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Even younger children can make these easy homemade gifts. The supplies are inexpensive, and an afternoon of creative crafting will produce enough gifts for several members of the family and several friends as well.

Braided Shoelaces

Knot three 36" strands of embroidery floss together a half an inch from one end. Pin the knot to a pillow or clip to the fridge with a magnet, in order to provide tension as you work. Begin braiding, bringing the left strand over the middle strand, then the right strand over this new middle strand, untangling the long ends as you go.

When you have the desired length, knot all strand ends together, leaving a half inch beyond knot. Rub the ends with your fingertips to form a firm single strand. Dip this, up to the knot, into nail polish for easy threading when inserting laces.

Using the same colors of floss, braid another shoelace to make a pair. For thicker shoelaces, put two strands of floss together and use as one.

Layered Bath Salts

You will need small jars, such as baby food jars, 6 bowls for
mixing, a bag of epsom salts, food coloring, a funnel, a spoon, paper doily or fabric scrap, rubber band.

Using a funnel, fill the jars with epsom salts so you know how much of the epsom salts you will need. Now empty the epsom salts, more or less equally, into six bowls. Add a few drops of food coloring to each bowl, stirring to make yellow, pink, blue, green, mauve and orange colored salts. (Don't worry...the food coloring will not stain bathtubs or people)

Optional: Add a few drops of fragrance oil, or spritz the epsom salts with your favourite perfume.

Now use the funnel to make colored layers of epsom salts in each jar, like sand art. Pack each layer down with a spoon before adding the next layer, and make sure the jar is filled to the top before screwing the lid on tightly.

Decorate the lid of the jar with a circle of fabric or a paper doily held in place with a rubber band. Cover the rubber band with ribbon.

Copyright 2003 Jane Lake AllFreeCrafts
For more free crafts and easy homemade gift ideas, visit
About the Author
Jane Lake is the editor of All Free Crafts,, an award winning craft site that offers free crafts to make easy homemade gifts, and All Free Printables,, which offers free printable shopping lists, recipe cards, bookmarks and chore coupons.

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