It’s the Christmas season again, meaning that your kids are probably facing a common dilemma: They want to give gifts, yet they simply don’t have a lot of money to buy stuff for others. So what’s a financially-savvy mom or dad to do? Find some gifts your kids can make for cheap, of course! Here are three favorites you can try without completely draining what your children have saved up.
Glitter Christmas Ornaments
For this money-friendly Christmas present, your child will need to buy some clear ornaments, regular glue, super-fine glitter and your secret ingredient, liquid floor wax (Mop & Glow works great). The glue, glitter and floor wax are all available at dollar stores. You can find the ornaments in the craft section of most department stores, or you can hit up a craft store like Joann’s or Michael’s. Close to the Christmas season, you usually can find a set of six for $3 to $6. Plastic is usually best instead of glass, since accidents do happen.
To make an ornament, gently remove the top of the ornament. Pour in a small amount of the floor wax, just enough to coat the entire inside of the bulb. Then squeeze in a little glue and swish it around until it’s well mixed—if you need to, you can cover the end with a wad of tissue and give it a good shake. Drain out the excess and pour in your glitter. Rotate the bulb so that the glitter distributes around the inside, tilting it gradually downward so the glitter gets close to the top. Let the bulb dry, replace the top, and you’re all set. You can embellish the ornaments any way you like and present them in a nice bag or small box. Give individually to others, or present them as a set.
Handprint Christmas Tree
This one is pretty simple. Grab some high-quality paper and craft paint and let your child make a Christmas tree out of handprints. This one is a keeper because, similar to any handprint craft, it notes how big your child was for the year, offering some sentimentality. Once your done, put the tree in a nice frame. Alternately, you can start out with a basic canvas for a more textured or 3-dimensional approach. You also can leave the tree plain or add “ornaments” of foam, stickers, fuzzy balls or similar items.
For this craft, you’ll need a jar with a lid—plastic or glass is fine, recycled is perfect, and any size will work. Simply have your child fill the jar with whatever edible goodies he wants to give, such as M&Ms, hot chocolate packets, Hershey kisses, pretzels and peanuts. Wrap some pretty ribbon around the lid and, if desired, curl the ends with some scissors. You also can use things like felt, googly eyes and similar items to turn the jar into a Santa, reindeer, snowman, and so on.