While I was busy being one of Santa’s little elves, working on a variety of gifts, my daughter R (8 yrs old) decided she wanted to make some gifts too. We came up with the idea of exchanging handmade gifts with three of her cousins (siblings — boys 9 and 4 and a girl 6). We spoke with their Mom and she ran the idea passed them and they were just as excited as R with the idea. We perused a few projects and ultimately ended up making “Pinecone Elves” from Martha Stewart Living magazine (you can find the pattern and instructions on marthastewart.com).
R did most of the crafting her self (including using the hot-glue gun that ended up getting stuck to my dining room table and to my hard wood floors — what part of “keep it on the newspaper” didn’t she understand? ha ha). She needed a wee bit of help cutting the slippers out of wool felt and getting the thread started and finished for sewing the hat, mittens, and slippers, and attaching the little bells, but other than that she made these herself. It was wonderful watching her excitement as she chose just the right colors for each one of her cousins!
I love teaching her the value of handmade. The slow process of choosing a project, selecting and gathering the materials, and taking the time to make each one just so. We are also working on (me included!) the fact that handmade is not always perfect (she comes by her perfectionism quite honestly).