Crafty gift ideas for kids to make for Christmas
Bells may be jingling at Christmas time, but chances are your purse is not doing the same. It is an expensive time of year, with many events to attend for school and work, and summer holidays to plan and pay for.
Christmas presents don’t have to cost a bomb though. In fact, the ones that are often the most appreciated are those for which time, instead of money, has been spent. Here are a few ideas for Christmas crafts that the kids can make and help with. These might be especially good for gifting to grandparents and other relatives, and for those end-of-year, thanks-for-putting-up-with-my-child, teacher gifts.
Save some jars and fill them with this easy-to-make mixture, have your child design a sticker label and voila! Homemade coffee scrub. An excellent present and especially good for shedding that winter coat in the summer season.
You will need:
- 1 cup ground coffee (the cheapest you can find at the supermarket will work fine. You can use spent coffee but it doesn’t smell as nice).
- 1 cup coconut or olive oil
- ¾ cup sugar or fine sea salt
- A few drops of vanilla or other scented oil if you wish
Mix all together in a bowl. If the coconut oil is solid, you might need to warm it up. Scoop into a jar and you’re done!
Calendars make well appreciated presents and are very easy to make using websites such as Snapfish or Photobox. Simply upload 12 (or more) favourite pictures of your children from the year past and arrange them on a calendar template.
These websites often have specials coming into Christmas and you can usually get calendars for around $8 each. Your kids can help choose the photos they like and decide which to use for each month. There are layout options so they can put two or more on a month if they wish, and choose backgrounds and labels.
This is a useful gift that family members will love – and you can also buy an extra one for yourself!
Give the gift of greenery
We could all use a bit more green in our lives – especially with the problems the world is facing today. Potted plants make an easy and eco friendly gift for kids to make and give. Take them along to a garden store and buy some small terracotta pots and some seedlings of their choice. It could be vegetables, flowers or small shrubs. Purchase a bag of potting mix too.
Step 1: Let the kids get creative decorating the pots first. Test posts from Resene work best but poster paints will have a good effect as well. They could also stick sparkles on them or try some glitter glue patterning. Wait until it dries before moving onto step 2.
Step 2: Fill the pots with potting mix.
Step 3: Plant your seedling.
Step 4: Tie a ribbon around the pot or wrap with cellophane if you and/ or your child so wishes.
Paper mache bowl
This is an easy and virtually free craft activity that results in a useful and beautiful bowl for keys and small items. It can get messy but that is what makes it fun!
Step 1: Take a small bowl from the kitchen and rub vaseline, butter or oil on it. This is your mould.
Step 2: Mix flour and water to a paste.
Step 3: Tear newspaper into strips.
Step 4: Dip the strips in the paste and layer them on the bowl. Around five layers of paper will suffice, or more if you like. Leave to dry, then remove the bowl from its mould.
Step 5: Decorate! Let the kids go wild with paint or alternatively they can cut out images from magazines and create a collage. Afterwards you might like to apply a coat of clear varnish or fixative, which can be purchased from art supply stores or Spotlight.
Flax flowers/ Putiputi
This is an excellent craft idea for older children. It can be a bit tricky for young ones, but you could always help. There are several varieties of flax flowers and they look amazing together in a bouquet. This is also a great option for the summer months when flax is abundant and it’s possible to do your weaving outdoors. Make sure you have permission to harvest flax if it’s not on your property – and traditionally you should say a karakia before you cut it.
Here is a link to how to make a flax hibiscus flower from master weaver Ali Brown: http://www.alibrown.co.nz/weaving-a-flax-flower.html
Happy Christmas crafting!