This is the third year that my kids are making gifts for each other. It’s turned into one of our best family traditions — requiring more thinking and time than is ideal, but my kids LOVE it. As I’ve mentioned in years past, I prefer the gifts to be usable and practical.

For 2 year old Betty, who has lately become obsessed with all things ballerina, Ralph made a tutu. My friend Jill gave me this idea and it is such a great project (thank you Jill)! It’s virtually no-sew.

Cut elastic to waist size and stitch together — that’s the only needle and thread required. Then cut lengths of tulle from a 6-inch-wide tulle ribbon roll. Fold the tulle piece in half and then thread the ends through itself around the elastic. And that’s it. You just keep repeating till the elastic is covered.



We used an entire roll of champagne colored shimmer tulle (25 yards). It was on sale for $3 at Michaels and provided 33 lengths (about 2 feet long each) to tie to the waist band. We also used 3 rolls of ribbon in peach, cream and sage green. They were .50 cents, also from Michaels. They provided 11 lengths each and were attached between the tulle pieces for accents. We already had elastic, so the whole cost for the tutu was $4.50. And it turned out beautifully. I think Betty is going to be beside herself with joy when she opens this.

Another note about this great project. You can make the tutu any length you like, by using longer or shorter pieces of tulle. So this same idea could work for an older girl as well. Also. If I’d had another roll of the tulle, I would have used it and made the tutu twice as full. (I’ve posted more specific directions and photos here.)




For Oscar, Ralph decoupaged a bucket to corral his matchbox cars. We used a bucket we already had, plus modge podge and sponge brushes in our art supply stock. So the only cost on this one was .69 cents for a piece of car-themed scrapbook paper. I heart decoupaging. It breathes new life into all sorts of things.

A super simple project. We first cut wide strips of the paper the same height as the bucket. We put a layer of modge podge on the bucket, added the paper strips, and coated the tops with more modge podge. We did 3 top layers of modge podge, waiting between each for the last coat to mostly dry.

I have it on good authority that Santa is putting a pack of cars into Oscar’s stocking, so he’ll be excited to put this bucket to use immediately.




Ralph used fabric markers and stencils to customize knapsacks for Maude and Olive. They’ll use the knapsacks to carry their shoes/clothes to dance class and gymnastics class. Very straightforward. Just place the template on the fabric, color in with fabric markers, and set with a hot iron. We had all the supplies for this project, so it was a freebie. Ralph was the most happy about and proud of this particular gift.



For her sibling gifts, Maude made tie-dye t-shirts. A project that doesn’t take much time and provides really satisfying results. We adapted instructions from here and here with t-shirts found for about $5 each at Old Navy and Target.

Tie-dying is addictive. If we hadn’t run out of dye, I think we would have started coloring boxers and undershirts next. Maude is so pleased with how the shirts turned out she can hardly stand to keep them a secret.

Olive will put together her gifts this weekend. We’re not sure exactly what she’s making, but some of the ideas on the list are: ribbon belts, embellished headbands, baseball caps with vintage scout patches found on ebay, decoupaged wood blocks, and homemade hair conditioner. She also likes the idea of taking a photo portrait of each sibling and then framing it to display on their nightstand.

You can see more of what we made this year here. You can see what we made in past years here and here and here and here. What do you like to do for sibling gifts?