Teen Breathe

Handmade with love

With many people out festive shopping at the moment, it’s a good reminder that there are events and celebrations throughout the year that could be made more eco-friendly

Many presents come wrapped in or are made of plastic. But with a little creativity, it’s easy and fun to come up with alternatives. Read on to unwrap the reasons why a handmade gift can make a big difference – to the recipient and you, as well as to the environment.



Making a handmade gift using materials foraged from the outdoors, such as leaves, seashells and twigs, is sustainable, eco-friendly and cost-free. Going outside to collect the natural materials you need is also the perfect opportunity to connect with nature and tune in to the beauty of the shifting seasons.

Personal touch

Homemade presents take more time and effort than shop-bought ones and show the people you care about how much they mean to you. You can also personalise gifts by incorporating the receiver’s name or their favourite colour, flavour or smell. This makes your presents utterly unique.


Gift-making doesn’t have to be a solo activity – you can make an occasion of it by inviting friends or family over to join in. This can be especially fun in the winter months when it’s cold and dark outside and you’re searching for something different to do.


It’s a gift to yourself to allow yourself the time and space to create handmade presents, which can be a calming and mindful activity. So, as you progress with your craft, bring your full awareness to each step as you complete it, focusing on the sounds, smells and textures beneath your fingers. This can be a powerful meditative tool and bring deep inner peace. The creative process of making your own gifts is also extremely satisfying, and once your present is wrapped and ready to go, you can sit back and enjoy feelings of pride and achievement.

Gift ideas

Stuck for inspiration? With a few eco-friendly crafting materials, such as string, ribbon, buttons and wool, as well as items foraged from outdoors, there are many options. Decorative wreaths and garlands, necklaces, candles, bird feeders and bird biscuits, pieces of art are just a few. And if they need wrapping there’s an eco-friendly option for that too! Try the centuries-old Japanese craft of furoshiki.


Words: Heather Casey Leigh – Year 12

Illustration: Shutterstock.

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