Friday, December 16, 2011

{Handmade Christmas} Sibling gifts: DIY bookmarks

I start bookmarking DIY gift ideas early. Like September. Or earlier. This year I also wanted the kids to make small gifts for their grandparents, so I specifically looked for quick and simple things to do. Well, actually I always look for quick and simple projects. I don't really do well with complicated and fussy projects. I leave those to the pros.

Apparently I do well with complicated and fussy starts to my posts though.

Anyway. While looking for simple kid crafts, I came across an idea at Design Mom: Sibling gifts. I had never really thought much about that before. I'm happy if I manage to have the kids do something for their dad (which I'll share after Christmas), for their grandparents and maybe something small for their preschool teachers (last year we did cookies).

Sibling gifts? Really?

This is for those crafty moms who have all these supplies on hand and lots of patience and who don't get nervous at the thought of preschoolers with scissors, right?

But the idea stuck. No matter how hard I tried to ignore it and tell myself that I didn't have time for that, I kept coming back to it. You see, little brother doesn't fall asleep at night without mommy next to him. And since he's been in that in-between phase where they can neither do with nor without naps, I got quite a few nights on which it's taken him a little longer to fall asleep. Like an hour. Or an hour and a half. So as I'm lying there in his toddler bed (talk about comfort here), I try to focus on something that'll keep me from falling asleep. To keep my mind busy I go through party preparations or Christmas gift lists or projects to do around the house. Some of my best ideas come from those nights. Most nights I fall asleep though and make it downstairs by 9:30pm, still sleepy and cranky because I'm not going to get anything done anymore.

So one of those nights I came up with idea of making bookmarks. Big brother loves to read, and he's usually reading about five books in parallel. For some reason, regular paper bookmarks just don't live long around here. He has this pile of books next to his bed with everything from scrap pieces of paper, tissues (clean ones. I hope.) and torn bookmarks sticking out. 

This year, little brother will give him a set of shiny, all new and handmade bookmarks. And it was the easiest thing ever. Here's how:

I got a set of fingerpaints, which I was going to get anyway. Then I covered the dining room table with an old shower curtain and let little brother paint a plain sheet of white paper (not even cardstock, just plain computer paper) to his heart's content. Of course, the first color chosen had to be yellow.

We let it dry overnight, then I laminated the whole sheet and cut it into strips the way I thought it would go with little brother's design. Punch a hole, add some matching ribbon and - done. Originally I wanted little brother to help with the laminating, cutting and hole punching, but he got sick so I quickly did it myself while I was laminating the memory games

Meanwhile, big brother did a simple longsleeve tee for little brother, ironing on a purchased car applique. Yeah, I know, it's sort of lame. But it looks really cute and big brother was excited about using the iron (with me watching, or course). Originally I wanted little brother to do the same, because that was my first idea about sibling gifts. But then I had the bookmark idea. And when the tees I had ordered arrived, big brother's was the wrong one, they sent one with a print instead of the plain one ordered. So I sent that back figuring we'd just do little brother's.

Maybe I'll do something more elaborate with him for little brother's birthday in March. I'm thinking felt accessories for his stuffed dog. Ikea sells these really cute and cuddly stuffed dogs which big brother got for his birthday last year and the matching accessories for Christmas last year. This year, little brother got the same dog, but doesn't have anything to go with it. Maybe big brother and I can make a yellow collar or a cape or something. Or a felt version of the doggie biscuits. Hmmmm.....

See? This is why my to-do list is too long. I have too many ideas. And I can't keep myself from adding them to the list and trying to squeeze them in somehow because I think it would be so great and really, it's just this one little project... But I'm getting much better at just adding them to my inspiration file instead. So I'm bookmarking this for his birthday. And I'm not going to do any additional, dog-related felt projects for Christmas. Really. None.

Although it would be cute. And I have felt left over from these. And big brother could use some more practice with his scissors. And I got an email yesterday saying that the wrongly sent tee is being exchanged and the new (plain) one is on the way. Hmmmmmmm.... technically I could do that one AND one felt project, saving the other felt projects for later.

I'll keep you posted. Which of course I am not going to do because it's only one week until Christmas and I'm sticking to my strategies here .


Please tell me you can relate.


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