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Handmade Holiday Gifts To Make With Kids

By Melissa Summers

Do you remember shopping at the Little Elves shop at school? We had this little shop set up with lots of little things, your parents sent you in with money and you chose gifts for the special people in your life. I chose a gift for my mother, father and my grandfather. This is a lovely idea in theory except that each year I bought my mother a crocheted snowflake ornament, my father received soap and my grandfather was given golf tees. These gifts were not just repeated each year by me, my sister would also buy the same gifts for our parents.
That’s why I like the idea of the kids making gifts for their loved ones at the holidays, even if it’s clutter, it’s sentimental clutter and this is different.
Handmade Holiday Gifts
I think these Kraft Paper Ornaments at paper source are an excellent project starting point. I love all the different shapes and the possibilities for decorating them, even for small hands, is endless. I’m picturing glitter, paint or even decoupage with pretty tissue papers. The half ball is my favorite, I can think of 15 tiny things that would look cute inside. for my puppy obsessed daughter, a little plastic pup would be adorable or even just the tiny ‘treasures’ my kids collect all year. Tiny pine cones or seashells could be artfully glued inside.



Handmade Holiday Gifts
The Pinecone Birdfeeder is a classic craft to do with kids, but it’s still worthy of pointing out. It’s easy, economical and a gift that is consumable and therefore not clutter. (Are you sensing a theme here?). Collect pine cones, slather them with peanutbutter and roll in delicious bird seed. Attach a piece of wire or twine so the feeder can be hung in the tree. I may have the kids make these for their dad because we have a huge pine tree birds love to hang out in right outside our picture window, a perfect place for bird watching.


Handmade Holiday Gifts
This Christmas Tree Mobile is intended for babies but who doesn’t like a mobile? The devil, that’s who. So unless you’re making a holiday gift for the devil, anyone would love to get this cute little tree as a present.







Handmade Holiday GiftsMe and My Girl is an inspiring mother-daughter craft blog with a lot of great gift ideas. This button wreath is very simple and would make a great ornament or general holiday decoration. I’m picturing these hung from the mantel in our living room or maybe hanging on bedroom doors.


Handmade Holiday GiftsMe and My Girl also has this exceedingly simple yet incredibly stylish scarf ready for you and your kids to tackle. It’s made of fleece which doesn’t require hemming or other major sewing. Just measure, cut, create fringe and then embellish with little squares of fleece and you have a one of a kind gift. I think my 9 year old would love making these for her girlfriends.

But my absolute favorite handmade gift to make with kids are shrinky dink crafts. Since starting to collect gifts to make with the kids, this is the one that’s become less of ‘their’ craft (though I’ll still include them….as long as they do what I say….ha! I’m kidding!) and more of my own. Still I think we can do these together.
Handmade Holiday GiftsI love this tutorial about using leftover #6 plastic to create shrinky dinks. I also found this shrinky dink paper which goes through your inkjet printer. This store is called The Magical Land Of Shrinky Dinks, which seems a little grandiose but still.






Handmade Holiday GiftsI love these magnets at Deep Fried Kudzu. These were made using the ink jet shrink wrap paper, which is something you could help your kids do (or make something really cool all on your own!). The DLTK website has several holiday themed templates your kids might like to use for their shrinky dinks. Other things you could make with your shrinky dink paper: push pins, decorated bobby pins, earrings, necklaces, key chains or zipper pulls.

I’ll report back once we try these and let you know how it goes.

What gifts are you making with your kids this season?

Melissa Summers
About the Author

Melissa Summers

Melissa Summers was a regular contributor writing Melissa’s Buzz Off.


Melissa Summers was a regular contributor writing Melissa’s Buzz Off.

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  • I made candles the other day with my kids, but I really like your idea of shrinky dink magnets through the printer….we might just have to try those out!

  • Sarah

    Hey there!
    Maybe I am crazy – but I swear you gave directions with a cute little picture of how to make pipecleaner snowflakes? This sounded like a great idea to have a fun Christmas Craft for the most uncraftiest person you have ever met.
    I am going for a red/white tree and thought how perfect to have the kids cover my tree with pipcleaner snowflakes…I have tried google but am looking for ‘easy direction’
    Thanks so much,
    Sarah in Canada

  • Faith

    Thanks for the great craft ideas. I will definitely try the Kraft Paper Ornament one and the fleece scarf one with my nieces and nephews. I think my nieces will really enjoy making the fleece scarfs. I have 8 nieces and nephews and I babysit them a lot. I am always trying to think of ways for them to have fun without tv or video games. Anyway, there is this really cool website that families can go to and check out together at
    This website allows kids to upload their drawings they’ve made at school or home, animate them, and much more! The website is very kid-focused so kids have an easy time using it. I work with Kabillion and I just wanted to let you know about this great site you can check out with your kids. Check it out and let me know what you and your kids end up creating!