I'm going to order a beeswax candle making kit from A Toy Garden with the extra decorating thin wax so they can decorate them anyway they want to.
For her 2 yr old sister, she's been working on hand sawing and hand sanding wooden blocks from a fallen tree branch. We will wax them with beeswax once they are all finished. She is very proud of this project.
I need a few more ideas though. She loves to handknit, is there anything we can use these long chains of handknit yarn for? She also seems determined to make Grandma and her aunts necklaces. What kind of necklaces could she make that would really be appreciated (vs. some embroidery thread and beads, which she was trying to work on on her own today?)
Part of me wants to tell her not to worry about making gifts for everyone, it's really not necessary. But I know this is important to her, and really, it's an important life lesson too, to enjoy giving more than receiving. So, I feel like I owe it to her to help her with this. She keeps asking me what she should make "the guys", as in grandpa's, uncles, boy cousins, etc? And she will also want to make dh and I something, and we also have her 5 yr old sister.
Any fairly frugal ideas are welcome. I'm not opposed to buying some supplies for her though.
I got some of these bags on sale:
but if I knew where to get something like that around her I would have preferred that.
I got some fabric markers and she is decorating them, with a small amount of printing done by me.
I wanted something that was inexpensive, usable for the kids (both boys and girls), and mostly done by her. These are our results so far:
And we'll put some little fun things in there, I'm sure. In case that sparks an idea.
I found this page on it:
We are going to do bake-able play-do and make Christmas ornaments with cookie cutters, then paint them and maybe spray on shellac. Cheesy, maybe, but the grandparents will be thrilled
I was going to suggest candle-making, but it looks like you've got that covered. We're going to do small dip tapers.
The book "Earthways" has a ton of great ideas and may be available at your library.
you can also do this with equal parts of cinnamon and applesauce (but that's more expensive & i'm cheap)
ETA: these are NOT mine, but the picture is a good example of salt dough ornaments
homeschooling mama to DD 10 & DS 7
also hands on crafts for kids has AWESOME projects
These also turn our very nicely, even with 6 yr. old hands:
Loving this thread. Sorry if I repeat anything but I want to chime in with what has worked well for us in the past.
1. DD practiced her sewing skills (just a straight stitch on the machine at the time) and made rice packs that you can heat in the microwave for backaches, etc. She had fun using our scrap fabrics and we made them a basic rectangle shape.
2. Sculpty clay (or another similar polymer clay product) is big at our house right now. The kids made their own beads and pendants for necklaces, they made their own pins, they made napkin rings (swirled together a few colors and made flat strips that were about 1 inch wide, 6 inches long -- then we rolled them and baked), and now we are making our ornaments out of the clay--we like making "snakes" out of 2 or 3 colors twisted together, then we fold in half leaving a loop and twist again. They kinda look elegant.
3. Write a story about grandpa (or whomever) complete with pictures (both drawings and photographs). We covered the pages with clear contact paper and the binding is hand sewn with ribbon.
4. Firestarters: several ways to make these and they are cute in a basket.
5. Movie night kits
6. A "date with me" kit. My dd will put together a basket of stuff that she wants to do WITH grandma and then give grandma the basket.
7. One of my dds loves to draw. She drew a cute picture a couple years back, we scanned it in and uploaded it to one of those photo sites and had notepads made with her design. They were personalized for her sisters and her best friend. Not quite as frugal as the other ideas, but everyone loved them. She is making sets of blank cards/stationary this year.
8. Jammies: We took mans t-shirt and some boxers and let the kids decorate the shirt with hand prints for some personalized jammies for their aunts/uncles.
9. Use sharpies to decorate a blank tile.
10. Put puzzle pieces around a wooden frame with the line "love you to pieces".
11. Coasters--many ways to do coasters
I know there are more. . .
How about felt covered soaps? You can find tutorials online. My 5 yo's have made them and they look great. Or felted beads for a necklace -- again there are lots of tutorials on youtube.
For all of the finger knitted strands, I've seen flowers made from coils of finger knitted yarn. Or coiled up and to make a turtle's shell (bottom and legs made from felt) or coils sewn together to make a scarf or blanket. Strands of finger weaving can be sewn together to make scarves:http://www.suite101.com/content/an-easy-winter-scarf-kids-knit-themselves-a70538.
Some ideas we have done before:
bath salts- we colored them and poured them in patterns in small jars from either Goodwill or $ store. We also scented them with cinnamon, etc.
appliqued/handstamped pillowcases (you can get some cheap from Walmart or $ store)
aprons- dd and I sewed some simple aprons for her girl cousins, using pretty ribbons for the ties
painted wooden letters- you could do their whole name or just their initials, first initial, also available at $ store
magnetic photo display board- buy a cheap or used cookie sheet and spray paint, embellish as desired and buy a pack of pretty magnets to go with and a photo of your dd
dry erase glass frame- buy cheap or used picture frame and paint it if desired, place pretty scrapbook paper behind the glass and include a pack of dry erase markers, you can also attach a ribbon to hang from the wall.
Alex 8 Gabby 6 (Homeborn!) Gideon 2.... chickens, ducks, cats and a dog
My 5 year old daughter is making bracelets. We go to the local bead store, and they set it up. DD picks the beads (we have been using semi-precious chips, I think) and strings them on the wire. The store person puts the clasps on. We did 3 the other day for a grand total of $13. It was fun for both of us, and the bracelets came out really nice.
We are also going to make bees wax candles from a kit and ornaments to give out.
Here's some that we have done,
Sculpy is always good. There's "bath bombs" baking soda and citric acid with some colour and scent, vanilla will work. You use just enough moisture to get htem to hold together, you can probably find a recipe online. they are very fun to make and to use.
Magnets with those clear glass flat backed marbley-type things. you modge podge a picture on the back and glue a magnet on the back. Actually, come to that you could glue a hanger on the back and put it on a necklace.