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Life & Style, Special Occasions

Ethical Christmas Gift Ideas #1

LED house
LED house

This post contains affiliate links

With four weeks to go until Christmas, I thought I’d share a few little ethical Christmas gift ideas.  I’m all about supporting independent shops and makers so everything I’ve featured is direct from a UK independent shop or maker.  As always, I’m mindful of budgets so everything is £45 or under, with items starting from just £6.75.

In this first post, I thought I’d put together a selection of ethical homeware gift ideas.  I had a lot of fun putting this together (I love homewares!) so I hope you enjoy it or find it useful!

Ethical Christmas Gift Ideas

ethical christmas gift ideas

Clockwise from top left:

1)  I have a Bygone Press Print in my living room, but I’m very taken with their fern print (£15.99) – I like its old-school charms!

2)   This LED battery-powered lighted house (£25) from Southampton-based Etsy seller Erinnies, would look beautiful on a shelf or mantlepiece.

3)  This British-made 100% recycled wool throw is just £16 from The Future Kept.  I’ve got one on my list for sure!

4)  I’m completely in love with this house plant pot (£16.50), again from Etsy seller Erinnies.

5)  This Let It Snow embroidered hoop (£12) would make such a cute gift!

christmas gift guide

1) I’ve had one of these Custard Cream Cushion (£32) by Nicki McWilliams on my wishlist for years!  One day!

2)  This Coffee and Tea Calendar (£16.50) from Willow & Stone would be perfect for any tea or coffee connoisseurs.

3)  A Bee Hotel (£19.95) is always a great idea for anyone who’s a lover of our little fuzzy friends.

4)  Some stork scissors (£6.75), which are pretty and practical for any keen sewers!

 5)  And finally, this beautiful yellow enamel Mini Moderns Kettle (£45).  All I can say is a big YES PLEASE!!

I’ll be posting a couple of ethical gift guides in the coming week, but you can find more ethical Christmas gift ideas in previous years posts, where items may still be available.

I’ve also got some Christmas non-gift ideas in my archives, as well as 10 homemade Christmas gift ideas that might come in useful!  Other things that might be great to make (even if you’re not DIY inclined!) are these easy beeswax candles (I promise anyone could make them) and this homemade reed diffuser DIY (again, I promise, anyone could make these!).

Arts & Crafts, Life & Style, Natural Cleaning

Homemade Reed Diffuser DIY – How To Make Your Own

make your own reed diffuser

Want to learn how to make a homemade reed diffuser?  Yes, it sounds tricky, but I promise it’s so easy!  

Now, I’m not really crafty, but this homemade reed diffuser tutorial is so simple it’s basically foolproof!  If you can add some liquid to a bottle then this is the DIY for you!  Much like most of my natural cleaning products to DIY to be honest!

reed diffuser DIY

My inspiration for this project came from my old bottle collection. Rather than just have them gathering dust on a shelf, I wanted to use some of them in a practical way.  At the same time, I was also looking for a way to freshen my bathroom without going down the chemical air freshener route.  Artificially scented products may not be the best for your health, so it’s something I try to avoid.

The smell of standard air fresheners and synthetic fragrances (especially the plugin ones) also makes me feel sick.  And I don’t like using essential oil burners because of having a small child in the house.  Therefore, a homemade reed diffuser put high out of reach of my little one felt like a good option.  

I came up with this idea for a homemade reed diffuser because it had the dual purpose of practically using my bottles.  At the same time, it scents my bathroom in an environmentally friendly and natural way without the use of harsh chemicals or synthetic fragrances.  Win!

homemade reed diffuser

Homemade Reed Diffuser DIY

It worked so well that I thought I’d share my technique because I’m good like that!  Here’s how you can make your own homemade reed diffuser for pennies, in minutes, and with only a few ingredients:

Ingredients

A clean glass jar preferably with a narrow mouth.
60 ml of sweet almond oil*
30 drops of essential oil* of your choice.
A handful of reed sticks*

I bought my sweet almond oil*, essential oils (rosemary* and grapefruit*) and reed sticks* from eBay.  I’ve got plenty left of each to make heaps of reed diffusers!

It’s really important to use a bottle or jar with a narrow opening as the oil will evaporate at a slower rate than a jar with a wide opening. This means the scent will be stronger when using a bottle or jar with a narrow opening.

Instructions

To make your homemade reed diffuser, pour 60ml of sweet almond oil into your glass jar.
Add your essential oil(s). I used 10 drops of rosemary oil and 20 drops of grapefruit oil as I wanted a clean citrus smell for my bathroom.
Wipe down your jar with a cloth to remove any oils that might have dripped down the sides.
Add your reed sticks.
Then, after a few hours remove your reed sticks and place them back in the jar upside down. This helps the oils travel up the sticks.
Place in a spot away from children and pets and enjoy the lovely aroma!

Some Points to Note When Using A Homemade Reed Diffuser

make your own reed diffuser

It’s really important to bear in mind that the scent in this homemade reed diffuser isn’t anywhere near as strong as its shop-bought counterparts. Therefore, don’t expect a particularly strong fragrance.  For that reason, I find it best to place the diffuser in a small area, such as a small bathroom or WC, rather than trying to scent your whole living room. It’s a different experience to using a synthetic reed diffuser.

If you are struggling to smell anything from your diffuser, then some people also swear by adding vodka to their diffuser. Apparently, this helps the oils travel up the reeds.  I didn’t have any vodka in the house so wasn’t able to try this.  Do let me know if you do, and what effect it has!

Finally, if you find the essential oil smell starts to go a bit flat after a few days then don’t worry. Try taking the reed sticks out and placing them back in the liquid upside down.

I hope you enjoy making it!  The essential oil diffuser would make such a lovely homemade gift, so definitely one to keep in mind if you’re ever in need of any eco-friendly gift idea! Alternatively, if you need something stronger scented, do check out my guide to eco-friendly air fresheners.

ps: if you like this try my homemade beeswax candle DIY!