Skip the long lines at the mall this year and make your own Christmas gifts. Your labor of love will warm recipients' hearts long after the Christmas season has passed.
Step 1: Make fleece scarves Make fleece scarves for everyone on your list by cutting polar fleece fabric into a 12 by 36-inch piece, then cutting 3 inches into the short ends every 2 inches, and knotting each small end section.
TIP: Sew charms and ribbons onto scarves to personalize.
Step 2: Make identification tags Make identification tags for pets and luggage. Flatten marble-sized pieces of polymer clay between your hands, then stamp designs into the clay with various items, punch a hole in the top, and bake until hardened. Attach a jump ring for use.
TIP: Use homemade tags to spruce up packages.
Step 3: Stir up cheer for foodies Stir up cheer for the foodies on your list by giving a chocolate treat. Dip the round end of plastic spoons into a bowl of melted chocolate chips, place on wax paper, and sprinkle with crushed candy canes. Wrap the spoons in cellophane tied with a ribbon and gift to your chocolate lover friend.
Step 4: Make Dad barbecue king Make Dad barbecue king by personalizing a plain cotton apron from the craft store with fabric paints.
Step 5: Show Mom you care Show Mom you care with simmering potpourri made by breaking one can of cinnamon sticks into a bowl, then adding one can of whole cloves and one can of allspice, finally pouring the mix into a glass jar tied with a ribbon.
Step 6: Let the kids create Let the kids create gift wrap by coloring holiday scenes on newsprint. You may find a hands-on holiday becomes a new cherished and joyful family Christmas tradition.
FACT: Scrooge's tale of learning to give by Charles Dickens has been in print continuously since 1843.