Even if you think you are not crafty, artistic or you can barely sew; you can still easily make lovely creative gifts that will be well received with just a little planning and effort. Your gift will be treasured since you cared enough to make it yourself.
1. Personalized coloring books and crayons
It is easy to create your own coloring book. You can either draw designs yourself or print online coloring pages. Add a cardstock front and back cover. On the front cover print a coloring picture and personalize it with their name. There are many specialized alphabet coloring page sets or cartoon characters or tons of other themes available online.
Get it bound
You can get the whole thing comb-bound for about a dollar or two at a local copy shop; or at Kinko’s. If you live in a college town, they usually have a small printing ship that will bind things inexpensively. Another place to check is with the local newspaper office.
Don’t forget the crayons
Be sure to include a nice big box of Crayola crayons; generic and off brand crayons just do not color well.
Check out this article that I wrote on The Top 3 Websites to Print Free Coloring Book Pages www.associatedcontent.com/article/5416322/the_top_3_websites_to_print_free_coloring.html. There are literally thousands of pages on these sites; that you can use to make your own creative gift coloring book.
2. Patchwork quilt
A patchwork quilt is definitely a creative gift. Who doesn’t cherish a quilt made for them when they were a child? You can sew a quilt top from simple 4″ or 6″ squares; either pick two complementary colors, school colors or sport team colors. Or you can pick one themed fabric (like Care Bears or Scooby Doo) and one complementary solid color. A third option is to buy a preprinted panel.
Layer the completed quilt top, then batting and then the backing fabric (make sure the backing fabric is facing down and the quilt top is facing up). You can either tie the quilt with yarn or embroidery floss to hold the layers together. The other alternative would be to quilt it on the sewing machine. Finally, bind the edges and you are done. You have made a creative gift that will be cherished for a lifetime.
3. Dress up costume chest
Another creative gift idea is to make a dress up costume chest for them to play pretend. Kids love to dress up as princesses or pirates or cops and lots of other things. Encouraging imagination is important.
Getting it together
Find a nice box, preferably with a lid. Decorate the box with paints and stickers. Be sure that it is a sturdy box, as it is sure to get lots of use. If you want it to be an especially special creative gift, line the box with velvet or satin fabric to make it luxurious.
Gather all the goodies
Once you have the box ready you can start gathering things to go in it. Some things you might want to include are fancy clothes, jewelry, feather boas, cowboy hat, police badge, sunglasses and tiaras. Basically thing of things kids like to pretend to be and look for clothes and props to further their pretending. You can often find lots of share we say, interesting clothes that would be fun for dress up at your local thrift store, Goodwill or Salvation Army. While there also look for fake jewelry, belts, feather boas, hats and other goodies. Don’t forget to look for Halloween costumes. Be sure that you toss everything you get into the washer first.
Here is a link to an article I wrote about making a costume chest: Doctor, Lawyer, Indian Chief, Princess, Pirate, Sneaky Thief — Playtime Fun is Easy with Your Own Costume Chest www.associatedcontent.com/article/1128557/doctor_lawyer_indian_chief_princess.html. A costume chest is a creative gift that will encourage children’s imagination and provide hours of play pretending to be various people and characters.
4. Personalized memory game
Making your own personalized memory game is an extremely creative gift. You will need twenty cards with ten pairs of pictures. You can use photographs of their family, friends, pets, etc.
Some ideas of photographs could be: Mommy, Daddy, Granma, Mawmaw, Grandma,
Grandpa, Pawpaw, Brother, Sister, Favorite Toys, Pets, and House.
For each picture, you need two exact copies. Crop (trim) each picture to a 3.5″ square. Cut 20 pieces of cardstock to 4″ square; use only one color of cardstock for all pieces. Glue each picture onto a piece of cardstock, centering it so that there is a ¼” border all around the picture. For extra durability, cover both sides of each card with clear contact paper. You want your creative gift to last for a long time.
You can package this in a small box or even a decorated envelope. Check the Dollar Store for a nice gift box or plastic container to store your creative gift in. Remember that presentation is so important in making your creative gift one that will wow them.
5. Personalized picture board books
The last creative gift idea I have for you is to make a personalized board book. You can use pictures of the child, their favorite toys, pets, teddy bear, parents, siblings, and grandparents.
Making the book
The base of the pages will be chipboard. Chipboard is available in craft stores. It comes in a natural brownish color; so you might want to paint it or glue cardstock or pattern scrapbook paper to the pages. Glue your photos on the pages.
When you get the pages the way you like them, if you cover them with clear contact paper your book will be able to be wiped off with a damp cloth. After you have all your pages finished, including front and back covers; you need to bind it. You could use a craft drill to drill holes in all the pages and use binder rings to keep them together. Or you could take it to someplace like Kinko’s and have it bound there. This will be a creative gift that will get lots of use.
Putting thought into a creative gift
The difference between a regular gift and a creative gift is more than just the price. The creative gift shows that you cared enough to put forth some effort and care into making a nicely constructed creative gift. However, a creative gift does require more thought than buying the latest toy fad from the store.