Give the Gift of Craft

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Each year, I pride myself on making a bunch of handmade gifts. But this year, I just haven’t had the time or the energy to do as much as I would like. I’m not the garden variety crafter who will give bath salts to every person on my list. I like to make elaborate, personal gifts based on the recipient’s interests and preferences. But time is ticking, and I’ve done almost nothing this year. Since Christmas is just a few weeks away, I thought I’d lost my opportunity to do all the crafting a wanted to do this year. But Walmart proved me wrong.

Easy DIY Jewelry

Walmart’s craft section is a treasure trove of quick, easy projects that will look like you spent a whole lot more time on them than you did.  They sent me this stash of Darice beads and accessories from their jewelry department, and it was a lifesaver:

I had all the essentials to make a bunch of gifts: starter bracelets, plain hoop earrings, necklaces, a watch, and beads galore. I decided to make a bunch of bracelets, starting with my niece and daughter.

The process is simple. Choose a set of beads, perhaps based on the recipient’s favorite color or their interests, along with a blank bracelet. Open the bracelet, and slide your beads onto the chain. Close it. TaDa!

Seriously. It’s that easy. I made these two in about 5 minutes flat, and they’re not just pretty. They mean something.

My niece’s favorite color is blue, and she loves music and singing. So her beads are blue, interspersed with musical notes and a treble clef.

My daughter loves pink (ugh! Lmao!), so her bracelet has pink beads, one of which features a cancer ribbon. I know the pink ribbon is technically for breast cancer, but I’m sure she’ll appreciate the sentiment anyway, given that she whooped leukemia’s butt this year!

What I love most about these is that you can make each piece, whether it’s a bracelet, necklace, earrings or something else that can accommodate the beads, unique and personal. Plus, they’re really comparable to similar, but much more expensive bracelets from big jewelry stores. I know because my husband gave me one for Christmas last year, and these beads fit it perfectly.

Make Wearables with Zip Screens

While I love the bracelets, I can’t do those for everyone, because not everyone is into jewelry. This is where Zip Screens come in. This product offers a ridiculously method for making screen printed clothing, bags, or whatever you can think to print.

Looking at the photo, above, they don’t look like much, right? If I saw these on the shelf, I’d probably never pick them up. But they let me go from this…

…to this…

…in a matter of minutes. Because it’s easier to demonstrate than it is to explain, here’s a quick video showing how I did it:

Yeah. Crazy easy. You want the steps?

  1. Grab a couple of Zip Screen packets, a screen design, something to print (like an apron or t-shirt), and a piece of cardboard.
  2. Lay your printable material on the cardboard, because the paint can bleed. If you’re doing a shirt, put the cardboard between the front and back of the shirt.
  3. Remove your screen from its adhesive backing and stick it to whatever you’re printing.
  4. Rip the top of the zip screen packet to expose the paint. Use the card to pull the paint across the screen.
  5. Repeat step 4 until the entire screen is covered with paint. Sidenote: You can use more than one paint color on the same screen for an awesome effect.
  6. Peel the screen off the fabric and set it aside to use again.
  7. Allow the paint to dry.

That’s it!

You can get the Zip Screen paint in a bunch of colors and screens in a variety of designs, including some boy-friendly ones (though I don’t have any to show at the moment). I’m going to be making a bunch of screenprinted items next weekend because this product makes it SO easy. I’m in love with the simplicity of it. My only complaint? I wish the screen designs were bigger!

Give crafts they can make

Finally, if you don’t have time for actual crafting, then you can always give an unopened crafting kit that will allow the recipient to get crafty too.

Walmart sent me a variety of crafting kits, including a decorate your own porcelain tea set kit, a wooden doodle clock that can be colored with markers, and even a craft for the boys on any list: A working marshmallow shooter that needs to be assembled. My daughter, stepsons and nieces love these kinds of gifts, so they’ll be happy to unwrap these on Christmas morning. All of these kits are $10-13, so they’re really affordable too. (aff)

So what about you? Are you planning to do any gift crafting this year? Feel free to share links of your holiday craft gifting projects in the comments below!

DISCLOSURE: I am a member of the Walmart Moms program. Walmart has provided me with beauty products to try as well as compensation for sharing these craft gifts with you. Participation is voluntary and, as usual, all opinions are my own.

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