We are always pinning DIY projects that kids can actually do (with maybe just a little help here and there, of course) on our Printables+DIY Pinterest board.
When it comes to getting gifts from my kids, I always love the handmade ones the best. It doesn’t matter if it’s imperfect or inexpensive, as long as it comes from their heart. And hey, even our kids’ teachers agree. So, if your kids are starting to wonder what to get you–or your partner, their siblings, their grandparents, or their coaches–take an hour to hang out and help them make some of these fun handmade gifts designed just for kid to make. Even if you aren’t Uber Crafty Person yourself, we think you can all pull each of these off.
The number of DIY ornaments on Pinterest that are impossible for kids (let alone grownups) to do well is amazing. I’ve tried some salt-dough ornaments in the past, and they were a terrible disaster; but these happy little Reindeer Thumbprint Ornaments at Little Bit Funky are a great DIY ornament idea for kids. Relatives who want a sentimental gift will love the thumbprint, but they’d also make an easy and inexpensive gift for classmates or teachers because they’re just so cute.
Walking into a paint-your-own pottery place with three kids makes me nervous (all that breakable pottery!), although it definitely can be a great gift. As an easy alternative, I am pretty sure my kids and I could tackle this DIY Sharpie Mugs tutorial spotted at Handmade Charlotte. You can find inexpensive ceramic mugs at a discount store, but I I’d buy a few extras just in case someone isn’t happy with the way one comes out.
Boring pencils with a washi-tape makeover make great stocking stuffers. Since our kids are already begging us to use our washi tape, we’re going to let them cover pencils using this tutorial we found from Omiyage Blogs Pretty Crafty Things. So simple for even preschoolers to do, and they’d make cute gifts for siblings, classmates, and teachers.
Instead of using Sharpies, check out the DIY Watercolor Mugs from Poppy Talk which look like a professional artist made them. Except they’re as simple as dipping a plain ceramic mug into a pie plate filled with water that’s swirled with fingernail polish. This one will take some adult supervision with small kids, but they can choose the nail polish color and sign the bottom with a Sharpie. It will make any parent’s morning coffee so much sweeter.
I absolutely love these cool Comic Book Coasters that we once recommended as a great DIY Father’s Day gift. They would definitely find a place in our house, as a cool gift for a dad, or any comic fan, really. They definitely require some set up and assistance from an adult to make them, but kids can choose the comics and do the mod podging (is that a verb?) themselves. The cool thing is they work with any newsprint–try a photo of a favorite celeb, sports star, or headline.
My daughter wants to give gifts to her school friends, but buying presents for 15 extra children isn’t in my budget. In this year’s homemade holiday gift ideas in our Holiday Gift Guide, I saw these DIY handmade hair ties via the Minted blog. A spool of fancy elastic won’t cost me much, and my daughter can easily tie these on her own. I might even ask her to make a few more to add on to gifts for adults like the babysitter and a few teachers. And maybe her mother.
We think these Wooden Bead Necklaces by Crafting in the Rain are sweet and pretty, and the fact that the color schemes are inspired by the Disney princesses is a bonus with my daughter—although it’s so subtle, I might have to point out the connection to her. But once she realizes that the blue-and-white Cinderella pattern could also represent Elsa, I think she’ll be making “Frozen necklaces” for her friends and cousins non-stop.
Since Grandma is frequently asking my kids not to put their cups on her side tables, I love the concept of these bright and modern DIY Pom Coasters at Inspired by Charm. They’ll bring a fun pop of color to her living room, and when we’re back home she can remember us fondly while she’s having her morning coffee. Without ring stains on the furniture.
For grandpas who carry a handkerchief, I really like this adorable Hand-Colored DIY Handkerchief from Martha Stewart. Fabric crayons makes this DIY easy enough for even the littlest kids to create with a little help. And this idea can translate for grandmas or aunts and uncles too, by drawing on white aprons, kitchen towels, or scarves.
Winter can make our back yards so bleak, but a pretty DIY bird feeder made by your kids will brighten it up and bring some colorful life to the yard. They’re easy for kids to do, and a thoughtful gift for those extra people in your life you want to thank during the holidays, like a dance teacher, the mailman, or a neighbor.
One of my very favorite handmade gifts I have ever gotten from my kids is this portrait that my five-year-old–who hated art time–painted of me in preschool, along with a note in his little boy handwriting on the back. Load up on a few canvases from your art supply store and some nice paints. My son’s teacher walked him through this step-by-step, which helps it turn out great. But letting your kids be free to do what they’re inspired to do is fine too. I’m planning to have my kids make one of my husband, so we have a set. We’ll splurge on a nice frame and hang it prominently, checking both “gift” and “developing confidence in the kids” off my to-do list.
My other favorite handmade gifts to get from my kids are their adorably incorrect handwritten notes and cards. Well, this DIY Stitched Note canvas at Urban Comfort is a little more intermediate crafting, but it’s a gift that’s meant to be kept forever. Have your child write a letter, then you transfer it (mistakes and all) to printed linen and stitch the simple embroidery. Or if you have an older child who’s handy with a needle and thread, let him do the embroidering himself. My prediction is that this one will guarantee happy tears when opened.
For more ideas, check out these DIY holiday gift ideas in our holiday gift guide.