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Grow and Make Father’s Day Gift Guide

Grow and Make Father’s Day Gift Guide

Unique fathers day gifts from Grow and Make for the Dad who has everything!

Father’s Day is quickly approaching and these kits are great for dads who are looking for projects to do around the house. These are fun at home projects for the whole family during home isolation. Looking for a great present for Father’s Day? This is the perfect home cooking project for chefs, condiment enthusiasts, or the dad who has everything. Spice up someone’s birthday or summer BBQ party with the gift of hot sauce and BBQ sauce making kits!

Artisan Hot Sauce Making Kit $34.95

Artisan DIY Hot Sauce Making Kit is the perfect gift for fathers day and the dad who loves to make homemade sauce
Pictured above: 3 professional glass woozy bottles, Apple Cider and Distilled White Vinegar, and all the spices and peppers needed to make 3 bottles of hot sauce!

Try this simple hot sauce making kit as a gift for the dads who are hard to buy for. Choose from six delicious recipes, like Classic Louisiana and Smoky Chipotle Hot Sauce, or experiment with different spices to create your own! Comes with guajillo, chipotle, and arbol peppers, as well as New Mexico chili powder, Ancho Powder, Cayenne, curry and brown sugar.

Purchase our Artisan Hot Sauce Making Kit here.

DIY BBQ Sauce Making Kit $39.95

BBQ Sauce Making Kit for the Grill master who loves making DIY homemade barbecue sauce
Pictured above: This BBQ Sauce Kit is perfect for the Dad who loves to grill and wants to learn how to make his own custom sauces!

Does your father like to grill? If the answer is yes, we suggest that instead of giving your dad another tie or pair of socks this Father’s Day, instead gift him one of our DIY Kits. This BBQ kit is a perfect for a Dad who is stuck at home and needs a new project! This kit comes with a full recipe book, the history of BBQ sauce, and simple instructions on making three homemade sauces. We think he will love it!

Purchase our Artisan BBQ Sauce Making Kit here.

Deluxe Hot Sauce Making Kit $49.95 (limited stock available)

Make your own hot sauce with this easy DIY Gift for dads
Pictured above: Our number one kit for Father’s Day 5 years in a row! Guaranteed favorite.

Looking for something new and different to take your homemade tacos to the next level? Learn how to make six unique hot sauce recipes with this DIY Deluxe Hot Sauce Kit. The deluxe version comes with 6 glass professional hot sauce bottles and all the peppers, spices, and vinegar you need to get started! Recipes range from mild to spicy, there is something for everyone!

Purchase our Deluxe Hot Sauce Making Kit here.

Father's Day Gift Guide Pinterest
Medicinal Herb and Plant Guide

Medicinal Herb and Plant Guide

DIY herbalism, herbal remedies

DIY Natural Remedies for the Beginner Herbalist

Written by Nancy Hulse and Ingrid Linde

The use of herbs for medicinal purposes is as old as recorded history. Herbs and plants are used for teas, tinctures, infusions, and/or topically as salves or ointments. Plant medicine is a time-honored approach to strengthening the body and treating disease. Herbs, however, can trigger side effects and can interact with other herbs, supplements, or medications. For these reasons, take herbs with care, become familiar with the many ways they may be used, and do further research on any that are new to you.

There are numerous online sources for balanced and medically reviewed information on the medical uses of herbs, as well as some really great accessible books. The Lost Book of Remedies by Dr. Nicole Apelian is a book that stands out as being very approachable to a wide audience. This comprehensive book outlines the basic information of 181 plants, lichens, and mushrooms with photos, identification, use, growing instructions, and how to make basic tinctures, balms, salves and teas! This is a great gift for the aspiring herbalist in your life, they will not be disappointed. 

The Lost Book of Herbal Remedies by Nicole Apelian. DIY Tinctures from Grow and Make

Spring is a great time to get your herb garden started, as many plants can be started from seed and grown to full maturity within a season. There are so many herbs and uses to keep track of, it might seem overwhelming at first. However, we encourage you to take it one step at a time, and this book is a great resource.

