Welcome to another edition of the Homestead and Chill holiday season gift guide! Here you’ll find some great garden gift ideas, a dash of home and kitchen goods, a bedazzlement of crafty DIY inspo… and for the first time ever, a cat section! Lol. Because a) I’m a crazy cat lady, b) our cats are our only “children”, and c) why the heck not?
I added plenty of new and clever items to this year’s list, though you’ll see a few repeat goodies from year’s past – because some things are just too useful or awesome to not include again! If you’re looking for even more ideas than what’s included here, be sure to pop over to our 2019 Homestead Gift Guide or our 2020 Home, Health and Garden Gift Guide. I included a lot of wonderful small businesses and our go-to garden tools there.
For your browsing ease and pleasure, this list of homestead and garden gift ideas is broken up into four categories:
- DIY & Handmade Gifts (1-6)
- 2021 Garden Gift Ideas (new additions, 7-16)
- Our Favorite Homestead Gifts (repeats from previous guides, 17-26)
- Cat Gift Ideas (27-31)
To shop this article, use the links and buttons provided throughout! Some are affiliate links, meaning Homestead and Chill gains a small commission from purchases made through those links, but at no additional cost to you. We greatly appreciate your support by using our links! It’s what makes our content and work possible. Whenever possible, I try to provide you with discount codes too!
DIY & Handmade Gift Ideas
Here are a few of our favorite handmade gifts to give, including tutorials on how to make them. If you tuned into our past gift guides some of these will be familiar, though there are couple new goodies in the mix too!
1) Homemade Lip Balm
Learn how to make smooth, moisturizing, 100% natural lip balm here. You only need a few ingredients! It’s easy to make lots of these little cuties at once, making them the perfect stocking stuffer, party favor, or gift for numerous coworkers or friends. The recipe we share in the DIY tutorial is very close to the organic lip balms we offer in our shop.
2) Fruit & Veggie Stamped Kitchen Towels
This is the perfect craft project for kids and adults alike. I love making fruit and veggie stamped towels, and gifting them too! You can make them with a wide variety of fruit and veggies. Every year I play with different stamps, colors and designs. (Hint: a nice glass of wine makes this fun craft project even more enjoyable!)
3) Homemade Rice Heating Pad
If you have a sewing machine, it’s quite simple to make a heating pad out of rice, some spare fabric (even from an old pillow case), and optional essential oils. I love these darn things! I’ve gifted dozens of them and also use them myself all the time. Toss one in the freezer to use as a cold pack too!
4) Homemade Beeswax Food Wraps
Here is another great idea to use spare or scrap fabric, or even an old shirt! Making homemade beeswax wraps is easy to do, and helps to reduce the need for wasteful plastic food wrap. Plus, beeswax is naturally antimicrobial and keeps food fresh longer.
5) Healing Body Salves
Check out our tutorials on how to make nourishing calendula salve, lavender salve, or even cannabis-infused salve. Hint: You can use the same process to make all sorts of salves, using a variety of infused oils, herbs, and essential oils.
If you’re not up for making your own, we offer a variety of organic salves and balms in our shop including: lavender, calendula, “Bug Off Balm” (natural insect repellent), aftershave and beard balm, and new this season: “Breathe Easy“, a kid-safe and natural version of vaporub.
6) Blown Egg Ornaments
This idea is especially precious if you have your own backyard chickens (and perhaps easier too, since their shells are nicely hard and thick!) We’ve made a special ornament to commemorate each of our hens. Though you can certainly make them from eggs purchased from the store, farmer’s market, or local farm stand too!
2021 Garden Gift Ideas (New Additions)
7) Roo Apron
Ever need an extra set of hands when you’re out in the garden? Or a basket? How about a kangaroo pouch? The Roo Apron is a great place to stash your harvest, tools, gloves, or other garden goodies while you work. They’re durable, functional, and pretty dang cute too! I have the green Roo apron (full size) though they also come in grey, purple, blue and a smaller “Joey” pouch-only version too.
