DIY gift ideas: Holiday crafts with the kids

Best Health’s Stephanie Han is super-crafty, and has been making her own jewellery, gifts, artwork and home décor for years. Here are some of her favourite homemade ideas

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Cookie gift boxes

What you’ll need*
• Biodegradable clamshell takeout boxes (Stephanie ordered hers online from
• Cookies or other baked items
• Patterned food-grade tissue paper (Stephanie used Martha Stewart’s line from craft store Michael’s)
• Washi tape, which is a Japanese sticky tape available in pretty colours and patterns
• Baker’s twine
• Paper gift tags

How to make
1. For each box, bake-or buy-six to 12 cookies (how many you put in the box depends on the size of the cookies).
2. Line the box with food-grade, or waxed, tissue paper.
3. Neatly stack cookies in box. Secure top of tissue paper with washi tape.
4. Use baker’s twine to secure box, and attach a personalized gift tag.

* Unless otherwise stated in this article, supplies are widely available, including at craft stores, hardware stores, dollar stores or office supply stores.

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Mason jar treats

What you’ll need
• 500-mL mason jars with metal lids
• Plastic toy animals from a dollar store (or use decorative pine cones, finials or anything that can be glued easily to the lid)
• Spray paint in various colours (Stephanie used the Valspar brand)
• Strong adhesive glue
• Your choice of popcorn, chocolates, jelly beans, candy canes, mini-pretzels, pretty bath salts or other treats
• Labels
• Baker’s twine

How to make
1. Spray-paint metal lids and whatever items you will be gluing onto the lid; allow to dry. (Tip: Satin and glossy spray finishes create the best results; matte finishes tend to peel.)
2. Glue items onto lids. Let the glue dry well.
3. Fill jars with treats and top with the painted lids.
4. Attach a personalized label to baker’s twine and tie it around the neck of each jar.

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Advent calendar

What you’ll need
• Box template (get it here)
• A pack of 8×11-inch card stock paper in various colours
• Bone folder (a craft tool that helps to score creases without ripping the paper)
• Double-sided tape
• Large piece of white foam core, which is your Advent calendar backdrop (Stephanie’s was 30×20 inches)
• White glue
• Number stickers
• Paper gift tags with a hole at the top
• Ribbon for gift tags
• Treats for some of the boxes (e.g., a miniature toy, chocolates or lollipops)

How to make
1. Print out 25 box templates on card stock (Stephanie used a different colour for each row). Cut out box shapes and score folds with bone folder.
2. Assemble boxes using double-sided tape, but leave top of box open.
3. Using a ruler, put five faint horizontal lines on the foam core. This is your guide for placing each box. Glue boxes to foam core, ensuring even spacing.
4. With the number stickers, label each box from 1 to 25.
5. Write activity notes on the paper tags (e.g., “Paint a pirate face”; “Make some popcorn and watch a movie”). Attach a ribbon to top of each tag. Place a tag in some boxes and a treat in the others.
6. Close each box. Now try to keep your kids from peeking!

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