I have a long list of people who do kind things for me on the regular, so every time the holidays roll around I try to keep an eye out for a simple & beautiful something I can give to quite a few friends without breaking the bank.
I’ve always loved having clear vases of paperwhites all over the house come January, and this year there was an excess of mason jars hanging out in the kitchen. It led to this year’s perfect solution for an army of giftees – crocus and paperwhite potted bulb gifts!
This makes a lovely eco-friendly DIY holiday gift that keeps on giving all winter long! The bulbs can be kept long after they’ve bloomed and can be kept in the same jar, repotted, or planted outdoors. Should they outgrow the mason jars, plant lovers can repurpose the glass containers into DIY terrariums!
To make your own crocus and paperwhite potted bulb gifts you’ll need:
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- Clay pots, simple glass vases (like this) or mason jars (I used 1/2 pint & pint wide-mouth jars)
- Potting soil
- Rocks or pebbles (I used this kind)
- Live sheet moss or peat moss (like this)
- Paperwhite or Crocus bulbs
- Instead of Paperwhite or Crocus, you can also use other water-blooming bulbs like Amaryllis, Hyacinths, Tulips, Daffodils, or Dutch Iris
DIY Potted Crocus and Paperwhite Holiday Gift Instructions:
Choose your bulbs
Pick your favorite kind of bulbs! If you don’t plant your mini-gardens right away, be sure to store your bulbs in a cool, dry place and your moss (if it’s live) in a cool, damp place.
I used a mixture of tall, full, bright white Paperwhites (also known as Narcissus) and shorter bright purple and yellow Crocus.
Fill the bottom of a glass jar with potting soil
The roots of crocus and paperwhites only need 3″ of space to grow, so fill the bottom of your jar with a layer of soil for moisture.
Add a 1 to 2-inch layer of rocks, pebbles, or gardening grit
Add a layer of rocks for drainage, I used white marble rocks because I love their fresh, bright look.
Top with sheet moss or similar
Push down some sheet moss into the jar – this will hold the bulb in place (it’s also the touch that takes it from “bulb in a jar” to “mini winter garden”).
I used live sheet moss from the local garden store. I recommend buying the live stuff if you can – it’s a cheery festive green, it insulates the bulb, holds just a bit of water (even when dried out) and a little goes a LONG way. I probably only used about a 5 in. x 5 in. square for the 20 I put together tonight.
Gently tuck 1-3 bulbs into the moss
1 Paperwhite bulb fits perfectly in a wide-mouth pint jar and 3 Crocus in the 1/2 pint wide-mouths.
Add cute decorations or gift tags!
For a finishing touch, an ornament, sprig of winter greenery, and gift tag adorn our finished gifts. Add your own personal touches for a gift that makes it from YOU!
Personally, I think they are super cute as is in the clear jars, but if you are feeling a dressed-up version, we wrapped some of ours in paper bags + twine and are loving the look. You could also use some colorful DIY phonebook wrapping paper.
This is truly a great gift for kids to make (so quick and easy). Pass along a love of gardening on to school friends, or gift these (along with some natural DIY honey goat’s milk soap) to a gardening enthusiast. No matter who the recipient is, these little potted bulbs are truly the gift that keeps on giving, because come January your present will be blooming!
For more earth-friendly holiday gift ideas be sure to visit our collection of DIY gift ideas, make a set of heart hand warmers from scrap fabric, use overripe vegetables to stamp a farm market tote, or put together a simple by stylish DIY holiday cardholder using painted pinecones and twigs from the backyard!
*A note about affiliate links: We strive to use simple, earth-friendly supplies that can be purchased locally whenever we can, but sometimes we find the best universally available options, a rare eco-friendly find, or a niche product only available on Blick Art Materials, Amazon, Etsy, or Woodpeckers Crafts. When included in our supply list, these products are affiliate links, and if you click through to make a purchase we receive a small commission that helps us re-order these supplies!