Thursday, October 30, 2008

Handmade Gifts part 2: from Kids (to Adults)

Is it just me, or is it really hard to find things that kids can make and give to others that aren't pre-fabricated and expensive, or completely dorky?

I've had a hard time coming up with things that kids can make and give, anyway.

Just in case you have too, Here's a few things we've done in the past, and many of the ideas I hope to try in the future. They aren't all stellar, and none of these ideas are original with me. But I hope you like them anyway. I'm providing links to the projects where appropriate.

Oh, and another disclaimer, I tend to like gifts that are at least a little bit useful. So most of these aren't of the "refrigerator art" variety. Except the first one.

kid artA year of kid art. Have one, or a few, of the kids make a new art project every month and mail it to the recipient. We did this for and aunt a few years back. She loved it, and still has all the ones we sent. Moreover, it provided a nice way to try new art projects without inviting a lot of clutter. It's also a nice way to let far away family know that you're thinking of them. I think we'll probably do it again.

Jewelry
kid made bracelets Have you tried finger knitting? It's fun! Even the kids think it's fun! I can finger-knit a scarf in about an hour, but my oldest is only six, and definitely won't be sitting for an hour finger knitting (even if he was that fast). Instead, he's made a finger-knitted necklace and bracelet out of fancy yarn for his aunt. And that was really cute. Here's a good tutorial on 1-finger knitting, and another on 4-finger knitting (which is really better for kids over about 6 or 7).

Another easy popular craft around here is bangles. Cut a strip of a round plastic bottle (something big enough to go over your hand), and wrap fancy yarn around and around it. This is easy for kids above about 4, and really turns out cute! Kid's Craft Weekly has a good tutorial for these. And on the bracelets thread, my kids love to string beads pipe cleaners.

potato prints
Stamping
Use apples, potatoes, carrots, sponges, cereal boxes folded into shapes, and whatever you can find as a stamp with acrylic paint to decorate hand towels, handkerchiefs, a tote bag, or just about anything. Might be kind of messy, but it's sure to be a big hit with both the kids and the lucky recipient, don't you think?

Nature gifts
twin star ornamentsKids love to plant seeds, water them and watch them grow. It's a science lesson and a gift in one. Why have I not done this before? If I can find those seeds we never got around to planting last spring, we'll have a potted spice garden to give away. Thyme is supposed to be particularly easy, and sprouts quickly. We have some miniature basil just begging to be grown in a pot, and I'm wanting to try wheat grass too. Maybe we'll even decorate the pots with stickers or paint.

I also love these nature texture prints made from polymer clay. Or twig stars like these (I'm working on a tutorial for them now).

And maybe you'd like to consider some garden art.

Food

Don't forget the value of a good food gift. We often give away homemade jelly that the kids helped stir. Or give a Pie-in-a-jar, or a jar-mix for some favorite cookies. Or just make the cookies and give them away. Of mini-loaves of banana bread. These are school-lessons and gifts too -- all that measuring! Food is a great gift for men -- how could you go wrong?homemade jam

Others
And one last one -- another great gift for a man is a stress-ball or hackey sack. The link I had for this has been deleted, but you basically take a balloon, use a funnel to fill it (without stretching the balloon much) with sand or flour or split peas or rice, whatever you have.... Then you tie the balloon and stuff the knot inside. Cut the neck off of a second balloon, and stuff the first one inside of this (if you used flour, don't cut the neck off, I hear it makes a very big mess). Then you repeat this -- cutting the neck off of a third and fourth balloon to make a rather strong ball. You can cut many holes in another balloon if you wish for decoration. Here's another way to make one.

No, wait, one more. You can re-cover a pillow to make just about anything. (Your kid could even draw a design on the fabric!).

Speaking of gifts for adults. I have one for you. It's a Mikasa ceramic Nativity. Brand new in the box. Keep it, or give it to someone without young kids who will destroy it :)

Just leave me a comment to enter. Contest ends November 1st, just like the others. Don't forget to tell me your email address in it!

Oh, and don't forget to read part 1 of this series: Handmade gifts for teenage boys.


