The holidays are just around the corner. Although this dedicated journalist is a little delinquent with putting up her festive and artificial Christmas tree this year, most gifts have been purchased or made.

Are you struggling to come up with a gift for that special someone? Can’t find the perfect gift in a big box store? Homemade gifts are a great way to show someone you care.

Most of the following homemade gift ideas are kid-friendly and will bring joy and fun well past the holiday season.


Source: This Heart of Mine

You don’t need fancy dolls to have a fun time. These clothespin dolls are easy to make and do not take up a lot of room when traveling. These wooden friends can star in hours of play time and are great for car rides. Some adult assistance is required for this project.

For this project, you will need:

• Clothespins

• Embroidery thread

• Hot glue gun and glue

• Markers

Directions: Use a drop of glue to secure the start of the embroidery thread just below the top of the clothespin. (The circular part at top will be the head.) Wrap the embroidery thread around the clothespin to make a desired outfit. Stripes can add some excitement to a wardrobe.

When you are done, secure the end with hot glue. You can also use the thread as hair. Cover the head of the clothespin with hot glue, and glue the hair in place. For a boy’s short hair, cut tiny pieces of embroidery thread to make fuzz and then roll the clothespin head in the fuzz.

Use the marker to add two eyes and a smile, and voila, you are done!



This project is best for teens or will require adult assistance if working with younger children.

For this project,

you will need:

• Shoebox

• Small wooden dowels

• Clothespins

• Utility knife

• Sharpie marker

• Ruler

• Hot glue gun and glue

• Wrapping paper

• Spray paint

• Clear tape

• Ping pong balls

Directions: Determine how you want the clothespins on the dowels. One suggestion is to have a goalie on either end and two middle dowels with three clothespin players. Stand the clothespins up and put the dowel right against the outside of the box. About ¼ above the dowel, put a mark for the hole. You want the clothespins to be able to move without hitting the bottom of the box.

Make a hole on your mark by pushing the top of the utility knife in and turning it around. Push the dowel through and mark the inside of the box where you want the hole on the other side. Put the dowels in and the clothespins on where you want. Mark where the clothespins are because you will have to take it apart in order to glue and paint it. Take your dowels with glued clothespins and paint them.

Cover the box with wrapping paper. Cut out a large goal on either end of the box. Put the dowels back in and drop in a ping pong ball.


Source: Teresa Konechne

For this project, you will need:

• 4 twigs, all the same length

• 5 lengths of cotton string — to tie the tree together

• About 2 yards of hemp string to wrap the tree

• Wooden buttons and beads for decoration

Directions: Cut four twigs, all the same length, though one can be slightly longer and used for the trunk. Start with two together, the ends lined up. Cut some cotton string and, leaving a long end free, start wrapping it around the two twigs. The key here is to make it tight. The string should be about .5 inch from the end of the twigs. When you reach the end of the string, leaving another long end, tie a double knot to secure the string. Repeat this with the third twig.

Make your three twigs form a triangle and tie the last twigs together in the same way. Take the fourth twig and place it straight through the triangle, lining one end up with one point of the triangle and letting the other hang down like the trunk. Tie both of these in place. Your tree should be quite sturdy.

Take your other, thicker string or yarn and tie it anywhere on the triangle. Start wrapping it around the tree in any way. It can be uniform, starting at the top and moving to the bottom, or it can be a more variable style as shown. You can mix in some other colors for a little bit of variation. You can knot the string along the way to give it some textures. And towards the end, you can add beads or buttons or anything you want for decoration.


Source: Sue Kraemer

Put some peace into your holiday with this fun kid-friendly ornament.

For this project, you will need:

• Scissors

• Hot glue gun and glue

• Paintbrush

• 2 bags of small pom-poms

• Magic marker (same color as pom-poms)

• Cardboard

• Craft paint

Directions: Print or draw peace signs onto a sturdy piece of paper. Use that as a template to trace the shape onto the cardboard. You may want to make a few at varied sizes.

Cut out the peace signs on the cardboard, making sure that the inside cuts are a little larger than they should be. The pom-poms will cover up some of the inside spaces, so you want to have a little extra room.

Use a screw, nail or pushpin to create a hole at the top of the peace sign (make sure you have it going in the right direction). Thread the pipe cleaner or ribbon through the hole and twist it around your finger to give it a curled look.

Glue the pom-poms onto the cardboard using the hot glue gun. Push them together tightly and hold in place while they dry.



Source: Rachel Wittrock

Reduce, reuse, recycle! Do you have years and years worth of Christmas or holiday cards piling up in a shoebox or dresser drawer somewhere? Instead of throwing them out, old cards can become a fun Christmas ornament with a few basic supplies.

For this project, you will need:

• Christmas cards

• Popsicle sticks

• Glue

• Glitter

• Art gems

• Ribbon

• Scissors

• Craft paint or markers

Directions: Use paint or markers to color four popsicle sticks. Use glue to apply glitter and art gems, if desired. Once the popsicle sticks are decorated and have dried, arrange them to create a picture frame and glue in place.

Next, cut a string of ribbon long enough to create a loop. Glue it in the middle of the top of your popsicle-stick frame.

Finally, cut a holiday greeting card to fit in your homemade frame. Glue it in place and let dry.

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