Handmade Gifts for Kids

hand-made doll’s wardrobe

If you are low on cash and have some spare time and if your kids are young enough to not know the difference you can make a lot of their Christmas gifts.

I know, because I did it 2 Christmases ago when I met all three criteria!  It was a lot of work but also a lot of fun!  Consider it…  Use your imagination, the internet, and the materials you already have.  I made it a GOAL to buy a little as possible and use materials I already had from past projects, etc.

My hand-made list

  • I made a doll’s wardrobe from fabric and patterns I already had.  I also painted the mini dresser which I bought unfinished at a craft store.
  • I made some dress-up outfits with faux suede I bought at the fabric store.  The liner fabric for the cowboy vest was from an old shirt of my husband’s which I paired with a bandana I found in the garage (I washed it first).  I traced the kid’s clothes to create the patterns.
  • I also MADE some block out of cut tree branches inspired by these awesome blocks!
  • I had some musical instruments.  I made a drum out of an oatmeal canister with drum-sticks from dowels that were hanging around.  I made a triangle from a piece of metal rod I found and bent.  I also made rhythm sticks, a wrist-bell, and a pseudo-tambourine out of a coffee canister lid and jingle-bells.
  • Another idea I had but ran out of time to implement was bath toys out of plastic recyclables; including boats, cups for pouring, and a sprinkler out of a plastic bottle with holes poked into the bottom.

I hope this inspires you to consider making some gifts and/or repurposing things you already have this holiday!  By the way, we did buy them some things too because Christmas would just not be the same without all those complicated display packages with all their twist-ties.  My son is asking for Lego this Christmas – I don’t think I can make those…



I'm a practical mom inspired by nature & I enjoy sharing ideas that encourage kids' innate curiosity & creativity. Interested in subscribing? Check out the blue box at the top of my sidebar. I'm also a wannabe author/illustrator & product designer by day. Let's connect! doodlesandjots@hotmail.com. If you purchase through my Amazon links I get a small commission at no additional cost to you (thanks for supporting Doodles and Jots)! And remember to always credit your source here & elsewhere on the internet.


  1. This is an awesome post. I think many people think to make gifts for relatives or friends, but forget they can make things for the people they live with too! My husband and I have talked about the tradition of making gifts here at home, and having each person in the family (whatever size we grow to be) make one gift for each other person. (We will exchange a few purchased items too when we can’t make things, such as legos. )

    I am working an some baby doll clothes right now too. :)

    • You can make nicer doll clothes than you can buy, generally, unless you want to spend more on doll clothes than you do on your own!

  2. You are so talented, but I can see from your process that if we just take things one step at a time, maybe I could do it too!
    My hat is off to you!
    Good luck on the legos!

  3. I think homemade doll clothes would be the bomb! I also love the instruments. I grew up with my mom making me many things or we’d make them together (she’s quite handy…me not so much). Especially back in the 70s, it wasn’t quite so easy to just buy yourself whatever you needed on a rock in the middle of the Pacific.

    I did used to give homemade cards with a haiku or poem written by yours truly to my ex hubby all the time.

    • My set doesn’t have any of those large sliced pieces that are so cool – I used pine boards instead – I’m not quite sure how they cut those, maybe a really big band-saw. Thanks for the comment!

  4. We tend to forget as adults that kids appreciate handmade things, too. It’s expected that for a bunch of years you’ll get special, handmade presents from your kids… these are great ideas. And I LOVE the illustrations in your header.

    • Thanks! I’m feeling a little schizo about the feeling I what my banner to convey – I may use a few.

      Good point about kids appreciating hand-made things!

  5. The doll clothes are so wonderful. This next comment is for adult eyes only….

    Does Santa give vintage and handmade gifts? I have gotten some great vintage and handmade toys and doll clothes off of Etsy this year and am wondering if somehow the older quality of those items might tip a kid off. Feel free to erase this comment if your little ones can read!

    • I tend to feel really silly talking about the whole Santa thing but I still do it.

      Don’t the little elf women make beautiful doll clothes? Also I think there are special elves that handle the vintage orders.

      Actually when you think about it, isn’t it harder to explain how Santa gets all that store bought stuff?!!!

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