Our family spends as much time creating as we do with our noses in books. My favorite gifts are the handmade ones the kids give to me. Here, I collected ideas that our children came up with, as well as a few that I found online. Our kids made these gifts from ages 8-18 – they have been raised alongside power tools, so used them at younger ages than some would. You know your kids best!
A tip: Don’t let your child know you don’t know how to do something, or that it is overwhelming to you; they’ll be much more unafraid to try than you are! Provide them with tools — even if just brown paper and charcoal — and they will surprise you with a wonderful gift!
Here are a few of our family’s ideas of Gifts Kids Can Make:
note: I like seeing exact materials, so am providing links to what I’m talking about below. The links are affiliate links – we’ll get a small kickback (at no cost to you) if you purchase from there; but don’t feel you must use our links.
Embroidery: As young as 4, our kids have worked with embroidery. A toddler can use plastic canvas and thick yarn with a blunt needle to create a gift! Here is a little happy teapot from one of our children:
The instructions are simple: draw on muslin or other thin fabric (like sheeting) – we used a pencil; embroider with embroidery floss around the pencil drawing, using a backstitch.
Primitive Ornaments: Our girls have been stitching since they were about 5 years old. Draw a very simple outline of an object (think: coloring book page) and stitch onto it. Add a ribbon for handing onto the Christmas tree!
Turn Your Child’s Art into Embroidery: The above paragraph reminded me of my own tutorial, posted on my other (former) blog. I absolutely love to do this with our children’s artwork. It’s quicker than you would imagine. Here is my tutorial for turning a child’s art into embroidery.
Writing on a Plate: For this craft, I don’t have a link to full instructions, so here they are: 1. Buy an inexpensive plate (from the Dollar Store, perhaps) 2. Write a poem or excerpt or your words with a Sharpie 3. Bake 30 mins at 150 in the oven and it’s permanent!
Birds Nest Necklace for Mom or Grandma: Using wire and beads, create a necklace with different colours of beads representing children or grandchildren (I really hope one of my kids makes this one for me!) Full instructions here.
More Gifts Kids Can Make:
A Chess Set Made from Bullet Casings: This was such a unique gift from our teenager, I thought I’d share it. Our teen used bullet casings and a Dremel to create a set of chess pieces for Dad.
Create Your Own Magnets: I have made this one in the past, using small photos in magazines, and I’ve also created some with fabric. The pictured magnets were created using scrapbook paper. Here is a good tutorial on creating your own magnets.
Scroll Saw a Puzzle or a Shape: Our teen daughter drew the shape of Florida in pencil on a leftover, unused piece of flooring (similar to this veneer wood). She then cut out the shape using the scroll saw. Florida is where my husband and I met at college, and where all of our four babies were born. It’ll always be a dear state to me.
Woodburning Art: Our youngest gal, always and forever an artist, freehand “drew” a wolf using a woodburning tool. She used thin wood from the craft store.
A Carved Pen Holder: Our middle school aged son found a stick from the backyard, cut it with a hand saw, and dug it out. He made me a pen holder!
Create Inexpensive Christmas Trees: A blogger created Christmas trees from paper plates and tissue paper twisted into ‘rope.’ So many of you repinned this project that I thought I’d share it with everyone else. Here are the project instructions.