Last year, I had grand plans to have my kids make homemade gifts. While they were well-received, it caused me a ton of stress. Now that we’re into December, I’m already rethinking this year’s plan, mainly because we haven’t started yet! But I learned a lot last year, so here are my top three tips about doing handmade gifts:
1) Make sure your kids are as into it as you are (I’m showing them my Pins as a list of options)
2) Start early (ahem, too late for that)
3) Pick gifts that kids can actually make
With that last one in mind, I’ve been keeping an eye out all year and collecting them on a Pinterest board. I’ve only Pinned projects that are actually do-able. Not only if child and parent are super-crafty doable, but actually do-able for normal people. No offense to super-crafty people. And if you know me, these are pretty inexpensive.
Revamped Sharpie Mug
From Good and Messy, this is a great variation on the simple drawn-on Sharpie Mug from last year. While my sister appreciated my son’s doodlings, if you were giving this to a teacher or other adult who doesn’t have leanings towards your child’s drawings, this mug looks a little classier. Plus, it’s easier for younger kids. Just put alphabet stickers on the mug and dot-dot-dot with the Sharpie. Looks great!
Of all the handmade gifts my kids made last year, the biggest hit was the Homemade CD. One of my daughters made a playlist of all the songs she thought her baby cousins should know–classics like I’ve Been Working on the Railroad, her favorites from the Beatles, and a few Raffi songs and lullabies. She decorated an insert for the CD case and I printed out a playlist to glue inside. Both families loved this gift, and they still listen to it a year later.
It can be tough to come up with homemade gift ideas for men, so these spice rubs are great for any foodies or grillers in your life. Real Simple has a great Big Batch Barbeque Rub, and Recipes We Love shares a Burger & Fry Seasoning. Gather the supplies together, and with just a little adult assistance, kids can layer them into a jar (recycled baby food or salsa jar, or buy new ones), then decorate the jar.
No-Sew Fleece Blanket
This is a no-sew project; if you can use a scissors, you can handle it! The Frugal Girls have a Fleece Blanket Tutorial that shows you exactly what to do. Kids will enjoy choosing the patterns and colors for their gift blanket, as well as tying the knots all around. If a blanket sounds like too big a project for you, what about a scarf? Pin Tried It shows you how to make a no-sew fleece scarf for about $2.
Washi Tape Binder Clips
If you’re not familiar with Washi Tape, it’s Japanese decorative tape that you can now find everywhere! I’ve even seen it at Target, so you don’t even have to hit up the craft store. Creative Green Living shows you how to use standard-sized binder clips, while Welcome to Artsyville uses mini binder clips and runs the tape the other way. We’re making these as our teacher gifts this season because they’re so darn cute.
Young girls love jewelry, and making these Washer Necklaces from Small for Big is a great way to gift to friends without spending a lot of money. Just pick up washers from the hardware store, decorate with nail polish, and string onto twine. Fun to make and fun to wear!
Chocolate Dipped Pretzel Rods
Food gifts are always a great idea, and these are easy and fun to make. The Kitchen is my Playground has an easy-to-follow tutorial for White Chocolate Dipped Pretzel Rods. I made these when my twins were in preschool and there were so many teachers/staff to gift at holiday time. They look so nice in a cellophane wrapper with a pretty ribbon and a tag written out by your child.
What easy homemade gifts has your family made? I’d love more ideas!
Linked up to Fluster’s Creative Muster Party at Fluster Buster.