Homemade Christmas Gifts–for kids!

I’m a little late coming to the party, but at least I’m here, right?  Chris over at Just a Girl (which is a fabulous creative blog, btw) is having a party where we share all of our wonderful ideas for homemade gifts this holiday season.  I haven’t had time to do much partying yet, but I am sure there are TONS of fabulous ideas there, so go check it out—after you read, my post, that is.  🙂

Here are ideas for gifts you can make for children this Christmas.  Ironically, they all involve fabric and sewing (some more than others), which is not my forte, but maybe it is yours.  Or maybe, you have a miracle worker mom, too, that can help you out.

Animal Hooded Towels
I already posted about these here, but I have had a few requests for patterns, which I don’t currently have, since we kind of made it up as we went along.  I may be able to make some patterns to post in the future, but I wouldn’t hold your breath for them before Christmas.  We used full-sized towels for the main part, plus a hand towel for the hood.  Additional elements were cut from other towels and sewn on top of the existing towel, making them extra thick in those spots.  I will see if my mom has time to help me work up a tutorial…but like I said, don’t hold your breath.
The Dick & Jane Chair
I was going to wait until I do my Miracle Worker Week (where I show you all of the projects that my parents and I accomplished while they were in town) to reveal my Dick and Jane chair, but these would make fantastic Christmas presents, so I am sharing now.  I’m not sure the pictures do it justice, but I LOVE this reading chair!  So do my kids!  (Notice the book, waiting to be read).  We used this pattern for the chair.  And the Fabulous Dick & Jane Fabrics, by Michael Miller.  (NOTE:  We did NOT follow the pattern when deciding which fabric would go where on the chair.)
Remember this post? Well there is still a bit to do in the loft, but I got some more fabric from this line for the window treatments. I’ll post when we get it all together. 

In fairness, I must warn that this could be a costly project, if you buy all of the material to fill the chair, new.  However, if you have a miracle worker for a mom, she has random stuff lying around her house that she can sew together to form the body of the chair, and all you have to pay for is the cute fabric to slipcover it. 

These could be personalized or done in any combination of fabrics to make them more exciting to your children.

The Soft Doll House

My mom just made this house for my niece for Christmas and it brought back all kind of memories.  When I was a little girl, she helped my big sisters make houses like these for my younger sisters and I.  Mine was blue to house my “blueberry muffin” doll (I don’t think the new Strawberry Shortcake has her as a friend anymore—how sad!).
This house was made from a discontinued McCalls pattern # 8346 (try ebay or etsy?).
Car Town
Again, these make me feel a little nostalgic.   My brother had a few of these, growing up, entirely drawn on canvas with a sharpie marker.  (He always got the biggest house and owned the construction company, but my sister and I still wanted to play cars with him, if we played on the car town.)
This version was made using several techniques.  First I bought tan canvas—I would have gone with something green, but we live in the desert, folks.  We found several cotton prints with buildings and elements we could use like a racetrack, airport, houses, etc.  I cut out roads from grey fabric and my mom sewed everything down.  I filled in greenery and road stripes and lots of other stuff with fabric paint and some stamping.  A few buildings we wanted were not available in fabric, so we found clip art and modified it, then printed it on to fabric (or an iron-on-transfer) and sewed those on as well.  That allows you to personalize it to include buildings that are part of their lives and other things they might be excited about.
Here is an example of a building that used all three techniques.  I cut out the hardware store from fabric, made the Home Depot sign on the computer and painted the edges and bushes to round it out.

I also found these great stand-up signs at the Dollar Spot at Target (don’t know if they will ever carry them again).  Put a few matchbox cars in a stocking and you’re good to go!
This project can be rather time-consuming, depending on how detailed you want to make it.  But sometimes the fun is in the details.  I named my son’s town Trenton, because that is his name, and there is a town or two named Trenton for real!

I think our main gift to our kids, this year, is going to be to decorate their bedrooms.  My plan is to wrap up some of the elements that will go in their rooms (cans of paint, if necessary) for them to open Christmas morning, then ship them off to Grandma’s for a couple of days, while we transform the rooms.  I am visualizing a BIG reveal when they come back—like on the TV shows–but we don’t have a crew helping us out, so we will see.
I’d love to hear if you are making anything for your kids this year.  If you use any of these ideas I’d love to see pictures!
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  1. Tizzalicious says

    I oove the soft doll house!

    You asked about how I priced my ads on my blog…I just looked at the going rate for the project wonderful ads that were on the same height on the other side of the blog, and then used that amount, and gave some discount for people who buy space for a longer period of time 🙂

  2. I love your chair! It is so darling!

  3. Amanda@Imperfectly Beautiful says

    Thanks for stopping by my blog! I love all of your cute projects, but I have a real problem…I don’t sew. So sad, I know. Actually, my husband is the seamstress in this house…he’s such a multi-talented manly man. Anyway, back to my point. That ladybug towel is just too cute for words, and the dick and jane fabric…fabulous. Thanks for sharing!


  4. Michelle@Everyday Celebrating says

    omg! That town is amazing! I’m thinking of doing airplane runways for my son’s plane party coming up, but it won’t be anything that elaborate! Amazing!

  5. Tamara Jansen says

    That ladybug hood towel is just tooooo precious! Our logo is a ladybug 🙂

  6. SHUT UP… I love the hooded towels… and the soft doll house and the chair… I actually have the pattern for the chaair, but have been too intimidated to try it… great ideas…

  7. findmeagift says

    Gosh these are all so lovely, and the time that has gone into them must be substantial.

  8. I love the chair and the doll house. Too Cute. I whish I had a working sewing machine now.

  9. Martha (aka Yvette) says

    I love that chair and especially that FABRIC I learned to read with those books…my duaghter would love it!! thanks for sharing

  10. Oh my goodness, Kendra. B’c I haven’t been bloggin, neither have I been reading blogs. THANK YOU SO MUCH for doing that post for me. I would love to start something like this with my friends, but I think it will have to wait until we’re out of school. Not so much that I wouldn’t do it now, but I don’t think I could get anyone else on board because they all pinch pennies now, too. I will refer to this in a year!!!! 🙂
    On another note, I’m INSANE-ly jealous of your abilites. You are amazing in more ways than everything you post about. I just need you right by my side, holding my hand through all your adventures. I remember when I was pregnant and going over to your apartment just lazing while you put together hours and hours of beautiful flower arangements for a wedding… because you just wanted to try it out! Hmmm… TALENT! Love you.

  11. Car town is soooo cool!

    Love your ideas!!! :o)

  12. That chair is so cute. I learned to read with Dick and Jane. Which possibly suggests my advanced age 🙂

  13. Holy cow! Those are AWESOME projects! That Dick & Jane chair is just the cutest! Is it comfy to sit in too?

  14. Those chairs are amazing!

  15. I love the detail of this DIY Road playmat! Can I have one?

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