2010 guest blogger series: The crafty crow holiday ideas for kids

by contributor on September 28, 2010

in Guest Series 2010, Kids Crafts

September/October brings change of season, and fresh starts and frivolity and seriousness too. So for a break from whipup realtime I am introducing a few weeks of guest bloggers to liven up your crafty experience. To bring you something fresh, and hopefully invigorate you to make and do and be and think! Its going to be a fun few weeks so come along for the ride.

Today I want to welcome Cassi – a fantastic blogger, maker, mother and writer – her patterns have been featured in heaps of books plus on top of that she searches the internet with a fine-tooth comb looking for the best-of-the-best kids crafts and shares them daily on The Crafty Crow, a website dedicated to kid friendly and family friendly crafts and activities. Her other site, Bella Dia, features her own crafting adventures that include sewing, embroidery, crochet, painting, drawing, sculpture and living life with her three beautiful, homeschooled children in the mountains of central Idaho.

Hello everyone! I’m thrilled to be guest posting here at Whip Up and so glad that my hard-working friend, Kathreen, is taking some time to spend with her kiddos. I thought I would share some of my favorite ideas for gifts that kids can make, because, you know, the holidays are coming up fast (and it gets faster every year!). I’ve chosen projects that are varied in skill level, useful, and will appeal to almost everyone on your gift list. And, but for a few exceptions, all the supplies are inexpensive and easy to gather. If you need more ideas I hope you’ll come visit me at The Crafty Crow and I’ll do my best to find just the right project for you and your little ones.

Now, let’s get started on your Handmade Holiday!

This decorated blank book comes from iHanna’s Blog. Who can’t use a blank book? Choose paper designs that are appropriate for the recipient and look for inexpensive journals to cover at the dollar store. If you have a stash of fabric scraps then you can use those too. All ages can have fun with this project, just help the little ones with cutting and gluing.

Paper beads are a great way to use up some of those old magazines you have sitting around! This tutorial comes from Creative Jewish Mom. Rolling the paper and gluing takes a bit more dexterity so keep this in mind when presenting it to the kids. Of course you can make necklaces but if you use elastic thread you can make anklets and bracelets too.

I think these initial silhouette paintings from Blissfully Domestic would be perfect presents for grandparents. Choose a standard paper size for this project to make it easy for framing later on. You’ll find that even the youngest kids can do this with amazing results. If you are worried about little ones putting paintbrushes in their mouth then add a little vinegar to the paint water – I doubt it will happen more than once ;)

The Little Travelers has a very nice tutorial showing you how to make felted wool soap. My son makes these for gifts every year and everyone loves them. You’ll need some wool roving but there are lots of sources online and I suggest a hard-milled soap too. It takes a bit of practice to get the technique down so be patient. As long as you have the roving you might as well try making some felt beads too – here is a nice tutorial for that technique.

I included this fantastic rubber band pinball game from Journey Into Unschooling because I think it would make a great sibling or friend gift. Also, I think it appeals to the teenagers who may not be so terribly excited to be making their gifts ;)

Homemade playdough is easy and inexpensive to make and I really like that this recipe at One Golden Apple uses natural dyes. Add some glitter for a little sparkle or some powdered drink mix to make it smell yummy! Of course this is a super gift for kids to give to their younger siblings or, if they babysit, those little ones will love it too.

You’ll find the tutorial for these artful trivets at Prudent Baby. Plain ceramic tiles can be found at big box hardware stores but I have seen them at our local building thrift too. This is another project that is accessible to all ages. Older kids can do this from start to finish, the younger ones can create the artwork and then let the adults do the rest. Be sure to write the artist’s name and date on the back as this will be a precious keepsake for a long time to come.

Dish towels make a nice gift for grandparents, teachers, neighbors and older siblings or cousins that are just starting to live on their own. By Little Hands shares a simple tutorial using foam shapes. If you are feeling adventurous you can try creating your own stamps from potatoes or have a look around the house for anything that might make an unusual print and do a little experimenting.

You’ll be able to make these story stones from Red Bird Crafts at almost no cost at all. Coordinate the pictures for a favorite story or create a variety of elements for an endless amount of tales. Preschoolers and older can do this easily. If you don’t have a good source for river rocks then you can use wood slices from the craft store.

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For more kids craft, creative ideas and activities go to the Action Pack website

{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Lisa September 28, 2010 at 10:26 am

I love those story stones… awesome idea for a present or just general cuteness around the house.

2 se7en September 28, 2010 at 10:29 am

What a lovely surprise to open up my Whip-Up feed and find my favorite Crafty Crow!!!! Lovely, made my day!!!

3 Seanna Lea September 29, 2010 at 11:16 am

I love the homemade playdough idea, but if I were still babysitting I wouldn’t add a drink mix. I wouldn’t want to encourage them to eat it even if it is completely non-toxic!

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