Every year I assemble or craft Christmas gifts for the family and teachers. I ran out of time this year so I didn’t get to complete all of my projects. But here are some easy and inexpensive standbys.
1.Photo magnets. Every year I create a magnet with my kids’ photos. This year I took a wood piece and used Mod Podge to affix and seal the image.
2. Charm necklaces. I really make these for myself. I try to make a charm every year with my kids’ photos for a charm bracelet. Since you usually have to buy more than one charm, I make extras as gifts. I know most people won;t wear them, but I enjoy making them and it is an extra gift to give. This year I used charms I already had. I planned to use them as name tags on place cards, but changed my mind. I added a love charm. Some years I use bracelets and some necklaces. Some years I use chain jewelry and this year I used a cord.
3. Hot Chocolate. This is a project to give my children something to make for gifts and to keep them busy and make them useful. Every year I find new jars. We just add hot chocolate and add a ribbon and sticker I printed. Everyone can use hot chocolate or a reusable jar. This year I used a combination of leftover jars from previous years to save money.
4. Magnets. I love making magnets and buying them from craft fairs. I often steal ideas from others. I started purchasing old wooden folding rulers from vintage fairs. Since they were hard to cut, my husband cut them in one inch pieces. I sanded down the rough edges to make magnets. My original plan was to buy metal washers and put them behind a map page in a paper frame. But since that would have involved more work and an extra trip to the hardware store, I found plain metal placecard holders at Michaels. I used Mod Podge to attach torn map pages and the magnets easily stayed in place. I had clear bags from party favors that I wrapped them in. I always add the word magnet on them somewhere since we received a thank you card from a teacher once thinking that it was an ornament. These came out so well that I decided to give them to teachers and secretaries as Christmas gifts along with ornaments I did not use from a previous year’s placecards. This was the year of saving money on gifts.
5. Soap jars. This isn’t really a craft. I just like giving unique gifts for people we see, but don’t exchange a lot with over the holidays. Then I just started making one gift the same for everyone. It is usually something inexpensive so everyone has an extra gift to unwrap. Last year I found these jars on sale at Walmart. I think they were only 75 cents. I could have filed them with anything, but decided on a wash cloth, bar of soap and bath bomb. I was going to make bath bombs. I bought a mold. but that never happened. Each one cost only about $3.50. I had some extras so gave them to the main classroom teachers too. Even if they can;t use the jar, they can probably use something inside of it.
6. Crayons. Every year I also melt crayons into Christmas molds as gifts fro the kids in my children’s classes. I like doing it and I like hearing that the kids and parents like them.
7. Candy bags. This is also not really a craft. I have 25 student helpers at my school and about 15 before and after school care workers that help with my kids. So it was an inexpensive gift to give them, especially after the head care workers said they teenagers want food. I added a small ornament or cookie cutter to each bag and purchased the tag from Etsy.
So that is all I managed to do a couple weeks before Christmas this year. I already have plans in place for next year. Maybe I should start sooner.
Filed under: Crafts