here's the thing though. i am really not creative in my own right. i copy others ideas really well and often tweak them to make them my own. i just don't always come up with alot of *new* ideas. we'll call this my disclaimer.
i have shared my loved of pinterest here, but let me just say, seriously, it made coming up with gift ideas SO MUCH easier. here is the board i made with ideas of advent conspiracy gift ideas.
here are a few of my favorites: (links are to original posts & instructions)
these wooden spoons were so much fun to make for the grandparents. (i should have had the kids make some for me too!) aiden and miles drew the designs and mike burned them in with a woodburner. this would be great for mother's day as well.
these hex nut bracelets for my niece turned out better than i expected...really cute! kind of a more grown-up take on a friendship bracelet. if you have a hard time finding "ball chain", check the electrical aisle. it's what pull chains for lights are made from. ;)
|image via design dazzle|
owen and i had a great time making these bird feeders for grandparents, teachers, etc. they were super fast and he could do alot of this alongside me (measuring, stirring, picking the shape of the cookie cutter, cutting the twine, pressing the seed in, etc.)
|image via apartment therapy|
|image via bluemoss girls|
i typically make an ornament each year as well. this year we made a few.
the kids had fun making these handprint snowmen that i saw on meg's blog last year. we used washi japanese masking tape from etsy for the scarves and hats. the boys used blue and green ornaments for theirs.
these trees are from here via pinterest. the kids and i took a walk at the forest preserve to collect the sticks. they easily cut to size with tree loppers. the kids then painted the sticks and mike drilled all the holes. these were a bit labor intensive, but fun. aiden's teacher got one with her birdfeeders!
and last...my favorite. i was inspired by this image.
i loved the simplicity of the design and love how great white ornaments look on a dark green tree.
this is what i came up with.
|they also worked as gift tags on our presents|
i used sculpey polymer clay from michaels and rolled it out on parchment paper. the clay is really hard so this was a bit of a workout. i used snowflake cookie cutters to cut out shapes and then used a toothpick to punch a hole at the top for a hanger. i got alphabet rubber stamps from the $1 bin at michaels and added the kids names or words like "noel". then just follow the instructions on the package to bake them. on some i used the wire ornament hangers and on some i used bakers twine.
variations of these might also be cute for valentine's day. i could see using clay in other colors and making knock off conversation hearts. you could also easily glue a magnet on back. i just may have to add that to the to-do list. ;)