Every holiday season (usually about two weeks before Christmas when school is about to let out for the break), my daughter announces the list of awesome school teachers, coaches, dance instructors, church youth leaders, book club advisors, and a cadre of friends and neighbor kids for whom we have to get a little gift.
Although I’m happy to see so much generosity coming from her (and now her little sister), this adds up in terms of both time and money. As my kids are getting older and more involved in what seems like everything, I’ve learned to find ways to cover as much gift-giving ground with the least expenditure as possible.
Over the next four weeks, I’ll share a few exceptionally inexpensive and easy crafts kids can make (or help make) for that flood of holiday gift giving.
We’ll start this week with the absolute cheapest and easiest gift to make. Comic gift pockets.
Bathroom tissue rolls
Old comic books or newspaper comics
Those little bathroom tissue rolls are pretty versatile little containers and craft starters, plus they are easy to stock up on. You can also make these small rolls by cutting a wrapping paper or paper towel roll into smaller pieces.
First, flatten the rolls out, and carefully score a curve at each end with a scissor blade, as pictured. Make sure not to cut all the way through.
Cut out images of your favorite characters and collage them on the rolls. For a faster version, simply glue a portion of a comic page or strip (cut to fit the rolls), around it. Use the catalogs to add a little seasonal flair. Cover with decoupage or puzzle saver to secure them.
Once dry, cut a light curve at each end of the roll. Carefully push the two scored halves together on one, so they overlap. Fill the open end with goodies, and fold it up as well. Hold the rolls in place by tying a ribbon or string around them lengthwise, and add little handwritten gift tag.
Fill these with small foil-wrapped chocolates (we like to use Hersey Kisses or chocolate coins), tea bags, or other little treats. You can also fill these with a piece of fun costume jewelry, or small vintage toys like marbles or jacks. Since these already resemble gift card holders, they are the perfect size to surprise someone special with a gift card or cash.
Kids can easily carry a bag of these to school, and hand them out to everyone on their list. They can also make a few extra, for those they might have overlooked. It happens.
Toilet paper rolls and holiday treats may not seem like they go together, but when the holidays “roll” around, it’s a good idea to have plenty of both on hand.