Use this link plus the code “HAC15” to save 15% on all your Roo goodies from now until December 20th!
8) UPF Clothing & Sun Hats
How about the gift of protection? Us gardeners love to spend hours outside in the sun, but our skin doesn’t necessarily appreciate it so much. This summer we discovered Solbari, an Australian-based company that specializes in UPF clothing and hats. UPF stands for ultraviolet protection factor, and blocks out harmful UV rays from the sun.
Solbari gear is both functional and fashionable. We’ve been wearing it non-stop when we’re outside – in the garden or while hiking! I love feeling protected without the need to grease up with sunscreen. We both have a few of their basic long-sleeve shirts, which are light, breathable, and don’t feel hot while working. I also have a super cute wrap and lightweight zip-up hoodie, perfect for our beach walks!
Use code “Deanna10” to save 10% on your Solbari purchase.
San Diego Hat Company is another place we love to get sun hats. Aaron is wearing his favorite “El Campo” unisex hat from San Diego Hat Co in the photo below. They have tons of other stylish sun hats, lifeguard hats (also great for the garden), fedoras, and other styles too. See all their UPF sun hats here! (Save up to 50% off site wide for Black Friday).
9) LED Grow Light Shelf
After moving this year (and no longer having a greenhouse to start seeds in) we got this 3-Tier LED Sunlite grow light shelf from Gardener’s Supply. I am elated to report that we grew the most healthy, fast-growing, and robust seedlings EVER under those lights. Seriously. (And that is saying a lot, since we’ve been growing from seed for many, many years). It’s energy-efficient, sleek, and a great space-saver. We have it in an outbuilding/shed, though it would be just as happy in a spare room, garage, or other convenient space. Not to mention, Gardener’s Supply is a really stellar B-corp. We love to support them!
If this particular light shelf isn’t tickling your fancy, Gardeners has several different designs and options to choose from. You can also learn all about choosing and using grow lights here! Use code “HOLIDAYFS” to get free shipping on orders over $125.
10) Omlet Automatic Chicken Coop Door
This one is for all the chicken ladies and gentlemen out there! We recently installed this automatic chicken coop door for our girls – and absolutely love it. The Omlet auto door is battery-operated, can be set to open and close at specified times or via a sunlight sensor, and will tuck your flock in safely for the night. It can be mounted in wood, wire, and Omlet coops or runs, and also a safety feature so it won’t close ON a bird.
We’ve relied on an automatic coop door for years. They’re convenient for everyday use, and a total lifesaver for evenings when we’re out late or times we’re out of town for a few nights.
Green Omlet auto doors are currently 10% off for Black Friday, now through midnight on November 29th.
11) Soothing Bath Salts
Though it’s arguably one of the most healthy hobbies you can have, gardening can be pretty tough on our bodies at times too! It’s important to take time to stretch, relax, and tend to your aches and pains. This year, we created a new line of nourishing mineral bath salts to help do just that!
Made with a blend of high-quality salts, organically-grown flowers and herbs, home-ground colloidal oat powder, vitamin E oil and calming essential oils, our premium bath salts are designed to enhance your bath experience and soothe your skin, muscles, joints, and nerves.
Our bath salts are available in 3 luxurious blends ~ Soothe (calendula chamomile), Chill (lavender, rose), and Uplift (rosemary citrus, oat-free). A reusable organic cotton “tea bag” is included with every bag for a floatie-free soak. Use coupon code “thankyou” to save $5 when you buy 3 or more!
12) Hammock Chair
Talk about relaxing. We hung two awesome hammock swing chairs in the majestic oak trees in our backyard this summer, and it’s quickly become one of our favorite chill spots! Siesta offers a variety of ethically-made hammock chairs and full-size hammocks, including organic cotton options. We chose the “Domingo” style with weather-resistant fabric in the “comfort” size – which is plenty big! They also offer a larger king size if you really want to kick back and relax.
