a "been-there" mom of six offers encouragement
to wives, young mothers, and those not so young,
and simple common-sense approaches to
the "ings" of life:
child-rearing (hints and helps), homemaking (all areas),
cooking (simple, cheap, and do-it-yourself)
making (toys and gifts), preparing (for the unexpected),
maintaining (sanity and peace in this increasingly crazy world) and more---
all aspects of making the most of making do on little---
and having fun in the process.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

DIY Art Kits for Gift-Giving

Art Kits

Repeating from my last post, in case you missed it:  Once again I remind you to put your thinking caps on when you look through the gift catalogs that will shortly be filling your mail boxes, especially if . . .
Craft Kits are on your gift-giving list for kids or grandkids.

If you have been reading my posts for very long you know that I am a great believer in imagination, and opportunities for children to exercise theirs. 

The ready-made craft kits look like an easy answer to a great creative gift. At first glance!

Carefully note the contents and items of the kits you see in the mail-order catalogs and decide if you can do it cheaper, and probably better, without too much effort and without a shipping and handling charge. If you do not want to make up the kits yourself, it is often possible to find similar sets, for less money, at the large discount stores.

Now, on with the new. . .

Our kids' Aunt Bobbie made up their first art kits and they were a major hit. Aunt Bobbie's kits combined art supplies and collage supplies and many other little bits of creative potential.

The contents can be as simple or extensive as you choose. In case you don't know what is "out there" in the mail order or on-line order world, here are some commercial counterparts that don't even come close to what Aunt Bobbie put together.

Again, these prices are from 1996, as listed in one of my previously self-published bookettes. Is it safe to say the prices 15 years later are a lot higher and the quality is a lot lower.

Collage Kit
Boasts a case load of inspiring craft materials for $19.95 (in 1996!). The final sentence gives the case size as 9x4x8 inches! It includes feathers, pom poms, beads, star stickers, doilies, wiggly eyes, glue, sequins, glitter, colored paper and more. The photo looks like the "more" includes small foam food trays.

You may already have similar odds and ends around the house. Is there a dollar store near you?

Marking Pen Kits
Touts "fabulous arrays for big imaginations"

One has 8 markers, crayons and colored pencils, a four-color watercolor tray, one each--paint brush, pencil, eraser, sharpener, and mixing tray. It cost $14.95 in 1996.

The second kit has 12 each of markers, water paints, oil pastels, colored pencils and crayons plus a pencil sharpener, eraser, ruler and paint brush for $9.95.

If these kits were to be given as gifts next year, think how the anytime-great-savings can be "maxi-maximized" by shopping the back-to-school sales!

See how simply you, too, can be a creative cheapskate!

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