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Handmade gifts for the kids

1233103558_3cfaa56f15_m I always have big plans for hand-made gifts, and truth be told it rarely happens.  This year, of course, will be different.  Right?  And maybe because I finally got wise and bought yarn for those really BIG needles.  No more unfinished projects for this mama! 

I often turn to the Soule Mama blog for inspiration (under the motto that if you're not gonna BE creative you might as well read about others who are), but I know full well the urbanMama community right here in Portland, Oregon (Soule Mama lives in the other Portland) is full of impressive hand crafters who likely are whipping up some impressive gifts for their kids this year. 

I, for one, am knitting scarves for both kids, as well as putting together painting 'kits,' consisting of small pieces of flat wood from my husband's wood shop, a paintbrush, and a few small pots of paint.  What about you?  What kid gifts are you crafting at home this year?  Any great local sources for quality, green, cheap, or unusual materials? 

[Pic courtesy of a crafty soul on Flickr commons.  Thanks!]

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I also look to SouleMama for inspiration - though I am altogether not crafty with sewing or knitting (yet). We are making a bean bag toss for my son with large coffee cans attached to a board. We are putting numbers on each can to act as "points" and each bean bag is made of a different fabric starring his favorite things (cars, dinosaurs, etc.). I turned to Stubby Pencil Studio for WONDERFUL art supplies that are green and the company is local too! Thanks for the great topic!

SouleMama is my hero! I have been following her for years and watching her many children grow. This holiday season, I am trying to go completely handmade. My daughter (age 7), loves to draw pictures of dresses which are usually inspired by a new pair of shoes. I am taking these pictures and attempting to make the dresses. Also, we took turns tracing each others profile using a flashlight in a dark room. I then traced the profiles onto black paper and cut them out. Then, I adhered fabric to 12x12 artists canvas' with watered down glue. When that was dry, I carefully put the profile cutout on top. Finally, I added 2 coats of the glue mixture to the entire picture and allowed to dry. A complimentary ribbon around the canvas edge gave them a nice finished look.

Happy crafting!!

We did handmade gifts by the kid for the family, rather than for the kid. Maybe next year! Although my father in law is going to make a kid size workbench/tool center. If the weather ever clears up and he can get the materials!

I always have ideas, but never the time to follow through...especially with an extra week of xmas break and kids all around! But one year my husband used some scrap wood and cut out the pieces for a birdhouse and my kids nailed it and painted them for friends. We also gave the unfinished kit to a couple of kids who liked to build. This year I was hoping to make a small balance beam for indoor use. I also purchased one of those cardboard playhouses and hope to finish painting it before the big day--it is recyclable and made of recycled materials, too. Ok, I'm off to check out SouleMama for more inspiration!

When my 5 y/o announced a couple of months ago she wanted a doll for Christmas I started doing some research and decided to take on making a Waldorf doll for her. Intially it seemed like alot of work esp. when Christmas sales on my online shop started to pile up, but I found that it has been very rewarding to make a gift like this for her and I have really enjoyed making the clothing and accessories also. I hope that my daughter loves the doll for many years to come.

I got inspired this year and made each of my girls a "scoodie" (a sewn hood and scarf combo) out of fabric I had and this tutorial: http://indietutes.blogspot.com/2007/09/scoodie.html I love that it can be made in a day. For my two year old I used old red jeans to make a gnome-like pointed hood lined with grey fake fur from an old jacket lining. Looks like Little Red Riding Hood got the better of the wolf! For my 6 year old, royal blue corduroy trimmed in plush black fake fur. Now I'm working on a toy s'mores kit out of felt, and plan to wrap it up with some roasting sticks out of dowels. It has been really fun doing these quick and easy projects. Years I've tried quilts or knitting I've felt too much stress trying to get them done in time. Both of my girls have been having fun making things now too (beaded bracelets, paintings, fudge). I'm not supposed to notice that my 6 year old has been making me a copy of "The Night Before Christmas" by hand with her own illustrations!

I made tu-tus for all the little girls I know as well as a dance themed CD. I can't wait for my 2 year lod to open her tu-tu on Christmas! I also make ornaments every year and cookies so all of our friends get homemade items.

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