There are many common herbs and mushrooms that the untrained herbalist may only think of in culinary terms. Take rosemary, thyme, ginger, cilantro, cardamon, garlic and shiitake mushrooms for instance. These herbs all have strong medicinal properties, but they are normally considered only for food. Some recipes double as both food and medicine, such as golden milk. Take a look at our Tea Herb Garden Kit for a fun and easy way to get started growing your own medicinal garden. It can help anyone start six fantastic plants from scratch for making your own herbal tea infusions at home, which is a great way to easily started with plant medicine.

Below, we have outlined some useful herbs and key information on how to grow them.

Chamomile illustration from Grow and Make tea herb gardening kit

Chamomile (Matricaria recutita)

Planting depth: surface | Germination: 4-8 days | Optimum germination temperature: 55-70°F

Chamomile is one of the most popular herbs in the western world. Among other uses, it is claimed to calm frayed nerves, to treat various stomach problems, to relieve muscle spasms, and to treat skin conditions and mild infections.

Up to 24 inches tall and 15 inches wide, German Chamomile has many thin branches of finely divided green leaves. Small ¾” white and yellow daisy-like flowers appear from early through midsummer. Sow seeds in fall or spring in well-drained, neutral to slightly acidic soil. Harvest flowers when first fully opened, and use fresh, freeze, or dry them and store in a tightly sealed container.

Echinacea (Echinacea Purpurea)

Planting depth: ¼” | Germination: 10-21 days |Optimum germination temperature: 60-70° F

Archaeologists have found evidence that Native Americans may have used echinacea for more than 400 years to treat infections and wounds and as a general “cure-all.” Many herbalists also recommend echinacea to help boost the immune system and help the body fight infections.

Echinacea is easily grown in average, dry to medium, well-drained soil in full sun to part shade. An adaptable plant that is tolerant of drought, heat, humidity and poor soil. Divide clumps when they become overcrowded (about every 4 years). Plants usually re-bloom without deadheading, however prompt removal of spent flowers improves general appearance. Freely self-seeds if at least some of the seed heads are left in place. Will completely die back in the winter, but comes back from the roots in the spring. Petals, leaves, and roots can be used for medicinal purposes.

Echinacea illustration from Grow and Make's Tea Herb Garden Kit
Using catnip for plant medicine, DIY tinctures

Catnip (Nepeta cataria)

Planting depth: ¼” | Germination: 10-20 days | Optimum germination temperature: 60-70° F

Catnip is not just for cats! It is a very mild herb medicinally, and makes a soothing tea that is used for its calming and sedative effects, both in adults and in small children. It is said to relieve the symptoms of colic in children, and can be used as a digestive aid for adults.

Catnip is a 2-3 foot tall perennial herb that is native to parts of Europe, Asia, and Africa. Plant catnip seeds inside or outdoors in full sun or partial shade. Catnip is an easy to grow, highly ornamental herb with fragrant gray-green leaves and clusters of lavender or white flowers at branch ends in late spring and early summer. Winter hardy to zone 3.

Lemon Balm (Melissa officinalis)

Planting depth: surface | Germination: 10-40 days | Optimum germination temperature: 60-70°F

Lemon balm is a member of the mint family and considered a calming herb. It was used as far back as the Middle Ages to reduce stress and anxiety, promote sleep, improve appetite, and ease pain and discomfort from indigestion. Today, lemon balm is often combined with other calming, soothing herbs, such as valerian, chamomile, and hops, to help promote relaxation. This is the perfect herb to help with the extra stress of the Coronavirus pandemic, and it is delicious used in fresh herbal tea. Plant in sun or partial shade, and it is recommended to grow in a pot because it easily spreads through rhizomes. Prefers fertile soil with regular water, but will tolerate poor, dry soils. For best fragrance, harvest before plants flower, cutting the entire plant back to 2 inches tall. Optimum flavor when used fresh. For tea, both leaves and stems can be dried. Mulch if winter goes below 0°F. 70 days to harvest when started indoors.

