Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Crafts for Christmas

Christmas is less than three months away. Since we have only one income around here and I like to plan ahead and I really like to make things, I have already started brainstorming and crafting some Christmas gifts. I wanted to share them in hopes of inspiring some of you! I might be spoiling the surprise for some of the parents of our kids' friends and cousins, but I know the kids don't read my blog and I'm not worried about spoiling their surprise.

First up is an odd sort of gift. I was at a local store called Leftovers and found a bin of trophy pieces. I rifled through them and picked out parts that I could piece back together with my glue gun and give some of our friends a trophy for Christmas. Katie helped me with the project. There's a soccer player for some of our soccer-playing friends (and Jackson), baseballs for baseball-playing friends, and two dancers for Katie and her friend Sammi (it was as close as I could get to a gymnast). Since we have a no-gifts policy with our neighbors, I'll probably just give their trophies as a regular old Happy (what Mom used to call a gift for no good reason). But there are some others that will be Christmas gifts for family, and hopefully it'll make them laugh.

Second is another gift made from recycled parts. This is a memory game that I made for our nephew, Adam. I made it out of milk jug lids and family photos. I sized the photos on my computer, printed them on sticker paper, and then punched them out with a circle punch and put them on the lids. Adam can turn them face down (literally) and play a memory game with them, or maybe just play a sorting and matching game. I am not sure I'll give the game to him in that organza bag. I might sew up something cuter for him to use. I wish I had more photos of his family on his mom's side so I could make more pieces for the game.

Third is a set of story dice I made for Katie. I saw this idea in a bunch of different places: here and here and here and my favorite here. I stamped pictures on small wooden blocks, and then cut out a photo of our family members and stuck it to a side of each block. The idea is that Katie can roll the dice, and then she has to write a story using those images. I'll include pads of paper in the gift set and also a laminated glossary of the images with the words underneath them so she can spell it correctly.

Lastly, I made something for me and it isn't for Christmas. It's just because I like it. I got these little Pionite laminate samples at Leftovers and decided to make a sort of photo album key chain with them. I printed photos on sticker paper and punched them with a square punch, then put them on the samples. I covered them with packing tape to protect them, then put them on a book ring (the kind you buy at an office supply store).

The ring is hooked onto my diaper bag, where I can show people photos of our family. I picked photos that inspire me too, and it helps brighten my day when I see the photos hanging there. And since it's durable, Jackson and Katie can play with the ring when they are bored.

And before you go asking me, "Oh my gosh, where do you find the time to make crafts like this?" let me explain. Three out of those four projects were made on a Friday night at my Stampin' Up consultant's house. I had printed the sticker photos ahead of time (during Jackson's naptime) and then punched, stamped and assembled them at her house. Trust me... I don't sit around on a daily basis making crafts while the kids are behaving like angels. Uh, no. I squeeze in time for this kind of craftiness during naptime, after the kids are in bed, or when I can get a free block of time while Dan is on kid duty.

I hope you're inspired. Now please share some of your holiday crafting ideas with me!


Melissa said...

I've said it before and I'll say it need to be a parent educator!!!

Gina said...

I've made the Memory game before. I think I am going to do that for my niece this year. We picked names, and I didn't pick her, but she's my only niece so I think I'll slyly slip that to her. I didn't use milk caps though...but I love that idea!

Michelle said...

I LOVE the milk just matching game. SO cool. Any chance you can ask for pictures to just be sent to you?

My craftiness though? uummmmmm yeah. I didn't even make my own cards last year. *sigh*

Gretchen said...

What great ideas! We have four kids age 5 and under that the memory game would be perfect for! The keychain is genius, too! :) The trophies are too funny. Will have to start looking around for things like that. I usually make scrapbooks for gifts. I take um a few photos every year, so I have plenty to work with. :)

Kalleen at Second Street said...

I've done a memory game before, but i like the idea of using lids.


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