone calls for an ache, a virus, an infected cut, or a broken bone. She’s a community treasure, for sure. And now you need a list of gift ideas and she isn’t helping.
She doesn’t even have a “Wish List”. When you ask her what she wants for Christmas or her birthday, she says, “Nothing. I have everything I need.” And she does, except for one thing. She needs inspiration. Because crafting a DiY life uses up energy. And that energy is fueled by inspiration, by beauty, and by JOY, oh and sometimes coffee.
I’ve compiled a list to help you find the most inspiring gift ideas for DiYers and Creatives this season, but I’d also love to know your picks. So if you’ve done your shopping already, can you scroll down to the comments and let me know what you found. These Creative DiYers are so hard to find gifts for.
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Tools for Every DiYer
A blade coffee grinder
A blade coffee grinder is an essential tool for powdering herbs, makeup and art pigments, dyes, and coffee to fuel the creative muse. Grab one with a removable and washable stainless steel cup. Stainless steel is non-reactive, and easy to clean.
The Instant Pot
The Instant Pot makes getting dinner on the table easy and fun. It makes rice, pressure cooks beans and tougher roasts. It can make a one pot dinner, starting with browning the meat, sautéing the onions, and then slow cooking to bring out the flavours. You know how DiYers and creatives can get lost in the zone. This makes sure they also get to eat. And you’ll want a second stainless steel insert. Just saying.
Nonreactive baking sheet
A large baking sheet makes cookie baking and decorating more efficient. They work for artisan loaves of bread too. But one drawback as been the non-stick coating on most baking sheets. If the sheet is heavy enough metal, inevitably it is aluminum. And no one wants aluminium in their food. But stainless steel baking sheets are inevitably too light weight and warp under high heat. Nonstick cookware with Teflon™ coating (generic: PTFE, PFOA), can harm pets and over time sluffs off into your food and down the drain. It’s highly toxic and persistent in the environment. These ceramic coated baking sheets solve that problem. The ceramic coating is non reactive and contains no PTFE, PFOA nor cadmium. The ideal solution is a heavy gauge stainless steel baking sheet, but so far no one has come up with an affordable model for home use. Try this until the perfect solution arrives.
Many craft and crunchy mamma recipes call for distilled water or filtered water. The high chemical content of municipal tap water can wreck recipes that utilize fermentation or have an element of colour. Well water can be contaminated with metals that shift the colour and hinder the results of fermentation as well. But distilled water is sold in plastic jugs that can also introduce unwanted chemicals into the equation. Plus who knows what community was compromised for that bottled water. A Berkey water filter solves this problem with their unique water filtering system that removes chemicals, contaminants, viruses, and bacteria from the water, leaving the beneficial salts intact. And the filters can be used over and over again.
A Bain Marie
Melting beeswax, tempering chocolate, whisking hollandaise sauce, or making salves requires the use of a water bath, bain marie, or double boiler. While you can make one using a can in a pot of water, it’s nice to have a pot already made for the purpose. It will be used regularly for making lip balms, salves, lotions, candles, candies, and fondant. Your DiYer may even use it for making dinner.
An Immersion Blender
An immersion blender cuts down the time it takes to bring soap to trace. It is also useful for making pesto, salad dressing, and lotion. Get one with a removable base that can be fully immersed for cleaning.
A KitchenAid Mixer
Your creative will love this KitchenAid mixer with 575 watts of power and a 6 quart bowl capacity. It’s big enough to make a week’s worth of bread, 13 dozen cookies, or 9 pounds of mashed potatoes.
While a mixer isn’t an essential tool, you can knead bread and mix cookie dough by hand, after all. But the mixer makes the job go faster, and leaves more time to devote to other creative endeavors. Your creative might even bake homemade bread more often once she has a mixer of her own.
The professional mixer has the highest watts of power for the price, and a convenient bowl lift to get the bowl in the right position for mixing. The bowl lift is less stressful on the shoulders than the less powerful tilt that the Artisan mixers have. Also the tilt needs a higher clearance under kitchen cabinets, to compensate for the change in the mixer’s height when tilted back. If she plans to keep the mixer on the counter, under a cupboard, this will be important.
Backup Power Pack
Backup power pack with surge protection to protect files from being compromised if the power goes out. This unit has automatic voltage regulation to correct for minor power fluctuations, for areas where power fluctuations occur frequently. Protect your creatives hard won words or art and let her keep working, even when the grid goes down with this back up power pack with pure sine energy. With ten outlets you can run your entertainment system, computers, laptop, and even charge your cell phones with back up power.
Books for the DiYer
Make Candles, Salves, Cosmetics, Soap, and Art Supplies
The Beeswax Workshop: How to Make Your Own Natural Candles, Cosmetics, Cleaners, Soaps, Healing Balms and More by Chris Dalziel (that’s me)
Hot off the Press: My brand new book focused on nontoxic alternatives to commercial products. There’s 130 DiY recipes to pick from that will help you rid your home, garden, and even your art of toxic products, switching them out to healthier alternatives that rely on local beeswax. My favorite recipes are the art supplies for beeswax crayons with saturated colour, plasticine from wholesome ingredients, and natural pigmented oil pastels. But that’s just one chapter.
