5 Gifts Any Kid Can Make

When the holidays or special events like birthdays come around, there are gifts that need to be given. If you have kids, you have two choices. You can buy a commercial gift for them to give or you can have them make one. The home made gift usually has the biggest impact on the gift receiver and is often the best choice. But, what should you make?

I am here to help with a few suggestions that you can consider. Enjoy.

A kid making art.

1. Potted Plant

Sure, a plant is not all that exciting but what if you gave it a custom touch.

First, get a clay or ceramic planter and a collection of paints. Then, find a nice “cleanable” place to work and let your child at it. Allow them to create a custom piece of art geared toward the recipient and then allow it to dry completely.

Once dry, add a little potting soil and the plant or flower of your choice. Wala, a custom gift.

2. Garden Stepping Stones

If the intended recipient has a garden, a stepping stone might be a great gift that is both easy and fun to make Even better, it is pretty cheap as well.

Just take a basic concrete garden stepping stone and paint it into a custom work of art. For best results, thin down the paint with water so that it penetrates the stone. That will give you the color while still retaining the non slip texture on the surface.

This is an easy project for any kid. If you have young kids, it might be best to give the entire stone a base coat and then allow them to add their touches. With older kids, let them do the whole thing.

3. Generic Card

Don’t underestimate the value of a simple DIY card from a kid. Make it special though by giving your child all of the tools that they can use.

Go beyond just the construction paper and the markers. Add to that glitter, pipe cleaners, googly eyes, etc. Raid your craft room drawers and really give them some tools to create with.

4. Popsicle Stick Picture Frames

This is a great little gift idea that I found here. You can go a lot of different ways with this gift idea. Paint all of the popsicle sticks the same or make each one individual. Once done, you simply glue them together with sticks on the back providing support. You then glue or pin a picture to it and you have a custom piece of art.

Like all of the crafts above, this idea allows your child to really put themselves into the project. Whoever receives it should love it.

5. Movie Night Basket

While not an actual craft, this can provide something for the not so crafty to do. Simply get a basket and allow your child to pick out a few treats. Let them browse the selection of candy and pick whatever they want to add to the basket. It gives them some involvement and ownership of the gift while providing the receiver something they will actually use. Add a movie or a movie gift card as your contribution.

7 Great Homemade Gift Ideas

Christmas gifts

It is almost the Christmas season and with it comes gifts, lots of expensive gifts to buy. If you are looking to save a little money this year and add some personal touches to your giving, here are some great ideas. Some simple and inexpensive gifts for you to consider.

Baked Goods

Everyone loves baked treats this time of year. Cookies, muffins, artisan bread, cakes, etc, etc. Whatever your specialty is, put it to the pan. If you are not a baker, now might be the time to learn. If you can follow directions, you can bake, all it really is is going step by step. Just be accurate and follow directions and you might be surprised at what you create.

If you want to kick things up a notch and have kids, let them decorate your treats. You do the baking and the base icing and then give them liberty to add their own touches with icing, sprinkles and what have you .

When yo are done, place your treats in tins, baskets or just colored cellophane and hand them out. Easy, personal and cheap.

Home Made Ornaments

Why not give a gift that can be seen for years. This is a particularly good idea to give to grandparents when made by children. You can use your creativity when making a home made ornament. Use anything from pine cones to clothes pins to small picture frames that capture a special memory.

Another good base for an ornament is salt dough. Just combine a cup of salt with four cups of flour and add 1.5 cups of water. Knead it well and then roll it out. Then simply cut it into the shape you want and bake it in the oven at 300 degrees for about 50 to 60 minutes. Once cool, you can decorate them as you please and pass them out.

Gift Baskets

Instead of buying pre-packaged gift baskets, make your own and save. Make baskets a half dozen at a time and split ingredients bought in bulk between them. This could be seasonal candy, ale or any number of holiday treats that you can buy inexpensively. Use some colored cellophane to seal everything up when your done and add a few ribbons or bows to kick it up a notch.

Personalized Wooden Boxes

A wooden box? Yes, these can be bought unfinished very cheaply. Then they can easily and cheaply be personalized with some stencils, a wood burning kit and a little wood stain.

People will love them because they can be used for anything from holding spare change to storing pictures.

Cocoa Sets

Take a few plain coffee cups and some paint pens and some basic cocoa mix and you have a great gift. Just decorate the cups as you wish and then break up the cocoa mix into single servings by placing it in plastic wrap squares tied with a bow.

These make great gifts for close relatives or for people that you just want to give a little something to that you otherwise might not have bought for.

Custom Cutting Boards

Just like with the boxes, you can turn something cheap and inexpensive into a nice gift with just some stencils and a wood burning kit. Buy inexpensive wood cutting boards and stencil a design or a name on them. Follow up with the wood burning kit and you have a permanent design that will make this inexpensive gift stand out.

