Warning: If you are one of my relatives and don’t want to know what some of your Christmas gifts are, don’t read this post. Read it in 10 days!
I’m no Martha Stewart, but I do try. I find that letting my creative side come out, whether it’s through making handbags or greeting cards or trying to arrange flowers, makes me happy. I also think that giving kids a creative outlet in a semi-controlled environment is a good thing. I was at a kids’ function (I’m being purposefully vague here as to not hurt anyone’s feelings) not long ago where the kids were to make scrapbook pages. They were given lots of paper, scissors, markers, photos – all the usual scrapbooky stuff. I must say here that with all the crafty endeavors I have, scrapbooking is not one of them. Anyhow, back to the kids’ scrapbooking…some of the parents were obviously very into scrapbooking and were getting upset with the kids when they weren’t following conventional scrapbooking methods of centering pictures and cutting straight lines and such. I was truly shocked at how Type A some of these folks were being with the kids. I was helping my son out by handing him the tape and glue sticks. I figured he had an idea of how he wanted his pages to look so why should I impose on that. They’re his pages.
I don’t mean to sound like I’m a better parent or anything because I let my kid do what he wanted. I just think it’s great to see what comes out of the minds of my little ones. A child’s mind is open and has no concept of conventional art. Why not let them go nuts while they still want to?!
But I digress…
This Christmas has been a crafty one in my house. More crafty than in years past. And it’s been fun. Here’s what we’ve been up to:
Printable Calendars – I found some cool shops on Etsy that offer PDF files of calendars that you print out yourself. I bought three different calendars all for around $5 each, the Etsy sellers emailed me the files, and I printed them out multiple times as gifts for various people. One of them had a blank top half on each month on which I let the kids draw and color on. I think grandmas and aunts will love having original art by the kids.
Painted Picture Frames – I went to Michael’s and bought a couple unfinished wooden frames for about $3 each and had the kids paint all over them however they wanted. My boy painted his camouflage for his grandpa. Grandpa will love it!
Wooden Ornaments – Again, at Michael’s I bought a bunch of unfinished wood ornaments that are also little picture frames. I had each kiddie paint five of them and then printed out pictures of them to put in.
Photo Envelopes – I’ve been a bit lax about printing out family pictures and sending out to the relatives throughout the year. So when I got on Shutterfly and ordered 300 prints, yes 300, I figured I needed a nice way to present them to everyone. I found an Amy Butler card and envelope pattern and used it to make a cute photo holder. A little cardstock, a little cutting, a little gluing, a little decorating by the kids, and done.
Greeting Cards – My mom was telling me a couple months ago that she has had a hard time finding sets of cards to put into her “stash.” She has always kept a drawer full of greeting cards so that when someone’s birthday or anniversary rolls around, all she has to do is open the drawer and mail it out. Smart. I’ve been saving fortunes from fortune cookies for I don’t know how long. A lightbulb went off. Make greeting cards with all the fortunes. So I scanned in a couple dozen fortunes and placed them each on a Pages/Word document, printed them on cardstock, cut them out, and folded them. I bought coordinating cardstock and envelopes to make them a little more professional. Greeting card set, check.
Phew. I’m worn out. None of these were actually very hard. It takes a little time and preparation, but I think worth it.
Merry Crafty Christmas!