One of our Christmas traditions is that our kids each pick a name of one of their brothers or sisters and then they make or buy them gifts. We really encourage handmade gifts and we don’t allow them to spend more than $5 on the gift if they buy it.
Every year the kids make simple and thoughtful handmade gifts that their siblings love. We have found that the keys to making it a really good gift are: creativity, individual, and surprise. Those gifts that were really aimed at the individual personality of the sibling, done in a creative way and were not expected, have always been a big hit.
Here are some of the most popular Handmade Gifts my kids have given:
- Simple Fleece Blanket – (Even our cute dog loves these so much every time we tried to take a picture she curled up on it.) Of all the gifts my kids have made, the absolute most popular was the simple fleece blankets that my kids made for each other. They are also the easiest gifts they have made for each other.
They made the fleece blankets 5 years ago and they all made one for their person. The surprise was that no one knew who had them and it was cute to see them trying to guess from the fleece pattern.
They are made from 2 yards of fleece material and then the kids cut along the edges to make a fringe border. That was it. It took them about 1/2 hour (longer for the younger ones) to cut the edges.
The blankets are perfect lap blankets and very soft. The kids still have them and they are still used regularly and have a place of honor on their beds.
- Paper Airplane Kit – The boys are always harder to make for but 3 years ago, my daughter really impressed when she made a paper airplane kit for her brother. Again, this was very simple.
She found a binder and asked if she could have it. She did a simple google search for “Paper Airplane Patterns” and printed out about 15 of the best ones. She put them and a stack of blank printer paper into the binder and then made a cover for the binder with her brother’s name and a picture of a fighter jet.
It was a very unexpected gift but one that fir the personality of her 11 year old brother and was a big hit.
- Homemade Cookies, Brownies, and Fudge – Homemade baked goods never disappoint with my kids and they are often made as gifts for the gift exchange. The kids have become quite good bakers and it is fun to see them getting excited about how much their brother or sister will like them!
- Hand Made Scarves and Hats – We do a lot of skiing and playing in the snow so warm, soft knitted hats and scarves are very practical and fun. They take a little more time but they are easy to personalize and always appreciated.
There are several ways to make hats and scarves but the most popular for my kids is to use these knitting looms. My oldest daughter has also started making beautiful scarves by hand knitting. She made a video to show how she makes them in under 20 minutes. You can see the video here.
These are just a couple of examples of some of the things my kids have made. I love to see them putting time and thought into making gifts for each other.