Seasonal Nuts

I love those mixes of in shell nuts that come out around the holidays but never can seem to find them at most stores. Hint: The big box stores usually sell them in bulk. Purchase a big bag of them and then some tins or jars to separate them out into. Couple that with a cheap nutcracker and you have a nice little gift which happens to be a treat that mot many buy for themselves.

Crafting Can Be As Simple As….

Crafting does not have to be complicated. You do not have to have a room full of craft supplies. Crafting can be made simple for you and your children and still be fun. Here are a few ways to craft easily without skimping on the fun.

Sidewalk Chalk

This should be a childhood staple. Simply take out a ox of sidewalk chalk and head to the front yard. Decorate the sidewalk or the driveway. A box of sidewalk chalk is just a few dollars and can provide hours of funs. Be sure to photograph your child’s work when they are done so you can remember it. It won’t last long.

Finger Paint

All that you need s a little paint and a surface to apply it. Old cardboard boxes make a good backing. Take the kids outside to make cleanup even easier. It is a great way to let your children craft, have fun and get messy. Be sure to put them in old clothes so they do not ruin anything. If it is a warm day, cap the event off by washing the kids off with the garden hose.

Construction Paper Art

Lots of things that you can do with construction paper. Try cutting it into little pieces and breaking out the Elmer’s glue. Let your kids glue it to paper plates or boxes to make their own works of art.

Why Craft With Your Kids?

Crafting is perhaps one of the best activities that you can do with your children. It has so many benefits that you might now of and that you might not think about. Here are just a few of the many benefits.

Encourages Creativity

Probably the chief benefit to crafting is encouraging creativity. Kids are naturally creative and adventurous but sometimes they need an outlet for it. Crafting gives them that outlet. The dividends of encouraging their creativity will be apparent over the years. Creative kids will do better in school, will be more outgoing and will generally be happier.

Energy Outlet

Let’s face it, kids have a lot of energy. You need to focus that energy so that your kids do not find a not so good outlet. The idea of messy paints and paper can seem like a big hassle but it beats that damage that a hyped up kid can do with a crayon and a living room wall. Direct the energy into something fun that they can be proud of.

Bonding Experience

Crafting with your kids can also be a bonding experience. You need to do things together as a family and crafting is a fun and rather inexpensive source of family bonding.The memories will last for years to come both for you and your child.

As you can see, there are so many reasons to craft with your children. These are just a few of them. So, grab some crayons, markers or paint and get started.

What Could You Do With $500?

So what cold you do with $500 in craft money. Would you buy a new sewing machine, a few Cricut cartridges, a bunch of art supplies and paints? In other words, how would you start your art studio if you had to start over. For the sake of this exercise, I am going to go over what I would buy if I had a loan for $500 from Loan Monkey and needed to spend it on art supplies.

Let’s Spend That $500

First, I would take about $100 and buy a proper table and chair. Many people prefer desks but I like a big table where I can lay out everything that I need with no limitations. Desks are just too small. You can get a nice 8 foot folding table for about $60 at places like Sam’s Club. Then I would take the other $40 and get a nice rolling chair from Staples or Office Depot, they are always on sale. So now, I have a nice work station and still have $400 to spend. The $500 loan minus $100.

Next, I would want to add some lighting and atmosphere to my studio. A good Halogen work lamp and some posters, paintings or prints to make the room feel more creative. Spend about $100 on stuff like this and then I would still have about $300 left to spend form the original $500.

Finally, I would buy some art supplies like construction paper, craft paper, ribbons, paints, brushes, canvases and more. I can easily spend the remaining money of my $500 loan on this stuff but this is the basis of all the crafts to come so why not. I would want to have everything that I needed to make just about any art project that I or my daughters wanted to make. Think about all the projects that you have done in the past and what you needed. Paint pens, regular paint, assorted brushes, scissors, stamps, etc, etc, etc. The list goes on and on, bring a big car or SUV to the store.

In Conclusion

You noticed I did not buy any fancy sewing machines or cutters. Yes, I would love something like that but for $500 you are not going to stock an art studio with supplies, the basics and machines like those. Go with the basics first and build from there, preferably after you have a lot of crafts under your belt. This will help you figure out what you really need.

So, what about you, what would you buy for your studio if you had to set it up for just $500 in cash? Let us know in the comments below.

Quick Craft Ideas For Kids

Here are some great things that you can do for kids to give them some quality crafting time. 

Chalkboard Paint Wall
A little chalkboard paint on a wall will allow you to let your kids draw freely and express themselves. When it is all over, simply wipe the wall down with a wet towel and they can start again. 
Tip: Be careful with colored chalks on carpet. 
Tip 2: Don’t want the mess in the house, paint a piece of plywood with chalkboard paint and screw it to the fence outside.

