Kids love to give gifts to friends and family and they also love to craft. Combine the two and not only will your kids have a blast they’ll also impress the recipients of their beautiful handmade gifts. Many projects are very easy to do and require only a few things from a craft store. And, after they’ve done a few projects they usually have enough leftovers to make a couple more without spending additional money.
One cute craft that just about any child can make doesn’t even require special items from a craft store. After eating a peach remove the pit and clean well. After the pit is dry let the child paint it black. Allow that to dry then dab white on the sides and back with a cotton ball. Glue the tip of an orange crayon to one end of the pit to serve as a bill and they’ve made a duck. Glue the peach pit to a small piece of wood, a mirror or even a painted bottle cap. Put a dot of paint on each side and slightly above the bill for eyes.
Make a similar craft by using walnut halves. Paint them red with black spots for a lady bug, white for a rabbit or gray for a mouse. Turn the shell half where the empty part is the bottom. Make whiskers for the bunny or the mouse by cutting some thread and gluing them in place at one end of the shell. Cut antenna for the ladybug. Cut ears from felt – gray on the outside and pink felt on the inside for mice, white on outside and pink on inside for bunny. Glue them to the head portion of the critter. Just for the rabbit cut a tiny rectangle of white felt and use a black marker to make a line down the center. Glue to the mouth region for rabbit teeth. Use a string for a mouse tail or cotton ball piece for bunny tail.
Glue a peanut onto a piece of wood or another base. Use yarn or thread to make hair and glue it on top. Or use a piece of felt to make a hat and eliminate the hair. Paint on eyes and a mouth or purchase silly craft eyes for the peanut person. Use pipe cleaners to form stick arms and legs. Make a whole family of them by posing them differently, giving one bushy eyebrows made from black pipe cleaners, and giving another one glasses formed from pipe cleaner.
Make a mouse magnet by purchasing an egg-shaped styrene ball and cutting in half, lengthways. Glue a magnet onto the flat side of the egg half. Cut a small nose from felt and draw eye on with black magic marker. Cut an ear from felt and attach. Use a small piece of pipe cleaner for a tail and some thread or broken toothpicks for whiskers.
Snail shells and similar shells with a roundish opening make a perfect flower vase gift for Grandma. The kids can glue the shell onto a mirror or even a piece of poster board then “plant” flowers in them by gluing them into the hole. Or give Grandpa a gift he’ll love by painting a rock and decorating it just for him. Make a scene with water and a boat or just write “Happy Birthday”. Choose large smooth rocks for this project and make sure they’re clean and dry before starting.
Kids can make beautiful Christmas paperweights for Mom, teacher and even Dad by using a baby food jar filled with water. Paint the inside of the lid white then glue on pine trees and a mini horse. Or maybe a tiny plastic train set instead. Or, skip the Christmas scene and make it an ocean scene. After the trinkets are in place and dried well with waterproof glue turn it over and screw the lid on tightly. A little glue around the edge of the inside lid will hold the lid onto the jar. Tie a ribbon around the lid edge or even wrap it with a pine branch. Use glitter or fake snow in the water for a more impressive effect.
Another baby food jar craft involves filling it halfway full of water then dropping in a rubber or plastic object. A fish, a cartoon character or a flower are great. Fill the rest of the jar as full as possible with baby oil to help the object float. Drop in some food coloring if desired to make the water blue or another color. Glue the lid on and decorate the lid edge with shells, ribbon or another embellishment.
Make a bracelet holder by covering an empty paper towel tube with fabric. Poke a hole in the middle of the side where the ends of the fabric meet. Glue the writing end of a pencil into the hole. The pencil should be the type that was made with no eraser and is perfectly flat on one end. Paint the pencil if desired, before gluing, or buy pencils in colors other than standard yellow. Glue the flat end of the pencil to a small block of wood or even a painted jar lid. Mom or Grandma will be very impressed with this gift.
As you’re going about your every day life throw little things like bottle caps, felt pieces, greeting cards, lace pieces, cardboard boxes and other items into a plastic bin and start a craft box. Pick up small things like markers, beads, elastic and other notions as you visit department stores. Before long your children will have enough stuff to make all kinds of gifts for many years to come.