Lemon balm illustration for Tea Herb Garden Kit from Grow and Make
Using yarrow for plant medicine, DIY tinctures

Yarrow (Achillea millefolium)

Planting depth: surface | Germination: 7-21 days | Optimum germination temperature: 60-70° F

Legend has it that yarrow (Achillea millefolium) was named after Achilles, the Greek mythical hero who used it to stop the bleeding wounds of his soldiers. Popular in European folk medicine, yarrow contains flavonoids, plant-based chemicals that increase saliva and stomach acid, helping to improve digestion. Yarrow may also relax smooth muscle in the intestine and uterus, which can relieve stomach and menstrual cramps.

Compared to cultivated yarrow, common yarrow is the hardiest and most medicinally active. Flowers are usually white with occasional pink flowers, borne in flat-topped clusters. Yarrow self-sows readily. For the highest essential oil content, it is best grown in un-enriched soil. In early summer the flower stalks rise up to 24 inches tall and attract butterflies and are excellent for fresh or dried arrangements. Blooms June to September. The widely adapted plants tolerate both heat and poor soil. Winter hardy to zone 3.

Ashwagandha (Withania somnifera)

Planting depth: ¼” | Germination: 15-20 days | Optimum germination temperature: 65-75°F

Ashwagandha has long been used as a traditional Indian (Ayurvedic) medical herb. In the wild, it grows profusely in most areas of South Asia and many closely related species occur as far away as Northern Africa. Due to the hardiness of the plant, Ashwagandha has historically been grown in areas that are not well irrigated and therefore not suitable for food crops. Ashwagandha is considered an adaptogenic herb, which means it supports your body in various functions, helping you both to relax, and improve energy functions. Ashwagandha is easy to grow, and you can be harvested annually.

DIY tincture tutorial from Grow and Make

DIY Tincture – 7 Steps to Making Your Own at Home

You will need:

  • A glass jar, such as a mason jar
  • Fresh herbs (Or dried)
  • Alcohol (Use a type around 80 proof, without much flavor, such as vodka, gin, or grain alcohol. Use higher alcohol content for roots and bark)
DIY tincture tutorial using medicinal plants and herbs. Tutorial from Grow and Make

Step 1:  

Gather some herbs. These could be picked fresh from your garden, or purchased from your local herb store. You can also check your local grocery market to see what you can find in the fresh herb section, or bulk spice bins.

If you are picking herbs from your garden, there are a couple basics to keep in mind: 

  • Pick fresh, healthy leaves and flowers that are intact and not damaged by bugs
  • It is best to pick herbs in the early morning, or at dusk, but not during the heat of the day when the sun has drawn out the essential oils of the plant
DIY plant medicine from Grow and Make

Step 2:

Chop the clean herbs, or flowers, to increase the surface area, and allow the essence of the plant to infuse in to the alcohol. Immediately put into the glass jar (where you will let the tincture steep) before the chopped herbs start to oxidize.

Step 3:

Fill ⅔ of the glass jar with herbs. 

Step 4:

Fill with alcohol. Make sure the herbs are completely covered. The ideal consistency is to have the jar full, but also allow some movement when you shake the herbs. Seal tightly with a lid.

Step 5:

Keep the herbs in a cool dry place, and shake the jar once a day, for at least a month.

Step 6:

Using cheesecloth, strain out the plant matter. Use a funnel to pour the concoction into a tightly sealed glass jar. Avoid contact with metal, as some herbs react and can alter your tincture’s potency.

Step 7:

Make a fun label! Be sure to write down what is in your tincture and the date it was made. It is helpful to have as many details about how you made your tincture and what is in it, so that later, if you love it, you can look back and follow your own notes. Most tinctures can last for several years.

We love to see what you’re making! If you use this article (or any of our other DIY articles) make sure to tag us on Instagram @GrowAndMake, Facebook @GrowAndMakeDIY or Twitter @GrowAndMake to be featured on our DIY Community page!

Grow and Make Medicinal Herb and Plant guide
How to Press Flowers

How to Press Flowers

How to press and preserve flowers. Learn how to make a homemade mother's day card and guest soaps with flowers in them

It is spring and it is beautiful out, and if you are anything like us you might be wishing there were always this many flowers year round. Right now there are so many varieties blooming at once, in both our planted gardens as well as in the wild. If you wish you could put the garden on pause to enjoy the flowers for a longer period of time, then we think this craft is for you.