13) Birdies Raised Garden Beds
Y’all know we love raised beds. I prefer the ergonomics, control over soil quality, and ability to block out weeds and pests compared to in-ground gardening. We like to build our own wood raised beds, though I realize not everyone is up for that task. Also, some folks prefer the look or added durability of metal raised beds (especially folks in very wet or humid climates). My buddy Kevin of Epic Gardening has the perfect solution! He sells Birdies garden beds here. They’re high-quality, long-lasting, metal garden bed kits that are easy to assemble. They come in a variety of heights, shapes and sizes.
Save 5% with code “DeannaCat”!
14) Garden Flags
Decorative garden flags are a fun way to add a bit of whimsy and personality to your yard or garden yard. You can find all sorts of flags out there, and something for everyone on your garden gift list! A cute welcome sign, seasonal designs, butterfly or hummingbird art, flowers, cats, dogs, cows, chickens, and more… Browse Etsy, Amazon, or your local garden center for ideas! We recently put up this Progress Pride flag, hung on a sturdy and adorable little bird flag stand.
15) Topical CBD Rollerball
You’re likely aware that we’re avid proponents and believers of plant medicine, including CBD! I already take organic CBD oil every day, which helps with my anxiety, stress, sleep issues, and joint pain. However, I know some folks aren’t keen on taking oral CBD themselves, but that doesn’t mean they have to miss out on some of the benefits!
Our favorite CBD brand (NuVita) just came out with a new topical rollerball last month, perfect to soothe target problem areas – like on that achy knee or stiff neck. It also contains organic therapeutic essential oils that further aid in reducing inflammation, pain, tension, headaches, and more. I love rubbing it on after a long day working hard in the garden!
Use code ‘deannacat’ to save 10% off all NuVita CBD products.
16) An Owl Box
Where are all my fellow bird nerds at? Owls are fascinating creatures to have around, and offer natural rodent control in the garden! Adding an owl box to your yard is a fun and rewarding way to provide wildlife habitat, which helps to support their populations too. Do a little research to find out what owl species are most common in your area and then go from there. Different owls prefer different shapes and sizes of owl boxes.
You can buy pre-made owl boxes (or kits) online, or find plans to build your own! Use plans from trusted bird experts, like this Barn owl box plan from the Audubon Society, or this Eastern Screech owl box from the Cornell Wildlife Center. I just bought this Screech owl box for our homestead and couldn’t be more excited for it to arrive!
Our Favorite Home & Garden Gifts (on Repeat)
17) Solar Lights
Light up the night! We love to adorn our garden and other outdoor spaces with a variety of solar lights, like these rad flickering solar tiki torches or these pretty pathway lights that cast a stunning pattern on the ground. Both are very bright and long-lasting! Even better, did you know that most solar lights have a battery inside the lid that you can change after a few years – when you may otherwise think they’ve “died”? Swap them out with fresh rechargeable solar batteries and they’re good as new!
18) Seed Storage Box
For the past several years, we have relied on photo storage boxes to store our seeds. I love how this has caught on as a trend in the gardening community – and rightly so, because it simply works all too well! The main storage box is full of individual cases (perfectly sized for seed packs) that will keep your garden seeds nicely organized, dry, and easy to find and grab as needed. We label and group seed packs together in separate cases, such as one for “tomatoes”, “peppers”, “leafy greens” and more.
Note that there are several versions of similar photo storage cases, but we are particularly fond of ours (by IRIS USA) since it is made in the USA, BPA-free, and very, very durable. Learn more about seed storage FAQ and best practices here.
19 Hummingbird Feeder
One of my most simple, pure joys in life is watching our resident hummingbirds play and eat outside our windows. They’re so cute and feisty! Did you know that hummingbirds recognize and remember all the flowers they ever visit, and the humans that tend to their feeders?
Build a bond with your local hummer friends by hanging a feeder – or two! (We have three). Learn how to make your own DIY hummingbird feeder nectar here, along with other important feeder care and cleaning best practices.
