Are you on a limited budget this holiday season? Maybe you’re thinking more of a minimalist lifestyle instead of a consumerism lifestyle? Is “reduce, reuse, recycle” a mantra in your home?
Do you have kids who love to make crafts? Do you have people on your list who are challenging to buy for because they have almost everything? Consider making some of your presents this year. Even better, choose ideas where the kids can help you or even add their own personal touches.
I might know what you are thinking. “I could never do that successfully.” Or “I just don’t have the time.” Or “That sounds really complicated.” Maybe ten years ago that might have been true. In this age of Pinterest, Facebook and Instagram, not only can you find SO many options, but you can also organize them on a happy little board or album. Just in case you are still feeling intimidated, here are some additional suggestions.
1) Think simple. If you are not crafty. perhaps run your “brilliant” idea by someone else. One year I decided to make coffee candles for several of my family members, and they turned out great. That was only because we improvised. Supposedly you were supposed to just be able to heat the wax and the coffee beans would just cling to the sides. That did not exactly happen. Instead, we had to get out the blow torch. Literally. I was already quite invested in the project by the time I wisely decided to involve my husband. Had I consulted him, we maybe would have tried another gift idea.
2) Put your best foot (or hand) forward. There are SO many personalized gift ideas on Pinterest featuring little people’s hands and feet. Decide in advance whether you want your craft to be displayed or whether you want the recipient to be able to wear it around. We have done both around here. 🙂
3) Keep craft supplies on hand. While I wouldn’t exactly give a three year old a bottle of glue and container of glitter and let them have at it, if you do not have anything around, creativity is definitely stifled. What should you include? Markers, pipe cleaners, beads and craft sticks to name a few. Cardboard can also be nice. The above nativity was created by my son who decided to recycle various candy wrappers and more. That will definitely be a cherished heirloom.
4) Crafts don’t only have to be done at home to count. In our community, we have several paint-your-own-pottery places as well as art studios. In your community, hobby stores or even grocery stores might offer workshops on making your own gifts. Take your child and follow the store’s ideas. What is an even better deal? You get to leave the mess there!
5) Not all created gifts need to involve crafting supplies. Your kitchen can also be a great starting point for personalized gifts. Have a foodie in your life? Finishing salts would been a fun gift. Giving a gift to a busy mom? Create some mixes that will help her throw supper together. And who does not enjoy homemade hot cocoa? Well, most people like that this time of year. 🙂 Last year, I made homemade vanilla for my family. I was able to buy the bourbon rather inexpensively through a rebate (technically, I forgot to send the rebate in, but that’s another story …) Anyway, all year they have had their own vanilla which lasts much longer than the small store bought kind. Plus it tastes so much better too! When you do make your own, do not be surprised when your vanilla seems a bit pale at first. Unless you add a whole lot of vanilla beans, you do need to let it sit for a few months. Good vanilla takes awhile to “cure.”
Bet you are not surprised to learn that a Pinterest board (entitled “Gifts Kids Can Make”) has been created in honor of this post. You can visit there to find oodles and oodles of craft ideas. Most of them can include the kids as participants! Happy crafting!