DIY Gifts for Tweens and Teens to Make


Hazel always makes gifts for the holidays for family members. This year she is struggling with ideas and time. In 2020 when our library was only allowing door pick-up and drop-off of books, I picked up a craft bag that the Children's Department left for patrons. I figured Hazel and I could do the craft some time. It sat on my desk for over a year. Inside it had tissue paper in different colors, two 5" x 7" flat canvases, a small container of Mod Podge, a sponge brush applicator and instructions. The idea behind the craft was for the kids to create a picture by cutting the tissue paper into different shapes and gluing it on to the canvas. This craft sparked my interest. I wondered how my Cuttlebug would be with tissue paper. I am a bit obsessed with butterflies right now. Since Hazel is turning 13 this year and I see that age as a big metamorphosis year, I thought her birthday party should be butterfly themed. I have some beautiful butterfly dies to cut with my Cuttlebug. I tried it out with four pieces (different colors) of tissue paper and got some beautiful butterflies. The largest ones had some tears in some of the layers but otherwise were great.  Using the craft idea and my tissue butterflies, I wanted to make Hazel a butterfly picture. I found a pink square canvas that we had in our craft supplies and came up with this.

I used a Micron pen for the writing and I googled "butterfly sayings" to get the words. After writing with pen, I covered the entire canvas with Mod Podge. I found the pen smudged a bit. (On a later project I let the ink dry overnight before applying the Mod Podge and it did not smudge.) But I still love how it came out! I then suggested to Hazel that she make pictures like these for gifts. She said it was a neat idea but it was my idea and not hers. No wonder she is struggling with ideas for gifts!! She wants to come up with her own idea. I had pulled out supplies for her to make her own gifts and I kept creating since she didn't want to. Continuing on my butterfly theme, I also wanted to make one with this saying since it seems perfect for the whole becoming a teenager theme. I painted the canvas first this time.

I made the caterpillar by punching small circles of tissue paper with a paper punch. This time I wrote in Sharpie. I Mod Podged over it almost immediately and it did not smudge. Lesson learned! Then I got to thinking about some of my other dies and googled more sayings and ideas. This time I used the flat canvases. I covered them with tissue paper and Mod Podge first. I used cardstock (from Paper Source) when doing the die cutting. 

I stuck them in a frame that I have at home but am going to go to Dollar Tree and purchase some frames for them. The snowflake and I had some issues. I finally settled on a plain paper and not a shimmer. My shimmer papers were too thick for the die and the center details. I thought this would be a great gift for girls to give to their friends. (Hazel's school has a craft fair coming up and I think I will donate these last three to the school's table.) For this one I used a sheet of light blue and a sheet of white tissue paper to cover the canvas. The blue was brighter than I wanted for the background. I wrote on this one in Sharpie as well. Note: If you do not have a die cutting machine you could cut your own paper snowflake

For the unicorn one, my die came with a stamp to give the unicorn details. I heat embossed with a gold embossing powder over the stamp. Again, I thought this would be a perfect gift for a tween or teen to give a friend. You could use any rubber stamp picture and cut along the border as well if you do not have a die cutting machine. Heat embossing is a fun way to take rubber stamping to another level and can be done by tweens and teens pretty easily if they are given proper instructions about the heat tool. 

After this I started thinking about ideas for people who do not have a die cutting machine. I thought about origami. Using the simple Origami Heart I have made previously, I came up with this sign. Note: Heart is made from a sheet of Origami Paper 500 Sheets Cherry Blossoms shared here.

I used a Micron pen on this one. You can see the thin point tore a little of the tissue paper since I hadn't let it dry enough. I also have an amazing piece of art that I will share in the future that involves origami butterflies. I used the very easy Matthews butterfly for it. (The instructions are over on the far right of this page--not very easy to read, but they are there.) With origami the shapes are endless! Happy creating!