20) Sourdough Starter & Baking Supplies
Here is a super cute homestead gift idea: a bread proofing basket (aka, a banneton) or dutch oven with a few smaller baking supplies tucked inside, like a dough scraper, bread lame, and sourdough starter.
Eating fresh homemade bread is right up there on the list of “most rewarding homestead moments”, plus making your own bread reduces wasteful packaging. Newsflash: it’s even easier to make sourdough than grow food! All you need is a few basic supplies, a sourdough starter culture, and the desire to learn.
With our sourdough supplies list, organic sourdough starter, and start-to-finish tutorials, we can help with all of that! Our starter comes dehydrated (but alive), is easily reactivated with just a little flour and water, but doesn’t have to be activated for up to 6 months – so there is no pressure to do anything with it right away.
21) Eley Hose Reel
The Eley hose reel is a fantastical beast! Of all the hose reels we tried before Eley came into our life (way too many), it is the most well-made, long-lasting, sturdy, attractive, leak-free, and easy to use – by far. It comes with a 10 year warranty and is worth every penny (IMHO). We already have two that hold our favorite BPA-free garden hoses, and have had them for many years. Now that we have a much larger garden space, we plan to add another Eley very soon!
22) Excalibur Dehydrator
Similar story to the hose reel: there are a lot of food dehydrators out there, but Excalibur are top-notch – and far superior to others we’ve used in the past! They’re efficient, fairly quiet, made in the USA, all BPA-free, and some models are available with convenient timers. With it, we preserved everything from sun-dried tomatoes and apple chips to dried basil and homemade onion powder.
I personally love the large capacity of the 9-tray models to fit all our goodies. When we had an old 4-tray dehydrator (different brand), we often found ourselves having to dry things in batches because it filled up too quickly. The precise temperature control is also fabulous, especially if you’re into raw foods and preserving the maximum nutrients and medicinal properties possible.
Excalibur has a Black Friday deal going on too: save 25% off and receive free shipping with code “HOLIDAY2021“.
23) Loose Leaf Tea & Supplies
Cute mugs are a pretty common gift idea, but how about what goes inside the mug? Farmhouse Tea’s is our favorite loose-leaf tea. This small Oregon family-run business offers a huge selection of delectable tea blends like Coastal Cranberry Spice, Cherry Country Chai, Apple Cider Fixin’s, Gingerbread Spice, and Cottage Peach Roobis… just to name a few! Some contain caffeine, though many are non-caffeinated.
Farmhouse Teas “trial size” packs are a wonderful budget-friendly gift, and still contain up to 12 cups of tea! They also offer full bags, bundles with three trial sizes of your choice, holiday gift sets, and more. In addition to the tea itself, consider gifting a nice loose-leaf teapot or stainless steel mug infuser to go along with it!
Farmhouse Tea is offering 20% off for a limited time (Black Friday/Small Business Saturday weekend) – use code “FARMHOUSE20“
24) Immersion Blender
Our trusty immersion blender is among my top 5 favorite kitchen gadgets. Sure, it isn’t something we use every day, but it is SO handy when we do! It makes blending up creamy soups, tomato sauce, pumpkin puree and more a breeze. I love being able to do it right in the pot, rather than the fuss of transferring it to a traditional blender in batches. A simple yet practical gift!
One wonderful thing about gardening is that there is ALWAYS something new to learn! The same goes for homesteading. New plants or varieties to grow, projects to tackle, growing or preservation methods to try, or garden-to-table recipes to enjoy. I love getting new ideas and inspiration from books. Check out our list of top-favorite gardening, homesteading, wildlife, and preserving books here. (There are even a few of my favorite fiction books on that list too!)
26) Garden Gift Certificate
Okay, this admittedly isn’t the most creative idea… but what gardener doesn’t like shopping for plants? My mom has given us a gift certificate to one of our favorite local nurseries (Cherry Lane Nursery in Arroyo Grande) a couple times now, and we’re always so excited and grateful! Plus, this garden gift idea can help support your local economy and keep small nurseries in business too!
