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Craft Apparent

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Vickie

Handmade Holidays for Kids

Posted by Vickie Howell on December 15, 2009 at 8:59 AM in ChristmasEco-Conscious CraftsGeneral CraftsGreat Gifts!
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I don't know about you, but as a parent I'm constantly trying to find that sweet spot between bringing up thoughtful, gratitude-filled children and spoiling them rotten.  It's not an easy task during these instant gratification-fueled times.  In our house though, I've found that it helps to teach the kids how much richer the gift of giving can be, when what they're giving has been made by their hands and infused with their creativity.  By allowing them to truly focus on the creation and purpose of a gift, they in turn seem to appreciate more what they are given.  It's funny how things work out.

This season, encourage your children to (literally) be hands-on during the gifting process especially, when it comes to what they're giving to their own friends.  With just a little time and even less money, there are tons of things that kids can craft-up; then wrap up.  Here are a few, simple gift ideas that they can make and give to each other!

Sweater-Sleeve Beanie
Sweater Sleeve Beanie

There's so much waste during the holiday season, I try to teach my boys how to recycle and reuse whenever possible.  One of my favorite ways to do that is by re-purposing something old into a completely different item. 

Over-sized sweaters (in abundance at thrift stores) can be turned into a multitude of things.  This beanie is a cool way for kids to venture into refashioning, without needing to know how to work a sewing machine.  To make it, cut the sleeve off a Men's XL sweater.  Roll the bottom edge so unraveled edge is covered, and whip stitch into place using a needle and embroidery floss.  Cinch the top off, by wrapping and knotting a piece of yarn around the sleeve, about 8" above the rolled brim.  Let the excess sleeve hang off for a stocking cap look, or snip shorter for a beanie.

You can get 2-4 beanies (depending on the actual size of sweater and age of hat recipients), and still have the body fabric leftover for a future project! 

Friendship Pins
Friendship Pins

Slide multiple colors of seed beads onto small, safety pins. They can be worn on shoes (we used to stack as many as possible on our shoelaces, when I was a kid), or collected on string to be made into a necklace or bracelet.  Trade them with friends or even, make them for your whole class!  The look super sweet, wrapped in cellophane with a bow, sealed in tiny envelopes or nestled in jewelry boxes.

Bottle Cap Magnets
Bottle Cap Magnets

Recycle those soda caps into shimmery magnets perfect for posting holiday artwork on the fridge.   Cover the inside with a coat of craft paint, sprinkle with glitter while wet, glue in a snowflake sequin, and stick a magnet to the back.  Little elves can give bunches of these to their buddies --they look especially cute, stuck to the bottom of a small, holiday tin!

Pom-Pom Earrings
Pom-Pom Earrings

For under 25 cents per pair, the kids can make these adorably festive Pom-Pom Earrings.  Packages of both poms and earring posts (or clip-ons, for non-pierced ears) can be found at most craft stores.  Use regular or hot glue (recommended) to adhere a pom to post per earring.  They're so quick to whip up, your little fashionista can whip them up in every color for all of her B/F/Fs!  (Psst...parents!  Bookmark this idea for your gal's next birthday party.  Provide supplies for each guest to make their own and take with them as their favor!)

What ways are you teaching your children the spirit of giving?  From parent to Craft Apparent, share your ideas here!

Until next time, Happy (Handmade) Holidays!

xo,
Vickie

P.S.  Join the Craft Apparent Flickr group and upload photos of you're awesome Craft Apparent crafts!

3 Comments

Becky writes...

The beanie from a sweater sleeve is my absolute favorite recycled item I've seen this season. Time to check my closet for outdated sweaters! :)

Sylvia Weaver Rivera writes...

Facebook comment:
I love this...I went to my closet and found several sweaters that I am going to re-purpose!!
Thanks Vickie for the GREAT idea!!!♥

I did just that the next day.....I had a beautiful sweater that was ripped and I did not want to throw it away, so when I saw Vicki's idea...I ran with it!! I made two sweater sleeve beanies!!! Even my hubby was impressed!!!

Vickie Howell writes...

That's so great, Sylvia! Please make sure to share pictures of them with the Craft Apparent Flickr group! http://www.flickr.com/groups/pbsparentscrafts/

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