10 Christmas Gifts Kids Can Make for Parents, Grandparents, and Teachers

Photo: Anna Williams

Kids want to be holiday gift-givers, too (though, they probably love being on the receiving end most). So, help little ones craft presents—such as journals, calendars, and personally packaged edible treats—for their favorite people. Kids can personalize items inspired by their art projects to show their appreciation for their parents, grandparents, and teachers—and take pride in putting their creativity to good use for a generous cause.

Whether they're packing granola gift boxes or decorating cookie tins with hand-drawn designs, the little ones in your life will jump at the opportunity to pick up crayons, markers, and colored pencils to make something special.

Many of these projects double as easy ways to make multiple gifts using your kids' artwork—and all of them are bound to make any adult smile this holiday season.

01 of 10

Granola Gift Box

granola gift box
Anna Williams

When the family decides to spend an afternoon making gifts for teachers, easy assembly-line production is key. Everyone pitches in.

Someone makes a big batch of granola, which is simple to customize with different add-ins. Someone else finds the jars of raw honey and plans the packaging (opt for handsome, compostable wooden boxes lined with tissue). Then the kids take over, filling and sealing the bags of granola, packing the boxes, and making labels to tie on with waxed twine.

Those few hours prove a perfect antidote to the frenzy of the holiday season.

02 of 10

Edible Snow Globes

edible snowglobes
Anna Williams

Kids will love making these cookie "snow globes." Have them decorate homemade gingerbread cookies with royal icing and candies, and produce luminous trees by melting hard candies into triangle shapes.

Everything is anchored with more icing and sealed in glass jars with painted tops (primed with Gesso). The contents are edible—but more likely to be admired than eaten.

03 of 10

Iron-on Accessories

kids iron tote bag
Jeff Sowder

How can you share your kids' creativity with family and friends? For starters, use your children's favorite drawings to decorate canvas bags, checkbook covers, or eyeglass cases. It's quick and simple to do with iron-on transfer paper that fits through any ink-jet printer, available at craft stores.

Print a drawing onto multiple sheets of it, trim out the design, then use a dry iron to transfer the image to clean canvas, according to the instructions on the package. Isolate one image from a busy drawing to make a bold, modern (and cute) statement, or duplicate a single drawing several times to make a pattern.

04 of 10

Decal Cookie Tins


There's no better gift for a teacher or neighbor than cookies or candy packaged in a keepsake tin. Print a child's drawing on a water slide decal (some decals have a transparent background; others are white).

To protect the image, spray decal with coating spray; let dry. Trim it to the desired shape. Soak the decal in water until its backing separates from it. Then, place the decal on a tin; push out excess water with a tissue, and let dry. Spray it with the coating again. Long after the sweets are gone, the tin will hold the memory of a child's gift.

05 of 10

Kids' Art Handkerchief

kids' art handkerchiefs
Charles Schiller

A perennially elegant accessory, a handkerchief becomes a wearable work of art with a custom drawing. With fabric crayons (available at crafts stores), draw directly on a cotton or linen handkerchief (after practicing on paper).

To heat-set, place a scrap piece of fabric over the drawing, and gently iron according to instructions on the crayon package. Tie the folded hankie with waxed cord or thin ribbon, add a gift tag, and place it in a color-coordinated envelope.

06 of 10

Checkbook Cover


These practical, yet playful covers make even the most mundane tasks more pleasant. Using a clear passport cover or clear checkbook sleeve as a template, trace over child's artwork. Cut out, and slip picture inside sleeve.

07 of 10

Gingerbread Loaves


Gingerbread captures the essence of the holidays—warmth, homeyness, time-honored traditions—in a single pan. These mini loaves baked in biodegradable wooden trays are the most economical way to offer all of that to your friends. One batch of batter turns out four loaves of perfectly moist and spicy bread. (It easily doubles for eight.) Wrap the baked loaf in cellophane, then finish with a bow of kitchen twine and a personalized gift tag (the kids can handle that part—and help bake, too!).

08 of 10

Custom Calendar


A custom, kid-created calendar is a gift any adult can treasure all year long. To create, apply peel-and-stick laminate to a picture (follow package directions). Remove a calendar from its original backing, and attach with double-sided tape.

09 of 10

Kid-Embellished Journals

kids drawings cards books

Handcrafted end papers featuring kid drawings transform basic journals into keepsakes. A journal of any size will work.

1. Measure the book's original end paper, then cut picture so that it's slightly wider to accommodate the fold.

2. Next, use a paintbrush to apply white glue evenly over the end paper.

3. Lay artwork over glued area and press, starting at center and working out.

4. Wipe off any excess glue; a parent can trim the edges with a utility knife if needed.

4. Close the journal, and stack heavy books on top.

5. Let it dry overnight.

10 of 10

Artful Magnets


Here's a new twist on the familiar refrigerator-art gallery: Let kids' turn their drawings into magnets that can be used all year long. They can draw helpful refrigerator reminders or a Christmas tree and ornaments. Print onto magnet sheets, and cut out. To give magnets as presents, affix them to a greeting card with double-sided tape.

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