The following post was written by editor Kara Fleck.
Okay, I’ll admit it: I’m one of those people. You know the ones. The crazy people who start planning for Christmas … in January! I can’t help it. I love the holidays and I love to give our kids homemade gifts and so I do a little bit of crafting all year long in anticipation of December.
This year, though, things got away from me and Santa’s elves are getting a little nervous about the tasks still before them.
Now that November is here, I have to look at my list with a critical eye and be very realistic about what can actually, and joyfully, be accomplished between now and December.
I have found that if I don’t set a date to have my holiday projects completed by, I end up having a more stressful holiday. I aim to finish as many gifts as I can during the month of November so that December can be about more meaningful things.
With that in mind, I’m looking for kid-pleasing gifts that can be completed quickly, with simple supplies. I thought it might be fun to find out what Simple Kids readers are working on, too. We can check back in with each other’s progress in a few weeks.
With less than 50 days until Christmas, and a goal of having the bulk of my crafting for the holidays finished before December arrives, here the gifts the elves and I are busily working on this November:
For My Nine Year Old
My oldest daughter, Jillian, will be nine at Christmas time. She has asked me to knit her the Harry Potter vest, beret, and scarf from Charmed Knits. Since she knows she is getting that, here are a few surprises that I’m working on:
- Felt Covered Barrettes ::: Angry Chicken I made Jillian some of these simple, but super cute, barrettes a few years ago and think it is time to rebuild her stash of hair ornaments. This pattern is very easy to follow and a good way to use up any extra scraps you have.
- Mermaiden ::: Hillary Lang A freebie pattern from her book Wee Wonderfuls, I have heard that this pattern is simple enough even for someone with my modest sewing skills and I love that it can be personalized.
For My Four Year Old
My son Max is four and I’m also knitting for him. He is getting the “Toddler Hat” by Astrid Schramm and the “Zoom” sweater from Knit Circus.
Other ideas for my preschooler:
- Play Dough and/or Silly Putty ::: by Christen Babb
- Felt Tree forest and Santa Gnome ::: Wee Folk Art
- Felt Food tutorials ::: The Felted Pear
For My Two Year Old
Lucy is my two year old and making things for her is proving to be fun for the whole family! My oldest daughter and I knit Lucy some legwarmies and the two older kids are helping their Daddy make a set of wooden blocks for Lucy, too. I am also knitting her a doll.
She’s getting a few other homemade presents, as well, including:
- A felted fairy home
- A painted wooden peg people family, modeled after our family (Daddy, Mommy, Jillian, Max, Lucy, and Nickey doggie)
Photo by Duo Fiberworks
Three More Resources
1. Duo Fiberworks – Handwork for the Holidays
I’m a fan of Duo Fiberworks and their patterns. Sisters Katie Startzman and Laura Poulette have created the ebook Handwork for the Holidays and, after looking it over, I think it is going to be just what I need to help me knit and sew my way through the rest of my holiday gift list, not just for the kids. There are also three paper crafts included in the book.
2. Living Crafts magazine
Living Crafts is my favorite magazine. I’ve been hooked on this publication ever since I saw the knitted farm yards everyone was making on a natural parenting forum I am a part of. I’m now a happy subscriber and the back issues are worth their weight in crafting-inspiration gold! Make sure you check out their free patterns, too.
3. Wee Folk Art
If you enjoy crafting in the Waldorf style for kids,and especially like working with wood and with felt, then Wee Folk Art is the resource for you! A beautiful blog, as well as an extensive archive of crafts with well photographed, clearly written tutorials. There’s a lovely knit doll pattern there that I’m going to be making as part of a stocking stuffer swap this month, too.
It is going to be a busy November!
This post on homemade gifts for kids was brought to you by Oak Meadow. Oak Meadow has been inspiring creative homeschooling and offering innovative learning materials since 1975. You can see sample lessons and find out more about their curriculum and school at the Oak Meadow website.
How is your handmade holiday gift list shaping up? What are you working on for the big kids, preschoolers, toddlers, and babies in your life? Any great tutorials or craft ideas to recommend?