Milk Carton Houses
Cover them with construction paper and let the kids create their own house. Cut a hole for the door and perhaps use part of a paper towel tube for a chimney. The only limit is your imagination.

Paper Towel Tube Rockets
Take a paper towel tube and paint it or cover it with construction paper. Use some clothes pin for fins and maybe some wadded up ribbon for smoke coming out of the rocket. 

More Ideas
When it comes to crafting, the sky is the limit. In addition to organized crafts, consider just having various supplies on hand such as paper towel tubes, shoe boxes, Kleenex boxes, markers, construction paper, etc, etc. You can then just let your kids imagination run wild. Check out other crafting websites for more kid ideas. 

Simple Holiday Craft Ideas

It is the Holiday season and your kids are itching to get to crafting. Whether it be Thanksgiving, Christmas or what have you. Here are some of the easiest crafts that you can do with your small children.

The Simple Hand Turkey

It could not be an easier project and it is one that we have all done, the Hand Turkey. Simply have your child place their hand on a piece of construction paper and trace around it with a pen. They can then decorate it as a turkey. Draw legs, a bike a waddle, etc. Let them use their creativity to make it super unique. The greatest thing is that you probably have everything that you need for this project in your home. You just need paper and some markers.

Get Creative With Candy Canes

Candy canes can become a number of things. They can be the ears on a reindeer ornament, they can be the arms of a snowman, they can be the tail of a mouse or cot or a dog, glue two together to make a heart, etc, etc. All it takes is some creativity and some craft paper and glue. Add a metal ornament hanger and you have a custom ornament that your kids will love seeing on the tree.

Decorate Plain Ornament

Get some cheap plastic ball ornaments, some glue, glitter and perhaps some paint pens. Let your kids make a pattern with the glue and sprinkle glitter on the balls and then draw whatever they like on them with paint pens. It will give them a fun project that you can remember for years to come. Be sure to write the year and the kids initials on them so that you can remember the moment.
Another great idea for ball ornaments is to make handprints on them. Let your kiddo place their hand on paint and then wrap it around the ball ornament. You then have a nice custom ornament that is uniquely your child’s. Leave it as is or decorate the fingers as people or snowmen.

Fun With Toilet Paper Rolls

Make all kinds of holiday items with paper rolls. Paint them white and decorate them as snowmen. Draw buttons on them or glue real buttons on them. Add some ribbon and anything else you think might make your snowman a snowman. Finish it off with a ribbon on the top to hang your child’s work of art from the tree.
The same concept above can be used to make just about anything that you like. Make a Santa, some angels, etc, etc. The possibilities are limitless.

Popsicle Stick Trees

Simply paint some popsicle sticks and glue them into a triangle to make a Christmas tree. Add an additional stick as the stem and you have your base ornament. Now decorate the tree with anything that you can find. Glitter, paint, ribbon, whatever your kiddo likes. Hopefully you have a box of miscellaneous items (buttons, beads, ribbon, charms) that you can use to decorate. If not, today is a good time to start making one.

These are just a few simple ideas that you might try to liven up the Holiday season. There are literally hundreds of different things that you can do. In addition, you could always just throw a bunch of materials on the table and let your kids go to town making whatever they like that is Holiday themed. You might be surprised by the imagination they show.

Start A Craft Business With A Small Loan

Looking to start a small crafting business like me? Are you short of funds to do so? No problem, you can actually start a small business very easily with a small loan and a pre-order. Here is what I mean.

First, you need to determine your crating specialty. After that, you need to come up with a small sample using whatever means necessary. Then you can list your product for sale on websites like Fiverr, a sales marketplace. Be specific about what you offer and set a good price where you can make money. Set your time of delivery such that you will have time to gather supplies and still deliver the product on time

Next, you need to make a list of the supplies that you need and where you can get them quickly, locally. When you have this list, you will be able to spring into action when you get your first order.

When you do get your first order, you can get a quick cash loan from a local or online loan provider. This type of loan can get you up to $1000 as soon as the next business day. Wait until you get your first order to take out the loan though, so you can pay it back quickly. Once you have your money, you can simply go buy all of the supplies that you need that same day and get to work.

Once you have all of the supplies and equipment that you need, complete the order and ship it off. Take the money that you make from the order and pay back your cash loan and you are now in business. You will probably not make money on your first order but you will now have all of the tools that you need to carry on with your business and make money int he future. Be sure to deliver your order on time and to the best of your ability. Small businesses like craft ones depend on good reviews to attract new traffic.

So you see, it is still possible to start a small business like crafting with limited capital. Here are some extra tips to get your business going strong. Promotion and advertising is the key and here are some of the best places to go.

