Holidays warm the heart, and there’s no better way to show the love than a thoughtful, homemade gift. With DIY-style blogs and apps like Pinterest on the rise, there’s no shortage of inspiration to help find the perfect project to spread the holiday cheer. Handmade items are especially great for kids, showing them the value of hard work and how great it feels to give.
Get out the supplies, turn on that creativity and start working on some of these special gifts.
A welcoming holiday mat
Purchase a plain, natural-fiber doormat, some spray paint and some painters tape. Using small pieces of the tape, create a festive design – antlers, snowman, ornament — and include something to personalize the mat, like initials, if you’d like. Once you’re happy with your handiwork, hold the spray paint eight to ten inches away from the map and paint, making sure to keep moving to avoid drips and uneven places. Let the paint dry for two to three hours and carefully remove the tape. Voila, a perfect way to welcome holiday guests!
Grab some clear plastic ornaments from your local craft store in any size, along with some small bottles of paint. Lay out newspaper and carefully twist the top off each ornament. Select a paint color and add a few drops into the ornament, slowly turning and swirling the color around the inside of the bulb.
Let the paint dry for about 10 minutes, then choose another paint color and repeat. Continue adding colors until the ornament is perfect, then make sure you allow your bulbs to dry overnight before replacing the tops.
Send some sugar
Older kids might enjoy whipping up some homemade mint sugar scrub to help that special person relax a little. You’ll need an oil of your choice (coconut is perfect and you can find it in the baking section at your local grocery store), sugar, peppermint oil extract and a bit of green food coloring. Microwave the oil until soft, about 15-25 seconds, and then add the other ingredients, a bit at a time. Pick your perfect ratio until you get the scrub just right, then spoon it into wide-mouthed half-pint mason jars and tie it up with a bow. Spa-time perfection!
Memories on display
Get as creative as you want with this perfect decor for the fridge. Scoop up some jumbo-size popsicle sticks, washi tape, markers, strong craft glue and magnets. If you’re using washi tape, cover the popsicle sticks in different designs or colors. Arrange the popsicle sticks into a frame of your choice – four sticks that you can put a picture behind, a stack of sticks that you can stick pictures to, or just a small stack for an inspirational saying — and glue them together. Once the glue dries, use markers to write a note or glue pictures to the DIY frames. For an added pop, glue on other accents like jewels or glitter letters from the craft store.
When you’re happy with the final product, glue a magnet to the back and it’s ready to grace the front of the fridge.
Reasons for love
Quick and easy, this gift will reveal all the reasons someone is loved — 52 reasons, to be exact. Grab a deck of cards and your computer and start typing one reason or set of short inspirational sayings, leaving a few spaces between lines. Keep in mind, you’ll need to cut these and glue them to the cards — front or back. Print them out, glue them on and then enjoy a game that really brings out the best in someone.