5 Easy Christmas gifts kids can make

Nov 22, 2012 at 4:00 p.m. ET

Get your kids in the spirit of giving this Christmas with these five easy gift ideas they can make themselves! These gifts are great for parents, grandparents, school friends and teachers and suitable for kids aged 12 months and up.

Painted plate

Kids love craft. While their pocket money may not stretch to buying Dad the latest gadget, your little ones can be involved in the giving process by making their own gifts for friends and family members.

These five easy projects each cost less than $20 and will provide your child with an afternoon of entertainment and a sense of pride from making their very own present to give on Christmas Day.

Painted plate

Remember those plates you used to paint each year for Mum and Dad? The ones in the shopping mall concession stands? Well, painted plates have come a long way since then. Now they're in a league of their own thanks to the availability of porcelain paint and pens in craft stores around the country. Let your little one get creative with a selection and before you know it you'll have a new dinner set come Christmas lunch.

Materials:

  • A plain glazed plate or mug
  • Porcelain paint or pens of your choice (available at craft stores such as Spotlight for around $10 per colour)
  • Brushes, cotton buds, other painting implements
  • An oven

Instructions:

  1. Simply let your child paint or draw directly onto their chosen plate. If a mistake is made, the plate can be washed clean with water before drying.
  2. Allow to dry for 24 hours before baking for 25 minutes in a 150 degrees Celsius oven. Plates will be dishwasher safe after baking.

Cookie jar

Cookie jar

Perfect for the baker in the family, these cookies are a cinch to whip up and will store in an airtight container for up to three months. Watch out for little fingers stealing chocolate chips as you fill up the jar!

Materials:

  • 1-litre glass jar
  • 1-1/2 cups of self raising flour
  • 1-1/2 cups of rolled oats
  • A pinch of salt
  • 2/3 cup of brown sugar
  • 2/3 cup caster sugar
  • 100 grams of white chocolate chips
  • 100 grams of milk or dark chocolate chips
  • A gift card that includes the following: Mix dry ingredients with 250 grams of melted unsalted butter, 2 eggs (lightly beaten) and 2 teaspoons of vanilla paste. Stir until well combined then roll into balls. Place balls 3 centimetres apart on a lined baking tray and bake for 12–15 minutes or until lightly browned.

Instructions:

Layer the dry ingredients in the jar of your choice, starting with the flour, then the brown sugar, the caster sugar, the oats, the dark chocolate chips and the white chocolate chips to give a nice layer effect. Tap the jar lightly to compress ingredients after adding each layer and pack firmly. Seal the jar, tie it with a ribbon and attach a gift card with the instructions.

Wool wrapped bracelet

Wool wrapped bracelet

Simple to make but with lots of impact, these bright wool wrapped bracelets are a great gift for school friends. At less than $5 a pop they're not going to break the budget either!

Materials:

  • 1 wooden bangle (available at your local craft store)
  • A selection of wool in colours of your choice

Instructions:

Simply tie a knot of wool around the bangle and start wrapping! To add a new colour tie the two loose ends of wool together and cover the knot by wrapping over it. Or, leave the ends loose for a shabby-chic look. Tie off the wool at the end once you have finished and tuck the loose end in before wearing.

Felt purse

Felt purse

Perfect for a child who has mastered the art of a basic long stitch, these felt purses can be made in any colour. You could even use one as an envelope for a gift voucher.

Materials:

  • A rectangle of felt in the colour of your choice
  • A rectangle of felt, or a few scraps of felt, in a complementary colour
  • Embroidery cotton in a complementary colour
  • An embroidery needle
  • A button

Instructions:

  1. Fold the rectangle of felt into thirds. Iron down flat and pin along the edges to keep it in place.
  2. Next, sew up each side from the bottom fold to create a pocket. Sew on a button and cut a slit in the top fold to close the envelope.
  3. Finally, attach a felt motif of your choice to the front using glue (or hand stitching) and you're ready to give!

Customised journal

Customised journal

As soon as your kid could hold a paint brush you've had their masterpieces on the fridge door. Now you can carry their works of art wherever you go with these customised end papers for your 2013 journal or diary.

Materials:

  • A selection of paint, crayons or pencils
  • Paint brushes
  • A journal or diary of your choice (make sure the end pages are blank and white)

Instructions:

  1. This is a great project for kids of all ages. For little ones who may be less inclined to stay on the page, you can use the shaving cream paint method to make a print.
  2. For older kids, let them loose with paints, crayons or pencils. All they need to do is create a picture of their choice on the end pages of the journal.
  3. If you don't want your child drawing directly into the book, simply let them draw on a plain piece of paper, trim it to size and glue it into place with spray adhesive.

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