One of my favorite things about fall and winter is the availability of fresh citrus. The lower temperatures also mean cold and flu season, not to mention another season that is my favorite – the holiday season! I use citrus to do many things – quench my thirst, treat my colds and inspire my gifts. I let no part of the citrus fruit go to waste. In this post, I'll share some affordable and easy to make homemade citrus gifts that are sure to please. (You can also check out a delicious citrus cider blend in the spiced apple cider recipe roundup.) These gifts are simple enough to make that the kids can lend a hand, making them great for family project times.
Citrus Gift #1 – Citrus Infused Sugar
Citrus infused sugar comes across an elegant gift but is almost effortless to make.
- Pair a citrus infused sugar jar with a tea cup for the tea lover on your list
- Tie a cookie cutter around the lid of the citrus infused sugar along with your favorite sugar cookie recipe
- Place the citrus infused sugar in a gift basket with a martini glass and a bottle of citrus vodka
- Create a baking basket with the citrus infused sugar, a whisk, cupcake holders and a kitchen towel
- Organic Cane Sugar
- Citrus Peels
- Peel an orange, lemon, lime or any other citrus making sure not to get the pith.
- Place on clean kitchen towel overnight to dry a little
- Get a clean glass jar and make sure it is dry
- Layer organic cane sugar and the peels until the jar is full
- Let the sugar infuse in a cool, dark place for 1 week or longer
- You can strain the peels out or leave in for a stronger taste
For more pretty edible goodies, check out the Top 10 Edible Flowers post.
Citrus Gift #2 – DIY Everything Scrub- Better than Comet!
I call this the Everything Scrub because I literally use it on everything – sinks, tubs, pots and pans, the oven, burnt on food, dirty hands and more. You will love how efficiently this scrub works. It's one of my favorite recipes and best sellers! All you need is citrus peels, baking soda and essential oils, simple and affordable. To see a complete list of instructions visit The Coastal Homestead DIY Everything Scrub.
Citrus Gift #3 – Herbal Citrus Body Scrub
I made this gift for a demonstration for my Herb Society meeting and everyone L-O-V-E-D it! It was very affordable to make because I had all the ingredients on hand, plus it took less than 10 minutes to make.
- 1 ½ cups kosher Salt or Sugar
- 1/2 cup almond oil, grapeseed oil or grapeseed oil
- Zest of one Lemon, Orange or Lime
- 2 teaspoons fresh or dried Rosemary leaves, stripped from the stems and finely chopped
- Pour the salt or sugar into a clean, sterilized container with a tight-fitting lid.
- Add the zest and rosemary.
- Pour the oil over top and screw the lid on tightly.
- To use, just give the jar a stir to mix the oil and salt/sugar together, and scrub away in the shower or sink!
- The scrub will keep for up to 6 months stored in an airtight container at room temperature.
Citrus Gift #4 – Citrus Candles
These quickie candles are a “must try” project just for the WOW factor. It is unbelievably easy, amazingly attractive and incredibly inexpensive. Citrus candles would be perfect for gatherings, parties, weddings, showers, or for when you are sitting on the porch. You can add a special twist and float your citrus candles in water.
- Citrus (orange, mandarin orange, lemon, lime, grapefruit, tangerine or any other citrus I couldn’t think of)
- Vegetable or Olive Oil
- Match or Lighter
- Evenly cut your citrus in half
- Carefully remove the fruit and leave the white center stem intact, this will act as your wick
- Add cooking oil to your empty citrus peel ¾ way full (do not fill above white stem)
- Light the white stem/wick and enjoy
Note: Always use caution when burning candles. Set on a flame resistant surface and do not leave unattended.
Citrus Gift #5 – Citrus Potpourri
Enjoy natural scents filling the air with this Citrus Potpourri. It's free from harsh chemicals and synthetic fragrances. You can add or omit any of ingredients to give this potpourri your own twist. Place a scoop in a gift bag with instructions and tie a pretty bow or glue dried citrus with raffia for a perfect gift.
- Rosemary 3-4 Sprigs or 1/4 cup (you can use Pine Needles as well)
- Orange, Lemon or Lime peel (or a combination of all three)
- Apple peel – from 1/2 an apple
- Cinnamon – 1/2 tsp
- Cloves – 1/2 tsp
- Anise – 2-3 stars
To use the potpourri:
Fill a pan 3/4 of the way with water and add desired amount of citrus potpourri. Bring to slow boil. Lower temp to a low simmer. Do not allow to dry out. Add water as needed.
Citrus Gift #6 – All-Purpose Kitchen Cleaner
This easy to make Herbal Citrus Kitchen Cleaner is a wonderful gift for anyone on your list and only cost pennies. All you need is: vinegar, some citrus peels, herbs and a spray bottle.
For further instructions visit The Coastal Homestead DIY Citrus Cleaner
Citrus Gift #7 – DIY Vitamin C Capsules
Give the gift of well-being this year by making your own all-natural Vitamin C capsules. Easy to make, nothing synthetic and good for you.
- Organic Citrus (any: oranges, limes, lemons, grapefruit)
- Empty gelatin capsules size 0
- Capsule Maker
- Thoroughly wash and dry citrus
- Slice into thin slices (you can use only the peels instead of the entire fruit if you wish)
- Place citrus slices in food dehydrator or dry on cookie sheets in the oven on 200° until completely dried and hard.
- Once citrus is dried, place in food processor until it is completely ground to a fine powder without any big chunks
- Fill Capsule maker with empty capsules
- Fill capsules with ground citrus and pack tight
- Place caps on top and press until you cannot press anymore
- Remove top and release capsules
- Store in clean, empty pill container and place a cotton ball in container to absorb any moisture
- You now have your own 700mg Vitamin C Capsules!
Note: If you don't have a capsule maker, you can add the capsule contents to tea. If you would like to purchase a capsule maker, they are available online at Amazon.com. (Click here to purchase.)
Citrus Gift #8 – Bird Feeders
Growing up my grandparents were avid birdwatchers and always placed citrus out for the different birds that wanted a treat and would watch them for hours from their dining room window.
To make affordable, recycled feeders that are easy to place anywhere (no special mounting required) all you need to do is:
- Cut a piece of citrus in half
- Remove the fruit (eat and enjoy)
- Fill the halves with wild bird seed
- Place feeders in random spots in the yard for the wildlife to enjoy
Citrus Gift #9 – Pomanders
This is one gift you may remember from childhood. I remember making these for family members at a very young age, and they lasted for years. Not only do pomanders smell good but they are also attractive to decorate with. They're also a great use for citrus that might have sat out on the counter a little too long…
- Citrus (orange, lime, lemon, loquat, kumquat, the smaller the better)
- Ribbon, twine, raffia
- Cut designs or slices in citrus with small knife/zester OR leave whole
- Push whole cloves around citrus if desired
- Place in fridge for a couple of days to let dry to help prevent molding
- Tie ribbon, twine or raffia and place in bowl or hang
To see step by step instructions visit How to Make Spiced Orange Pomander Balls.
Other posts by Amber Bradshaw:
- Goats for Sale: 6 Mistakes to Avoid When Buying Goats
- 12 Best Tips for Keeping Your House Cool without AC
- Natural Mosquito Repellents that Work
This post is by Amber Bradshaw of My Homestead Life. Amber is a environmentalist, garden and outdoor enthusiast. She is a wife, mother of three and owns a contracting business with her husband. Amber strives to get back into nature with a more sustainable and self-reliant lifestyle that fits a busy schedule and a tight budget.
She lives on the east coast with her family on a little over 1/4 acre and encourages others to do big things with small spaces.
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