Monday, March 7, 2011

-Handmade Gifts-

Originally posted 11/17/10

Hello!  As promised, today we will be doing another handmade holiday gift.  Today’s projects are for kids, so get your kids, or go borrow some.  I always look for quick and simple ideas for projects/gifts that my kids can make for the holidays.  I need something to keep them busy and out of my hair, and of course, grandparents love to receive anything that the little dears make;)  Seriously, anything.  Addy also loves to give all of her little friends gifts, and that means we are either taking the dollar store by storm, or making gifts.

The first project is recycled crayons.  I am sure that you, like me, have little crayon chunks everywhere.  My kids manage to break a crayon the first time they use it.  It is as if they turn into little He-Mans the second their little paws touch the things, especially if they are new.  I save the crayons, not because I am a hoarder, but because I know I can make something with them.  So go collect all of your crayon bits and pieces. 
First off, get rid of the wrappers.  We need naked crayons, people.  Break them up into teeny tiny pieces.  You can either do this by hand, or with a sharp knife.  This is done by a grownup, obviously…….
I had my kids put the crayon bits into a mini-donut tray.  You could use any kind of mold or tray that you might have…..mini-muffin, candy tray, etc.  Mix the colors any way you want.  They will stay separate so you don’t have to worry about mixing light with dark. 
Put the tray in a preheated (300 degree) oven.  Don’t walk away because these things melt super fast.  I took mine out after 4 minutes.  Let the tray cool, and pop out the crayons after about 30 minutes.
I strung mine on a ribbon to keep them all together.  See how the colors stay separate?  This makes the crayons really fun to color with because they are swirly and pretty, perfect for little girls.  For younger kids, I would use a mini-muffin tray and fill them pretty full.  This will make the crayons harder to break.
First off, sorry about the glare….I think these would be so cute given as a gift in a pretty little bag with a dollar store coloring book.  Perfect for the little ones to give away as presents.  Plus, it makes me feel super green for recycling something.  I’m like Al Gore.

My next gift idea is perfect for giving to grandparents.  It is a knock-off of an idea that I saw in a catalog that I got in the mail.  I figured it was pointless to order the canvas and paint from a catalog when I could just as easily get the supplies from a craft store for a third of the catalog price.  We used plain white canvases and poster paints….that’s it.  So easy and they look really cool when done.  This requires a ton of supervision, as the paint can get everywhere (trust me on that).  I busted out my old lady tablecloth, put the paint on plastic plates and let the kids go.

Wait, is that a Picasso?  An O’Keefe?  Nope, it’s a Barnes’ original.  Now I realize that this isn’t the best, most creative idea that you’ve ever seen……But it is so easy and super cute.  It is something that even the busiest family can do, and like I said above, any grandparent would be happy to get this.

We had so much fun making this, and I only had 3 or 4 mild panic attacks about paint getting on walls, chairs, tables, etc.  I hope you and your kids try making either of these, and send me pictures!  I would love to see yours!

1 comment:

  1. Hi Courtney, I have a question about the paint you used for this project....what kind of paint is it? I know you said poster paint but I went to a craft store and was totally overwhelmed by the massive selection of paint! Acrylic was one I found but I don't know what that is really...Is there some specific label I can look for? These will be perfect Christmas gifts for the grandparents!
    Thanks for an awesome blog!