Last Minute Easy Handmade Gifts To Make With Kids

Could you use some ideas for last minute, easy handmade gifts? Read on!

Okay, so we’re down to the last holiday minute, and if you’re in need of a little something for your lovely neighbors or visiting cousins, this might just do the trick. My 3.5 year old actually helped me make everything here (in various ways), you might already have all or most of the ingredients/materials, and these won’t take you all day to pull together.

Easy Handmade Gifts #1: Beaded Ornament Activity Bag

Easy handmade gifts | Make a beaded ornament kit |

My daughter decorated some paper lunch bags with bits of wrapping paper and markers, and we filled them with a couple activities + a tape measure.

Easy handmade gifts | Make a beaded ornament kit |

Activity One: Make an Ornament. I folded a piece of card stock in half, typed (with this typewriter) “Make and Ornament” on one side (you could also stamp, print, draw this on, etc.) stapled up the sides, and attached an example of the activity to the side with a piece of clear tape.

Easy handmade gifts | Make a beaded ornament kit |

We filled the envelope with a small baggie of assorted beads (from a few big bags that we sub-divided) and four pipe cleaners that I prepared with a little bead-stopping loop at one end.

Easy Handmade Gifts #2: Make a Snowflake Kit

Easy handmade gifts | Make a Snowflake Activity Kit |

Easy handmade gifts | Make a Snowflake Activity Kit |

I prepared an envelope the same way, with typing, stapling, and filling. This time we placed a short stack of colorful tissue paper circles and a few pre-made snowflakes in the envelope for inspiration. I didn’t have time to write up directions, but hopefully everyone remembers how to make a snowflake. Most people don’t have circular tissue paper on hand, and a little stack of flattened, round coffee filters or squares of upcycled magazines would also do the trick. I love this tutorial for making snowflakes from squares of newspaper squares, from Maya Made.

Easy Handmade Gifts #3: Sugar Scrub

Easy handmade gifts | Make your own sugar scrub |

This is a nice way to spread some pampering cheer that will shine away rough wintery skin, and they couldn’t be easier to assemble. Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Glass Jar with tight-fitting lid
  • Sugar
  • Grapeseed Oil
  • Essential Oil in your favorite smell
  • Decorative Fabric or Paper
  • Paper Label
  • String or Rubber Band
  • Small wooden spoon (optional)

Collecting my materials was the most time consuming piece of this project. I found the jars and wooden spoons at Daiso, a Japanese dollar store that rocks my world, and the essential oil was from Whole Foods. I used grapeseed oil (Trader Joe’s) because it’s virtually scentless and has a long shelf life, and I included a wooden spoon so that my friends can scoop out their scrub without adding bacteria into the jar. It’s not really necessary, but I think it’s a nice touch.

Easy handmade gifts | Make your own sugar scrub |

I wish I was more scientific about this, but I’ll tell you how I made it and hopefully it will make sense. I filled 1/4 of the jar with sugar, added enough grapeseed oil to coat it, and then mixed it well. Then I added sugar to the 1/2 way point, added more oil, and mixed it again. I repeated this until the sugar-oil mixture was about 3/4″ from the top. I added a little more oil so that it floated on top of the sugar, making the whole mixture easy to stir. Once it was nicely blended, I added about 30 drops of grapefruit essential oil. Basically, I added the essential oil, smelled it, and then added more until I was happy with the strength of the smell. I thought about using lavender, which I also had, but the grapefruit smelled so refreshing and it complemented the green fabric.

Lastly, I covered it with a circle of fabric (traced with a bowl), secured it with a rubber band (to hold that heavy spoon on tight), and wrapped a gift tag on with some baker’s twine.

Easy Handmade Gifts #4: Pecan Chocolate Turtles

diy gifts with kids

These are so simple, absolutely delicious, and I made them with both my 1-year old and 3-year old. My one year old exercised some fine motor skills by unwrapping the candies, while my 3 year old placed them on the pretzels. It was assembly-line cooking at its finest! They won’t disappoint you, I promise! I found the recipe on All Recipes, and if 5 stars out of 855+ reviews doesn’t tell you how good these are, I’m not sure what will :)


  • Small Pretzels
  • Rolos (Chocolate-covered caramel candy)
  • Pecan Halves
The recipe can be found here: Pretzel Turtles on All Recipes
When they finally cooled (this part took a while, maybe 2 hours), I wrapped them up in wax paper and sealed them with a sticker.

More Ideas for Easy Handmade Gifts

Cookie Dough in a Jar, easy for kids to help assemble

Handmade cards that kids can make.

Handmade Valentine Cards with heart-shaped envelope


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    • Rachelle says

      I adore your snowflake ornaments. You’ve taken ours up a notch (and I’m always amazed at how we’re often on the exact same page). Happy winter solstice. 

  1. Aleksandra says

    Those turtles were both delicious and lovely to look at!  Thank you!!  I can’t believe the recipe is so simple, and I’m excited to make some of my own!

    • Rachelle says

      So glad to hear they were enjoyed :) We’ll have to make another batch with all the kids after the holidays.

  2. M Wall says

    Great idea! Sometimes holiday parties are more adult focused, so this would be a great gift to bring for the kids so they have some fun things to keep busy. I was also thinking when we are doing our regular craft projects, after pulling out all of the boxes with all of the supplies, to make a “kit” or two with just the materials needed so next time the prep is less work, and when I need a quick fix to keep him busy, it is right there! Thanks and happy holidays!

    • Rachelle says

      Making kits ahead of time would be such a time saver! I’ll try to add that to my new year’s resolution list too. Happy Hanukkah and Merry Christmas!

  3. Heather says

    I am so glad to read your post! I absolutely love these ideas especially the make an ornament kit. We need a last minute gift for a friend of my daughter’s and we are definitely making the ornament kit for her. There’s about 14 inches of fresh snow outside so shopping is not something we want to tackle right now! 

    One of our favorite homemade gifts this year that we made for family/friends were magnets. Easy, fun and pretty!

    • Rachelle says

      Woah! 14″ of snow is no joke. I’m so glad that this will help you out. One of my favorite gifts is a set of homemade magnets from a friend’s child…they’re still on my fridge after 6 years!!

  4. Jena @ HappyLittleMesses says

    It was around this time last year that I discovered your TinkerLab and I’ve checked it out everyday since.  It was one of my favorite holiday gifts and remains a great inspiration.  Thanks for all you share!  Happy Everything!

    • Rachelle says

      I remember that, Jena! I’m so glad you found me, and can’t tell you how happy it makes me to hear that you read my blog so often. Wishing you and yours a very happy New Year. xo