Gifts from the Heart: Crafts Your Kids Can Make and Give

As a teenager, I remember unpacking our Christmas decorations and asking my mom why in the world she kept the paper chain garland and Santa with a cotton ball beard. “These are all so ugly!” I argued. “They are priceless to me.” explained my mom. Now that I am a mother, I get it. Handmade items from your children are certainly priceless.

By creating gifts and decorations with their own hands, children take pride in being involved with the holidays. Children also learn the values of gift giving and how fun it is to make just the perfect gift for that special someone.  In turn, the lucky recipient has a priceless craft to remind them of a special child. The following crafts are simple, inexpensive, and just right for little hands.

Delicious Cookie Cutter Fudge

The recipient receives both a yummy treat and a fun cookie cutter making this craft both edible and functional (what could be better!). Because a single fudge recipe makes at least 10-15 treats, this gift is perfect for a mass gift giving event. The most difficult part of this craft is waiting for the fudge to set up.

Place the cookie cutters on a lined cookie sheet. To make your life easier, use parchment paper or, in this case, aluminum foil with an non-stick coating. Using a favorite fudge recipe, pour the fudge into cookie cutters and allow time to cool slightly. Be sure to leave enough fudge in the bowl for samples and spoon licking.

Have your children decorate the fudge with candies, frosting or sprinkles.

Wait several hours until the fudge sets up and place them into clear goody bags and tie with a decorative ribbon. The perfect gift for teachers!

These can also be created with brownies. Just make your favorite recipe or boxed brownies and pour them in the cookie cutters.

Personalized Pencil Holders

This is a great craft that the recipient can use all year and it is sure to brighten up any workspace! The pencil holder is a snap to put together with a little help from an adult. Your child can stretch his creativity and express himself with the limitless decorations.

Gather the following ingredients:

Glue – I used E-6000 .  It is a great adhesive when gluing two different mediums but only an adult should handle it.

Popsicle sticks - The thin sticks work best with the smaller cans.

Clean cans without any sharp edges

Decorations. Just use things around the house – letters, stickers, foam cut outs, and ribbons are all great ideas.

Glue popsicle sticks around a clean can.  A rubber band will keep the sticks from slipping while they dry.

Your child can decorate to their heart’s content after the sticks are dry (about an hour).

Colorful Ornaments for the Tree

These were so much fun that my son was sad when we ran out of ornaments.  He loved mixing, matching, and swirling different combinations of colors.

The craft stores have an abundance of clear glass ornaments in all shapes. We chose the Christmas tree light bulb shapes and they worked really well.

Remove the ornament topper and simply squirt paint into the opening.

Place your thumb over the opening and swirl or shake until it is well coated on the inside.  Depending on your surroundings, it is best for an adult to complete this step.

Let dry for at least one day. The excess paint will need to drain out so an egg carton works really well for this step.

After they dry, you can tie a ribbon the top or display them around the house.

Create New Memories with Handprints

Who doesn’t love kids’ cute little hands and feet?!  It is a gift that never gets old and is fun to create year after year to capture the rapid growth of children.  As a holiday decoration, this craft is a special treat to decorate with every year and a great reminder of how fast children grow and change.  As a year-round gift, it is a priceless decoration that is sure to find a special, permanent location in the home.

One of my most special possessions is the box with my son’s handprint. It has the saying, “This is the hand I used to hold when I was only one year old” all along the edge.  Perfect for any age and it would look so beautiful in as a framed picture.

To capture your child’s footprints, create “mistletoes” by placing the green footprints heel up and perhaps painting the toes white. (photo from pinterest – unnamed source)

Christmas trees can be created with green handprints and a yellow handprint as the star at the top of the tree. (photo from ucreatewithkids.com)

Have fun making priceless gifts with your children this Christmas!