Last Minute Christmas Gift/Activity!

I say every year that I am going to start my Christmas shopping early. That I won’t wait until the last minute. And every year, I do buy a gift here and there in the fall to put away for Christmas, but somehow, I always end up scrambling at the last minute for SOMETHING. Whether it’s the stocking stuffers, the gift cards for those people that I just couldn’t come up with a better idea for, baking the cookies, or just a little extra touch of decorating, there is always something that I end up doing at the last minute before Christmas.

I want to share a couple of quick little gifts that I made for my children’s grandparents this year, just in case you are in need of a little something at the last minute too!

Angel and Rudolph Homemade Clothespin Ornaments

A few weeks ago, my dad gave me a bag full of old (vintage?) clothespins. I guess he knew if anyone could find a way to reuse them, it would be me! I painted one to look like a Rudolph reindeer and tied a ribbon around one of the “antlers” and I painted another one to look like an angel. I glued card stock wings to the back and then tied a ribbon around the “neck” for hanging on the tree! So simple, and yet I love that they made nice little gifts for grandparents and my son’s teacher.

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Santa and Reindeer Handprints

This one is my favorite, and even if you don’t need it for a gift, you can also use this as an activity for the little ones at your family’s Christmas party! Both of my boys just love getting their hands painted and my oldest was amazed at the way they turned out when I added the finishing touches!

For a Santa, paint bottom of the palm and thumb red, leaving just the tip of the thumb to paint white. Then paint a stripe of white above the red, right across the middle of the palm. Paint the next 1-2 inches of the palm a flesh color (mix brown and white paints until you get a color you like for the face). Finally, paint the remaining four fingers white for the beard. Press the hand upside-down on the paper and you have a Santa! When it dries, you can add eyes and a nose (and a mouth if you want a child-like look).

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For a reindeer, simply paint the whole palm brown, press upside-down against the paper, and let it dry. Add the eye, hooves, and antlers with black marker when the paint dries, and a dab of red paint for his nose!

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I taped both of them onto a piece of card stock and added a message to turn them into a homemade Christmas card for our children’s grandparents!

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Cute, huh? 🙂

Do you try to get all of your Christmas prep finished early, or do you end up doing something at the last minute like me??


Homemade Birthday Card

It’s an equal combination of being cheap and being able to add our family’s personal touch that I prefer to make our own cards rather than buying them. Here is a quick and easy tutorial for a homemade birthday card that I made for my mother-in-law last week for her big 60th birthday:

The “You’ve Touched Our Lives” homemade birthday card:

What you’ll need:

-a blank card

-ink pad or paint

-scrapbook paper/cardstock

-marker

How to make it:

-First, use the ink pad or paint to put fingerprints throughout the front and inside of the card, one fingerprint for each year of the card recipient’s age. If you’re making this for a parent or grandparent, having the children in the recipient’s life do this part is a sweet little touch. In our case, each of our two children did thirty fingerprints to make a total of 60 for my mother-in-law.

-Then use the scrapbook paper or cardstock to decorate the rest of the card. You could choose to do this step first and the fingerprints second, whichever seems easier for you.

-Finally, add the message to the card–the age on the front and the following on the inside:

This card was touched (#) times.

One touch for each year that your life has touched all who have known and loved you.

It took us about fifteen minutes to make this card (including setup and cleanup), which is less time than it would have taken to drive to the store, pick out a card, and drive back home. And the personal “touch” of a homemade card always goes over really well!

Do you usually make your own cards or buy them? If you have a link to a homemade card tutorial on your blog, feel free to leave a comment with a link to it!