Holiday prep is in full swing, the seasons have changed; and if you’re like me, you’re wanting to hibernate all winter but need to keep your kids busy, get Christmas gifts completed, and want to make some precious family memories all at the same time. A solution?
Do-It-Yourself gifts that don’t take a ton of organization and time — and are more meaningful by getting the kids involved. These DIY kits from Amazon can ship in a few days and average $10 each, or if you’d rather — you can gather the supplies in most craft stores and create your own variation. Make it a fun family activity and share the love by giving them as gifts to grandparents, aunts, uncles, and teachers! Check out these four ideas that we put to the test for you.
1. Handpainted Coffee Mug - Art Minds Kit
A few years ago, I helped our kids paint an abstract coffee mug for their dad for Father's Day. It's one of his all time favorite gifts and the little ones got to take part in the fun. We used this Art Minds Ceramic Mug kit that is available on Amazon and in local craft stores.
Tips and Tricks
Instead of just using the paints in the kit, you can buy other colors. We went with Enamel Gloss Acrylic Paint and a Multi-Surface Satin Acrylic. Both have held up amazingly well in the microwave and dishwasher. Limit the paint colors for a more controlled end result or let the kids go wild. Be sure to follow the instructions on whichever paint you choose. We cleaned the mug with rubbing alcohol and air dried for one hour prior to painting. After painting, we placed it in a cool oven and baked for 30 minutes on 350 degrees.
Cheers to the most useful gift with a sentimental touch!
2. Sun Catchers/Christmas Tree Ornaments Melissa & Doug Kit
This was one of my favorite childhood crafts and there are several stained glass sun catcher kits on Amazon. Melissa & Doug sell this sticker kit that’s touted as most mess-free. There's also the pouring crystal/baking method and the paint/air drying method.
Tips and Tricks
My five year old breezed through this project in under ten minutes and loved it. It’s basically just transferring puzzle pieces over with no instructions necessary, but an adult should make sure the stickers are all pressed down firmly. This option costs more and only includes one sun catcher, though it is nice-sized and higher quality.
3. Decorative Stepping Stone for Porch/Garden/Landscape Stepping Stone Kit
The Mix & Mold Your Own Stepping Stones Kit by Horizon Group makes up to four stones. Keep in mind, this option is made of plaster and for decorative purposes only (not stepping on). If you can't find a kit you like, paint a flower pot and insert a festive poinsettia instead — or something similar. Just be sure to get the right type of paint for the material you’re painting (ceramic/plastic/etc).
Tips and Tricks
Read instructions ahead of time. The plaster has to dry for eight hours before painting and gems must be added when the plaster is wet. For younger kids, make the stones ahead of time and bring them in for the painting party. The kit only includes one mold, but you could use your own plastic containers to create various shapes and dry more than one at a time. Several reviews say the stones hold up well outdoors if sprayed with a protective coating. Overall, this project was fun and the recipients will love that the stones were hand-painted by their little loves.
4. Waterless Mason Jar Snow Globe
This project doesn't come as a kit from Amazon -- it's one that I put together myself, but if you have older kids and want something a little more involved you can round these supplies up at your local craft store. Get a Ball Mason jar, miniature ornaments/figurines, hot or super glue, a fun photo of your kiddos, card stock, natural jute twine or ribbon, and artificial snow. To assemble -- glue photo onto card stock and cut out, bend a flap at the bottom of the photo to glue to the lid, glue your decor and photo to the inside of the lid (far enough away from the edges that it can still screw on), pour some artificial snow into the jar, and screw the lid on upside down. Flip the jar over and tie the twine or ribbon around the base. Viola - a lovely handmade Christmas favorite that can be displayed every year.
Have some fun ideas of your own? We'd love to hear about them! Share them in the comments below.
-- Audrea D.
Join the conversation