Tag Archives: Homemade Gifts

Conversation Card

The outside of the card might not seem like much, but it’s the inside that counts the most! For Father’s Day this year, I’m starting a new tradition.  I asked J a few questions about his dad and wrote down his responses.  When he made  his Father’s Day card (this year was just construction paper, stickers and markers), I made sure he left space for me to include his responses.  The plan is to do this every year.  Hopefully posting this here will help me remember to keep it up!

We also did this for his Grandpa’s card. 

My questions were basically geared towards getting a 3 year old to share his thoughts on dad/grandpa. Here’s how one of our conversations went…

What’s your favorite thing about ___?
     “His toys.”
What do you like to do with ____?
     “I like to play with him.”
How would you describe ____?
     “He has a head. He has some eyes. He has a nose and a mouth.”
What do you want to say to ____?
     “I love you!” and then he says to me, “Thank you!” And then I say to him, “You’re welcome!” And then he says to me, “I love you.” and I say to him, “Thank you!” And then he say to me, “You’re welcome.”

I personally would love to get a card with my son’s thoughts about me, however simple.  I’m hoping dad and grandpa love it too.

Flower Mobile (or possibly placemat)

J made a flower mobile for his grandma as a get well soon gift.  It would be a great gift for any girl on any occasion really. I think it turned out really cute and J had a lot of fun creating it.  He stuck with it until it was all finished!

What you need:  Construction paper, contact paper, scissors, flower magazine, marker; you will also need a  hangar, a hole punch, and string if you want to create the mobile

Prep Work:  I cut out the borders for each flower, using different colored construction paper.  I also cut out two equal sizes of clear contact paper, taping one to the work-table (sticky side up).  The other piece of contact paper is saved to place on top after the flowers are completed.

During the activity:  J placed the flower-borders onto the contact paper though he needed some help with the larger pieces since they can get tangled easily.  He then searched through a flower magazine to find flowers to fill each border, matching the colors accordingly.  I just had him tear the pictures out of the magazine rather than using scissors.  We then worked together to tear the pictures into small pieces that he could stick inside the corresponding colored flower.  After all of the flowers were filled, we added a message for grandma and J signed one of the flowers himself.  I then placed the second sheet of contact paper on top.  If we were creating a placemat, the activity would basically be done. Just trim the edges of the contact paper to make a more finished look.  (My intention was to create a placemat, but I did not plan well.  The flowers were so huge that the placemat covered half the table! So I improvised and decided this was going to become a mobile instead.)

For the mobile:  I cut apart each flower and punched a hole into the top and bottom.  I also cut small pieces of string to attach the flowers together.  J helped thread the string through the holes and I tied the knots.  We then tied it onto a hangar. 

Age attempted: 3 years

Dump Truck Valentine Card

J made these Valentines cards for his cousins. 

What you need:  Unopened box of candy and a few extra pieces of the candy, construction paper, cardstock, car stickers, marker, and glue

 Prep:  I precut all the pieces of the truck for him to glue onto the cardstock and already had the “Happy Valentine’s Day” message on the cardstock. 

J  put the shapes together to create the truck and then added the box of candy at the end.  

The front of the card has a little road with some foam car stickers.  I thought it turned out pretty cute

This is from Busy Bee Craft Kids.com .  Of course, I didn’t plan for the candy box to be glued on at a tilt (in effect, dumping its cargo).  Oops!

Homemade Gift: Magnetic Foam Frames

J made these to give to some of our family as a Christmas gift.  This was a homemade gift he could feel completely responsible for and KNOW that he created it himself. 

Materials: Foam, Magnetic plastic frame (from dollar store), Stickers, Buttons, Googly Eyes, Post-It Notes, Glue

Prep: I cut out the foam frames and gathered materials for J to choose from to create his gifts. **You can also buy prepackaged foam frame crafts and just add the fridge photo magnet on the back yourself.**

We had 4 frames to complete as gifts, so J chose the color for each recipient and the materials to decorate it with.  This also meant that one set of materials weren’t used (he didn’t choose the googly eyes this time).  I helped make sure he was spelling his name correctly on frames (all except one, which he declared was for Grandpa and would hold a picture of Grandma since he loved her so much… hence no need for J’s name on the frame!).  The only other involvement I had in the process was some encouragement to practice creating a pattern with the buttons.  He’s all about patterns right now though so not much need to push with that!

He also didn’t complete all the frames at one time.  After he finished a couple and chose the materials for the others, I packed some up for him to complete on the plane.  This was a great activity to do on a plane, little packing, light-weight and kept him focused.

I was so surprised to see how symmetrical he designed the frame with bubble stickers, maybe he’s finally getting out of that stage where he wants to stack stickers on top of each other! 

After everything had dried, I glued a magnetic frame (bought at a dollar store) onto the back so the frames could be placed on a fridge and photos could be traded out easily. **Be sure you don’t glue the frame closed so that photos can be changed out later.**

Age attempted: 33 months

Homemade Gift: Door Draft Stopper

I think our Slithering Snake door draft stopper turned out pretty cute.  J and I made these together for his greatgrandparents. You can use them by doors or windows, or just as a cute decoration in a nursery.

When I first saw this idea, here at Family Fun, I stopped reading as soon as I saw “stitch it closed.”  If an activity/craft involves sewing, I typically declare it NOT FOR ME.    

After going back and forth for weeks, I decided we’d try it.  We pretty much followed the instructions on the original site exactly. 

What you need:  Cute tights, filler (we used a full 5 lb bag of rice), 2 googly eyes, red felt, fabric glue, needle and thread. 

I made a homemade funnel (water bottle) for J to use in filling the “snake” with rice.  I then forced myself to break out the dust-ridden sewing box and finish it off.  It wasn’t as hard as I had expected and took me about 10-15 minutes to sew it closed.  Most of you would probably find the sewing pretty simple (and a 5 minutes job).  I found it manageable.  Trust me, if I can do this, ANYONE can!

J then glued on the googly eyes and the tongue using fabric glue (I later sewed down the tongue for extra durability). 

The photo is actually of the one we made to use ourselves.  I wanted to give it a test-run to be sure it didn’t break easily before making more for my grandparents.  I certainly didn’t want my grandmother’s to end up vaccuming  rice all year long if they were to break.  I’ve found it actually holds up really well, so no worries there.   We use ours actually to block out the light that streams under the door in J’s room.  We have skylights right outside his door.  I found the sleeps sooooo much longer in the mornings if I block that light.  His room is also open to the rest of the house it can get noisy.   Who knows, maybe this will also help block some of the noise!

I think these are cute choices for homemade gifts, something that takes anywhere from 10-30 minutes to complete!

Age Attempted: 32 months