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Plan homemade gifts for kids

By on September 24, 2010

doll house

How many shopping days until Christmas? Don’t blow your budget this year. You have plenty of time to make some gifts for the young kids on your list. Odds are that you have some of the supplies already. Here are a few ideas.


After Halloween, scout out discount costumes, wigs and accessories. To jazz it up, look in your closet, at garage sales, dollar stores and thrift stores for items such as costume jewelry, scrubs, hats, purses, dresses, bathrobes, gloves, blazers, shoes, sunglasses, scarves, etc., to add to the box. A decorated cardboard box works well to hold it all, or buy a more durable plastic tote.


A bookcase can be the beginning of a great dollhouse. Each shelf can be a different room. Add wallpaper to the inside walls. You can draw or print pictures or cut pictures from a magazine of a fireplace, windows, rugs, plants, etc. and glue them on. Look around your home for supplies you can use such as carpet remnants, fabric scraps or any empty food cartons that could be made into furniture.


Take a 46-ounce clear plastic juice jug. Cut a slit in the back. Paint the top half like ice cream (white or pink), the bottom half like a cone (light brown) and the cap (red) for a cherry, or glue a large red pom pom to the lid.


Buy a few secondhand books and make a CD or tape of your voice reading a few storybooks. This is a great gift for grandparents to make for their grandchildren. Add any additional gifts such as stuffed or plastic toys, puzzles, workbook pages, craft activities and supplies or flashcards, etc., that follow the theme of the story. Put all the materials into a canvas tote bag.


Use a sheet to create an indoor hopscotch, tic tac toe or a checkerboard game using milk caps or pom poms as game pieces.


Use wood or fabric and a tape measurer and mark off measurements up to whatever height you’d like. Decorate as you desire. If using wood, have a picture hanger on the back. If using fabric, you can sew or use fabric glue to create a casing on the top, and slide a dowel through it. Hang with string.


Your kit can contain the following: A hat, scarf, mittens, plastic carrot nose, charcoal briquettes (place in plastic baggie), large buttons, and two dowels or branches for arms. Place the supplies in a large plastic ice cream tub so it can be carried outside easily.


Stuff a white pillowcase with polyfill. Sew the opening to close or use double-sided sticky Velcro so it can be washed easily. Tie a scarf around the pillow case one-third of the way down to form the body. Add a winter hat on the head. Glue on wiggle, button, pompom or fabric paint eyes and a felt nose, and glue on buttons vertically down the front.


Create an indoor or outdoor treasure hunt. The prize can be a grab bag of secondhand toys, stickers, candy, homemade baked treats, snack foods or anything you’d like to give. A fun way to present the prizes is inside a pinata. Who says a pinata has to be used as a party game? They’re unique gift containers. They can be found at party stores and some dollar stores or make your own.

photo by Dan Taylor

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