This Christmas will be the first where our two-year old daughter “gets it”, at least to a certain degree, and we are pretty darn excited about it. We have been talking a lot about the meaning of the holiday, Santa Claus, putting up decorations, and making gifts for the people we love. I have a weekend afternoon planned for some serious craft-time to knock out a bunch of gifts for grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins.

I have been trying to come up with some ideas where Maya (our daughter) plays a part in making the gift, but they also turn out to be attractive and not “sweet, but kinda ugly”. Ha. Of course as her Mum, I love anything she makes, but you parents know what I’m talking about. The “painting” that ended up with nine different colours all getting globbed into one brown mess is not exactly what the grandparents want to proudly display on their walls.

So, here are my top 5 ideas for handmade gift ideas from kids that are actually cute:

DIY Kids Art

Handprint Tiles >> We actually did this activity with Maya a few months ago, and it turned out really sweetly. You can DIY this in your own home using supplies from Michael’s, or go to one of those “paint your own ceramics” places. We had Maya paint her tiles (letting her choose only 2 colours to use). Then we painted her hands and had her apply her handprints. They were glazed and fired in the kiln, making these gorgeous keepsakes. To amp them up even more, we framed them in shadow box frames with some patterned paper as a mat (you can use wrapping paper, leftover wallpaper, scrapbook paper, whatever!). A great keepsake that actually looks lovely hung up on the walls!

DIY Kids Art


Ornaments >> Who doesn’t love a Christmas ornament? These are always a big hit and will be brought out every year with fond memories. There are tons of ideas out there for making kid-friendly ornaments. A few of my favourites are popsicle-stick snowflakes, painted acorns, salt dough ornaments. Classic, budget-friendly, and the kids will have such a fun time making them. Remember to put the child’s name and year on the back of the ornament so you can always remember who made it and when. I have been pinning away ideas on Pinterest here!

Handmade Gift Ideas for Kids

(Ornament images by Fireflies and Mudpies & My Life of Travels and Adventures)

Planter Pot >> A plant is a pretty universally appreciated gift. The way to get the kids in on it is to buy a terracotta planter from the hardware store (these run just a few dollars), and let them go wild with painting it. You can get creative by taping off a design with painter’s tape before hand (stripes, geometric shapes, triangles, etc), or just let them do their thing. Hint? Limit the paint colours to 2-4 options so that it stays looking stylish.

Cork Trivet >> Have you seen the circular cork trivets at IKEA? They are super cheap and make a great gift idea. Tape a few stripes or geometric pattern with painter’s tape on the trivet, then let your kids do whatever they like with paint. Pull the tape off and you have a really fun design on the trivet and it makes a practical and sweet gift! Can be used in the traditional heat trivet way, or as a bulletin board.

DIY Kids Art

Personalized  linens >> Have you heard about fabric crayons? They are amazing things. You can take any synthetic fabric item – a set of napkins, a handkerchief, an apron, a tea towel, whatever – let your kiddo do a drawing, and then simply iron over the image to set it into the fabric. How amazing is that? The ideas for handmade gifts are endless with those bad boys!

DIY Kids Art

About Gemma Bonham-Carter

 DIY Kids Art

Gemma Bonham-Carter, author of the popular design + lifestyle blog THE SWEETEST DIGS, is a crafty, interior design loving, DIYer and mama based in Ottawa, Canada. She has made it her mission to DIY her house into a stylishly decorated home, one project at a time (as long as coffee is involved). She writes about everything she loves: decorating, getting crafty, parenthood, running her own business, food, fashion and some travel (when she can sneak in a holiday!), and runs an online shop over on Etsy selling art and accessories.

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