’Tis the season to get crafty! Christmas is an excellent time of year to encourage your kids to flex their creative muscles. The fact that it’ll also keep them busy and off the devices is an even better reason to bust out the paint and glitter. Whether your kids are into making stuff that’s wearable, edible, or displayable, we’ve got five fab DIY Christmas gifts that crafty kids will love to make.
With a bag of assorted beads and some elastic string, crafty kids can create beautiful jewelry to wear themselves or turn into gifts. The options here are more or less endless. Your kids might opt to make different types of necklaces, bracelets, or perhaps a trendy brooch. Personalized jewelry definitely ranks as one of the most-loved gifts for mom. Classic pearl beads are always a hit, but if your kids want to take bead-making to the next level, they can DIY those as well. Paper beads are a fun option: simply cut on long, thin triangles from old magazines, wrapping paper, or any pretty paper, roll, and secure with a dot of glue. Polymer clay is another fun and exciting option for personalized beads. Beading also makes a great Valentine’s craft!
Papercraft is another smart and fun way to keep the kids off screens. Paper bag snowflakes look complex, but they’re super easy to put together. All you need for materials are seven bags per snowflake, scissors, and a hot glue gun. (Regular glue is also fine, but a glue gun works faster). First, glue the bags together. Make sure they’re all facing the same direction (opening at the same end). Then draw a T shape with glue, with the top of the T running along the bottom of the bag, and the center line up the center of the bag. Once they’re dry, it’s time to cut. Most people like to snip off the corners, but after that, it’s all up to the kiddos to design. They can cut straight lines, wavy lines, shapes, whatever they like. The final step is to shape the snowflake by pulling the open ends around to meet, and securing with tape. The simple no-glue version of this is to fold a flat piece of paper into quarters and simply cut out shapes, and unfold to reveal a snowflake. Whichever version you choose, be sure to hang your kids’ creations in a place of pride!
Character Candy Pots
Christmas candy crafts are also great crafting option because they’re easy and inexpensive. Mini flower pot characters make adorable gifts. Besides the mini flower pots, all you need are a few basic craft supplies like googly eyes, pipe cleaners, markers, and paper or felt to create reindeer, elves, and snowmen. Once decorated and dry, simply fill with candy for a charming and unique gift.
Handmade ornaments are another cost-efficient yet personal gift. Salt dough is super easy to make: simply combine 2 cups of flour, a cup of salt, and 1 cup of warm water. Work dough until it is no longer sticky, adding more flour if necessary. Let sit for 20 minutes, then roll it out to about 1/4” thickness. Cut shapes using cookie cutters or go freeform. Don’t forget to poke a hole with a drinking straw or meat skewer so the ornament can later be strung with ribbon. Bake at 250° F for 90 minutes, then flip and bake for another 90 minutes. They should be firm and dry. Let cool completely before decorating with paint, glitter, sequins, and whatever else sparks your kids’ fancy. For a sweet-smelling alternative, try cinnamon dough: you’ll need 3/4 cup apple sauce and two 2 oz bottles of ground cinnamon. Mix together, then roll between plastic wrap to 1/4” thickness. Cut out and bake for 2 1/2 hours at 200° F. Let dry out completely for another day or two before decorating.
Keep the kids occupied by setting them to work beautifying the dinner table. Have them cut out triangles from green paper. This could be construction paper that they draw on, or scrapbooking paper that has a preprinted design. Next, glue a toothpick to the back. Once dry, stick the toothpicks into a Hershey’s kiss as the base of the tree. They can set up a forest on the Christmas table as the centerpiece, or arrange them on a sideboard by the door as a takeaway goodie!