Well, this is a month overdue but I’ll repost this next year so you can actually use these ideas. Here are some cheap and easy ideas for Christmas gifts 🙂
#1 card holder/ decorative center piece~ This was passed down to me by my Grandma.
Materials: tall can (I’m using a coffee can but to make a card holder you need something taller)
Thread (red & green)
fake flowers & decorative items
Step 1: use a can opener to take off the bottom and top of the can
step 2: wrap a piece of thread thru the inside of the can and then back to the outside of it. Once you’ve made a loop, tie a knot and pull the knot to the inside of the can so it won’t show.
Step 3: wrap the thread through several times. If you want to change colors just take the other thread and tie it to the first thread. You can change the thread this way several times.
Step 4: Trace around the can onto styrofoam. Then take an exacto knife and cut inside the circle you just traced (making the circle slightly smaller than the mouth of the can)
Step 5: Put the circle of styrofoam into the can and then stick the fake flowers & decorative items into the foam.
Now you can use this for decor and you can use it to hold several Christmas cards (in between the thread)
#2 Salt dough ornaments (aka baker’s clay)
These are great fun to make with your kids. Plus you can make a ton of these ornaments from one batch of salt dough and have plenty to give family and friends.
Materials: salt, water, all purpose flour, acrylic paint, and modge podge (cookie cutters for simple designs), exacto-knife?, ribbon
Step 1: Preheat the oven to 250 degrees. Make the dough. PS: the dough is much easier to work with if you knead it several times…otherwise it will be sticky.
Salt Dough Recipe
4 cups flour
1 cup salt
1 1/2 – 2 cups water
Combine ingredients to make a soft dough, knead in some extra flour if required. This dough will keep for quite a while in the refrigerator.
Step 2: roll the dough out flat….if you roll it thin then it won’t bake as long but thicker ornaments will have to bake alot longer or you will have a mushy inside. It’s important to make sure both sides are flat and even. Lumpy ornaments are not attractive.
Step 3: You can use cookie cutters to make simple shapes. This is probably the easiest for kids to do. Now if you are a creative person you can mold your own shapes. You can also create 3-d ornaments by keeping the base flat and adding layers depending on what part you want to stick out. You can also use a cup to cut out circles. I made several circles then drew characters on with a pencil and painted over the pencil lines.
Step 4: make sure to make a hole in the top of your ornament before you bake it. You can also turn these into magnets. You can use these for jewelry.
Step 5: Bake the ornaments for 2-3 hours….add another hour if you’re ornaments are thick.
Step 6: let the ornaments cool then you can paint them
Step7: Once the paint dries then coat the ornaments with modge podge. Make sure you use a thin coat
so it’ll be shiny. If the modge podge is too thick it’ll be white.
Step 8: loop a ribbon through the ornament so you can hang it.
#3 Cookie mix in a jar ~ You can use all kind of mixes for these. Here I’m using raisin oatmeal cookies.
Materials~ (whatever dry ingredients the recipe calls for), a mason jar, ribbon, a funnel, measuring cups, and notecard
Step 1: Follow your recipe and layer your ingredients. Press the down to make more room and get rid of air pockets. You will be putting the dry ingredients into your jar.
Here’s a site with the recipe I used:
Step 2: Put the lid on. Tie a ribbon around the jar and attach a note card with the rest of the recipe on it (the wet ingredients and how long to cook it etc..)
#4 Angel peg doll ornaments or angels for a toy nativity set
Materials: paint, pegs (in most craft stores), shiny white, silver, or gold pipe cleaners, string, and thread (color of the hair you want), modge podge, and a hot glue gun
Step 1: paint the top half of your peg a fleshy color according to what skin tone you prefer. Some of my angels were too pink but I used a mixture of white, pink, yellow, and orange to make my flesh tone. You can add a face if you like but faceless dolls are the style these days and you don’t have to worry about messing it up. It’s super simple with a blank face.
Step 2: paint the bottom half white for a robe or you can get creative and decorate your robe. But white is the simplest.
Step 3: after your angel dries you can add hair if you so desire. Just cut up some thread in the color you prefer and glue it on with the hot glue gun. There are many styles of hair you can make. I thought the pig tails were the cutest but I have other styles as well.
Step 4: This could easily be step 3. It’s really up to you what order you do step 3 & 4 in. But take the pipe cleaner and cut it in half. I used the sparkly white ones. Then twist it into a bow shape to make the wings. Glue the wings to the back of your doll.
Step 5: take the pipe cleaner and make a small circle. Glue it to the top of the angel’s hair
Step 6: Looking back it’s probably best to put a thin even layer of modge podge on the angels before you do any gluing but you can apply it afterwards as well.
Step 7: glue a string to the back of your angel so you can hang it. If you are using these for dolls in a nativity set then ignore this step.
#5 Cookies, cake balls, and Snowmen pops etc all in a tin can
This is a classic idea and it’s fun to do with your kids. Just bake up several different Christmas treats and put them in a Christmas tin lined with wax paper.
1. I made gingerbread and sugar cookies using the cookie starter mix found at:
2. For the last several years I’ve been making red velvet cake balls for my family and friends. You can also use other mixes and icing for different flavors…like lemon or strawberry. Here’s the recipe I use:
PS: These are cheap & easy to make but word to the wise…they take awhile and it can get messy.
3. Snowmen pops~ Mine look more like abominable snowmen lol….but if I had used m&m’s for the eyes instead they would’ve been super cute. It was a little difficult dipping these in chocolate. I ended up pouring the chocolate over them.
step1: Make several peanut butter cracker sandwiches.
step 2: take two sandwiches and connect them with a skewer in between the crackers. The top sandwich is the head and the bottom sandwich is the snowman’s bottom etc etc.
step3: dip the sandwiches into white chocolate or vanilla almond bark (cheaper & easiest)
step4: let the chocolate harden then decorate with frosting. Or while the chocolate is still melted you can put on candy decorations. I got this idea from a sweets shop near my house. Hopefully next year mine will look more refined lol. You can use Oreos instead of the peanut butter crackers too.
4. chocolate covered peanuts: simply take salted peanuts and dump them into melted bakers chocolate (white or brown) or chocolate flavored Almond bark and then take a long spook and spoon the chocolate covered peanuts onto wax paper to harden. Very easy and they taste delicious! Thanks to my mom in law for the idea.
Well that’s it 🙂 I hope you had a Merry Christmas and next year I’ll post this again when you can really use it. Some of these gifts you can use for other occasions as well. Like I said, just turn the salt dough ornaments into magnets or make small ones for earrings. I made myself a pair of Gingerbread house earrings. My hubby said I looked like a Kindergarten teacher lol but that’s fine with me :). Afterall, I am a proud homeschool mom. I might try to make some strawberry and lemon cakeballs for Valentines.
PS: Here are some great sites for craft ideas to do with your kids or to just have fun yourself.
http://pinterest.com/doverette/christmas-crafts/ (my own Pinterest site. I love me some Pinterest)
More Christmas cooking ideas: http://pinterest.com/doverette/christmas-cooking/