Little School of Smith's

I LOVE receiving handmade gifts! I love the time, thought and creativity someone had to put into making it for me. Handmade gifts are so special, I love gifting them as well!

I am a big crafter and every year my kids and I make a big handful of crafts to gift to family and friends. (I also have them make some to keep for myself.😉) Everyone loves them and they are usually easy to make and are way more inexpensive than buying gifts for everyone.

Today I’m sharing with you 6 handmade gift ideas that kids of any age can make! And that are very low in cost too! 👌🏼

Calendar

Every year we get my Mom a new calendar for the new year. It is usually a simple calendar from Shutterfly full of family photos. However, last year I decided we would do something different and we made her one ourselves with the kids handprints and footprints.

You need 2 pieces of scrapbook paper for every month of the year; I chose themes/ holidays for each month. (Also get one extra for the cover page.) Then print the calendar dates on regular printer paper for each month; you can find these for free on Google. (HERE is 2020)

This next part is a little more tedious. For each month create the artwork with handprints and footprints of your kids! Be prepared that this will not all happen in one sitting. 12 different months for kids to go through is a lot (especially for really little ones), so break it up over time. When I did this last year I had a 4 & 2 year old and a 5 month old baby. They were only cooperative to do one at a time so I had to space it out a little here and there over a few weeks. **Which is why I’m posting this early so that you have plenty of time to create these if you want to! 😊

Here are the handprint/ footprint ideas we used for each month:

Then when they are all complete glue the artwork to one piece of scrapbook paper, and the correct month dates to the other piece of scrapbook paper. (You might need to trim down the edges of the scrapbook paper so it better frames the regular white paper.)

Do this for each month and once complete hole punch 3 holes on each page. **Make sure the pages are facing the correct way so it opens like a traditional calendar.** Thread ribbon through the holes and tie.

The calendar turned out SO cute and my Mom LOVED it!! Now that the year is almost over she doesn’t want to throw it away so she is keeping the top portion (their artwork) and putting it in a frame in her house that she can rotate for each month! Such a cute idea to keep it forever!

This is definitely a big project with so many months to complete, but it is very inexpensive and a treasured gift! 💕

Bookmarks

This gift is super simple, but fun and cute! Lots of my family are big readers so for gifts we bought them a new book and made them these bookmarks to go with them!

Take a picture of your child with their arms up. Print their photo, cut them out, and cut a slit in their hands. Thread through a piece of nice ribbon or yarn. I had them write their name and year on the back.

That’s it! Simple, easy and fun bookmark where your child looks like they are “hanging” out in their book. Pair it with a new book and you have a great, thoughtful gift. (I put the bookmark in the new book and wrapped it, so when they unwrapped it they had to look in their book to find their surprise. ☺️)

Plates

These holiday plates came out so cute and are perfect to gift someone for serving or as a decor piece. Buy a blank plate (I get mine from the dollar store!), and some paint. I use enamel acrylic paint because the ones I made were meant for displaying, but you can by ceramic paint that is toxic-free for food and wash safe.

Use your child’s footprints and have them decorate on top of the plate. Use a sealer when done to help coat the place and make it useable. (Still only hand wash to clean.) These are so precious! I made one for myself with each of my children for their first Christmas. I display them with plate stands as Christmas decor in my kitchen for Christmas. I love pulling them out every year! 😍

Ornaments

Ornaments are simple to make and you can make a lot of them. I love to buy a pack of plastic balls (looks like glass) from the craft store and let the kids paint whatever they want on them. Once they are dry I will write their name and date. These are so fun to pull out every year!

Hobby Lobby, Michael’s and other craft stores always have great small ornament crafts you can do also. We love the wooden ones that the kids paint, add glitter and have a place to put their photo in the middle.

Last year we also made these cute popsicle stick Christmas tree trucks! (You can find these already colored popsicle sticks at the dollar store.) Cut popsicle sticks as needed and glue together, adding buttons for the wheels, to create this little red truck. Use your finger to wrap a piece of green pipe cleaner around to make a “Christmas tree” for the back of the truck. (Or wrap the pipe cleaner around a cinnamon stick so it smells good too!) I didn’t get a chance to last year, but you can print a photo of your child and place it in the window of the truck to make them look like they are driving!

Nativity

Another favorite craft!! I had the kids make this for myself last year 😆, but also helped my nephews make one as a gift to surprise their parents with. Now my Mom and Grandmother are requesting one!

All you need is a blank canvas and paints. Use your child’s handprints and footprints for Joseph, Mary, the Angel, donkey and horse. **Make sure you do all the hand and footprints first! Then once they dry you can add everything behind/around them- the manger, star, ground, etc. Everything that I outlined in black is just done with a fine tip sharpie. 👍🏼

It is so precious and so beautiful to display during the Christmas season!

Button Wreath

An easy craft idea for kids! My daughter made this 2 years ago for her Great-Grandmother on a small white canvas and I love it!

On the canvas, draw 2 circles in pencil (one large and one smaller) to create the wreath outline. I use an upside down bowl to draw the circles and if you look very closely at my photo you can see the pencils lines a bit to get an idea. ☺️

You can buy a small bottle of assorted buttons in green and red at the craft store (come in different shades of color and sizes.) Then I let my daughter go to town glueing whatever buttons she wanted wherever, as long as they were inside the pencil circle lines. After placing all the buttons down, do another layer on top to create depth. It’s ok if they use a ton of glue it just dries clear. Add a few red buttons as “berries” and a bow to the top! Super cute button wreath!

These are some of my favorite past crafts we have done for the holidays as gifts! These would be so special and meaningful to gift to loved ones! Do not be afraid to get messy and create cute gifts and memories with your kids! If you have any questions about any of these above please feel free to comment with them below!

Happy Crafting!

Check out my Educational TOY Gift Guide!

And my Educational GAMES Gift Guide!

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