I like to give craft gifts. Maybe it’s because I enjoy crafting so much myself. Maybe it’s because it is creative and hopefully will force the recipient to put down the electronics and do something with their hands. Maybe it’s because I don’t have to worry about the size.
Regardless of why, craft gifts are just a great idea! Walmart sent me a HUGE box with some of their top crafting kits and items to try out this Christmas–my two favorites were the Mix and Mingle Jewelry Beads and the Zip Screen home screen printing kit.
The Mix and Mingle line are like Pandora beads on a budget! They have tons of cute bead sets in all sorts of color combinations and themes, individual charms, and tons of findings to create bracelets, earrings, necklaces, keyrings, watches and more! They are the same size as many other sets out there on the market, so that means they are interchangeable. And they are VERY budget minded–at my local Walmart a card with a set of beads (like the ones you see in the foreground below) runs about $5.
The Mix and Mingle beads are not a “kiddie” looking item-as a matter of fact they are pretty fashion forward-and they are dead simple to use. You just thread them onto the findings in whatever order you like and viola, you are done! This is a great project for either a young child making a gift for an adult, or for a teen or tween who wants to create something that they (and their friends) would actually wear. They are multipurpose too–you can just slide the beads of and reuse them on a different piece!
Since Princess is my total fashionista I gave her the entire kit and kaboodle and let her go to town making all sorts of jewelry combinations.
She came up with some lovely combinations that I think anyone would be glad to own and wear! (note: there is an official Mix and Mingle video embedded at the bottom of this post to show you more about the product)The next item that I absolutely loved was the Zip Screens. These are one of those pr0jects that look completely uninspiring sitting on a shelf in the store. . .but once you use them it’s like “Wow!!! These are so COOL!!!”. The long and short of it is you buy these re-useable, self sticking, trendy screens (both big and small are availble) and then you purchase the special Zip Screen paint packets–that are really both the paint and squeegee combined together. You stick the screen on the item, you tear open the little pack, leaving the hard plastic squeegee card in place, and you just push the paint out and scrape with the squeegee–in moments with no mess you’ve got a unique screen printed item.
Again, this is a great craft item for that somewhat difficult tween to teen age group. The smaller stencils in particular are fantastic for dressing up a pair of basic jeans or adding flair to a plain bag or accessory. There are even a few more unisex patterns like sports and skulls.
This is really one of those things that you have to see to understand–luckily the folks who created Zip Screen also have a quick 3 min video showing you the whole process:
Some of the other items I was sent to check out were the Doodle Deco line–sort of a do it yourself room decor for tweens:
I love that they finally have more “male” craft projects–in the store I saw things in the “Boy Craft” line like a skateboard you could paint and personalize, real kid sized football & soccer balls to paint, rubber band launcher, catapult wars, a zombie kit, pirate ship, alien head and more. I know when I’ve got those male birthday parties where you have no idea what the kid is into I’ll be heading to the craft aisle from now on to grab one of these!
Do you plan on giving any craft gifts this Christmas?