Homemade items spread love, foster creativity and skill-building

Homemade gifts elicit warm, fuzzy feelings for recipients but they also deliver a sense of purpose, generosity and pride for gift-givers. Instill a gift-giving mentality in your children and have fun with them making arts and crafts to share for holidays, birthdays or just to brighten another person’s day. A quick search online or a visit to local craft stores will yield a plethora of ideas for all ages from painting projects, salt dough creations, jewelry-making, weaving, beading and so much more. Alternatively, you can look for kits and classes available locally, including free options!

Free library craft kits & workshops

Beginning December 1, the Loveland Public Library at 300 N. Adams Avenue is offering free Kids’ Craft Kits to make at home, while supplies last. Pick up your supply kit and watch the video tutorial on Facebook to complete the project. This is an ongoing program, with different crafts each month.

The Poudre River Public Library District in Fort Collins offers Winter Take-and-Makes for children, teens and adults this month too. Children can build their own snowman–no snow required! Each kit includes instructions/materials to make one snowperson plus a coloring page and hot cocoa challenge. Tween and teens in grades 4–12 can create a hanging illuminated star where each kit includes instructions/materials to make one illuminated star, including conductive tape, LEDs and a coin cell battery. Finally, teens 12 and up or adults can create embroidered felt snowflakes with a kit that includes instructions/materials for at least two snowflakes, an embroidery needle and ideas for further projects. All kits will be available at all three Fort Collins libraries December 1–31, or while supplies last.

In Greeley, the High Plains Library is offering two crafts at Centennial Park Library. There is an etched glass ornament making workshop for ages 12–18 on December 6 from 6–7:30pm where participants will learn to create a stencil and then etch the glass to make a permanent design that can be duplicated on other items for multiple gifts. Teens and adults can pick up the Holiday Sparkle Chain Maille Earrings Take-and-Make kit on December 13 that includes materials and instructions to make one pair of beaded chain maille earrings. Kate Gesick of the High Plain Library District says, “Participants will need at least one pair of chain nose pliers to open and close the jump rings. It is easier with two pair of chain nose pliers.” Registration is required for both crafts to ensure the necessary supplies.

Additional Workshops

The City of Fort Collins has a Holiday Gift Making Workshop for ages 16 and up that will take place on Thursdays, December 2 and 9 from 4:30–6pm at the Senior Center. The cost is $40 and participants will create up to three unique gifts for the holidays. Sign up online.

Another option is through Michaels, the retail craft store, and their Kids Club Winter Workshops. The free online beginner classes take place each day from December 1–12 at 3pm MT. Parents/caregivers can choose from various ornaments, decorations, puppets, photo holders and more. View options and book online. You will need to buy your own materials. Supply lists are available on that site plus instructions if you want to take on the projects on your own.