easy DIY Christmas Gifts to make with kids

We’ve gotten into the habit of letting the kiddo make (at least part of) the gifts he gives to family. Starting when he was just a toddler, we set up easy projects for him and they’re always a hit. If you want to do something with your little ones, there’s still time! Here are a few quick and easy ideas that could be pulled off this weekend:

color-block wooden utensils

One of the first gifts we did were these color-block cooking utensils. We grabbed wooden spoons, rice scoops and salad servers from the 100 and 300 yen shops, taped them off with washi and painted in shades of blue and grey. They were so easy! Afterward, we let him paint with the same palate on a few cheap canvases from IKEA or Flying Tiger and framed those up to give to the grandparents. You don’t even have to wrap these – grab some ribbon while you’re in the 100 yen shop, tie a nice bow and you’re done!

marbled everything

Last year we jumped on board the marbling trend that’s all over Pinterest and dipped everything from mugs and magnets to photo frames and Christmas ornaments. I used cheap nail polish (100 yen shop again) and some old plastic containers with very warm water and was pleased with the result. Definitely set it up to do some test runs before dipping your gifts and try to chose items with a bit of texture – wood and ceramic worked well, but plastic and even glass was too slippery and the polish didn’t adhere well.

For some of his aunts, we also taped out a section of the mug and used alphabet stickers to write their names, then let the kiddo scribble around them with a pen set that works on ceramics. We peeled off the letters, baked to set the marker and then marbled them. Fill the cups with chocolates and they’re even easier to wrap.

We kept some of the magnets, but gave others to teachers and family abroad (where shipping a mug seemed too risky). I also ended up keeping most of the Christmas ornaments, but we also made sets for the grandparents using some of the great wooden decorations we found at IKEA.

handmade bag charms

This year, we went to a jewelry parts shop called Kiwaseisakujo where they have a table set up that you can use to make your accessories right there in the store. We go every so often to make a seasonal zipper pull for the kiddos backpack as part of our one-on-one dates, so he was really excited to use some of fancier items.

His aunts will get these bag charms with each detail lovingly chosen and each ring bent into place by his little hands. He was super excited to pick out the color scheme for each person and is so proud of the end result.

cookies and flavored sugar

Saturday, we’ll make up a few batches of goodies – probably some combination of cookies, rice crispy treats and chocolate bark – for him to pass out as well. Letting a 4-year old decorate the cookies is a great way to free yourself from any (self-imposed) stress about making them look perfect – and even if you decorate them, people will assume your kid helped so any wonkiness just adds to the charm!

You can also grab a bag of white sugar and some citrus fruit or vanilla beans and make jars of flavored sugar to give as gifts – they’re great for the bakers and tea-lovers in your life. These jars are available at the 100 yen shop and kids will love gently stirring the zest into the sugar. This is probably the fastest idea of them all.

Edible goodies aside, what I love about these gifts is that they don’t look too crafty or scream “I was made by a toddler!” so they’re easier for people to incorporate into their daily lives and actually use. For me, that enjoyment and interaction with a gift is what makes it a success.

Do you have a favorite DIY gift to do with kids? Will you give one of these a try? I’d love to hear your thoughts.

Happy holidays,
kuri xx

Leave a Reply