Gifts don't have to be store bought for kids to show their love to mom, dad or a sweetheart. With a few craft supplies and a few other items that could be found around the house, gifts can easily be made.
Three projects kids can make- or, depending on skill level, with an adult- are a photo book, bracelets and a small treasures box.
Craft supplies needed include scissors, a writing utensil, clear tape, paper, glue and duct tape.
For this gift item, families will only have to purchase at least two (there are packs of five available for $5) 5x7 canvas panels at a craft store. Copies of two 5x7 photos will also be needed. Duct tape will hold the two panels together, making a book that can stand on a desk.
First, decide if the pictures will need to be horizontal or vertical. Then cut a strip of duct tape just about an inch longer than the height of the image. Place the duct tape on the canvas side's corresponding edge, letting the tape overhang just over an inch on the long end and half an inch on the two short ends.
Then, place the other panel on top, with the "back" side facing each other. Fold the tape over the side, then on top of the second panel. Open the new book and fold in the half inch overhang of tape down.
Next, simply glue the 5x7 photos inside. If preferred, the canvas side (or outside cover) can be decorated with marker so there's no need for paint to dry.
Note: When the book is closed, protect the photos by placing a sheet of tissue paper inside.
For an alternate project, create an actual book by folding a few sheets of printer paper in half, trimming to 5x7 size, then stapling in the crease. The child can then draw pictures or write poems or other messages on the pages, leaving the front and back blank. Instead of gluing the photos inside, glue this book inside the panel cover.
There are quite a few jewelry commercials on television one February begins, but kids usually cannot afford the gems. However, anyone who's done a paint project probably still has something that works as a substitute.
It is that the strip of sample colors from the paint store. (If not, they are free at the paint store.) Simply cut the strip into smaller strips (one quarter of an inch is a good size, but no bigger than half an inch) using a ruler and a marker to draw guidelines on the back to make sure the ends are even.
To connect the two ends, line the edges up to size and wind clear tape around them. The weight of the paper used on these strips make them sturdy enough to pull off and on like regular bangles.
Small Treasures Box
The recycling bin is the treasure trove for this project. Kids should look for a small box (possibly even a small cookie or candy box saved from the December holidays) and an egg carton.
If the box laid horizontally does not have a lid, cut an opening. Then, cut the egg carton to fit inside the box. Kids can decorate the box and egg carton as they wish. The egg carton creates a variety of ways small treasures, like jewelry or spare change, can be organized.
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