Creative, DIY or Kit Gift Ideas for Kids

Sewing Kit Samples I’ve started thinking about kid Christmas presents, and I’ve realized that last year, the most successful (long-lasting, much-played-with) gifts were kits that friends or relatives put together themselves. So I’m looking for more ideas to try this year. Do you have any suggestions?

Here’s what we’ve done (or been given) in the past, feel free to steal ideas:

Big sewing kit:
My sister in law took a huge old makeup box and filled it up with sewing notions and fabric samples. Big scissors, little collapsible scissors, pins, snaps, safety pins, needles, pin cushions, seam rippers, etc. It’s better stocked than any sewing kit I’ve ever owned. It was PERFECT for a 5 1/2 year old girl– I was afraid it would be too intimidating, but she’s used it every week since. She started out taking fancy fabric and safety pinning it to her dolls, and has moved up to making her own doll quilts (on her own, no help from me) by cutting felt squares and sewing them together.

Writing kit:
A neighbor gave this to my daughter for her 6th birthday, and she uses this several times a week.
– plain white cigar box with latch (probably from Michael’s or similar)
– pretty note cards and colored writing paper
– a couple of 2×2 inch stamps and a pink and green stamp pad
– three gel pens; pink, green, black
I think the key to the success is the simplicity. If I’d tried to make this, I probably would have put in a rainbow of pens and stamp pads, but I think this actually works much better pared down. This morning, my daughter is home from school sick, and wrote a book on the note cards, putting them together with a hole punch and ribbons. LOVE.

Bath bomb kit:
We have given this to many 4-6 year olds, both girl and boy. I assembled the ingredients from the instructables bath bomb how to (citric acid, baking soda, salt, corn starch, oil, water, food coloring, fragrance), and packaged the dry mix in a big zip loc bag, and the wet in a small spice jar. To make, the kid mixes them together and pats them into a mold like a silicon muffin tin. Super easy, and consumable.
“boy version”: packaged into a tin decorated with camouflage and bomb stickers, using red food coloring.
“girl version”: packaged into a tin decorated with butterfly stickers and ribbons, with pink or purple food coloring. (Yes, I’m rolling my eyes at myself, even as I type.)
Or, you know, whatever decorations appeal to whatever kid you’re gifting.

Haven’t yet tried:

Beading kit:
I’ve done a small version of this in the past, but I think I might do a bigger version this year, as my oldest is really interested in jewelry making recently. Last time I made it, I had a hard time picking a wire that was both easy for her to string on, and tough enough not to break when she wore the necklaces. Any tips would be welcome, as I haven’t done this type of craft myself.

Fairy-doll-making kit:
I’m thinking of doing a fairy/doll making kit, with these instructions. If so, I’ll likely gather some dried flowers, acorns, etc., before fall is over, for accessories, and put together some fabric scraps so she can make clothes and wings.

Doll clothes kit:
Every time we go to the fabric store, my daughter is fascinated by the fat quarters and wants to buy some for doll clothes. I was thinking of getting her a small cotton fabric stash and pre-drawing some doll clothes patterns on some of them, so she could cut them out, pin them, and sew them. I haven’t researched patterns or instructions yet, so if you have any suggestions or links, I’d love to see them.

Play dough:
My three year old loves loves loves play dough, but we go through it pretty quickly. I thought it might be fun to make some scented play dough, a big enough stash that we don’t have to be stingy with it. (Yeah. I did buy 20 pounds of flour at Costco last month. What was I thinking?)

A friend dyed play silks for us about 4 years ago, and we’ve worn them HARD. They’re sturdy, but they’re also suffering from a few rips and stains. A few friends and I have have been talking about making a bulk order of silk from Dharma Trading Co. and make some more playsilks. I was thinking it would be fun to give the kids some that I’ve dyed, but also a few white ones for them to dye themselves with food coloring. (These are certainly cheaper to DIY than buy, but it still feels expensive to buy a lot of the blanks, so we’ll see how many we actually do…)

Any other suggestions for fun, creative gifts for kids? Add them in the comments. (Links to your crafty blogs especially appreciated!)

Interested in more creative kid gifts? Check out the forum thread Creative, DIY or Kit Gift Ideas for Kids to find more ideas, from carpentry, to fairy gardens, to fort-building kits!

Image credit: Sewing Kit Samples by shimelle


  1. I use something for beading that’s a clear, plastic, stretchy, thread– it’s stiff enough that it’s easy for kids to use without a needle or anything, but soft enough to be safe, and stretchy so is good for bracelets and stuff. I don’t know what it’s called, but I got some at a beading store (on a roll– it was fairly inexpensive).

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