Making a fun, homemade Christmas present for friends and family is easier than you think! Not only can it really save your pocket book, it also gives you an opportunity to involve your family. Kids love to help out with homemade projects, and they get the added joy of seeing the recipient open the gift they helped make.
One easy project is making a Gingerbread Man Garland. The steps are very straightforward, supplies are easy to find, and it can be done as a family. One of the added benefits is that having the kids help with the cooking can a valuable math lesson. Here's how to make this project:
Find a gingerbread cookie recipe you like, we like this Gingerbread Recipe
. You can find a cookie cutter shaped like a gingerbread man at any local craft store. Mix your dough, using the cutter to cut out the Gingerbread men. Using a wooden skewer (or a popsicle stick), make a hole in each of his hands. Be careful not to make it too close to the edge or it will break when he's baked. Bake the cookies and allow them to cool completely. Tip: It's best to make them a day or two before assembling the garlands.
Gather your supplies. You'll need white icing, some candy to decorate the gingerbread men and ribbon to attach your cookies together. This can be a messy project so it's a good idea to have a cookie sheet for each participant to work on.
Decorate your cookies! Allow the kids to pipe icing around the edges, or to make eyes or buttons. If you want to use candy as details, a little dab of icing will work as "glue" to hold the candy in place. Here's another fun idea--if you're making the garland as a gift, try making a cookie that resembles each of the family members.
Tip: It's simple to make an icing bag, just scoop it into a small plastic bag (Ziploc style work best), snip a corner off the bag, and squeeze the icing through the hole. Allow the decorated cookies to sit overnight.
Decide how long to make your garland. You can make a darling wall hanging with only three, or make a nice long one that includes many cookies. Cut a length of ribbon, making it longer than what you think you'll need.
Thread the ribbon through the outside hand of the first gingerbread man. Tie it in a knot then pass the ribbon behind the cookie, and up through the hole in the other hand. Leave a little ribbon loose, and go on to the next cookie. You'll weave the ribbon through one hand, behind the back, and up through the other hand until you've reached the last cookie. Tie a knot, but leave a little extra ribbon.
Print out your recipe on a recipe card
, punch a hole in the top and weave the end of the ribbon through the card, tying a knot on the other side. Now your present has all your cookies bound in a ribbon as if they're holding hands and features the recipe for the cookies. It's a perfect, inexpensive gift!
Tip: This can be a great project for a party! Bake the cookies ahead of time then invite everyone over for a cookie decorating, gift making event! Check out the cute party invitations and clipart
you can choose from...