GIFTS FOR CATS
With three indoor kitties, we’re always looking for toys and things to keep them happy, comfortable, and entertained – all while keeping our home looking fairly cute too! Here are some of our kitties’ top-favorite picks:
27) Mau Cat Tree
We just added a Mau cat tree to our home this summer, and our boys absolutely adore it. They’re in it all the time! Mau cat trees are incredibly well-made and sturdy. The Cento we have supports kitties up to 25 pounds, which was important for our big Quincy boy! I love how stylish they are too. The company donates to animal welfare nonprofits, plants a tree for every cat tree sold, and only uses sustainably-sourced wood (from fruit trees that no longer bear fruit and are being replaced).
You can save 10% with code “BF21” for Black Friday deals.
28) Windowsill Perch
When we recently moved into our new home, I knew right away we had to figure out a way to get our kitties more windowsill access. They had a big sunny bay window and glass sliding door to lay in front of at our old place. Here, the windows are smaller, higher, and overall less kitty-friendly. That is… until we added this comfy window perch! Now the boys take turns fighting over who gets to lay in it (and the other will retreat to the Mau tower in the other room).
Cat towers are also great to put in front of a window, but I wanted something a little less obtrusive for this particular space in our living room. Paired with their favorite lounger below, it’s quite the kitty hot-spot! They love sunbathing and bird-watching from the perch, and it’s strong enough to hold kitties up to 25 pounds!
29) Lounge + Scratcher
How about a nice place to lounge AND scratch, and that’s not too terrible to look at either? We’ve had these large PetFusion cardboard cat loungers around our home for over a decade (though we’ve replaced them a couple times over that period), and they’re constantly in use! This one is large enough for a kitty on both the top and bottom level, or there is this slightly smaller version too. The loungers are really sturdy (I stand on them to water plants sometimes), shed cardboard only minimally, and last for many years. The fact that they’re made from recycled cardboard is just the cherry on top!
30) Wool Cat Cave
Our black cat Bodhi Moon is such a goof! (What cat isn’t though, eh?) He loves to hide under blankets or other dark spaces during the day. We got him this wool cat cave when he was a tiny kitten, and it’s still one of his favorite nap spots! He also gets wild and likes to play in and around it when he’s feeling frisky too. The cat cave is nice and large, stays popped open well, but can also collapse if your kitty prefers to sleep on top of it rather than inside.
31) Other Choice Cat Toys
I’m almost embarrassed to admit how many different cat toys we’ve brought home over the years… (Remember, these are our only children after all!) Yet out of all the toys, a select few are the ones that the boys continue to play with year after year:
- Da Bird. Ready to fly? This thing not only twirls and zips around like a real-life bird, but will make your cat fly too! Our boys love to chase Da Bird with aerial leaps and on the ground running and pouncing. Even our eldest gal Dalai (she’s over 16) shows interest in it!
- Cosmic Cactus. This is Quincy’s favorite. True to catnip form, it makes him frisky AF – rolling around, drooling, giving it some good rabbit kicks, rubbing it on his face…
- Rainbow Wand. The boys love to chase their rainbow wand, and Bodhi also drags it around in house in his mouth. Ha!
- This Cat Tunnel. It shouldn’t come as a surprise that this is another Bodhi favorite. He loves to hide, sleep, and play in this tunnel. It makes for a great hiding place to launch and attack brother too! We’ve had other collapsable tunnels in this past, but this one is definitely the most well-made, and large enough to Quincy to get inside too!
And that’s a wrap!
Speaking of wrap… There are a number of ways to get creative and reduce waste around the holidays, including your choice of gift wrap. Consider using materials such as newspaper, paper bags, simple twine + rosemary or pine sprigs, reusable gift bags or boxes, or even fabric packaging to make your holiday gifts even more eco-friendly.
I hope you folks all enjoyed this guide full of home and garden gift ideas, and found a few things that excite you too. And from the bottom of our hearts, thank you so much for supporting our blog and small business! We’re wishing you the happiest of holidays – whatever you choose to celebrate.