Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Crafty Christmas Cool

craft table cool
Grandma gave the kids their own arts n crafts table one Christmas

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. 
So that's how I satisfy the kids' craftiness even though I can only draw stick people.  Happy holidays!

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