Homemade Christmas Gifts for Children and Teens

January 6, 2010

Gifts That Cost NothingI make Christmas gifts for nieces, nephews, and step-grandchildren. I need help in coming up with ideas for a 12 year old and a 10 year old who live in Arizona. Knitted hats and scarves or quilts and blankets just don't work in their climate. My 2009 gifts were toss pillows and pillowcases, now I'm on the hunt for 2010 ideas. Help.


By RoAnn from Waterboro, ME


January 6, 20100 found this helpful

Girls that age love hair accessories, earrings and and bracelets.
Boys and Girls around that age love clothing.

If you want to try something different, maybe you could make them some cool t-shirts & tank tops with their favorite hobby, celebrity or animated character on front or back of them.

Or, a giant sized poster containing their photo alongside a photo of the favorite tv personality.
(They could hang it up in their room)

Even a scrapbook of sorts with losts of pictures of them, their friends, favorite activities, etc.
If they want to be a doctor (a picture of them and someone from House, Grey's Anatomy, Scrub's, etc)

A singer/actress (Photo's of them and Mylie Cyrus, Selena Gomez, Taylor Swift, Raven Symone, etc)


You should consider their favorite color(s) when making any of the above.

Hope This Helps!

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January 6, 20100 found this helpful

Plastic Canvas crafts are what mymother is into. She makes gifts for people at our church all year long.
She made the pastor's wife bookends that looked like a church.
She made a young girl a fancy looking jewelry box.
She made another young lady a cover for her bible.
She made another girl a music box ( she found some craft music boxes at a yard sale once but you should be able to get some at a craft store or on the internet).


She made something for a boy at church but off hand I can't think of what it was.
The books for Plastic Canvas are becoming scarce but I found a bunch at a used book store and she has purchased them at Michaels in the past.

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January 6, 20100 found this helpful

Actually, I live in AZ and we do use hats and scarves, just not all winter. With their popularity these days, everyone is wearing them just as a fashion statement even if they are not "needed" (if they are girls). Boys could use mittens when they go to Flagstaff to play in the snow. and we did have a cold spell last wk, it was 50-60 and I wore my hat a scarf a lot! we need it since our blood is thin!

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2 More Questions

Ask a QuestionHere are the questions asked by community members. Read on to see the answers provided by the ThriftyFun community or ask a new question.

November 30, 2007

Gift Ideas to make. I have a 17 year old nephew, 14 year old niece, and 10 year old niece. I am making all homemade gift this year due to finances. But I have no idea what to make for these kids.

They are terrific kids but pretty much have everything they could want so I need something or things unique. Any suggestions out there?


November 30, 20070 found this helpful

I am not sure about what to make a 17 yr old boy besides a cd of his favorite music. If he is anticipating moving to college soon you could also start a recipe book for him. Gifts for the girls can be made very easily and cheaply. Jewelry making is very easy and you can buy beautiful beads very cheaply at you local craft store. There are tons of how to guides available online.


Even someone with no experience can create pretty earrings or bracelets that will be cherisher for years to come. It is also easy and frugal to make homemade bath/body/beauty supplies. Just do a google search and you will come up with dozens of sites. Ideas are bath salts and scrubs or solid perfume. Good luck!

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By Marjorie (Guest Post)
December 3, 20070 found this helpful

I suggest making a jean quilt. It is very easy. What I did was purchase used jeans from thrift stores. I then washed them and cut them into squares to be sewn together to form a rectangle the size would depend on the size bed that the individual has. When I cut the jean up I was careful to keep intack the pockets and zippers. When the rectangle is the right size I then used an old blanket for the batting and a sheet for the back. Sandwhich these three together keeping right sides of the jean quilt and the sheet then the blanket, sew these three together on the outside edges then turn right side out.


You then have the blanket sandwiched between the jean top and the sheet. Whip stitch closed and quilt. I gave this as a XMAS gift many years ago to my sisters when they were teens they loved the gift and still use the quilts they have passed it down to their sons.

