Last-Minute Christmas Gifts for Kids and Adults

Reindeer Food: Kid’s Craft

Still looking for a couple last-minute Christmas gift ideas? First up is this “Reindeer Food” craft project for kids. I’ve included a free Christmas printable. You and/or your kids can make this cute reindeer bag filled with reindeer food to sprinkle on your lawn on Christmas Eve. It lets the reindeer know that you want them to bring Santa to your house! We just did this last night with my 3-year-old (today we had an early Christmas celebration), and he loved the idea!

reindeer food in a paper bag recipe
To make the project, you’ll need:

– Paper bag
– Marker
– Scissors
– Glue
– Staples (optional but easier), and
– Biodegradable food for the reindeer

For the reindeer food, we liked using edible glitter or colored sugar (usually in the baking aisle of grocery stores), crushed candy canes and oatmeal. You’ll also need this free Christmas printable from Google Docs that I put together. To print, click the link then in the upper left, choose File, then Print!


Just cut out the shapes and glue on the face halfway down the bag, then put the instruction label on the back. You or you child can draw on the reindeer’s mouth.

Next, fill the bag with your reindeer food. Fold down the top of the bag a few times and slip the antlers under the fold. Staple the bag shut and make sure the antlers are held in by the same staples (or you can glue rather than staple). That’s it!

Save the bag until Christmas Eve. You can even put together Reindeer Food Kits with all the supplies to give as a fun gift/craft to other children.

reindeer food kids craft

Homemade Caramels in a Jar: Adult or Family Gift

For a last-minute Christmas gift for an adult of for a family, I was inspired by the book, Ruby Star Wrapping to paint a couple jars and fill them inside and out with goodies. Click the cover image on this page for a free preview of the book. The instructions for painting a jar is from pages 89-92.

kitchen gift set in a jar

Online Quilting Class

I began with a large and small jar and followed the instructions from the book to spray paint them. Then I filled them with amazing and addictive homemade apple cider caramels made from this Smitten Kitchen recipe. I followed the recipe exactly other than changing the final cooking temp from 252 to 255 as our family likes really chewy caramels. I also made the potholders (fabric is Cosmo Cricket Early Bird, now out of print) then tied one on the jar with ribbon. Add a wooden spoon or small spatula or some other kitchen utensil or gadget to finish it off. And of course you can fill the jar with store bought candy and a purchased potholder. And that’s it! Cheerful and sure to bring joy to any family. I love that the jar can be kept and reused as a vase or for storing other special things!

making homemade caramels

Note: Because I was filling the jar with food (even though it was individually wrapped caramels), I was extra careful to wrap the inside of the mouth of the jar with painter’s tape, then stuffed it full of paper towels to make sure no paint was on the inside of the jar!

painting mason jars tutorial

I hope you enjoy these last-minute gift ideas for kids and adults!

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  4 comments for “Last-Minute Christmas Gifts for Kids and Adults

  1. Dora
    December 23, 2012 at 2:26 pm

    What kind of paint did you used to paint the jars?

    • December 23, 2012 at 5:36 pm

      Hi Dora, I used Krylon spray paint. The orange is glossy and the dark blue is more of a matte/satin finish (which I preferred). If you want more info on how to prep and paint the jars, click the link to preview the book Ruby Star Wrapping in the post, in the paragraph under the “Homemade Caramels in a Jar”. Click the image of the book cover to go to the page views, and instructions are on pages 89-92.

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