Looking for the perfect present for someone you love? Well, look no further... I have put together a list of great gifts that you can easily make. Put on an apron, set up your supplies, and get creative!
Little Angel Sweatshirt
This is too sweet and sure to be adored by whomever you make it for. Use transfer paper to print the words "NANA'S LITTLE ANGEL" (or Grandma's/Grandpa's/Mom's/Dad's etc - whoever the shirt is for) and a face picture of yourself. Squirt fabric paint onto a container large enough for your hands and a foot to fit into. Dip one foot in the paint making sure it is well covered and then onto the center of the shirt for the angel's dress. Careful to make a clean print. Then dip your hands into another colour of fabric paint to create the wings. When dry, iron on the transfer paper - follow printing and ironing instructions that comes with the paper. You will definitely need an adult to do this part as you will be working with a hot iron and you need to apply a lot of pressure for the transfer paper to work and withhold washings.
I got the idea for this shirt from Sherri Osbournes Family Crafts site.
This gift will take some planning and work all year, but it is well worth the effort. You will have to start this in January in order to give it for Christmas that same year. Purchase a large scrapbook (about $10) and decorate the front and adding a title that includes the year. Some ideas are... "Oh how we grew in 20--" , "20-- - the year of ..." , "Memories of 20--" , "The fun of 20--". Write about things that happened to your family during the year. Add photograghs and draw pictures of the events. Be sure to write about the events as they happen so you can record them accurately. At the end of the year, you will have a wonderful account of all the fun and silly things that your family did together during the whole year. Be sure to include quotes from people and your feelings about the events. This gift will be treasured by your parents forever!
This gift would be very special for a parent or Grandparents who don't get to see you everyday. You can write about all the things that you did during the year and your accomplishments. You can title the book accordingly. One example is: "My Special Year - 20--". If you have copies of school reports, swimming reports, etc., you can paste them in the book too.
You will need the help of an adult for this gift. If you have siblings, put together some costumes and put on a play that you all know such as "The Three Bears", Little Red Riding Hood", "Chicken Little", or a favourite bedtime story. You can also make puppets and put on a puppet show. A puppet show works well if you have no brothers or sisters as you can play all the characters. This is the part where the adult comes in... after you have practiced the puppet show or had a dress rehearsal for your play, ask a grown-up that you know (uncle, neighbour, good friend of the family) to tape your show. You can have Mom and Dad tape it or even play one of the characters if you want to give this as a gift to a Grandparent. They will love watching your present over and over again throughout the year!
You will need brown, red, and green paint, paintbrush, googly eyes, red pompom, paper, popsicle sticks, wool, glue, twine or rope, and a bucket of soapy water (for washing up afterwards).
First paint your right foot with the brown paint and then do a footprint in the middle of the piece of construction paper; this will be Rudolph's face. Wash and dry your foot. Then paint your right hand and print an antler at the top of the foot print over to the right side - this will be an antler. Wash and dry your hand. Paint your left hand and make the 2nd antler. Wash and dry your hand. It is important to clean up right away so that the picture does not get smudged with paint! While your picture is drying, line up 10 popsicle sticks beside each other and then dip pieces of wool into the red and green paint. String paint the popsicle sticks then let dry. When your reindeer is dry, glue a red pompom to the heel of the foot part in the middle and the 2 googly eyes on. When the popsicle sticks are dry, glue them around the picture to make a frame. Tie a piece of rope or twine for hanging.
- Pinecone: Pour glitter into a ziplock bag. Drizzle white glue on your pinecone (the big ones that are full work best) Put the pinecone into the baggie and shake. Remove it shaking off any excess glitter into the bag. Add a beatiful string and (if you want) use a gluegun to decorate the top with some dried flowers (potpourri works well for this).
- Popsicle Stick: Paint popsicle sticks with gold and silver paint. When dry, arrange them into a star and glue together. When thoroughly dry, add a gold or silver ribbon for hanging.
- Clay Ornaments: Make a batch of clay. Roll out the dough and use cookie cutters to cut Christmas shapes. Use a straw to poke a hole for hanging. When clay is dry (this will take about 2 days, remember to turn ornaments over every night so both sides dry) paint. Shellac when paint is dry. Add a colourful ribbon for hanging.
- Melty Bead: Use melty beads and small star frame to make an ornament. Use a needle to push ribbon or thread through the melted bead for hanging.
Use melty beads to make a frame. Any shape will do, but only put beads on the outside 3 rows. Attach a picture at the back (make sure you have permission before you cut any photograph!) and then a magnet.
Either print a small calendar on the computer, or buy one at the dollar store. Paint one hand red and press it near the top of a piece of construction paper. Paint the other hand green and do the same. Put the handprints side by side, so make sure you have room for both hands when you start. You can add a photo to the paper and/or a poem, and then the calendar at the bottom.
You can write a poem for the calendar or use this famous handprint one:
Sometimes you get discouraged
Because I am so small
And always leave my fingerprints
On furniture and walls
But everyday I'm growing up
And soon I'll be so tall
That all those little handprints
Will be hard to recall
So here's a special handprint
Just so you can say
This is how my fingers looked
When I placed them here today!
Design and decorate a book full of coupons that Mom and/or Dad can use throughout the year. Some ideas might be "doing the dishes", "clearing up after dinner", "cleaning my room", "making dinner", "taking out the garbage", "shovelling snow". Think about all the things that Mom and Dad have to keep asking you to do and decorate a coupon for that chore... they will appreciate not having to ask twice! Just remember not to grumble when they do use the coupon!
I have some ready made coupons for you to print if you would like.
You will need to be able to sew for this one as the hot pots would melt the glue. Cut out a large shape (any Christmas one: ie star, tree, ornament, angel, etc.) out of felt. Then cut out 2 more of the same shape in different colours of felt - slightly smaller than the one before it. Sew the middle sized shape to the large one and then the smaller one on top. This will give enough padding so the heat won't penetrate to the table. You can decorate the shape with pieces of felt or leave it plain. If using a tree shape, you can use 2 different shades of green and then use coloured felt to decorate the tree.
Clean a small baby food jar and let dry completely. Mix a small amount of water with white glue. Cover the outside of the jar with red and green (or colours to match your living room) tissue paper leaving spaces for the light to shine through. Gently spread a layer of the glue mixture over the tissue paper to ensure that it is bonded to the glass. Add a votive candle and you have a seasonal candle holder that can decorate your Christmas table for years.
Dampen play sand and press your hand deep into the sand to create a mould of your hand. Pour plaster of paris into the mould and when partially set, place a small candle in the center of the palm. Let dry for several days. Remove from the sand and brush off excess sand. Let dry for a day and then gently use an old toothbrush to remove any excess sand. Paint the hand and let dry. Wrap in cello paper and decorate a paper lunch bag with Christmas stamps. Place the cello-wrapped candle in the decorated sac. These are very fragile, but look really nice as a centerpiece on the table!
Handprint and Stand
Using acrylic paint, stamp your handprint on a 6x6 ceramic tile. You will need a grownup to make the stand for you... have them cut a block of wood the correct size and add a ridge at an angle for the tile to stand in. In a graphics program, I added a photo to the center of a wreath clipart and added the year '06 in the center of the bow, printed it out and then cut it out. I then used podgy (white glue watered down with water) to attach the photo to the stand. When that was dry, I added several coats of varnish - you must let the coats dry (1 hour) between applications. I covered the handprint tile with a square of clear mac tac as the paint will wash off if wiped with a wet cloth... this protects it when being dusted!