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Today's Family Magazine

Personalized gifts kids can make and give

Nov 29, 2016 02:45PM ● By Today's Family
By Kimberly Blaker

As holidays and birthdays approach, are your kids scrounging to buy gifts they can hardly afford?  Offer them these fun ideas for gifts from the heart.

Tell a story with photos.  Create a memory page to add to a friend or relative’s scrapbook.  Buy a package of blank scrapbook pages, and choose a theme, such as ‘my best friend,’ ‘sports car shows,’ or ‘when I was little.’  Design each page using stickers, markers, colored pencils, construction paper, photos, magazine pictures, and fun sayings or descriptions that fit your theme.

Service coupons.  Offer a free evening of babysitting, a week of taking out the trash, making your sister’s bed, pet sitting, shoveling the snow, ironing, or another task you can do.

Shape decorative soaps.  Grate bars of inexpensive white soap.  Then mix approximately ½ cup of warm water with a cup of shredded soap.  Add food coloring to the water to create colored soap.  Knead the mixture, and add additional warm water as necessary until it forms like dough.  Next, fill cookie cutters with the mixture, or flatten it on a sheet of waxed paper, and trim into shapes.  Let the soap dry slightly, then press with small leaves or other designs.  Allow the decorative soaps to dry for 24 hours, flipping them occasionally.

Design your own pens and pencils.  Purchase sheets of large white labels and cut them into 1-½ inch strips.  Design the strips with colored markers.  Then wrap the design around the length of the pens or pencils.  Personalize them by adding a smaller label to the center of the pencil with “World’s Greatest Grandma” or other catchy phrase.  To protect your pencil design, wrap it with clear scotch tape.

Make a placemat.  Choose a subject of interest to your gift recipient, such as model cars or Barbie dolls.  Clip pictures from magazines and catalogues, and glue them to an 11” x 17” sheet of paper.  Overlap the pictures to create a collage, or spread them apart and share details about each. When you’re done, laminate the design with self-adhesive laminating sheets, or have it laminated at an office supply store.

Compose a memory book. Buy a composition book from the office supply, cover it with construction paper, then design and decorate the cover.  Inside, write your memories of special times you’ve had with the person to whom you’ll present it.  Memories might include a trip to the zoo, a favorite holiday celebration, a special gift, something funny, and lots other experiences you’ve had together.

Give magnetic photos. Cut a piece of cardboard from a cereal box to match the size of your photo, and then glue it to the back of your photo for support.  Last, glue a small magnet to the cardboard, and now you have a photo magnet.

Fashion a holiday pin.  Buy a package of large safety pins and a small package of multi-colored beads.  Open one safety pin, and dangle several safety pins onto it through the eye at the bottom of those pins. Close the open pin and then thread colored beads onto the dangling safety pins.  You can design a Christmas tree, heart, flag, or whatever your imagination desires.

Give a poster.  Find out your friend’s favorite rock star, actress, or sport.  Then tear three or four full-page photographs or pictures from magazines. Trim the tattered edge, and then laminate for a durable glossy poster.

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