Super simple homemade gifts for kids

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Super simple homemade gifts for kids

Written by contributor Melissa Camara Wilkins

Thanksgiving is upon us in the U.S., which means that this weekend is the traditional time to stay at home, hiding from the holiday shoppers. (Just me?) What better time to work on homemade Christmas gifts?

My kids will be 12, 9, 6, 5, and 2 this Christmas, so I need gifts for all ages, but I don’t have a lot of time to spend in the making. I need ideas that are super simple, quick and easy. Here’s what I’ve got so far.

Ribbon Ring

With short ribbons, this could be a teething toy; with longer ribbons, an older kiddo can use it the same way they would use a streamer on a wand. As the child runs and spins and dances, holding the ring, the ribbons twirl out behind them.

ribbon ring supplies

Materials:

Ribbon ring knots

How to:

  • Use a soft cloth to rub the ring with food-safe beeswax finish, if desired. (Use just a little! You don’t want the wood to be oily, just smooth and sealed.)
  • Wrap each ribbon around the ring a few times, then tie. I left the ribbon ends long; they’re each about 18”. In total, I used three yards of ribbon.
  • Cut ends at an angle if the ribbon tends to unravel.

Ribbon ring

Colored Alphabet Stones

After seeing these place setting stones, I decided to make a alphabet stones. Now I just need a cute little drawstring bag to store them in.

alphabet stones supplies

Materials:

How to:

  • Roll clay into balls, then use the palm of your hand or the smooth bottom of a glass to flatten each stone.
  • Press a letter stamp into each one, creating your own little alphabet.
  • Leave to air-dry or bake, according to the instructions on the clay’s package.

Mine are highly imperfect, which I think is just right.

Colored alphabet stones

At only 1” in diameter, these would be choking hazards, so I won’t be giving them to toddlers who still mouth things. (To check if something is big enough to give to a toddler—a great idea, if you’re making your own toys—I would use one of these choking hazard checkers.)

Colored Pencil Holder

Everyone needs somewhere to store their colored pencils, and this block makes it easy to find the color you’re looking for. When I saw these for sale, I knew we could make our own.

This one is only super simple IF you already own a drill and sander. If not: feel free to put your fingers in your ears and sing la-la-la as you skip on to the next idea.

Colored pencil holder

Materials:

  • Block of wood (Mine is a 4×4, 18” long. If you ask at the hardware store, they’ll usually cut wood to size for you before you take it home.)
  • Drill
  • Sand paper
  • Paint (optional)

How to:

  • Cut your wood piece to size, if you didn’t have it cut when you bought it.
  • Sand those sides till they’re smooth and beautiful. I chose to use pine, which is inexpensive but requires a lot of sanding. A LOT.
  • Mark with a pencil where you want your holes to go, then drill each one about two inches deep. My pencils are 1/4” thick, so the drill bit we chose was just a little bit bigger: 5/16″.
  • Paint or decorate however you like, or leave it naturally simple. I taped off the end of mine to leave a nice straight line, then painted it for a colorblocked effect.

This could easily be a marker or crayon holder instead—just drill holes wide enough for whatever you want to display.

Jelly Bean Bracelets

One last idea, perfect for stuffing stockings! I first saw this idea on Pinterest, but the original poster has taken down her blog post, so we’ll come up with our own method.

Materials:

  • Jelly beans (Trader Joe’s has naturally flavored and colored ones!)
  • Sewing needle
  • Elastic thread
  • Damp paper towel

jelly bean bracelets

How to:

  • String the needle with elastic thread.
  • Push needle right through the center of the jellybeans, one at a time. You might want to experiment with different needle sizes, depending on the size of your beans. I used a big old 3″ doll-making needle.
  • The needle will get sticky, so wipe it off with a damp paper towel as needed.
  • When you have enough jelly beans to fit around a little wrist, tie it off.

That’s it, you’re done!

I’m keeping track of other ideas for gifts to make on this Pinterest board (and my kids are secretly mining this Pinterest board for gifts to make for each other). What else would you suggest?

Sources for supplies: Wooden rings; Beeswax wood polish; Silk ribbon; PVC-free clay; Choking hazard checker.

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About Melissa

Melissa is a homeschooling mama of five. When she's not sandwich making, diaper changing, or finger crocheting, she writes irreverent stories about life with a larger family at her blog and for kindle.

Comments

  1. What a goldmine of ideas! These are fantastic! :-)

  2. Oh wow! Love these ideas. My 6 year old would love the ribbon ring :)

  3. These ideas are gorgeous in their simplicity! I think I have some new ideas for my kids to make each other for Christmas – thanks Melissa!

  4. I’ve been wanting to make a ribbon ring for my daughter for awhile now…thanks for the inspiration and so many other fun ideas!

  5. These are delightful! I love the ribbon ring and I followed both boards on Pinterest, so many fabulous ideas! =)

  6. Good post! I really like it.

  7. Very nice great!

  8. Nice to be here and see your post!

Trackbacks

  1. [...] Did you guys happen to catch the post on my sister site Simple Homemade this week?  There’s a great round-up of super simple homemade gifts for kids.   [...]

  2. [...] for some cool & colorful accessories, visit “Simple Homemade,” for a quick lesson on making Ribbon Rings (Same can be used for making a ribbon wand.) [...]

  3. […] super simple gifts for kids (by my friend Melissa) […]

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