Pressed flowers are easy and fun to make, and there are so many ways to use them! Ranging from educational and scientific to artistic and crafty, we encourage you to try this out regardless of your background. This is the perfect time to get some flowers drying, so they will be ready for a delightful Mother’s Day card. For a DIY pressed Mother’s Day card, follow our tutorial below. 

This is also a great activity to do with children. If you are stuck at home with your kids and need to give them a project, it is easy to make this activity into something both educational and fun, that involves exercise. See our “Educational Nature Walk” activity and printable below. 

How to Press Flowers in a Book

Pressed flowers in a book

You will need:

  • Thick, heavy books
  • Fresh flowers
  • Plain paper (can use scrap paper)

This craft, popular in the Victorian era, and dating back to 16th century Japan, where it is known as oshibana, is a wonderful, approachable craft, and requires almost no tools or supplies. Just find yourself a book that you don’t care terribly about, (we suggest not using any collectible or expensive books as slight damage can occur to the pages) and some fresh flowers or leaves. Heavier books work best, such as dictionaries, phone books, and textbooks.

First, you will need to gather some flowers. When choosing flowers, make sure they are clean, free of bugs, and dry. The easiest flowers to press are those that are delicate and have somewhat of a flat structure. If you want to dry a larger flower, like a rose, you are better off picking the petals and drying them separately. The bulky center will not press well. You don’t need to collect fancy flowers, sometimes flowers that are considered weeds and have been overlooked for their commonality, can be very appealing to the eye when made into botanical art. This is a place where even the humble dandelion can shine. Pick some greenery too, because later it will be fun to contrast the flowers with pretty leaves. Cut flowers from a bouquet can also work well. We encourage you to experiment and get creative, we only suggest avoiding woody stems, as they do not press well.

Take care not to bruise the petals and leaves when picking the flowers and leaves. Lay them gently in a basket or on a tray. If this is your first time pressing flowers, we suggest picking several types, as each will dry in their own unique way and might surprise you. Sometimes the colors will change too, but that is part of the fun!

Once you have your flowers gathered, you are all set to start pressing. You will need some loose paper to protect the pages of your book. This can be scrap paper, or nice white pages. Open the book to about the middle. Lay down a single sheet of paper. Arrange the flowers on the page, leaving plenty of room around each flower or leaf. Once you close the book, the flower will be flattened and will take up more space than it does when it is three dimensional. When your flowers are arranged, place another piece of paper on top, and take care to close the book so as not to disturb the arrangement, close the book on the flowers. Repeat until all of your flowers are pressed into a book. If pressing more than a page worth at a time, be sure to leave a section of pages without flowers between each round for the best effect. Now, place some weight on top of the book. Other books, or a heavy box work well. Leave your flowers for 1-2 weeks.

Now is the moment you have been waiting for! Gently page through your book to find your pressed flowers. Check to make sure they are dry. If they seem damp, close the book, return the weight, and check on them in a few more days. You may want to use tweezers to lift them from the pages to avoid damaging them. As we mentioned in the beginning, there are so many things you can do with these. Decoupage, cards, laminated bookmarks, resin jewelry, DIY botanical body care, and so much more! Below are a few flower crafts we made, but we would love to see what you come up with on your own! 

Pressed flowers in a book

Mothers Day DIY Pressed Flower Card

homemade gift for mothers day, homemade mother's day card, handmade gifts

You will need:

  • Paper
  • Glue
  • Additional art supplies

Fold a rectangular paper in half, matching up the corners, and run your finger along the edge to make a nice crease. While even copy paper will work, you can have fun with this. Look around your house for scraps of wrapping paper, cut up kraft colored grocery bags, or scrapbook paper, old book pages. Using tweezers, play around with the arrangement of the pressed flowers until you find a composition that you like. Then, taking note of where you want to place them, lay down a thin layer of glue, and place the pressed flowers on the paper. Gently press the flowers down, so the entire surface adheres to the paper. Add decorations with colored pencils, pens, or stickers. Write a thoughtful note to your Mother and thank her for helping you grow!

