First off, let me say that Skip to My Lou has a fabulous list of handmade gifts. Which includes a terrific section for teens. Including a hammock!
A second invaluable resource is the Sew Mama Sew Handmade Holidays list from last year. Unbeatable.
These lists are so great that it seems silly to attempt my own. But I like futile activities -- I have four kids. So here we go.
Hair stuff: headbands, barrettes, curlers, etc. Sew Mama Sew has a great list of hair items to make. I don't need to repeat it.
Cocoa lip gloss. How could any teen girl resist? How could any adult mother resist? Seriously, I want some! Make a lip balm cozy too! (Although, these fit standard lip balm, which is probably not the shape your home-made lip gloss will take).
Scented or sparkle-y body lotion. Here's a recipe for body glitter. And one for shimmering body lotion.
To make an all-natural, high quality body lotion:
1) Sterilize your blender by blending boiling water (or some rubbing alchohol) in it.
2) Put about 1/2 cup oil into the blender (choose an oil that is good for your teen's skin type -- olive oil for dry skin, soybean oil or hemp oil for oily or combination skin, coconut oil for anyone).
3) Cut open 3-6 Vitamin E capsules, and the "juice" to the blender. Vitamin E is a preservative, so the lotion won't go rancid as fast.
3) Mix in a bottle of some clear Aloe Vera gel. (Sold with the lotions or with the sunscreen).
4) Add a teaspoon of vodka or grain alcohol to it.
5) Add a few drops of your favorite scented essential oil.
Mix it all together in a blender until it looks all creamy (blend,
Not only is the lotion better than what you buy in the store, it's cheaper too, and it's shelf stable. I put it into small canning jars.
A Scarf Hood. I guess these are called snoods? Or scoodies?
A Painted Hoodie or Tee shirt.
Handmade jewelry. This can take a lot of work. Here's an easy idea. Buy or make one nice pendant (you can buy them at Hobby Lobby or Michaels, even some Walmarts). String it on a ribbon. Done!
Plushies. That's the new, hip, term for stuffed things. They're somtimes animals, other times monsters, etc. Make a big one and have it double as a pillow. I like this pattern.
A portable art case. Totally cool.
I'd better quit and get working on my gifts!
I have a lot of little girls and boys this year too on my list, so next week we'll do a little girls edition.
In case you missed them, here's a list of gifts for teenage boys (all of which would also be fine for girls), and a list of things kids can make. The Crafty Crow also did a list of gifts that kids can make, and it's much better than mine!
These ideas are fast, cheap and they work for me!