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!
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!
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
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!
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!
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and upload photos of you're awesome Craft Apparent crafts!
Stitching washcloths is a great way to learn to crochet or if you already know how, then to practice new stitches. They also make the perfect, portable project to work on while waiting at doctors appointments or watching soccer games. Paired with an organic bar of soap (easily found at natural food stores), they also happen to make fantastic gifts for teachers, colleagues and party hosts!
I've whipped-up two cloths for your Craft Apparent pleasure: a Kitschy Christmas version that's simple enough for beginners, and an Earthy Yulekwanzukkah version for those with a bit of crochet experience. Feel free to ditch my color choices completely though, and keep this project in mind for any time you need a little giftie or, just want to treat yourself!
1 ball each of sport or worsted-weight cotton yarn (found in most craft stores) in colors: Olive Green & Red (Kitschy Version) OR Taupe (Earthy Version)
Size US “I” (5.5mm) Hook (or size needed to obtain gauge)
(How many stitches per inch you get.)
4 sts= 1”
ch = chain
sc = single crochet
dc= double crochet
st(s) = stitch(es)
MB = make bobble
With olive green yarn, ch 34.
Bottom Striped Section:
Row 1: Sc in 2nd ch from hook and in every ch to the end. (33 sts) Cut yarn. Turn.
Row 2: Join red yarn, Ch 3 (always counts as 1st dc), dc in next st. Dc in every st to end. Cut yarn. Turn.
Row 3: Join olive yarn. Ch 1 (always counts as 1st sc), sc in next st. Sc in every st to end. Cut yarn. Turn.
Row 4: Join red yarn. Ch 3, dc in next st. Dc in every st to end. Cut yarn. Turn.
Rows 5-6: Repeat Rows 3-4.
Row 7: Repeat Row 3.
Continue with olive yarn.
Row 8: Ch 3, dc in next st in next st. Dc in every st to end. Turn.
Row 9: Ch 1, sc in next st in st. Sc in every st to end. Turn.
Rows 10-19: Repeat Rows 8-9.
Top Striped Section:
Rows 20-25: Repeat Rows 2-3. Tie off.
Join red yarn at one corner of your cloth.
Ch1, sc evenly around entire cloth, taking care to sc TWICE at all corners. Tie off.Tip: When working the side border, you'll likely need 2 sc in every dc st.
Using yarn needle, weave in all ends.
With taupe yarn, ch 33.
Row 1: Sc in 2nd ch from hook and in every ch to the end. (32 sts) Turn.
Row 2: Ch 3 (always counts as 1st dc), dc in next st. Dc in every st to end. Turn.
Row 3: Ch1 (always counts as 1st sc), sc in next st. Sc in every st. to end. Turn.
Rows 4-5: Repeat Rows 2-3
Row 6 (Bobble Row): Ch 3, 2dc, **MB (*Wrap yarn counter-clockwise around hook once and insert it into both loops of the stitch from row below; wrap yarn counter-clockwise around hook again and draw it through the first loop [3 loops on hook]; wrap yarn around hook again and draw it through the first two loops [2 loops on hook]; repeat from * four more times [6 loops on hook]; wrap yarn around hook for the last time and draw it through all six loops [1 loop on hook]), 3dc. Repeat from ** until end. Turn.
Subtle Bobble Close-Up
Row 7: Repeat Row 3.
Repeat Rows 4-7, TWICE more.
Repeat Rows 4-5 TWICE more. Tie off.
Join yarn at one corner of your cloth.
Ch1, sc evenly around entire cloth, taking care to sc TWICE at all corners. Tie off.
Using yarn needle, weave in all ends.
For crochet tutorials, check out the How-To section on my website
Yours in holiday craftiness,
VickiePsst! Make this craft? We wanna see a picture of it...and we're sure others would too! Join the Craft Apparent Flickr group and upload photos of you're awesome Craft Apparent crafts!
Hey there! Just a quick, post T-day check in to get your winter holiday, creative juices flowing. I'll be back with a new project how-to post in a couple of days but in the meantime I thought I'd show you a few things from holidays past that you might want to make this year with your little elves (I listed recommended ages for giving these a try, but you know your kiddo's abilities so just go with your gut.)
Recycled Shopping Bag Wreath
: Ages 5+(Click here
(Reposted courtesy of Kiwi Magazine.)
Punch Embroidered Tea Towels
: Ages 10+ (Makes great, Grandma Gift!)
for How-To Video)
Stay tuned this week, for a great gift idea for teachers, Aunties, and party hosts!