I have already shared a peek at our Christmas cards for this year:
We used the same styrofoam printing process as last time, this year with gold ink.
This checkerboard was a joint effort between my children and me. My husband has been wanting to teach the kids how to play checkers, but we haven't had a board to use, so he suggested I make them one for Christmas. I assured him I would make one...but decided to make it a surprise gift for him instead since it was something the kids could easily help me make. This was a super simple project. They measured and chalked evenly-spaced lines for me to sew, I sewed the 8x8 grid in a contrasting thread, and then they colored every other square with a fabric marker. We also made a little drawstring bag to store the board and pieces in.
My son made coloring books for his younger siblings. For my daughter, he wrote the words from one of her favorite picture books (Eloise Wilkins' Little Mommy) into a blank book for her to illustrate.
And my daughter strung sacrifice beads for them all. Both are great kid projects!
We also tried something new and made ornaments out of Crayola Model Magic. I have had a couple bags of it in my art supply cabinet, but this was my first time pulling it out. Wow, what a neat medium! Super light, smooth, pliable, easy to work with. When it dries, it doesn't harden completely but bounces back like craft foam. We rolled the clay out and cut out stars and snowflakes, including a hole for stringing. The children pressed pony beads into the stars, and I left the snowflakes blank for a project of my own. After they air dried for a day or two, I took a marker to the snowflakes and made some ornaments for our own tree based on some lovely salt dough snowflakes I had bookmarked ages ago.
I can see making all kinds of ornaments out of Model Magic in the future: pressing items like pine twigs or doilies onto pre-cut clay shapes, simple circles decorated with children drawings. Pressed baby hands or feet would be so sweet for any time of year. It's looks like ceramic, salt dough, or clay, but it is much easier to work with and lightweight.
I stayed busy during Advent making little clothes for sweet dollies around the house. My daughter asked if she could please learn how to make doll clothes too, so I think that will be on our to-do list for the coming year.
I also made a set of magnetic "paper" dolls for my girls using vintage paper doll clipart and magnetic printer sheets. This would be a great gift for a older sister to make a younger sister--only cutting required!
I'm already bookmarking ideas for next year's gifts, particularly useful items that little hands can make. Please do share if you have ideas.