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71 comments:

  1. I'd love this for my mom. I can't decorate until my daughter is older. Thanks for the great gift-making guide!

    quitecontrary1977@hotmail.com

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  2. oh this is beautiful.
    would love it for the holiday season

    palmersf(at)bellsouth.net

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  3. This is so lovely. I have young kids but I would find a safe place for it!

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  4. sounds like fun! mrs.mommyyatgmaildotcom

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  5. The gift is lovely. I enjoy crafting with my cildren too. Thanks for the nice giveaway. cdziuba@aol.com

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  6. Mikasa ceramic Nativity. Thanks :)

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  7. Oh, that is a beautiful nativity; I'd love to win that. Thank you for the gift-making suggestions and for the chance to enter the giveaway!

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  8. I would love it. It is beautiful and I think a nativity is such an important part of Christmas. thanks

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  9. wow, beautiful. i have young kids, but my mom doesn't!

    ebienic(at)hotmail(dot)com

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  10. This is beautiful! I love the potato stamping project you posted! That's always been a favorite of mine! Another great gift for kids to make is a small brag book for grandma or grandpa or whomever! They can create a scrapbook all about them and keep it small (around 4x6 size) for the recipient to carry with them! Very personal and tons of fun to create!

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  11. I would love this!! Such a great idea!

    jls_wss2003 at yahoo dot com

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  12. My sister collects Nativities! Please enter me in your drawing for your lovely Nativity. Many thanks, Cindi
    jchoppes[at]hotmail[dot]com

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  13. This would be a great gift for my grandma. She collects nativities! Thanks for the giveaway!

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  14. Oh that is so very beautiful!!!! My mother LOVED Mikasa! I wish she was still alive. If I won I'd give it to her.

    My step-mother would ejoy this too!

    Thanks for a great giveaway!

    HunnyV "at" Optonline "dot" net

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  15. My mom would also love this. Thanks for the chance. :)

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  16. What a beautiful nativity set. Thanks for the great giveaway!

    daytoncat1(at)yahoo(dot)com

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  17. Beautiful. I would display this on my mantle. Thank you for the giveaway.

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  18. That is very beautiful!
    margelina@comcast.net

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  19. Would love to win this!!

    ajcmeyer AT go DOT com

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  20. I actually have a little collection of nativity sets! This would make a great addition!!! Please enter me!

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  21. Isn't it fun to have destructive little ones around? The set is beautiful though! I'd put it on a very high shelf :)

    adorablyconfused at hotmail dot com

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  22. I love the gift making guide. I would so love to have this beautiful nativity scene. Thanks for the wonderful giveaway!


    hottmomma_03@yahoodotcom

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  23. This is beautiful, I would love it.

    Thanks so much for all the gift ideas. I am going to try to make most of my gifts this year.

    I am going to check out the ones for teenage boys next, I never know what to make for my son.

    ceashark at aol dot com

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  24. my mom collects nativity scenes... thanks!

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  25. LOve all the ideas! I can always use inspiration for homeschool art class.... I collect natvities - I would love to add this one to my colllection

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  26. Thanks for the great suggestion jingle!

    Keep other suggestions coming in, and we'll do a follow-up post!

    I already thought of a few that I forgot: pressed flowers made into bookmarks or suncatchers, felted wool soap bars, framed kid art, etc...

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  27. This nativity is absolutely beautiful and would look wonderful on my mantle. Great gift ideas as well.

    Deana
    mchattons at yahoo dot com

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  28. That nativity is precious! Thank you so much. My e-mail is in my blogger profile adrianita (at) gmail (dot) com

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  29. This is so pretty! I would love to win it.

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  30. Great nativity...I didn't know Mikasa made one.
    bebemiqui82(at)yahoo(dot)com

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  31. How beautiful! I love nativities!
    Thanks for the great giveaway!

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  32. I would love this for a relative of mine. Thanks for the wonderful giveaway.

    samsakara@twcny.rr.com

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  33. some great ideas for kid crafts! thanks! I also love nativitys. :)

    lukenlarry at yahoo dot com

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  34. My husband's grandmother would absolutely love this!

