We’ve pulled together our favorite kid-friendly DIY gift ideas for everyone on your list so you can make it a handmade holiday! Handmade gifts are so much more special, less expensive and a great chance to teach your kids the meaning of the holiday while they have fun being creative and getting some hands-on activity time. Here are our picks, both simple and more complex, for brothers and sisters, cousins, teachers, aunts and uncles, and grandparents:
For Brothers and Sisters
Handprint Animal Artwork
Using paint, have kids create handprints onto white cardstock (or if you’re really brave, directly onto a small canvas). Once it dries, decorate them to create animals or other fun creatures inspired by their sibling’s favorite animals or storybook creatures. Here is some inspiration from LollyJane.com who uploaded the handprint designs to Snapfish and had them printed on canvas. You can also find some other handprint art ideas here.
While this is a really simple idea, the teaching element is so valuable and the end result is sure to be a keepsake. Ask your children to think about some things that their sibling would love – for example: using their favorite toy, making a fort, playing their favorite game, etc. Select the ones their sibling would like best and then write them on separate pieces of paper and decorate, then staple, sew or bind them together to form a booklet. You can also download templates online, like this simple one from Frugal-Mama.com.
Story or Coloring Books
This is a great teaching activity for your kids and creates a really special gift that their cousins are sure to love. If you’re short on time, the easiest way to create a storybook is to have kids create their stories on index cards, which you can then insert into a small (4”x6” photo album). If you have more time, this video from About.com walks you through the steps to create a more classic, handmade book with a stapled or hole punched/yarn-threaded binding. We also liked this tutorial from ImaginationSoup which has a download for holiday themed ‘story starter’ images. (For more images, you can pick up free clip art right here.)
You can also create a coloring book using line-art stock photos or, if you have photo editing software, your own photos! PhotoJojo.com has a great tutorial on turning your own photos into black and white coloring pages. Get the kids involved by asking them to pick out their favorites and then helping to bind them together and decorate a cover.
What kid doesn’t love playdough? And, thankfully, it’s easy and inexpensive to make. Have the kids help measure and stir the ingredients and then decorate jars to gift it in.
Monogram Mugs or Decorated Pencil Cups
These projects require a lot of adult supervision due to the materials involved and the complexity of the project, but can be a lot of fun and make a great impression.
DesignMom has a great tutorial for creating monogram mugs using a porcelaine pen. Fill these with marshmallows, hot chocolate mix or a gift card to a coffee shop.
Decorating a pencil cup is another great idea and decoupage gives lots of options. Have kids use different colors of tissue paper to play with color mixing. We’ve also seen some great ideas using scrap fabric (including lace) and simple Sharpie markers.
Star Shaped Desk Calendar
This is a great way to share some of your favorite photos from the 2012, and is a wonderful gift for any family member. The tutorial at AnOunceOfCreativityalso has a download for the calendar piece.
We heard from lots of subscribers that the tile coasters they made with our Food Adventures Discovery Box are going to make great gifts this year. You can recreate the craft with recycled fiberboard and mini tiles, or try decoupaging full size tiles.
Photo Snow Globes
We are so excited to give these photo snow globes to our grandparents this year; they are going to adore them! Here’s the how-to, again from DesignMom.
Handprint art is also a favorite for grandparents and we’ve yet to see anything more beautiful than these hand trees from AtSecondStreet. More complex, but definitely worth the effort.
What are your favorite gifts to make this year? Leave us a comment and let us know.
(P.S. Do you know a crafty kid? Sign them up for a gift subscription or monthly subscription to Green Kid Crafts – they’ll get 3 fun and earth-friendly craft kits each month by mail! Sign up now and you’ll receive our incredible Around the World Discovery Box, and Putumayo Kids’ World Sing-Along CD free with orders of $39+! Just use code “MUSIC” at checkout.)
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