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need xmas ideas for youngsters

3122 Views 17 Replies 9 Participants Last post by  DesertRatTom
We have two young girls staying for xmas. an 8 and a 10 year old.
looking for presents ideas to make for them.
Has to be smallish and not very heavy because they will both be flying home with the presents in their suitcases.
What have you got?
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Small keepsake boxes are always well received.

I've also done several under 20 note music boxes that the young ladies really enjoyed.
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One of the girls already has a collection of my boxes so I'm trying to be a bit different for her friends sake.
I know that they are boxes but wood pencil cases might be nice (lots of ideas on the web). Maybe piggy banks (owl, apple, elephant, bunny, clown...)? Clocks or even room name tags?
There was a guy around here who at Christmas has a kiosk filled with band saw boxes in fanciful shapes. Butterflies, lady bugs, stars, crazy eight shapes, small stands with multiple drawers. Painted, and unpainted but with nice finishes. Small, portable and if not too childish, will be kept forever.

Have your wife pick up some appropriate gold pins or ear rings to put inside them as a double surprise. Maybe with their birthstones. That will be appreciated for a long time.
This is as painful as coming up with something new for a 2 x 4 Challenge; I'm in the same boat for both conceptual goals.
A couple of ideas that might be extensions of the box thing:
-an artists easel /box for budding artists... keep everything together in one place.
-not really for the kids, but I saw a really nice cutlery caddy. You load all the cutlery into one of these small baskets for setting the table, especially helpful when you've got a dinner crowd.
The one I saw was actually low profile and the cutlery lay flat in longitudinal compartments. But here's one that holds the stuff upright.

Another idea is a version of the Oriental style wooden tile puzzles. There are books with patterns available.
Here's a sample of the finished thing...


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Sorry, that was confusing; the thumbnail was for the cutlery caddy, not the puzzles.
I was trying to get away from boxes, but I think Dans cutlery tray is a step too far :surprise::surprise:

Not sure I am up to making wooden puzzles, the accuracy is a bit beyond my very basic skills. and whatever i make has to fit in the suitcase for the plane journey home,
looks like its going to be trinket boxes.
thanks all.
Those interlocking puzzles are too diabolical to suit me. Where's Oliver, I bet he'd have a couple of ideas.

If the kids have tablets or phones, you could make a fanciful charging station to hold their stuff, or even act as stands when they use them.
Trouble is i dont know make or model of any devices they have, and I wont be able to make anything in the week they are here, so its going to have to be trinket boxes.
If you have access to a lathe, my grand kids, even the 18 YO, love the pens I make for them. Made a snowman pen from soft maple with an ebony top hat last year. Small, easy and inexpensive (IF you have the lathe already lol!).
Our woodworking club has an "Outreach Trailer" full of tools that we take to any group who would like to get started in woodworking. We also take it to community days, fairs, etc. to help anyone who is interested in woodworking to get started by making their first project with our guidance. We provide everything free including some of our expert members to act as 1 on 1 teachers.

Two of the most wanted projects are whistles and light sabers that the children make from blanks provided using one of our three lathes. The wooden blanks are pre-drilled, but they get to shape the outside to suit them. Then for the whistle the notch is cut using a jig to keep it accurate, but they get to do this too. A wooden plug is then added to the end with a little glue and then trimmed off.

The light saber handle is also turned from a pre-made blank with holes in both ends, again shaped any way they want to make it. Then a 18" length of 1/2" PEX plumbing tubing is pressed into one end hole. PEX is available in white, blue, and red, so they also get to choose the color. Then an LED flashlight from Harbor Freight (red or blue) is pressed into the opposite end hole. These lights vary a little in diameter, so we have some tape handy to wrap around the flashlight body if it doesn't fit snugly. In reduced light environments, these light sabers are quite impressive with the whole length of the PEX tubing glowing from the light shining through it.

We make the blanks for both of these projects from donated wood scraps of domestic hardwoods and we have wipe-on wax available for a quick surface treatment after their completion. At every event we seem to always have long lines form behind each lathe, of children, and adults, waiting for their turn to make one of them.. More girls seem to like the light sabers than I would have ever expected. Some are even willing to stand in line a second time for the chance to make the other project. It isn't long after we start that whistles are blowing everywhere, and light saber sword fights are occurring frequently.

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Whistles? That sounds like something only a grandparent would buy. We bought a whistle for our grandsons as they played basketball inside. Saved them from making a whistle sound. Funny, but our daughter lost it. JMHO. What are the ages of the ones who will receive the gifts? School age kids could always use a pen.
The new string, My new "noob" question is a discussion of making a kaleidoscope stand. I think that might be an interesting project/gift. Read the responses for ideas.
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