A Femme’s Guide to Improvement: The Plant as Stocking Stuffer

We’re now in the gift-giving crunch zone: whatever the holiday in your life, the countdown has begun. If you’re normal — and I’m using myself as the, er, standard — you’re nowhere close to finishing shopping for your nearest and dearest, let alone the in-laws and occasional brunch partners in your life. Another thing that’s true if you’re normal: watching those people unwrap lots and lots of presents, no matter what their size, is one of the highlights of the season. This makes me a big fan of stocking stuffers, especially neat little DIY ones.

This is where you guys come in: crafty ladies, please share your best little gifts with all of us, the better to stuff stockings with. Here’s one from me to get you guys started, inspired by the Ornamenterrarium.

The trend for starter plants in bags seems to be popping up everywhere lately, no? This probably has something to do with the fact that they’re really cute and easily branded, and who doesn’t love a nice bit of brown paper? However, they’re not super useful for those of us without gardens, as anything planted in paper and using water will eventually need transplanting. But Mason jars are just as attractive and provide a slightly more permanent solution to the dirt-and-water-containment problem. You can use any size jar, as long as it doesn’t have a lip at the top (for easier plant removal, if someone does decide to transplant), and any kind of seed. This is especially cute, however, for herbs.

You’ll need:

  • Seeds of your choice.
  • One or several mason jars.
  • Potting dirt.
  • Rope or twine or yarn or ribbon.
  • Paint pens! (I used these metallic ones by Prang.)
  • A hole punch.
  • Tissue paper.
  • Some kind of card stock.

Fill your jar about ¾ full of dirt, put in the seeds of your choice, and top with some more dirt. Crumple up some tissue paper to cover the dirt and keep things from moving around.  Use your paint pens to decorate the lid of your jar. (I like things simple and just painted it silver, but do your thing — make designs, write a name, whatever!) Screw it on tightly.

Cut a little card out of your card stock and punch a hole in the corner. On one side, write the name of the plant you’re giving; on the other, put the maintenance instructions. If you’re doing herbs, here’s a handy dandy website called, what else, HerbGardening.com, that has info on every herb imaginable. Thread your rope/twine/ribbon through the card, tie neatly in a bow, and give to your favorite chef!

Previously: Very, Very Serious Ornaments.

Lucia Martinez reads too many old poems and tries to be a lady.

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