Thursday, October 13, 2011

10 cheap, homemade present ideas for kids

I like making my gifts because I think that they mean more to the recipient. Of course, gift cards and toys are always acceptable and I am not saying that everything has to be homemade, but these are the gifts that they will most likely remember and keep.
  1. Scrapbooks: I am making this for my nephews this year and I hope that they will enjoy it for years to come. I also plan to do this with my kids: each one of them can get a scrapbook detailing the past year for Xmas so that when they leave the nest they have these gifts. If you don't have time to make a scrapbook, a photo album always works too.
  2. Re-molded crayons and coloring books: what a great way to use up old crayons! The blog notes that this works best with Crayola or another good name brand of crayons and perhaps not with cheaper Dollarama crayons.  
  3. T-shirt tote bags made from their favorite t-shirt which was stained, too small or wore to rags. This way they can still have happy memories of that shirt for years to come, even if it doesn't fit.
  4. Clothes: whether bought or homemade, they are always welcome, especially if their favorite super hero or cartoon character is featured. You can always take a plain t-shirt and buy some fabric with their favorite super hero or celebrity on it. Cut out an image from the fabric and sew it onto the front of the plain t-shirt for a custom shirt that they will love. This is even better if you make a pair of pajama pants to match.
  5. Room sign: make a sign for the door into their room. I used to do this in camp on a piece of wood that we painted with our names and splattered our favorite shades of paint all over it. I still have it and I remember thinking when I was a kid that it was the coolest thing ever that I could display on my door.
  6. Knitted or crocheted blanket: you can make kids a cozy blanket out of their favorite colors. I made one of my nephew and I made it big enough for him to use until he's in his teens. I did a subtle ribbing pattern on it.
  7. Christmas ornaments: make one every year since your child was born with the date on it so that when they grow up and leave the house, they already have a small collection of ornaments for their own tree. This could be as simple as wooden snowflakes that you have painted white and wrote the name and date with a gold pen on the back. You could use that same gold pen to outline snowflake details on the front too.
  8. Room decorating: all kids like to decorate their room. What about if your Christmas gift to them was a redecoration of their room? That means paint, wallpaper (maybe) and perhaps a few matching items for their room. You could wallpaper the back of the door or the back space of the bookshelves for dramatic effect.
  9. Personal plates: do up their own place setting with a cup, mug, plate and silverware. You can buy these now in craft stores and paint them yourself then fire then in the oven or glaze them. Do a nice design on them so that they look forward to eating everything on their plate to see that design (we wish!).
  10. A candy or cookie bag: make their favorite cookies or homemade candies, bag them up and put them in their stocking for Christmas morning. I can remember fudge, truffles and snickerdoodle cookies being my favorite and we only ate them at Christmas.

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