When the weather begins to change, the holiday shopping panic begins. In this age of Pinterest and DIY gurus, many people strive to make homemade gifts, but struggle with finding ones they can have their children do for relatives and other loved ones. Below are a few tried and true ideas that kids of most ages can do with varying amounts of adult supervision.
Homemade Body Scrub:
Mix together the following ingredients:
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- ¼-½ cup coconut oil, depending on preference
- 6 drops essential oil
Choose the oil based on what you know of the person receiving the gift. If they love floral scents, go with rose or lavender, or another floral scent. If they prefer something woodsy, try a lavender and cedar mix. When this is all mixed up in a mixing bowl, put into a Mason jar. Try using a smaller squatter size to make the contents easier to get out, and make it a set of 2-3 different scrubs with different scents. Decorate the top of the jar with a label naming the scent and calling it out as a body scrub. If you feel like getting fancy, you can even add a small wooden applicator on a piece of twine around the lid base.
Decorated Coffee Cups:
Start with a plain coffee mug; these can easily and cheaply be found at most stores. Decorate the mug with a plain Sharpie however you want! This is a great way for the kids to get really creative. Making sure to sign it on the bottom with the name of the artist as well as the year it was made, set the design into the oven on 350 degrees for 30 minutes. Place into it a decorated plastic bag filled with hot chocolate and mini-marshmallows, with a note advising the recipient that it is hand-wash only.
Stenciled Serving Tray:
Using either individual letter stickers or a vinyl cutter, design the body of the serving tray with a quote or saying. If using a vinyl cutter, you can get extra creative and add in some decorative touches. Spray paint on top of the letters, making sure to get the correct type of spray paint, depending on whether you are using a wood or plastic tray. Peel off the design when almost completely dry, then finish with acrylic sealing spray when completely dry.
All parents have a stash somewhere in their house where all art projects get put up from school; do double duty and make a fine art piece as a gift and de-clutter part of your house with this tip! For any pieces of art on paper, such as drawings and watercolor paintings, select a frame that will complement the art piece; all major craft stores have good frames for decent prices. If you want to get fancy, you can even pick up a mat to give it a more finished, professional look. Make sure to have the kids sign it, and write the child’s name and year it was made on the back for posterity.
Find and print out pictures that you love of your family, and some of your family with the recipient of the gift if possible. Cut these down so that they end about ¼” in on all sides from the edges of the coaster base. You can use either tiles from a hardware store or blank coasters from a craft store. It is often cheaper to get tiles from a hardware store, but you’ll need to glue some type of felt on the underside or add felt circles meant for the bottoms of furniture to keep the coasters from scratching up your table surfaces. Attach the photographs to the coasters with a few layers of mod podge (following the instructions on the bottle) and finish off with some acrylic sealing spray to protect the photos. Tie them up with some twine for a professional finishing touch.