Sustainable Holiday: Self-Care and Gift Guide

Friday, December 17, 2021
by Maria Fraser Semenoff

Sustainable Holiday: Self-Care and Gift Gude

During this busy time of the semester with lots of final projects and exams, it is especially important to practice self-care as a way to relax and decompress. Although self-care practices may vary from person to person, they should help improve your physical and mental health.

Some ideas include:

  • Going for a walk
  • Practicing yoga or meditation
  • Meeting up with some friends
  • Reading a book
  • Cooking a good meal

For some extra self-care tips:



One of my hobbies is doing arts and crafts. Two fun activities, that are also great for holiday gifts, are below.

Activity 1: Rolled Beeswax Candles 

rolled beeswax candles


  • Sheets of wax
  • Candle wick
  • A scrap piece of paper


  1. Take one piece of wax. Place it so one of the short sides is facing you.
  2. Press the wick along the edge of one of the short sides. The wick should be flush one one side and stick out on the other.
  3. Roll the wax over the wick. Press down to make it as tight as possible.
  4. Keep rolling. After every rotation, press down onto the table to maximize the tightness.
  5. Once you reach the end of your first piece of wax, use the heat from your fingers to press the edge of the wax into the candle.

  6. Lay your candle on your 2nd piece of wax, mold the edge into your candle and start rolling.

  7. Continue as before until you reach the end of your wax.

  8. You can either add a 3rd piece of wax or finish off your candle.

  9. To finish the candle, press the bottom onto the table to make a flat edge. Use your fingers to mold the wax around the wick at the top.

Extra Information: DIY Rolled Candle Instructions 

Remote video URL

Activity 2: Sewn Cloth Gift Bag 

black sewn cloth bag


  • Old Shirt
  • Scissors
  • Sewing thread, needle and pins
  • Piece of string/yarn/ribbon to tie the bag up after


  1. Determine how big you want your bag to be. We suggest either the whole width of a t-shirt or half of that width.
  2. Cut a rectangular piece of fabric through both layers of your shirt. The dotted lines in images (1 & 2) provide a suggestion of where to cut.
  3. Upfold the cut fabric, and fold it so the inside is now facing out and it is folded across the sewn edge (side A-B). 
  4. Line up the corners (C and D) of the top and bottom layer of the fabric. Line up the edges (A-D, C-D, and B-C) of the top and bottom layer of fabric.
  5. Pin the cut edges (C-D & B-C). 
  6. Sew the pinned edges together as shown by the dotted lines in image (6). Keep your stitches a few centimeters from the edge of the fabric.
  7. Once you are done sewing, you should have a bag with an open top.
  8. Use a ribbon or piece of yarn to tie the bag closed.

Extra Information: DIY Sewn Bag Instructions and Sewing Resource

Wishing everyone a very happy, healthy and sustainable holiday season!  

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