10 Easy DIY Gift Ideas for the Non-Crafty Green Diva

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I’m not the craftiest green diva, but I have been so inspired by some of my creative friends lately. Pinterest has become a visual buffet of crafty inspiration and I’ve been having this urge to stop everything, run to Michael’s for supplies and get creative with so much of the old stuff lying around here. This trend in upcycling virtual garbage into nifty usable items has caught on. Yes, every year for the past decade (or two), I’ve come up with something to make for holiday gifts, but there seems to be more inspiration than ever from sites like CraftingAGreenWorld, EcoKaren and GlueandGlitter – three of my favs.

But if you are like me, you are inspired, you click, and then you look at the instructions (if there are actually instructions behind that pin) and get immediately overwhelmed. So, my awesome intern, Jamie and I have done some homework and found some DIY gift ideas that seem fairly simple and have enough information to get us non-crafty green divas into the game. Our criteria was to find things that were EASY, relatively eco-friendly, low-cost, and would  make great gifts. See if any of these inspire you!

Scarf Watch Band

Seriously? This one is so simple it makes me feel stupid. And if you don’t have an old watch that has a crappy band that you can take off, they are so easy to find – and cheap. And the scarf thing? C’mon if you don’t have a scarf or two that you could part with, you might have some fabric you can cut accordingly or again, go to a vintage or thrift store and get a few (with the watches perhaps) for a small handful of dollars. Visit CountryLiving.com‘s site for a mess of great green DIY gift projects, including this one.


Teacup Candles

This one is a green-diva-tested AND approved project. I happened to have a lot of random teacups, but I also found some inexpensive ones in vintage and antique shops. I made a couple of dozen of these for holiday gifts a few years back and kept the one you see in the image here for myself. 😉 I found some good instructions for this on Martha Stewart’s site.


Ornaments Out of Salt Dough

Here’s an easy way to make some salt dough ornaments. You can get creative in finding shapes, making impressions, finding words, using pretty ribbons . . . wide open with endless possibilities here and couldn’t be much easier. In fact, you probably have all the ingredients in your pantry already! This one comes from a great site, MakeItGiveIt.

Altoid Tin Turned Biz Card Holder

This one might have sparked this entire post. Our sister site, CraftingAGreenWorld.com on the Important Media network offered this one recently. I liked it because you can customize it so easily – and of course, ‘easy’ is the key, right?


Placemats from Used Plastic Bags?

My buddy Becky Striepe is the queen of creating upcycled crafts! Who else would’ve thought of this one! This fun idea can be found with simple to follow instructions (yea!) at her wonderful site GlueAndGlitter.


Custom Chalkboards

Another friend and fellow member of the Green Sisterhood, EcoKaren, recently posted this great recipe for DIY chalkboard paint. This simple recipe gives you the ability to paint a smooth service and create a groovy chalkboard in a variety of shapes and sizes. EcoKaren offers good instructions and ever-thorough even offers us a homemade chalk recipe!

Message Art

Here’s a great way to get the message across, whether it is an inspirational quote or someone’s name, this crafty project from the same CountryLiving.com post above offers a great way to get creative with words, fabric, poster board and a frame!


Credit Cards into Guitar Picks

Love this one! Another simple and very clever idea for any guitar strummers in your world comes from our folks at CraftingAGreenWorld.com. I honestly can’t think of a better thing to do with old credit cards, bank cards, membership cards, etc.


Colored Glass Bottles & Jars

This got my attention because I happen to have a mess of interesting clear bottles that I really don’t do much with and I really love how they look painted from the inside like these! This idea came from a blog about entertaining called OhSoLovely and the instructions seemed pretty good. I’ll let you know how it goes. I’m definitely doing this one!


Fabric-Covered Frames

Not sure how green this one it, unless you are using used fabric or an old frame that might otherwise get tossed, but it seems like a relatively simple way to create a custom frame and could be specially designed to match someone’s color scheme, etc. Cute site, ModaBakeShop.com – not sure why they ventured into crafts, but the post is good with easy instructions for the non-crafty green diva, like me!

graphic of woman cutting paper via shutterstock.com
all other images are either from the original sites referenced and linked to each item
or my own image of the teacup candle 

About the author / 

Green Diva Meg

(aka Megan McWilliams) is a green living expert and media personality as the producer and host of the Green Divas Radio Show. She has been sharing low-stress ways of living a deeper shade of green for over 20 years. She also produces podcasts and videos for the Green Divas and other clients through the Green Diva Studio.

Related Posts


  1. charisenulsen@gmail.com'
    Charise @ I Thought I Knew Mama September 22, 2012 at 7:44 pm -  Reply

    I am a non-crafty, green mama, so this post is perfect for me :-)

  2. itflyingco@gmail.com'
    pop alex September 23, 2012 at 9:19 am -  Reply

    very nice gift ideas

  3. info@green-talk.com'
    Anna@Green Talk September 23, 2012 at 9:26 pm -  Reply

    Love the tea cup idea!

  4. laurahall907@yahoo.com'
    Laura November 9, 2012 at 11:03 pm -  Reply

    Great ideas! Even the old membership cards can turn in to a usable guitar picks, I bet this is a bit hard to do though. I am not a crafty diva but I will try this DIY gift ideas this holiday season. We should start to recycle to have a sustainable living.

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