Kids crafts that double as gifts

by Melissa Jaramillo

Kids Crafts GiftsThe holidays bring together family and friends. They also tend to bring a bit of the "bah humbug" with stress levels climbing over all that needs to be done with little time (and in some cases even less money) to do it!

As the season's pace progresses, you may find your mood tends to trickle down to those small ones underfoot. You need something for them to do! How 'bout a plan that can serve double duty!

Would you love to keep the "I'm borrrrred" cry at bay?

These great craft ideas not only keep hands busy, but they can double as gifts that will tug at the heartstrings of their recipients!

The pride your little one will feel as he exercises the art of giving holds tremendous "treasured memory bank" value that you both will cherish in the years to come!

Here are a few to get you started.

Kids crafts that double as gifts

Pictures and prints

• Picture frame with three slots
• Washable paint
• Card stock
• Child's picture
• Permanent marker

Paint your child's palm and fingers with the washable paint. Print it onto a piece of card stock. Repeat with the other hand. Place a photo in the middle slot and a hand print on each side. Add their name and date. Siblings could give their grandparents a picture of and hand prints of both.

Hand prints on a clean towel?

• Tea towels
• Fabric paint
• Fabric marker

Help your child place hand prints on a tea towel. Write the child's name and the year on it with a marker. Over the years, you can compare the size of their hands with their hands back then.

Cookie cutter ornaments

You'll need:
• Cornstarch dough
• Cookie cutters
• Acrylic paint and brushes
• Glitter, sequins and other decorations
• Glue
• Clear shellac

Roll the dough out about 1/4 inch thick. Cut shapes out with the cookie cutters. With a pencil or coffee straw, make a hole near the top.

Bake for three hours at 150 F or allow to dry overnight. Cool. Paint with acrylic paints. Once the paint dries, glue on decorations. Allow to dry and then dip the ornaments in clear shellac.

Special tote bags

These personal bags make great, reusable grocery bag. The gift and the giver will be remembered every shopping trip.

You'll need:
• Plain canvas tote bags
• Fabric crayons
• Plain white paper

With the fabric crayons, have your child draw a special picture on the white paper. Iron the picture onto the bag according to the instructions on the box of crayons.

Frame it!

You'll need:
•Wooden picture frame
• Paint
• Glue
• Embellishment like buttons, glass pebbles, shells, puzzle pieces and mini matchbox cars

Let the kids choose a background color paint the frames. Set them aside to dry. With glue, attach the decorations. Put a picture of your child in the frame and wrap it up for a gift sure to bring a smile.

Bubble magnets

You'll need:
• Round glass rocks
• Magazines
• Scissors
• Mod Podge and paint brush
• Round magnets
• Glue

As you thumb the magazines, place a rock on top of different images. When you find one you like, hold your glass rock on top of it, making sure it's centered. Trace around it and carefully cut the round little image.

With the paintbrush, apply a thin layer of the Mod Podge to the front of the image. Press it onto your rock and work out any air bubbles. Apply a thin layer of the Mod Podge to the back of your image to seal and let dry. Attach a round magnet to the back.

What was the best gift you've received from your child?

Photo courtesy of iStockphoto.