DIY Holiday Gifts for Microbiologists

by | News

Publish Date: December 1, 2016

The holidays are a time to show your loved ones how much you care by giving a thoughtful gift.  You can reduce stress and add a personal touch by making some of these wonderful crafts for the microbiologists on your list.

Microbe Ornaments

Did you get a touch of food poisoning from your aunt’s holiday turkey?  Commemorate the occasion with a felt microbe ornament!

You can even stitch on the date so you remember years from now. For example:







Crocheted Mini-Microbes

This nifty knitting e-book offers 19 microbe patters including Bacillus anthracis (Anthrax), Escherichia coil, and Yersinia pestis (Black Death). Purchase the e-book on TheSoftScientist  Etsy page.

Add a little holiday cheer to your microbes by crocheting on a Santa hat, or making them all red and green!


Swab Snowflakes

Don’t throw away extra lab supplies that didn’t pass the quality check – use them to make snowflake ornaments! Add glitter to make the snowflakes even more festive.

This simple project is fun for adults and kids. Use this instructional video from PBS Crafts for Kids  to find out what you need to get started.


E. coli Embroidery

Stitch your favorite food borne pathogen on to a festive kitchen towel or apron to remind your friends and family to cook meat properly this holiday season.

If sewing isn’t your forte, you can buy the your bug already stitched on Alicia Watkin’s  Etsy page.


Modge Podge Your Microbes

Modge podge your favorite microbe image onto a candle holder just like you did for mom when you were in grade school!  Electron micrographs make the pretties ones!

Find some festive looking microbe images and then follow these instructions to get started.


Science Sweets

What microbiologist wouldn’t love to receive a dozen Staphylococcus aureus on Sheep Blood Agar sugar cookies or a stack of bacteria plate jellies? Yum!

  • Petri Dish Cookies: These cookies found on the Not So Humble Pie blog would be a beautiful addition to any holiday party.
  • Bacteria Jelly Plates: Use these step by step instructions from Frank Swain’s SciencePunk blog to create bacteria jelly plates that will put they standard Jello-O and fruit combination to shame.
  • Edible DNA: Teach kids a little bit about science while creating DNA they can eat with gummy bears, Twizzlers, and tooth picks.


Wearable Microbe Art

  • Agar Art Jewelry: You can’t take your agar art home with you, but you could have the next best thing by recreating the image with epoxy or fused glass.
  • Lab Tech Kicks: Spruce up your PPE with these microbe pattern closed toe shoes! You could try to DIY or buy a custom pair from Martha Guy on Etsy.

Don’t like to craft? No problem. Check out these 50 Awesome Holiday Gift Ideas for Microbiologists.


Dr. Karla Fjeld and Kali Sorum contributed to this post.


Written by Karla Fjeld

Karla I. Fjeld is the Research and Development Scientist at Microbiologics. Karla received a Bachelor of Arts in biology and chemistry at the College of St. Benedict, St. Joseph, Minnesota in 2001, and a PhD in biochemistry and molecular biology at Michigan State University, East Lansing, Michigan in 2007. As the R&D Scientist, she works on both new products and product and process improvements

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