Being semi-new to this whole parenting gig, I didn't even realize Grandparents Day was a thing until maybe a year ago! But alas, it is Sunday, September 11, 2016, which means it is quickly approaching.
Now, anyone who knows me knows I credit my grandma Lillie as the original maker. I remember spending days with her as she made dresses for my cabbage patch dolls and Barbies and hand embroidered pillows and blankets that I have now passed down to my boys. She would keep a secret stash of popsicles in the freezer for us and I sit on her counter with my treat watching her cook the most delicious Mexican food. She was loud and nosy and full of energy and I loved just being near her.
My hope is that when my children are grown, they have similar memories of my parents and so I have compiled a list of some super fun and functional DIY (and, let's face it, last minute) gifts the kiddos can help you make and that will help in creating some memorable moments with their grandparents.
Mini Polaroid Magnets
So this idea isn't exactly super original, but it's fun and quick and it will get your mom off your back for at least a couple weeks if she's been hounding you for pics.
White foam board
1" square photos
Mod podge and foam brush
1" magnetic tape
Clear packing tape or contact paper
Box cutter (or Exacto knife)
2. Cut your foam board using a box cutter into rectangles measuring approximately 1.1"x1.5".
3. Apply mod podge to the backs of your photos using a foam brush and stick to the foam board rectangles, leaving an extra space at the bottom for that Polaroid aesthetic.
4. Cut the magnetic tape so that it is slightly smaller than your foam board and stick to the back of the board.
5. Apply packing tape over the front to laminate your magnet.
6. Sit back with a glass of wine and admire your work.
Hanging By A Thread Bookmarks
My parents are big readers. When my boys stay the night at Grandma and Grandpa's house, my dad will read the most boring books in the best voices out loud to Charlie, trying to teach him all about Marine hero Chesty Puller. I've tried to convert them to eReaders so they have every book at their fingertips, but they love having an actual book in their hands, turning the pages, all that jazz. Grandparents are just basically older hipsters.
Photo of little one (preferably in an arms up pose!)
Laminator (may also laminate using packing tape or clear contact paper)
1. Cut photo of your kiddo so that none of the background is left and laminate. Cut lamination down to the same shape.
2. Punch a hole where the kiddo's hands are.
3. From your embroidery floss, without taking the entire floss out of the paper wrapping, gently pull out approximately 2 12" pieces of thread. Cut remaining floss in half, still keeping the paper wrapper on. Take one of your 12" pieces and begin wrapping the thread together to create the tassel. Double knot and trim the excess.
4. Take the other 12" piece of floss and loop through the "head" of the tassel and thread through the hole of your pic and double knot. Hide the knot inside the "head" of the tassel.
As I mentioned above, one of my fondest memories as a young girl was cooking with my grandmother. I've been nagging my mom that she needs to write down her recipes, which are really just vague instructions like "a little of this, a pinch of that". So to get that ball rolling, my boys and I decided to give her a recipe box, which we just jazzed up with some decoupage hand prints.
There's no real science to this one. We merely picked up a cardboard recipe box from the craft store and decoupaged with some wood grain decorate paper using mod podge. To get the eager little ones involved ("Are you painting, mommy? Can I paint, mommy?") we added a requisite handprint rooster and other stick barnyard animals (Charlie was in a farmy mood).
To up the cuteness factor, I asked Charlie and some of his pre-school friends for recipes to get Grandma started.