Here’s a Valentine’s craft I shared over at HowDoesShe.com.
After the Christmas decor comes down and I’ve finished sweeping the red and green glitter – I like to get my house back in order. It always feels like Valentine’s sneaks up on me and it seems I’m never quite ready to deck the house out again in holiday decor. Don’t get me wrong – I love to decorate for the holidays, but some holidays I’m go for simple and Valentine’s is one of them.
This year I made a Valentine’s rag banner and had the kids make their own decoration with a printable banner I designed for them.
For full instructions and the free printable download, go to howdoesshe.com.
Here’s a round up of my homemade Christmas gifts this year for the kids.
Cannon – Noah’s Ark animals
This has been an idea a long time in the making and I’m only semi-disappointed with myself that I didn’t get the ark made in time. Another year…another homemade gift. This year, he got the animals; 12 sets, 24 in total. Based on a set by Holztiger – a company from Germany which I talked about here.
My patio was a disaster for far too long. This was a labor of love and I was counting my lucky stars that I had all my fingers in tact when I finished. Scroll saws can be a little intimidating! They’re made of 1″ hard maple which was a little difficult to cut out but they’ll be much more durable than making them out of pine. I spent many weeks watching Survivor and painting all the animals with basic craft paint (all of which was left over from a homemade gift last year, the nativity puzzle). I finished them off with a couple layers of clear coat and called it good.
They turned out better than I expected and I’m pretty much in love with them. So is Cannon.
Bennett – Wooden Robots
I found these darling robots (Ollibots) at Caravanshoppe.com. These require absolutely no skills. I purchased the digital file which gave me the artwork (printed them at staples) and all the instructions as well as the part numbers to buy from an online hobby store for all the wood pieces (precut).
They suggested different options of attaching the pieces together – I went with low-profile industrial strength Velcro from Amazon and it’s worked like a dream.
You can mix and match to your heart’s content – and Bennett has!
Hunter – Lego Print
Check out Hunter’s Lego artwork gift on a previous post.
Hallie – Fancy circle skirt
I’m realizing the older my kids get the more creative I have to get with their homemade gift. It’s much easier when they’re younger!
Hallie was in need of some skirts. Typically, I’m able to find something at a store that fits her just right but we’ve had some trouble lately. She getting taller and she has a fairly skinny waist. We couldn’t find a skirt long enough with a small enough waist. I turned to danamadeit.com and followed her circle skirt pattern. It was so easy, I made one for her to wear before Christmas and surprised her with another on Christmas morning. I’m tempted to make one in my size.
I’m ready to start brainstorming this year’s gifts. (aside from Cannon’s ark which has already made the list!)
Check out more homemade gifts from previous years:
My homemade Christmas gifts come in all shapes and sizes. I had the idea for Hunter’s homemade Christmas gift almost 6 months ago. I was working to redo his room and after I got the furniture and bedding placed I knew I wanted a picture hanging between his beds. Almost immediately the thought came to me to take a picture of his legos and hang it on the wall. The idea morphed into Lego wall art – making a quote out of his Legos and printing it for his wall.
I chose a short quote to make sure I could make it fit and look uniform. I spent an afternoon with his legos while he was at school and was done in no time.
I made a 20×20 print and put it in an Ikea Ribba frame.
Christmas morning he opened it and gave me the exact reaction I was looking for. Excitement.
We promptly hung it in his room and it was just as I had envisioned many months ago. “It’s awesome mom, I didn’t know you could make words out of Legos!” Yes son you can, and it’s much easier than the instructions that take 300 steps to build a ship!
I purchased a wood burning tool a while ago (nothing fancy, just found it on Amazon) and now I’m burning everything. (And I only came close to burning myself once!) This little Christmas craft took less than 20 minutes from start to finish – and 3 of those minutes were waiting for the burning tool to heat up. And before you claim that your handwriting isn’t good or you can’t draw – these little snowflakes consist of straight lines. You can even draw the design on with pencil first if you’re really that unsure of yourself!
I found some birch wood cuts at Joanns; they vary anywhere from 1 1/2″ to 2 1/2″ circles. I used the burning tool with a simple small round tip and drew intersecting lines until they looked like snowflakes. Once the snowflakes were burned, I drilled a hole in them and tied them with jute. We used them as napkin rings for a dinner we had at the church recently and after that they made great ornaments for the tree. You could use them on gifts, make a garland out of them or even tie them around a glass jar. And all you have to do is burn straight lines. Easy peasy!
Several years ago I made a “Be Grateful” banner out of wood. I loved it so much but there was one small problem – I made it out of pine and that thing was heavy. It tore many Command strips off the wall! This year I reprised the project and made it out of thin underlayment – plywood.
I had Home Depot cut the plywood into strips and I used the miter saw to cut the triangles. Working with plywood like this can be a bit tricky and it leaves plenty of splinters. One side has a much nicer finish after the cutting process – I stained that side.
The other side, which wasn’t so nice, got a couple coats of chalkboard paint.
I debated how I should put the letters on: hand paint, vinyl letters, burning with a hand tool or a foam stamp. I went the easy route and what was readily available to me. I then carefully painted the edges with a metallic gold paint.
It hangs on the entertainment center with two small command strips and so far the weight hasn’t been a problem. Not only that but the wood tones look much better than the painted white “be grateful” banner I previously did.