The ‘Eighth Day of Christmas’ is the perfect time to make homemade gifts or cards. There are gifts that nearly every member of the family can help make, and as my 7-yr old granddaughter says, “making things is better than buying them.”
Why make gifts?
Creating something for someone else is so satisfying. While you create, you are thinking of someone else…and you are making a one-of-a-kind gift. You can give a gift that is truly unique PLUS it is like giving a little bit of yourself.
Perhaps you think you’re not particularly ‘crafty.’ I know a lot of people who say that about themselves. But I think I’ve put together a few ideas that are simple enough for beginners. And some don’t require any crafting skills at all!
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1. Chocolate Chip Cookies in a Jar
What’s better than a plate of cookies? A JAR of cookie mix, ready to bake whenever the cookie mood hits! Layer the dry ingredients from a chocolate chip cookie recipe; add a note with baking instructions, and it’s ready to give. Find the recipe and instructions at VeryBestBaking.com.
You can make these ‘Cookies in a Jar’ gifts assembly-line style, with everyone in the family helping to add a different ingredient.
2. Homemade Apple Butter
I don’t know about you, but apple butter makes me think of my grandmother. She made wonderful apple butter and just the smell of it takes me to another place — a good place! I’ve always been sad that I didn’t get her exact recipe, but MoneySavingMom.com has a recipe with instructions and even free printable labels. It’s all done in a crockpot, so how hard can it be?
Family members can print out labels, add fabric and string embellishments, and help peel the apples!
3. No Dishes for a Day
All you have to do for this fun gift is combine patterned paper plates with matching napkins, cups, straws, and plastic silverware. Wrap them up in cellophane and tie a ribbon bow. Add your “No Dishes for a Day” note, and it’s ready to give. You can put together several gifts for friends or neighbors in a short time. They’ll be so appreciated during the busy Christmas season.
4. Make Aromatherapy Rice Bags
This gift does require some sewing, but it is beginner-level sewing. With fabric, rice, and scented oils, you can make your own heating pads that can be warmed up in the microwave. You can even made small 2″ x 2″ heating squares to use as hand-warmers! SustainableCooks.com has an easy tutorial to follow, with step-by-step instructions. Your kids will enjoy helping you feel it up with rice! And you’ll be able to give the gift of warmth!
5. EASY Hand-Painted Watercolor Cards
I guarantee your family will enjoy making these simple cards. Watercolor painting is a lot of fun. Remember the art you paint is supposed to be just a representation, not a photo! You can create sets of blank cards to give as gifts…or make a unique and custom Christmas card for each of your best friends and neighbors.
- Paint one section with water — yes, water! (just a little)
- Touch the tip of your wet brush to a cake of watercolor paint to pick up some color
- Paint along the outside line of the section you just painted with water; the color will bleed into the middle of the section. Add more color with the tip of the brush if you want a darker shade.
- Repeat with all the sections being careful to stay within the lines so the color doesn’t bleed into the next section (unless you want it to!)
- Allow paint to dry (it only takes a few minutes), and then you can add outlines or details with a black waterproof pen, if you like that look.
I chose four simple designs…
A column of Christmas trees — just simple triangles!
A “Joyful” wreath with teardrop shapes, dots, and hanging balls. Keep it whimsical and imperfect!
The easiest Christmas tree ever — just use the flat edge of a brush, barely dipped into the paint. Use two colors of green for more depth, and add a star on top.
And a very simple nativity design. Sometimes simple is best!
Don’t strive for perfection; it’s the hand-drawn imperfect nature of these designs that makes them attractive. Leave some portions unpainted — in other words, don’t be afraid to leave white space.
Summary of the ‘Eighth Day of Christmas’
It’s all about the thought that you put into creating a gift for someone else. I hope you and your family will enjoy these gifting ideas (or others) and feel the Spirit of Christmas as you think of others and bring joy into their lives as well.
Don’t forget these free printable 12 days of Christmas gift tags for the gifts you give!