Pinterest: You absolutely must open up a pinterest account and take pictures of your crafts. The more creative and adventurous the better. People will see your pictures when they do searches and share it with others. You can then send them to your website with links from the photos. Don’t have a website? No problem.

Check out WordPress. Just do a quick search. There you can get a free, yes free website. You will have a subdomain of the wordpress website, not your own URL but that doesn’t matter. Putting together the website is super easy.

An alternative to making a WordPress website is Facebook. You should do Facebook anyway so even if you make a website, you need a facebook page. Just like with pinterest, people will see your crafts and share them with friends. This is how you go viral.

Besides the above, you should always be looking at places to post pictures of your products. Stay active on the internet and you will stay active in business.

Quick Kid Craft Ideas

Looking for some quick craft ideas to do with your kids? Here are a few good ones. I am going to give you just the basics and you can come up with the rest. Don’t worry, they are not that hard.

  1. Paper Pinwheels
    Kids just love pinwheels. They are simple to make, interactive and they can use their creativity to make theirs unique. All that you need to make them is a pencil, some scissors, crafting paper, a straw and a pushpin.
    To make them, you just need to cut lines down the paper from corner to corner. Then make four cuts in the paper and fold back and pin the paper down.
    Learn more here.
  2. Tissue Paper Flowers
    Another very easy craft that kids will like. To make them, you just need tissue paper of varying colors, a button per flower and a pipe cleaner per flower. Simply cut two circles out of tissue paper and then cut two more slightly smaller circles of tissue paper. Vary the color for creativity. Now stack the paper with the large circles on the bottom. Insert the pipe cleaner into the button and then push it through the centers of the tissue. Fold the tissue up and you have a flower. Simple as that.
  3. Cork Sail Boats
    Kids just plain love water and a toy boat is one of the most things to play with. Even better, a boat that they can make themselves. All that you need are some corks, paint, a hot glue gun, paper and a toothpick. Simply paint your corks, let them dry and then glue three of them together. Now take your paper and cut it into a triangle. Insert the toothpick into the paper and then the center cork and you have a sail boat. Easy as could be and fun. Let your kids decorate the paper sail before inserting it.
  4. Popsicle Stick Puppets
    How about an impromptu puppet show.Great, but first we need to make the puppets. Just get some glue, craft paper, scissors and popsicle sticks. Cut the paper into various shapes and glue it to the popsicle sticks. Circles are easiest. EG, make a cat with one large circle and two small circles for ears. Color the paper to personalize your puppets.

Crafting For Money

Most of the time I craft for fun and I am sure that is what most of you do as well. From time to time though, I like to make a little money with my crafts. Money is not necessarily a bad thing, I am sure that you will agree. Here are a few crafts that are fun to make and that you can sell for a profit online. If you need money desperately but can’t craft, go here. If you can craft, let’s get started.

Rope Bowls

This is a super easy craft that you can make and one that looks is much fancier than it is hard to do. You simply get a thick section of rope, a glue gun and a bowl for shaping. Heat up your glue gun and then glue the ends of the rope to prevent unraveling. Next, coil the rope into a disc shape, gluing it as you go. Finally, simply place the coiled rope over a bowl for shaping and allow the glue to completely cool down. Experiment with different types of rope and bowl shapes.

Holiday Coasters

Got a talent for painting, why not make some Holiday coasters. You can do them for any holiday  but the most popular are of course Halloween and Christmas. But plain white coasters from Amazon for super cheap and with a little time and paint, you can have works of art. Bundle them in four packs to sell them. You can also take orders for personalized ones with

Friendship Bracelet

These used to be really big but people still buy them. All it takes is some nice string or yarn, some beads or other trinkets and a bit of time. Once you get the hang of it you can knock out a ton of these in no time. Be creative and try to come up with some creative designs.

Mason Jar Candle Holders

This is a super simple craft that is cheap to make, allowing you to also sell it cheap and still make a profit. All that you need is some mason jars, paint, decoratively shaped stickers and some ribbon or string. Simply apply your decorative sticker on the jar and them paint the jar. After the paint has dried, you can peel off the sticker and you will be left with a decorative shape that also serves as a window for light to get our of the candle holder. Finally, tie a ribbon or bow around the top of the page and you are all set.

Custom Stemware

If you can paint, you can make custom stemware for any occasion. All that you need is paint, a few brushes and some inexpensive stemware. Look on eBay or local restaurant supply stores for good deals. Then simply paint some patterns or designs on the stemware and let it dry. Just like with the coasters above, you can also take custom orders for particular designs or maybe monograms. This makes for a great wedding craft FYI and can be made with the wedding date.

And More

There are literally dozens of things that you can make and sell. If you want some inspiration, just take a walk through a trade show or consignment store. In just minutes, you will probably see some things that you can make just as well if not better.