This post is part of my Clearly Christmas Series – packed with gift ideas and Christmas tips.
Keep in mind that the thing with handmade gifts is that you want them to be lovely and not fragile and well just more creative than handy! If you give your kids free reign they may well go quite wild and your well-intentioned gift can turn into a nightmare present. The trick with kid-made gifts is to keep them really simple and then let them make elaborate projects for themselves.
With all these gifts you can either make them for the younger friend or give them as crafty kits with directions for older friends.
- Crazy Crayons: This is a great gift for little friends, not to mention little hands to make. Gather all your broken crayons together. Then get little hands to peel the papers off them, break them up and put them into cupcake cases. Try and get a good mixture of colors into each case. Then the adult helper takes over, we heated them in the microwave and watched and stopped and heated and watched and stopped… until they were melted. Take them out the microwave and leave them to cool.
- Bountiful Badges: This is a great craft to make for friends and you really can make millions of them. This link will take you to our Badge Bonanza post, which has detailed instructions.
It is also a great craft to turn into a crafty pack. Just pop some stickers and some badges (I bought heaps of old badges from a local thrift shop – they were in a basket on the counter for nearly nothing – I bought the lot!). You can add some markers to this gift and a bit of contact plastic, enough to cover the badges and make them shiny.
- Jeans Bags: Kids absolutely love bags for collecting stuff and keeping treasures in. Well this super=easy to make bag comes with built in pockets and secret places. Last Christmas I secretly gathered up a pair of old jeans from each of our friends… I got directions from Family Fun and was surprised at how easy it was. One line of stitching per bag!
- Popular Pipe-cleaner People:These are such a brilliant craft and who wouldn’t want to own their own little collection! For full directions we do have a post on them.
This is really easy to turn into a crafty pack. Make an instruction sheet – add all the goodies you need, a couple of beads, some embroidery thread for hair, some chopped up pipe cleaners and some little fabric scraps for embellishing and adding clothes or making beds and so on.
My kids love hanging these above their bed and pegging small treasures onto them, little pictures, cards, sweetie wrappers they want to keep… anything small they can peg up – basically glorified washing lines!!! We made flower bunting to welcome Spring, but you can make anything… a car shape, an animal shape, stars of course or even Christmas Trees or Christmas angels. All you need is a couple of large post-it-notes and some small post-it-notes and a long ribbon. Draw your shape on the large notes, and a smaller version on the small notes. Cut out your shapes. Sandwich the ribbon between the two and you have pretty bunting… add some tiny pegs and some directions you have a crafty pack.
We put together a very pretty bunting kit, just by stopping at the scrapbook section in our local stationary store: ribbon, tiny paper dollies and little pegs – sweet, pretty and done!
These make a fabulous gift. For little friends make the dollies, but otherwise make a crafty kit. With fabric, the template, fabric crayons or markers. For older more capable kids you can add in some wool for hair and buttons for eyes and a few sewing goodies: pins, needles, and cotton.
- Activity Packs:
Very easy… decorate an envelope big enough to fit printer paper in it. Then pop around the internet printing out activity sheets. Add a packet of crayons or markers and your job is done. Most authors have great websites for kids – its all marketing! – just google your kids favorite author and you will most likely find printable or activity sheets relating to their favorite books. Here are se7en places we like to find printable activities:
- Family Fun have printables: coloring, crafts and games.
- Wondertime: activity sheets:
- Crayola have great sheets to color and craft.
- Dover Publications: have a weekly free samples well worth getting.
- Little Tiger Press have some great activities for younger children.
- The Gruffalo has great activity sheets for all of Julia Donaldson Books
- Paper dolls from Kiddley
That’s it – Have fun gift making!
More Christmas Goodies will follow on our Clearly Christmas page soon.