Great Holiday Crafts for the Family

  • Deck the Halls

    When the kids are running around your house hopped up on sugar plums and candy canes, it takes a great activity to calm them down and get them all sitting around the kitchen table. These crafts do the trick. Some of these fun and easy holiday crafts can be done with simpel supplies you already have in your home, making them a cheap way to kill some time before Santa arrives. Photo Credit: Getty Images
    Paper Bag Gift Pouch
  • Paper Bag Gift Pouch

    The stationary pros at came up with a great craft idea that is thrifty, functional and fun: homemade gift bags! Materials: Paper lunch bags, rubber stamp(s) of your choice, ink pads in a few colors, pinking shears, hole puncher and ribbon. Check out some great stamps at Instructions: Lay paper bag on a flat surface. Stamp the bag in random places or in a pattern. We used holiday themed stamps (pictured) to tie in to our holiday theme. With the pinking shears, trim the top of the bag for a more finished look. If wrapping a bottle, you can simply tie your ribbon around the neck and gather it loosely. If you want to seal the bag, fold the top over, punch two holes in it and pull a ribbon through. This is a project that kids can do themselves and personalize with doodles, glitter and other embellishments. Voila! Custom gift bag! Photo Credit:
    Homemade Ornaments
  • Homemade Ornaments

    Materials: Colored poster board or foam sheets from your local art supply store; glue sticks, glitter, paint, sequins, etc. for extra embellishing. Instructions: Cut out holiday shapes that your kids will enjoy, like stars and Santa hats, and then let them go to town decorating their own ornaments. Another fun option is to trace their hands on the poster board or foam, then cut out the hands and let your kids decorate. Help them write their names to personalize the ornaments. You can do this each year and compare the size of their hands as they grow! Hang the ornaments with ornament hangers, which can be found in most stores that carry holiday decorations. Photo Credit: Switzerland County (IN) Tourism/Kendal Miller
    Customize Boring Ornaments
  • Customize Boring Ornaments

    Materials: A box of plain ornaments, glue, glitter, sequins, ribbon, paint, paint brushes. Instructions: There are so many ways you can jazz up a standard ornament like solid-colored balls. Make patterns with paint or glue and glitter. Add more detail with small beads, sequins and ribbon, which can also be glued on. Photo Credit: Annie Pilon
    Paper Snowflakes
  • Paper Snowflakes

    Don’t forget paper snowflakes!  You might take these for granted because you’ve seen them all your life, but remember, the kids haven’t – my daughter is thrilled every time I make one. Now she’s 4 and has her own safety scissors, so we’ll make some together this year. They look great affixed to your windows or on the holiday tree with ornament hangers. Photo Credit: chrstphre campbell
    Handmade Stockings
  • Handmade Stockings

    Materials:  Felt and embroidery thread in holiday colors from your local fabric or craft store. For extra zing, add glitter, sequins and beads (use spray adhesive, glue or needle and thread to affix). Instructions: With pinking shears, cut two pieces of felt (at the same time) in the shape of a stocking and sew closed with the embroidery thread. Keep it simple, or go crazy decorating! Photo Credit: Melissa Sanders
    Gift Tags
  • Gift Tags

    Materials:  Plain paper tags with string , origami paper. Instructions:  There are countless ways to decorate your own gift tags. If your kids are young, stick to glue, glitter, markers, and the like. But if your kids are a bit older, you could make more sophisticated tags like the ones pictured. No need to buy an origami book – there are lots of how-to guides online. Photo Credit: kittykatkards
    Place Settings
  • Place Settings

    Materials:  Construction paper, rubber stamps, ink. Instructions:  Why not have your very own personalized place cards at your holiday dinner? Cut out paper squares (4”x4” or so), fold them in half, and stamp away. The youngest kids can do the stamping and the older kids can show off their fancy penmanship by writing guests’ names on each card. Photo Credit: Kathryn
    Wrapping Paper
  • Wrapping Paper

    Materials:  Plain paper on a roll (I love to have a roll of paper on hand for random arts projects with the kids…) or old newspaper; paint, glitter, stickers, markers and any other embellishments you like. Instructions:  This is a wonderful craft for kids of all ages, and a fantastic way to wrap very personal gifts. Lay the paper out on a large sheet of plastic and let your kids go wild decorating one side of the paper however they want! Photo Credit: Edenpictures
    Santa Sack
  • Santa Sack

    Liz Johnston of is an expert on going green. She offers the following suggestion for family fun around the holidays: “One of the best and most fun ways to reduce trash from the holidays is to have a family craft night to create a Santa sack for each family member.” Instead of wrapping everything, just tell the kids to leave their sack under the tree for Santa to fill up. Materials:  Old pillow cases are the perfect size for most moms and dads; kids may need bigger bags (like a laundry bag) or multiple pillow cases. Also paint and stencils, trim and tassels, glue and glitter. Instructions: Create your own super-sized stocking. Now Santa doesn't need to waste any time or resources with paper and ribbon, he can just fill your sack, eat his cookies and be on his way to the next house. For more ideas about how to green your Christmas, and for a selection of eco-friendly gift ideas, visit Photo Credit: Juddejah
    Pipe Cleaner Wreath
  • Pipe Cleaner Wreath

    Materials: Pipe cleaners, a donut-shaped piece of Styrofoam, felt, plastic berries, glue gun; all can all be purchased at your local craft store. Instructions: Wrap the foam with the pipe cleaners, twisting them in the back to secure them. Separately, cut felt in the shape of leaves and attach berries to them with the glue gun. Once the glue on the berries and felt leaves is dry, use the glue gun to attach the leaves to the wreath. Hang with string or yarn and voila! Photo Credit:
    Digital Crafts: Holiday Card
  • Digital Crafts: Holiday Card

    These days, who isn’t going digital in one way or another? N.Y. based graphic design firm MSLK designed the iPhone app OTO as an alternative to paper holiday cards. It’s an incredibly easy to use photo app that enables you to take pictures of your family with cheeky props and graphic overlays to share with everyone. Once you’ve created your cards, the images can be easily shared via email, posted on Facebook, or shared on your blog. The app is free through January, then it will cost 99 cents, so get on it! Photo Credit:
    Digital Crafts: ElfYourself eGreeting
  • Digital Crafts: ElfYourself eGreeting

    You and your kids can create own free holiday greeting that's a blast for the whole family by visiting You upload photos of mom, dad, the kids and even pets, use the crop tool, and select your favorite themed holiday dance, and that’s it! The site generates a hilarious family eGreeting featuring everyone's face on silly dancing elves that can be shared via e-mail or your social networks. You can also turn your elf-selves into puzzles or ornaments at the Elf Store. Photo Credit:
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