Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Crafty Christmas gift ideas

(Hi Hearts at Home readers. One of the things we do is have siblings focus on making gifts for one another. This way the focus is more on what one is giving than what one is getting. So, in that spirit, here is an old post with ideas of things that children can make for one another.)

I don't know about you, but I am taking a deep breath and trying to plan how I will make everything I would like to before Christmas.  I think I need to prioritize and start that way, because I'm beginning to doubt whether I can really do it all or not.  In the past, my prime sewing time has been after everyone has gone to bed.  But recently, I have been so exhausted after everyone is tucked in that I really can't do much of anything, especially if it calls for concentrating on directions.  (Please tell me it's because I'm chasing two 2-year-old toddlers around and it's not because I'm getting old!)  I haven't even been able to read which tells you how bad it is.

If you are having the opposite problem of not enough ideas, I thought I would make a couple of lists of things to help you get started.  Some of these things I have linked to previous posts if I had posted a picture of them, others you will just have to use your imagination.  (If I have linked, you may have to scroll down the post to find the picture I am referencing.)

I have two different categories.  The first is a list of presents that a child has made for a brother or sister.  I try to come up with things that will be used or really played with and not just something that sits on a shelf for a while and then gets thrown away.

  • Blank wooden tops, painted by child. (For young children, the paint markers are great.)
  • Rice-filled hand warmers.  Use the tops of old socks (cutting off the foot part), fill with rice, and sew up.  If you put them in the microwave for a few seconds they heat up and can be put into pockets.
  • Homemade bouncy balls. (From a kit... sometimes I buy a kit which will make enough items to work for giving.)
  • Homemade soap with small toy inside
  • Fleece blanket, the type which is fringed and then tied together.  
  • Draft-blocking snakes.  Great if you have a lot of drafty old windows and cold bedrooms.  Take a pair of tights, cut off one leg, stuff, sew up end, sew on face and tongue to make it look more snake-like.
  • Blank wooden boxes, painted by child.
  • Sewn, stuffed dolls
  • Felt animals.  (Felt is great for smaller children to work with as the ends do not need to be finished.)
  • Playhouse (or car or spaceship) out of a large cardboard box.
  • Scarves and hats
  • Wooden tabletop bowling set.  Look for blank wooden bowling pins and a wooden ball which is the correct relative size.
  • Boxes for play kitchen.  Take empty kitchen boxes (cereal, tea, crackers, etc.), turn inside out, and have child paint or color what the new product will be and tape closed.  Empty single-serving cereal boxes are great because they fit in the play kitchen better and have a good generic shape.
  • Fleece pillows.  Can be made using the same tie method as the throw, use a pre-made pillow form for stuffing.
  • Hand-painted bead stringing kit.  Buy blank wooden spools and paint to match child's likes, can also paint the letters of child's name.  Include thick string and put in a pretty box.
  • Lip gloss (from kit)
  • Jewelry
  • Rhythm instruments
  • Large blocks made from cardboard boxes
  • Bookmarks
  • Felted soap -- great for scrubbing with in tub.  Take a bar of soap and some wool roving.  Rub (and rub and rub) the roving over and into the bar of soap getting the roving wet with very warm water every so often.  You're essentially felting the roving on and around the soap.  
This second list is for an adult (or young adult) to make for a child.  They are a bit more involved.
So, there you go.  These are all things we have done in the past.  My children read my blog, so I can't even hint at what I'm doing this year, because they would be all over it.  You (and they) will just have to wait.

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