Gifts the Kids Can Make
This holiday season, teach your kids the importance of giving from the heart by having them make presents instead of heading to the store. These great gift ideas from Rachael's buddy Peggy are perfect for giving someone special a homemade gift; and will enable you to spend some quality time with your child. Check out the gallery to the right for the finished products, and get the instructions below!
• A white knee-high nylon stocking (available at drug stores)
• Polyester fiberfill (available at a fabric or craft store)
• Sticky foam sheets in a couple colors
• A couple of pompoms (optional)
• Wire or string
• Jingle bells
Stuff a snowball-sized bunch of fiberfill into the bottom of the stocking. Squish it around to make it nice and round. Tie a knot in the stocking right above the fill, and then do the same for the next two sections of the snowman.
Out of the sticky foam cut facial features, sunglasses, scarf, buttons, mittens, a hat ... anything you can think of. Peel off the backing and stick them to your snowman.
If you want earmuffs, make a headband from foam and attach it first, then glue the pompoms to the sides of the head with hot glue.
Tie a piece of wire or string to the knot in the top of the stocking, and string a few jingle bells on it. Make a loop in the end and use the loop to hang your jolly snowman on a door handle or wherever!
Magic Crystal Snowflakes
IMPORTANT: This project requires adult help and supervision!
• Wide-mouth pint jar
• White pipe cleaners (blue ones could be nice too!)
• Blue food coloring (optional)
• Boiling water (with adult help)
• 20 Mule Team Borax Laundry Booster (available at grocery stores in the laundry soap section -- NOT Boraxo soap)
• Wire cutter
Cut a pipe cleaner into three equal sections, then twist them together in the middle so you have a six-pointed star.
Tie a piece of string from point to point of your star, turning it into a snowflake shape. Next, tie a piece of string to one of the points, and tie the other end to the pencil, so that your snowflake can hang freely. The string should be long enough so the snowflake can hang down inside the jar without touching the bottom when you lay the pencil across the jar's mouth.
Boil enough water to fill the jar almost to the top. Stir in the Borax, a tablespoon at a time, until you have 3 or 4 tablespoons per cup of water (in a pint jar, that's 7 or 8 tablespoons). Mix it well, but don't worry if there's a little powder settling to the bottom of the jar. If you want to add a few drops of food coloring to make your crystals blue, now's the time.
Suspend your snowflake in the jar of Borax solution and leave it overnight. By morning it will be covered with sparkly crystals! Experiment with shapes and colors, and really have some fun!
• Writing paper, note cards, envelopes, printer paper, etc. You can use plain or pre-printed items, white, or colored; whatever you want
• A stamp pad (optional)
• Washable markers
• Your fingers and thumbs
Make fingerprints and thumbprints on the edges of the paper items. If you don't have a stamp pad, that's fine, it's almost more fun to color your fingers and thumb with a marker!
Go back over your thumbprints, adding eyes, smiles, arms, legs, ears, hats with your markers... anything you can dream up. Cute!
• Printed wrapping paper, scrapbook paper, foil paper or catalog pages
• Soda or cocktail straws
• Glue sticks
• Clear nail polish (optional)
• String or dental floss for stringing
Cut your paper into long triangles... try for an elongated pennant shape. The dimension of your triangle on its shortest side will be the length of your finished bead.
Cover the back surface of your triangle with glue. Wrap your triangle onto a straw, starting with the shortest side (where the stick of the pennant would be) and wrapping around and around until the point of the pennant is stuck. You can fit a few beads on each straw.
Coat your wrapped beads with clear nail polish if you want a harder, shinier finish to them. Let them dry well. Standing the straws up in a bowl of dry rice works really well.
Snip the straws at both ends of each bead, leaving the sections of straw inside to give the beads a bit of extra structure. String them up on dental floss -- it's always handy and doesn't break easily -- and wear them proudly!
Matching Desk Set
• Printed wrapping paper
• Mounting adhesive sheets, carpet tape, or double-stick tape
• Juice can
• Paper box
• Desk pad calendar
• Any other desk items; like little drawers, a stapler, etc.
Decide what items you want to cover with paper. Follow the instructions on the mounting adhesive package. Then cut it to the shapes and sizes you need to cover the items you have.
For smaller pieces, use double-stick tape or carpet tape to make the paper sticky on the back. You can really jazz up a number of items without having to cover them completely - just embellish them a little and they'll look very nice together. When you're done, you'll have a snazzy and unique desk set.
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