The Spirit of Giving

December 2012

Christmas makes me think of baking sugar cookies with my mom, stockings hanging over the fireplace complete with fire blazing, and a sparkling tree trimmed with ornaments from all the places we have visited.

However, I have to admit, there have been a few Christmas afternoons when I have thought it was all just too much:  too much work, too much money, and way too much receiving for my two young daughters.

So in the spirit of giving, I wanted to share some fun crafts kids can make to give to others for the holidays.  I have not listed detailed step by step instructions.  After all, that’s why Santa gave us Google in 1998.  But I have tested all the crafts, and give them a red and green thumbs up for any child elementary age or older.

Felt Bookmarks – Cut a rectangle out of a sheet of stiff felt.  Embellish with ribbons of varying widths.  You can also add decorative felt pieces or sew a button on the top part that will stick out of the book.  Tacky glue works best.

Cork Coasters – Cork comes in a variety of sizes at the craft store.  We painted these coaster size pieces with silver metallic acrylic paint and then used blue acrylic paint and a stencil to create the design.  We sprayed them with several coats of polyurethane as well.  You can use larger pieces of cork to make trivets, mouse pads, and bulletin boards.

Chocolate Covered Peanuts – Melt a 24 oz. package of almond bark.  Stir in about a pound of peanuts.  Scoop heaping tablespoons onto wax paper and let harden.  Then put several in a cute holiday bag or box. These are delicious!

Giant Chip Clips – We thought these oversized clothespins were adorable.  We stained the wood using RIT dye.  Then we used Tacky glue to adhere decorative paper to the clothespin.  We sealed the paper with a quick coat of decoupage medium.  You could do this with regular size clothespins, and you could also glue magnets to the back to make a refrigerator clip.

Chocolate Covered Pretzel Rods – Melt some chocolate of your choice; white chocolate can be a fun option for these.  Dip the large pretzel rods in the chocolate.  I have found that the kids can dip the pretzels better if you pour the melted chocolate in a tall glass.  Then roll them in holiday sprinkles, and set on wax paper to harden.  These look great in cellophane wrapping.

No Sew Fleece Blankets – Get two coordinating pieces of fleece and cut them into a large square the size you want the blanket to be. Cut fringe pieces on all four sides, and have your child tie the knots.  There are plenty of online tutorials for this cozy gift.

Kiwi Crates – Specially designed for kids age 3 – 7, Kiwi Crates contain all the supplies your child needs to make a specific craft, and even better than that, they deliver it right to your front door.  Choose from crates for making journals, greeting cards and gift wrap, crates for making a menorah and dreidel spin art, or crates for making a cardboard gingerbread house and paint swirl ornaments.  http://www.kiwicrate.com

A couple years ago, the girls and I made fleece blankets for all the adults in the family. The girls had a great time picking out different fabric prints for each person based on their interests and personality.  They also really loved tying the knots.  The best part was seeing how proud they were as each person opened their gift.

 

Copyright 2012 Absolutely! Focus Media

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