Sunday, November 28, 2010

Handmade Holiday Ideas

In the spirit of handmade holidays, I thought I'd share some of the things we have made for our kids over the past few years. Most of them are super easy and quick to make:

Rubber Band Board. It doesn't get an easier—nails, a piece of wood, and a bunch of rubber bands. May I suggest getting a bit more creative than we did, and painting the wood before banging in the nails? Your kids will get all kinds of artsy with this.

The ubiquitous puppet show theater. I made this about four years ago and the girls still play with it. I totally winged this, as I have no sewing abilities whatsoever, and it has still not fallen apart. A tension rod, a couple of dowels, and bunch of fabric. Voila!

Amigurumi Star Wars figures—an easy home run. The crocheted characters went pretty quickly, but this project has the added tasks of sewing the hair and clothes for them. Well worth it.

We have given personalized plate/mug sets to many kids for many occasions. I found a box of plain white plates/mug sets at a thrift store and painted them to the child's preference, but the picture above shows the ones the girls painted themselves. You could gift a set that you have painted especially for someone, or give them some plain tableware and a set of special paint to go with it, as a u-paint-it kit. (note: the paint is non-toxic, permanent, and dishwasher safe.)

How about home-made snuggies for all your kids' favorite stuffed animals? I made these for a birthday gift last year and they were a hit. As an added bonus, you will crack up every time you see them.

Hope you can take a few ideas away from this post. Happy making!

I'll gladly answer any questions you have about any of these projects. Just leave it in the comments. 


  1. Hi Amy, I hope all of you had a really good Thanksgiving. I love all of the gifts you've made over the years. Those star war dolls are too cute. We've also made many editions of the puppet theater throughout the years. Puppets tell the best stories. I really really like your painted plates. As a child I always wanted to paint my own set of plates and cups. I thought that would be so cool and yours are so pretty and cool. Crafting has begun in earnest over here. I love this time of year. Truly. Be well friend.

  2. Dearest sweet Amy, these are wonderful handmade projects for the holidays. :) I especially love that ubiquitous puppet show theater!! Oh and i think you sewing looks good. I hope your thanksgiving was full to the brim. Happy sweet first sunday of Advent! Love to you!

  3. I can just picture your girls playing with these imaginative toy gifts! Hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving and I think the fair was this weekend too?

  4. I like the rubber band board, and natural wood color would be my choice too:).
    I also winged a puppet show theater years ago, but my kids played with it only once. Still, it's been in use all along, only not as it was intended: my younger boy hung it from his bunk bed, and turned it into his secret indoor hideout.

  5. I am loving this list! I forgot about the rubber band board completely! Hmm. I know we have wood floating around this house somewhere. I hope you and yours had a great Thanksgiving! xo Ang

  6. Excellent ideas and I'm going to steal a few for this year. And I DO crack up every time I look at the stuffed animal snuggies!

  7. What great ideas - the simple ones are the best (I particularly like the rubber band board ) I so want to learn how to do Amigurumi but 3d crochet makes my head hurt! Love the snuggies....what do think of one for Snap? That would really be a laugh - Take care and keep having fun Love Em xx

  8. fun ideas amy.
    i really need to pin down what i will be making.
    my last craft fair of the season in this weekend, then it's time to bring on the handmade exciting!
    those snuggis are Too Funny!

  9. every idea is awesome. I LOVE the puppet theater! I am so doing that. Although getting it done in time for Hanukkah may not be in the cards.
    ps. I was in chile feb-june 1996. I sent you an email but not sure it went to you...I'm going to look through my pics to see if you were in any of them!

  10. Oh I love those plates! I thought that maybe the kiddos were done with their holiday gift crafting, but that kind of looks like must. Thanks for sharing the paint link.

  11. Oh, I love it! Thanks for the rubber band board reminder!