Melt and Pour Glycerin Soap Bars

Pressed flowers in soap

Pressed flowers are super pretty in soap, especially in clear and lightly colored soap. If you have a silicone ice cube or baking mold around, they work great for making mini soap bars, which double as test samples. Play around with your arrangements, and the way different flowers and leaves react with the liquid soap. Once you find a combination that you like, you can make larger bars, or continue making cute little guest soap bars to give to friends, family or impress your guests when you host. They also make great mothers day gifts! 

Melt the soap, and pour a thin layer into the bottom of the mold. Let dry until tacky. Place dried flowers. Pour another thin layer and let harden, then pour your final layer. The purpose of this layering is to help prevent the flowers from floating to the in the liquid soap ( which will ultimately be the bottom of the soap bar).

Once the soap has cooled, using a sharp knife (and taking care not to cut yourself) trim the soap so it has a smooth shiny surface and you can more easily see the flowers. Nothing says Mothers Day like handmade soap with flowers you collected yourself! We are quite sure this gift will go over well with anyone you want to share it with. Plus, when in your life have you ever washed your hands this much?

Guest soaps with pressed flowers

Educational Nature Walk – All ages

Go on a nature walk. This term can be used loosely. The point of the walk is to pay attention to the natural habitat around you. This could be a walk through your own garden, where you look at your plants in a new way, paying close attention to leaf size, flower structure, and appeal. If you don’t have a garden, you can take a walk in your neighborhood. Have a park close by? Take a look at the native plants in your area. Even wild mustard, chicory, malva, lawn daisies, sour grass, and other plants normally considered “weeds” can make beautiful pressed flowers.

Pay particularly close attention to the plants around you. Have your children pick a few varieties that appeal to them, and that are growing in abundance. Never pick the only flower of its kind in the wild (or your neighbors yard) as you don’t want to over harvest and harm the possibilities of that plant making seeds from the flower and growing back. 

Think about what you would need to identify this plant. Pick a flower, and a leaf or two, and a seed pod if available. Many times young leaves vary in shape from adult leaves. Consider picking one of each for illustration purposes. 

At home nature activity for children, free printable

When you get home, lay the samples out that you collected from each plant. Do some research to see if you can identify what the flower is called, and its botanical name if possible. Adjust the complexity of this step depending on the age of your child. You can print our Plant Identity Page from the link at the end of this post to use as a guide for collecting samples and gluing them to once they are dried. If you have access to a laminator, it might be fun to laminate the pages and make them into a book. Even if you don’t have a laminator, you can take the old fashioned route and delicately stack the pages and bind them with twine. It will be a fragile book, but we think you will enjoy looking through it. To enrich your awareness of when plant varieties bloom throughout the year, try printing one of these pages each month and following these steps. At the end of the year, you will have twelve pages of plants to reference, along with hands-on experience of what is blooming throughout the seasons!

Click the link below to download our free printable!

We love to see what you’re making! If you use this article (or any of our other DIY articles) make sure to tag us on Instagram @GrowAndMake, Facebook @GrowAndMakeDIY or Twitter @GrowAndMake to be featured on our DIY Community page!

Our Favorite DIY Garden Hacks

Our Favorite DIY Garden Hacks

Easy DIY Gardening Hacks

DIY Garden Markers

Homemade garden markers are a fun and creative project that are also a great way to save money. Anyone who has started seeds knows that all the markers you bought can end up being used in no time flat. We have certainly found ourselves in the position of running out of garden markers and making mental notes like “Okay, Zucchini is in the back corner and the pumpkin is on the left.” We all know that eventually it is easy to lose track of which seedlings are which, especially when you plant several varieties that look similar, or are unfamiliar with what baby plants look like. 

Based on our experience, we’ve found that many DIY garden marker projects fall short of expectations when actually using them over a full season in your garden. Garden markers that are made from popsicle sticks, tape, laminated paper, etc. are always cute at first, but often fade and distort after being subjected to sun and regular contact with water. Time and time again we had to resort to the less desirable, less eco-friendly alternative of store bought plastic markers simply because they stand the test of time. 

