Cool Gifts Kids Can Make
I'm a big fan of getting kids crafting; it doesn't need to be over the top and it absolutely shouldn't be stressful. The point is to simply let your kid's creativity run loose with whatever you've got on hand...while also freeing you up for a stretch of quiet time. We’re in full out crafting mode in my house so I wanted to share some fun ideas for kid-crafted gifts. The ideas span a range of ability and interests and in minimalist parenting fashion, I recommend trying projects that seem doable and fun for both you (as set up person) and your child (as crafter). Meaning, don't stress about trying to be more crafty than you want to be -- simply pick something that feels fun and run with it. Enjoy!
1. Paper collages
Paper collages are simple and easy! All you need is paper scraps (decorative or from your recycling bin) and a glue stick or double sided tape depending on your child's dexterity. Have your child stick little pieces of paper onto a large piece of paper (regular sized or cut out into a large shape, e.g., gingerbread person). Easy. Fun.
2. Framed artwork
Short on time? Need to declutter? The holidays are a perfect time to find a home for your kid's artwork. Simply toss the artwork in a frame and you're done! If you want to make it look elegant, pick frames with mats (IKEA is a great source for inexpensive frames) and cut the artwork down to size. We’ve done this various years with Laurel and Violet’s art and they love seeing their work hanging!
Bookmarks are a great gift and kids can make them simple (color on cardstock), more involved (glue paper scraps on cardstock), or more finished, such as adding a photo (like, hey, wallet sized class photos would be great for this!
4. Origami picture frames
Try your hand at origami without crazy complicated instructions. These origami picture frames over at Make and Takes can be fashioned to stand up or as refrigerator magnets.
5. Classic potholders
Potholders are a great independent project for little ones. And functional too! One year Laurel made these for, well, everyone. We use them all the time!
OK, well, Hanukkah is passed but this would be a great gift to work on for next year! I utterly adore these hardware store menorahs by Sheri Silver. I'm going to see if Laurel wants to make one of these for her cousin, who celebrates Hanukkah.
7. Handprint aprons
These handprint aprons by Make and Takes is perfect for the cook in the family. And for kids who love tactile projects. Actually, Laurel and Violet tried stenciling on aprons over Thanksgiving break and it was SO FUN. If you want to avoid messy hands, go with stenciling!
8. Beaded necklaces
If your child can string beads, have them make necklaces. My kids love using beads to make necklaces, as well as bracelets, key chains, and bookmark tags.
9. Sculpey magnets
I've made glass and paper magnets with Laurel before, but how clever are these Sculpey face magnets? Abby Glassenberg shares a how-to. LOVE.
10. Sculpey pendants
And speaking of Sculpey, one year Laurel made Sculpey pendants for the holidays and had such fun with it! She simply freeformed the design of the pendants, punched a hole in the top with a pencil, and after baking, strung it with ribbon.
11. Painted pottery
If you'd rather outsource the crafting, head to a pottery painting studio. My kids have painted and gifted MANY a plate and coffee mug (usable gifts FTW!)
12. Drawn pottery
If visiting a paint studio is cost prohibitive (it can be if your child wants to paint a lot of items) another option is to use a paint pen directly on pottery. Totally awesome. I didn't even know these pens existed until Jennifer Cooper shared them with me.
13. Glitter tape boxes
My friend Caroline Urdaneta shared this image with me (she shared it on her former website Salsa Pie); basically, use glitter tape to adorn ALL THE THINGS.