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I don’t know about you, but I always have grand intentions of trying to make more of my gifts for Christmas, but by the time November rolls around, our schedules are packed. I am too busy trying to get everything done to truly enjoy the process of crafting a thoughtful gift for those I love. So why not start now? We have two weeks left until school starts, and I am still hearing the occasional, “I’m bored.” This is the perfect time to get creative and put away some gifts for Christmas. Here are a few of the ideas that we have done.
Strawberry Freezer Jam
Who doesn’t love homemade jam? Freezer jam combines the tastiness of homemade and the ease of freezing (instead of canning). I was doubtful that making homemade jam could be easy, but the first year I made it, I was done with the whole process in an hour with all the girls “helping”. You only need four things. A box of sure-jell (we use the pink reduced sugar box–you will still use THREE cups of sugar!), 4 pints of strawberries, sugar and jars (we have actually used spaghetti sauce jars in the past, but I would purchase smaller canning jars if you are giving this as a gift.) The directions are super simple, and the results are amazing!! This would be a great gift for a teacher or neighbor.
At Hobby Lobby, you can buy a set of 3 canvas bags for $9.99 and a set of fabric markers for $4.99 (use a 40% off coupon, and you’ve got an even better deal!) I started off with the idea of letting my kiddos decorate their own bags for library books, but we had so much fun creating their own designs that we decided it would be a fun idea to decorate a bag for Grandma. They each colored a side, and on the bottom they signed their names. The easiest way to set the design is to toss it in the dryer on high heat for 30 minutes. Also, if you have older children (or if you just want to have some fun!), you could definitely decorate these with freezer paper stenciling. We also made a bag that any grandma would love with fabric paint and hand prints. I grabbed a package of printable iron on paper and printed a bible verse and then had the girls cover the bag with their hands. Grandma still uses this bag to carry her Bible to church on Sunday. One trick: to make a splatter background, grab an old toothbrush to spray the paint more evenly.
Felt Stuffed Animals
This project took the most hands on work for me and the most time, but my girls had a blast! We pulled out scrap pieces of felt, fabric and buttons, and my genius, artist hubby sketched out a template for us to use. Don’t worry, just google felt animals and you’ll find tons of free templates you can use for all kinds of animals. After a few hours, my oldest had finished making her own stuffed bird. It was a great way for her to practice basic hand-sewing skills, and I think this would make a super fun gift for her to give to her friends.