I'm not the craftiest chick in the coop, but I do love making handmade gifts and cards with the kids. They in turn love giving their creations to family members for Christmas. So I get by with a little help from my (retail and webby) friends. Here are my and my kids' greatest hits for handmade gifts:
- Christmas Ornament Photo Kits - So cheap, so cute, everyone can use a new ornament with their favorite kids' faces inside. This is also great for using up all those duplicate and random photos floating around or as fun gift tags.
- Button Flower Bouquets - These are a huge hit with everyone. I like to use floral wire when I make really fancy-schmancy ones for friends, but when making them with the kids we use easier-to-maneuver brightly colored pipe cleaners and big buttons with large holes. Use up the buttons you already have, raid grandma's sewing basket or pick up a grab bag of buttons at a craft store. I also favor adding a really cheesy rhyming poem with these like "Here's a bouquet of flowers/Always in bloom/To merry your Christmas/Or brighten your room." You can go barf now.
- Paint-your-own pottery studios like national franchise Color Me Mine and local businesses like The Mud Hut in Olney, MD are a way to combine making a unique holiday gift and the killing of a rainy afternoon.
- Free mandala printables give endless possibilities for make-your-own presents. Print, color, cut out and tie to string as ornaments or decorations, or transfer to tracing paper and fill in with colored pencils for stained glass window decorations.
- And for ultimate gift wrap that's both sentimental and save-y, I use the kids' hundreds of paintings at school and our household easel. Around November I make sure the kids have lots of red and green paint on their palettes and by December 20 or so, we have Christmas wrap coming out of our, well, eyeballs.