Make Your Own Make Up
Make It Up: The Essential Guide to DIY Makeup and Skin Care by Marie Rayma —
Hot off the Press: This is a brand new book by a Canadian author that explores nontoxic makeup and skin care recipes tested on her blog HumbleBeeAndMe. Expect to find durable and elegant makeup that will shine with colour, using the finest quality oils and pigments. This is a must have addition to your DiY library.
Forage the wild and cook it well
Another new title by Chelsea Green Press. This one has incredibly beautiful pictures of wild crafting, fermentation, and infusions. There are innovative techniques for getting the most flavour and nutrition from local plants, animals, and even insects. This is a hefty, thoroughly researched and well-lived tome that will be at home on the coffee table and on the cookbook shelf. It’s a little heavy to read in bed though, as much as I wanted to.
Replace the Commercial Personal Care Products with Organic DiY
This is another 2016 title with over 100 recipes for DiYers from lip balm to moisturizer, deodorant, and salve. Every recipe uses commonly grown garden plants in infusions to obtain the full herbal benefit of each plant. The photos are beautiful and the instructions are easy to understand, even for the beginner.
More DiY inspiration that will save you money
Another book with Diy recipes for inexpensive, simple and self-reliant essentials like sunscreen, furniture polish, and scratch cooking that focus on frugal living, inspired by the Little House on the Prairie series of books.
A Gratitude Journal, Art Journal, Writing Journal
A Hard Bound Journal Cover to inspire early morning writing sessions, quotes, gratitude, or storyboarding. These hand tooled leather covers with hard bound journal, included, will last a lifetime. The inserted journal can be replaced as it is filled with words and inspiration. Truly a beautiful and inspiring gift for your creative.
Ingredients for the DiYer
Beeswax is an essential ingredient in salves, lotions, balms, and ointments. Candles and many other DiY crafts also require beeswax. Get it from your local beekeeper if you can and support your local economy. If you don’t have a source of beeswax near you, here’s the best deal I found on Amazon. Find out more ways to use beeswax here.
Essential oils add fragrance and therapeutic value to DiY projects. Look for certified organic essential oils, if you can find them. Any contaminants in the essential oils will be absorbed by your body in cosmetic products or will become airborne if you use them in a diffuser.
If you are a beginner at using essential oils this kit has the first 4 essential oils every beginner should be comfortable with. For more inspiration for using these essential oils with confidence you’ll want my book, The Beginner’s Book of Essential Oils, too.
Dried Culinary Flowers
This dried flowers kit is useful for making potpourri, soap, and herbal remedies. If you don’t grow your own, you’ll need these flowers of your creative DiY projects. The kit contains dried lavender, roses, marigold, and chamomile. The flowers are culinary grade and fine for herbal teas and seasoning too.
Bath Bomb Molds
Making bath bombs is one of those frustrating DiY skills. Lush bath bombs sell for $5 to $10 and come in more flavours than ice cream. It should be simple to make your own, right? Well without a mold you can’t compress the citric acid, baking soda, Epsom salts, and corn flour enough to make them hold together without the addition of a liquid. But as soon as you add the liquid, you get that grade school volcano flash back. While using a proper mold won’t make you an instant bath bomb expert, it means you don’t need as much water/witch hazel/rubbing alcohol to make your powders mold together into a solid mass. And that will help a lot.
Make better bath bombs with these tips!
Everyone needs many coloured skeins of embroidery thread, for clothing repairs, friendship bracelets, hair ties, and sometimes even embroidery. DMC is the most respected name in cotton embroidery floss and these rich colours are high quality at an affordable price. This makes a good stocking stuffer for your creative.
Mother of Pearl Buttons
For crafts, for upcycled clothing, for bags, and scrapbooking, buttons are an important asset and embellishment. These are made of shells and have natural imperfections and intrinsic beauty.
Fuel for the Creative Muse
A Handbuilt Pottery Mug for the Coffee – I like this sweater mug, but don’t be limited – there are lots to choose from.
A Stove Top Coffee Pot
Fill that mug with the best homebrewed coffee that rivals the finest coffee bar. Add a frother and some fresh milk and you’ll just need lessons in making those fancy pictures in the foam.
Find out how to use a mokka pot here.
Can’t Make Up Your Mind? Try Prime for Inspiration!
And if you can’t make up your mind, the gift of Amazon Prime will allow your Creative to order her supplies with free shipping year round, plus Prime gives you music, streaming video, prime reading, unlimited photo storage, and more with your annual membership. Try it out for 30 days for free. It’s inspiration on steroids.
What’s your favorite gift to give to a creative friend or family member? You know, the one who says, I don’t need anything (except inspiration) and you know she’s right.