Friday, December 7, 2012

Handmade Christmas Gifts

Anyone who knows me at all understands the depth of my kraft inkompetence. It's laughable, actually, how ridiculously untalented I am in all things crafty. I have tried and failed at many crafty endeavors, in no small part because of my incredible impatience and deep-seeded need for instant gratification.

So it was obvious to me that I should totally hand-make some of our Christmas gifts this year.

I'll give you a minute to pull yourself together.

I can't post all of my plans because some of them are for people who read this crap. That's not to say I'll actually end up giving those people the gifts I attempt to make, as they may well be colossal failures (the gifts, not the people). But I can talk about some of the things I'm making for the kids, which also may or may not fail spectacularly (again, the gifts; not the kids).

For Bear:

Magnetic paper dolls

I found the idea for this on Pinterest and decided to adapt it for my kids. I wanted something we could keep in the car for them to play with.

Bear is super into The Hunger Games, but I guess licensing has been pretty restricted and I couldn't find any sticker or coloring books to work with. Luckily I found these cute paper dolls on Etsy and they're perfect!

Bear's Hunger Games magnetic paper dolls

The additional costumes for Gale, Katniss, and Peeta

For Bug:

Magnetic cars and animals

For Bug's version of the magnet board I bought a sticker book from Michael's. The book came with several pages of "scenes" to play on, so I ripped one out and stuck magnets on the back of it, too. I used different magnets on Bug's figures than I did on everything else and they don't stick quite as nicely, though I can tip it up and they don't fall off. So...good enough. Lesson learned.

Pardon the glare. I am a truly terrible photographer.

Felt board

I love felt boards, especially for itty-bitties. At first I tried stapling my piece of felt to a piece of cardboard and putting it in an 8X10 frame, but the stapled showed and the frame had sharp corners and it was basically a huge failure. So I pulled it apart and used craft glue to attach the felt to a canvas board and it worked much better.

I also used my huge box of cookie cutters to make shapes for Bug to play with. Cute, right?

The felt board and some of the shapes I made for Bug
                The inside of the bag I ACTUALLY SEWED BY HAND for Bug to store his felt shapes in. I glued a plastic bag inside so the pieces wouldn't stick.

I still have to attach some Velcro to the bag flap so it will close, but it's not bad for a terrible crafter!
I like these gifts because we can update the figures as the kids' interests change. As Bug gets older I can add smaller pieces or things with smaller magnets, like magnetic fridge letters. Bear is getting a tin of magnetic poetry for Christmas that she can use on her board, too.

The cutting took quite a bit of time, but I started working on it in September and just did a little at a time. I definitely recommend planning ahead for these projects.

I haven't made the covers for the magnet boards yet, but my mother-in-law is going to help me with that in the next few weeks. I have all the materials; I just have to physically make them. Instead of "paper dolls," I'm going to put their names on their covers.

Are you doing anything hand made for anyone this year?


  1. You did a great job with the magnetic paper dolls! Thank you so much for linking to my shop!

  2. Thanks! Your paper dolls were absolutely perfect. :)