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  35. Now that my kids and pets are older, I want to put out a nativity. This is so pretty.

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  36. beautiful. Count me in & thanks for the opportunity!

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  37. What a beautiful nativity!! I would love to have this on my mantle for Christmas!

    elkmeese at yahoo dot com

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  38. we love craft days! Great giveaway! I hope I'm chosen as the lucky winner! :)

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  39. This is a great one! Thanks for the chance to win :)

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  40. This is a Beautiful Nativity!! Thank you so much :)

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  41. I have loved Mikasa since I was a young kid. I asked for all Mikasa frames when I got married. I would love to put the nativity scene between my frames our pics from our awesome wedding.

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  42. wow i love to win this i realy could use it thanks

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  43. Oh.... My mother used to love Mikasa...We used to live near a Mikasa outlet; oh, that was dangerous!

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  44. The nativity is lovely!

    I do a lot of crafts with the kids -- I like your idea of a Year of Art. We do things like send art every couple weeks to some older friends who don't have kids and enjoy receiving some artwork just for the fun of it. They like it, the kids have fun -- and I have less art to figure out what to do with :-)

    vmlay@artsci.wustl.edu

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  45. I love crafts, and we do alot of them, so your site is right up my alley.

    I would give this to my mother if I were to win.

    purehrt555(at)yahoo(dot)com

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  46. This is a wonderful giveaway!!

    amitymatthia[at]hotmail[dot]com

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  47. So very lovely indeed!
    Would like it for The Holiday Season, my home would love you:)
    skyskyaa11[at]gmail[dot]com

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  48. Please enter me. I would SO love to win a Nativity. Thank you for the chance to win.

    I so agree with you that it is hard to find GOOD gifts for children to make. "Dorky" is exactly right for so many of the children's crafts. I love your pie-in-a-jar idea and teaching children in the kitchen, and teaching them to give food gifts. It's old fashioned, but I think that's so much better than the newfangled ways of doing things. Time tested is great. You might be interested in participating in my Fall Pies and Tarts Roundup too.

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  49. This is beautiful. It would look great in my new house.

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  50. oh that is beautiful!! Thanks for the chance!

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  51. I LOVE nativity sets. It is one of my favorite parts about the advent season.

    onlycancan at hotmail dot com

    www.MomMostTraveled.com

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  52. The Nativity Set is beautiful!


    Thank you!

    janetfaye (at) gmail (dot) com

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  53. Beautiful nativity! I live in Canada, but have a US address, if you need one.

    susan@hutchens2bc.net

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  54. ooh, that is beautiful! I'd love to have it! Thanks!

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  55. how beautiful! this would look wonderful in MY house!
    michaels_crown@yahoodotcom

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  56. Please enter me. Thank you!

    cherierj(at)yahoo(dot)com

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  57. I'd love a nativity - have yet to get one after 7 years of marriage... another idea with the seeds is to go to thrift stores and pick cute/funny/whimsical mugs for the planting of basil, thyme, etc! I think that's so fun!!!

    Michelle
    chellegoodson at gmail dot com

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  58. Very nice set. Thank you so much for participating in Bloggy Carnival and hosting a contest. Hope you have a great Halloween.
    gugel98@gmail.com

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  59. What a lovely Nativity set! Thank you for offering this prize. :-)

    castings@mindspring.com

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  60. This would be great for a friend in a nursing home. She has to have pretty small things for decoration. Thanks for the giveaway. semtaylor(at)yahoo(dot)com

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  61. I love nativity scenes! Please and thank you!

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  62. Very pretty - please sign me up!

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  63. It is a family tradition to visit an area church's display of various Creches (lent to be on display by local families for a week). Every year the number of displays,of all types from simple to grand, has grown...
    To win this treasure would be a blessing, to be shared at the annual event, so many could see the majestic beauty.

    pumpkinlady430@yahoo.com

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  64. This is so pretty. Enter me please!

    efuson_2000 at yahoo dot com

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