Whether it’s a colored drawing or paper airplane, grandparents, aunts, uncles, and friends alike will cherish a gift from a loved little one—whatever it may be. Receiving a gift from a child is a gift within itself, but what might really surprise them is if that gift was something they could actually use. There are many ways to amp up your kid’s creativity to construct a gift that will not only look unique, but also be a handy household item. We’ve rounded up the crafty things kids enjoy—and ideas to make them usable gifts.
Toddlers to teens love working with beads. While bracelets and necklaces are obvious choices, you can bead so much more. Think outside the box, literally—super-glue beads to a small box that can be used to store anything from keys to pencils. The best boxes to decorate are sturdy ones that have been used for packaging a candle. Other ideas include beading mason jars to use as flower vases, picture frames to display your favorite photo together, or stringing beads to act as fun napkin holders or keychains.
Many kids start painting as young as six months, so by the time they’re 12, they’re natural Picassos. Displaying a kiddo’s masterpiece is a must-do, but it’s what they paint that will hold lasting memories and functionality, too. Some of-the-moment ideas for what to paint include aprons to wear while cooking, basic square pillows to use as throws, bowls to hold fruits or vegetables, rocks to act as paperweights, and coffee tins to use as outdoor plant holders. Remember to use fabric paint for cloth paintings, oil-based paint for metals, and ceramic or multi-surface paint for hard items like bowls and rocks.
For the older ones in your crew, tissue paper is a fun artsy medium. When using it for decoupage, the gifting options are endless. Decoupage is the art of decorating an item by gluing colored pieces of tissue paper together, in combination with other decorative elements, to create something one-of-a-kind. Because tissue paper is so delicate, you might want to save these crafty ideas for kids over 10. You can use tissue paper to decoupage ornaments or wooden trays for serving. Another fun tip is to use tissue paper to create a personalized candle, like this one from Come Together Kids.
It’s highly likely that some parents have a stockpile of popsicle sticks. That’s a good thing because they’re the foundation for several kid-approved crafts. What’s even better, they’re perfect for making usable items. Simply paint them and use markers to draw something special on each individual stick to hand out as bookmarks. Decorate and glue them to a square piece of corkboard to gift as coasters. Get next-level crafty to create a bird feeder or color the sticks and layer them together, gluing ends in a square or triangle to create a jewelry box.
Although it can get messy, baking soda can be used to introduce textures to tiny babies and for baking with bigger kids. Therefore, it makes perfect sense to put that baking to good use. Have your child help you by dumping measured baking soda into a bowl for giftable treats. Or gift delicious-smelling bath bombs made from baking soda. Non-toxic and soothing, they’re sure to be a present that wows.
DIY gifts are fun to make and wonderful to receive, but if you’re looking for other ways to save this holiday season, check out our article on how to make smart spending choices for gift giving.