In order to reduce environmental impact and waste, we wanted to share this tutorial which upcycles empty plastic yogurt containers to create durable markers. 

To make this project, you will need:

  • An empty plastic yogurt container (quarts work best)
  • Scissors
  • Permanent marker 
  • Boxcutter (optional)
Our favorite DIY gardening hack: make your own upcycled garden markers

Step 1: Thoroughly wash the empty container with soap and water. Make sure to remove any oil residue from the fats in the yogurt, as they will cause the marker to rub off. Let dry. 

Step 2: Cut off the base of the container with a box cutter or a sharp pair of scissors

Step 3: Using your scissors, cut the container down the middle so it can be laid out “flat”

Step 4: Cut the rest of the container into strips (about ½ inch in width) 

Step 5: Cut a “V” shape into the bottom of each strip, so it can be easily inserted in to soil

Step 6: Write on the blank side of your marker using a permanent marker. If you have colored permanent markers, we encourage you to get artsy with it, and make small illustrations or use color coding to help distinguish varieties in the garden, such as red for tomatoes and green for lettuce.

Note: Any type of opaque plastic can work, and many other foods that come in various shapes and sizes can be cut up to make long strips to be used as markers. If you don’t consume yogurt on a regular basis, take a look in your recycling bin for plastic milk bottles, laundry detergent, tall opaque juice bottles, and to-go containers

Gardening Hack: make your own easy DIY garden markers

DIY Seed Starting Tray

We don’t know about you, but sometimes we end up getting a bit overzealous with seed starting. Especially when we find ourselves standing in front of the seed rack at our local nursery, and seeing so many fun varieties. Dreaming about the possibilities of your future garden and all of the plants in it is always fun – until you run out of supplies. Somehow we find seed trays to be one of the things that we run out of before we run out of seeds! This DIY seed starting tray ensures that you won’t lose your momentum when you are on a roll. 

To make this project, you will need:

  • An empty cardboard egg crate
  • Scissors
  • Coconut fiber pellets, Jiffy pellets or a seed starting soil mix
  • Seeds
Garden hacks: DIY seed starting tray, DIY mini greenhouse

Step 1: If you are using seed starting pellets, soak with water and set aside

Step 2: Using scissors, cut the lid off of the egg crate

Step 3: Place the moistened pellets (or seed starting soil mix) into each depression. If using soil mix, fill to the top edge, and gently compact to ensure there is enough density of soil. 

Step 4: Make an indentation and plant your seeds. We suggest watering with a mister or spray bottle, to avoid displacing the seeds, and excessive water which can start to dissolve your egg carton. Depending on the seeds you are starting, consider covering with some sort of clear plastic (clear clamshell to-go containers sometimes will fit your egg carton, especially if you cut it into six-pack, and works perfectly as a mini greenhouse). Stretch wrap also works. Many seeds like to germinate in warmer conditions than when your seed pack suggests you start them. 

Step 5: If you have not made a mini greenhouse (as suggested above) place your egg carton on a plate, or old plastic lid, to avoid water draining and making a mess.

DIY Garden Hacks: make your own mini greenhouse for starting seeds

Upcycled Fabric Grocery Bag Planter

DIY Gardening Hacks: Upcycled planter

Container gardening is a great alternative if you are an apartment dweller who does not have space to start a garden in the ground. Container gardening also helps to keep plants off the ground and protect them from insects and other pests.

If you run out of pots for your plants, there are many creative solutions to explore. One of our favorites is to use a reusable shopping bag as a pot. Planters or pots that are made up of flexible materials are great for plants like tomatoes, potatoes and peppers. They allow for better air circulation, making them a great solution if you tend to over water your plants. Simply fill with potting soil and start gardening! 

Happy Spring!

We love to see what you’re making! If you use this article (or any of our other DIY articles) make sure to tag us on Instagram @GrowAndMake, Facebook @GrowAndMakeDIY or Twitter @GrowAndMake