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By Bonnie (Guest Post)
December 4, 20070 found this helpful

How about making all of them those fleece blankets. It takes about 2 yards of each fleece. One for a printed side and the other of a solid. The younger ones I would go with 1 yard and a half. Google is your best friend. Look for how to make fleece tie blankets. The most you would pay is $15...most of the time, they are on sale at Hancock Fabrics or even Walmart. Good luck. My boys love them..They have all sorts of prints from sports, NFL, girly, and etc.

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December 4, 20070 found this helpful

How about a scrapbook-You do the pages, and perhaps a few photos and let them fill in the rest. You could date the scrapbook for net year, and have sections for the holidays, their club or activities, then they put in their own photos as the year progresses.

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December 4, 20070 found this helpful

Another really good (and easy) quilt idea is a t-shirt quilt. There are instructions all over the web. Pay attention to what they and their friends are wearing. My daughter and her friends are into the "retro hippy" look. They made blue jeans into bags, so I'm macrameing a strap for my daughter.


Fingerless gloves and hacky sacks are very popular with most guys. But most of all, kids like food. It "fits", it's the "right color", and they don't have to store it! Bake away. Candy. Homemade granola for the naturalist. Cookies. Kids (young and old) love food.
Have fun.

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By Marlene (Guest Post)
December 4, 20070 found this helpful

I'm making flannel pillowcases for lots of kids this year and using my embroidery machine to decorate and personalize them. Even if you don't have the machine, you can hand embroider or decorate them. Kids love them - and they love pajama pants - I'm making lots of those this year. They tell me they can never have too many - any age!! There are cute slipper patterns on the internet that are easy to make. Fleece blankets are always good. I made some quilt tops and used fleece for the back and quilted them on the machine - Nice!! Give them your TIME - offer to teach them how to make some things they like - homemade buns, cookies, bars, candy, jewelry from odds and ends like old buttons or broken pieces of jewelry, simple sewing, like pj pants. Teach them to knit or crochet simple projects. I think TIME is the most special gift you can give any child!! Sticky buns are quick and easy and taste oh, so good.

Last year I took my 2 granddaughters, each 11 years old on a trip down "memory lane" and shared stories and places of my childhood. I bought them each a digital camera to take pictures of whatever they wanted and then I developed them. They picked up rocks and other "souvenirs" along the way and to this day, they remember the things I told them. Special and precious to all 3 of us! They learned a lot of family history that day and about how grampa and I met (roller skating). There are SO many things you can give that are almost cost free and can bring you closer together!! Try it, you'll all love it and appreciate it!!

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December 5, 20070 found this helpful

I just wanted to say Thank You so very much for all of the beautiful ideas!!! Thank You to everyone. I think it is contagious. My family, my sisters and their kids, don't have much money either, so my nieces and nephews are now making all of their gifts to people!! How awesome is that!!

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By raewyn (Guest Post)
December 5, 20070 found this helpful

How about their favorite snacks. I make chocolate coated marshmallows and nuts for my cousins. They also like the brownie and trail mix that grandma makes.

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By Clueless (Guest Post)
December 1, 20080 found this helpful

Those darned kids nowadays seem to have all these "ee-lek-tron-ik" about a case for some of them? :)

If you sew, try using funky-patterned fleece. Slap on some trendy appliques and crank up the hip-factor!

If you knit or crochet, get wild and crazy with those yarn colors and textures! If you're more talented than I am, you can stitch a cute emblem onto it (the logo of the device, maybe)?

For the guys, you might want to keep the colors, patterns, and designs a bit more "macho" and "grunge-ified." For the girls, you can get a bit more flippant.

Possibilities include holders for: iPods and other media players, handheld game systems (like PlayStation Portable, Nintendo DS or GameBoyAdvance), laptops, netbooks, CD cases, holders for flash drives (honestly, those things accumulate like old magazines after a while),

For example, I couldn't find a decent slipcase for my laptop, so I crocheted one using a few balls of black cotton yarn. I was at a get together when a couple of older ladies asked what I was crocheting. They got a big laugh when I told them it was a slipcase for my laptop! A couple of twentysomething guys in one of my computer user groups couldn't get over the fact that I was *making* a laptop case! This project can be as much fun to make as it is to give!

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June 20, 2017

Finding the right gift for a 15 year old can be difficult, making something yourself may be a great solution. This is a page about homemade gift for a 15 year old boy.

15 Year Old Boy

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