4 Gifts that children can make without breaking the bank

by | Nov 22, 2020

With the holidays just around the corner and the financial stress the pandemic has brought, making gifts for teachers, friends and grandparents can be a fun and cost-effective solution, writes Teixeira Murray.

We can all list the number of negative things the pandemic has brought about, yet most of us have become a tad more crafty and this is no bad thing. Not only are crafts a great way to spend time with your children and make great gifts for friends and family, but you can save some money too. (Don’t we all need to do that?) Besides, DIY gifts are just that much more special, as so much thought and effort goes into making the gift. We have listed four easy craft ideas for you to make over the next few weeks, and they are sure to brighten up anyone’s day. Many of these will require adult supervision.

1. Brown Sugar Vanilla Body Scrub

Who doesn’t love yummy smelling body products? And what a treat if you can make delectable body scrubs ideal for aunts, grannies, teachers and dads and package them in an assortment of inexpensive beautiful glass jars that are so easy to find.

You will need:

  • 2 cups of brown sugar
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 1 cup coconut oil or any carrier
  • oil like jojoba oil (odourless oils work best)
  • 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
  • Glass jar of choice
  • Ribbon with tag/or chalkboard
  • Glass jars to write on
  • Cute spoon or scoop

In a bowl, mix together brown and white sugar until no lumps are present, then add the oil and vanilla, and mix well. Package into jar and add tie your spoon or scoop on the outside with a pretty tag.


2. Child’s handprint clay jewellery dish

Create a keepsake handprint jewellery dish out of clay. This special gift will melt anyone’s heart and is easy to make.

You will need:

  • Air dry clay (can find at a craft shop)
  • Washable paint
  • Paintbrush
  • Rolling pin
  • Parchment paper
  • Pencil
  • Small bowl of water
  • Small glass bowl
  • Craft knife
  • Cutting mat

Roll out a small ball of clay between two sheets of parchment paper large enough to cover your child’s hand. The clay shouldn’t be too thin, but a nice thickness that will be durable. Place your child’s hand on the clay and lightly trace around your child’s hand and fingers. Cut out the traced hand with a craft knife and remove excess clay. Use a little water to smooth out any rough edges and desired effect is achieved. Mould the hand print by letting it dry over an upside down bowl. Take some parchment paper and place over the handprint, gently press down with a book to create a level area that will ensure the dish is sturdy and flat when dry. Leave to dry for 48 hours.

3. Scented milk candles

There is nothing like a scented candle to create ambience. The children will love making these.

You will need:

  • Old crayons, or leftover candle bits or wax
  • Wicks made from string dipped in paraffin
  • Scissors
  • Double boiler (boil over a pot of simmering water)
  • Full fat milk
  • Essential oil of your choice: 1-2 drops
  • Glass jars of choice
  • Pencil or wooden skewer (Depending on how much wax is used, it will be 2 parts wax to 1 part milk)

Melt wax, crayons or old candles in a double boiler, this must be done by an adult. Once melted, add milk and essential oils. Place the wick into the jar and twist the wick onto a pencil or sosatie stick to keep it in the centre of the candle as it dries.

4. Rice Bag Warmers

This might just be the best practical DIY gift you and the little ones can make. This nifty rice bag warmer can keep you warm and even ease some muscle pain. It will require a little sewing, but the end result will be very cute.

You will need:

  • 6cm x 6cm piece of flannel
  • 1 cup of white or brown rice (don’t use instant rice)
  • Sewing pins, matching thread and sewing machine
  • Essential oil of your choice: 1-2 drops

Fold your flannel square (inside out) into a rectangle and sew closed three sides, leaving one side open: an adult will have to help with this. Turn your bag right-side out and fill your bag with enough rice (mixed with essential oil of choice) to fill it three-quarters of the way. Tuck the seams of the open side in, and sew closed. You may want to make a small card with instructions to add to the rice bag warmer: Heat rice bag in microwave for no more than two minutes at a time, and use as needed on neck, back, shoulders, etc.