Presents for the Future

(The Washington Post)
Monday, December 3, 2007

Have you decided what you're giving Dad and Mom this holiday season? He has plenty of ties already, and she really doesn't need another macaroni-encrusted jewelry box, does she? KidsPost's Amy Orndorff comes to the rescue! She explored local craft stores and found three presents that you can make -- each for less than $5. And she guarantees that your folks will find them more useful than a tin-can pencil caddy.

Eyeglasses Holder

No more lost reading glasses. This woven holder protects the lenses and catches the eye.

What you will need:
1 empty toilet-paper tube
1 ball of colorful yarn

1. Cut 11 three-quarter-inch slits, evenly spaced, on each end of the tube.

2. Lace the yarn through a slit, down the outside of the tube and around the slit on the opposite end. Repeat until you have gone all the way around the outside of the tube. Cut off the remaining yarn, leaving enough of an end to tie to the piece you began with. Make sure your knot is tight, then clip off the loose ends of the yarn.

3. Cut a 12-foot length of yarn. (You might not need that much, but you don't want to run out before you're done.) Tie one end to the yarn already on the tube. This works best if you tie it near one of the slits, not in the middle.

4. Take the long strand of yarn and begin weaving it around the tube, going under and then over the yarn already on the tube. Repeat, pulling tightly as you work.

5. Continue until you can't weave anymore, then tie off the end piece and trim it.

6. To remove the eyeglasses holder, fold the ends of the tube outward and slide the loops of yarn over the flaps. The holder should slide off the tube.

Identification Holder

Does Mom or Dad wear an ID card at work? Make a beaded chain in your parent's favorite colors.

What you will need:
a 3-foot-long piece of dental floss
or fishing line
beads in different shapes and colors
your parent's ID card (if it doesn't have a hole, you also will need a see-through ID holder)

1. Decide on a pattern (example: 4 red beads, 1 white, repeat).

2. At one end of the floss/fishing line, tie a bead on the end so the rest won't slip off.

3. String the beads until you reach the middle, then add the ID tag and continue with the rest of the beads. (Note: If the hole in the ID is bigger than the beads, you can add the tag at the end.)

4. When finished stringing, tie the loose ends together. Make sure the knot will hold, then snip off any remaining floss/fishing line.

Piggy Bank

Help Mom and Dad save for your next must-have toy. This little piggy is the perfect size for a desk or the kitchen table.

What you will need:
1 piggy bank (any size)
colorful permanent markers
paper towel

1. Wipe off any dirt or marks on the pig.

2. Sketch your design with a pencil. Use a damp paper towel to remove anything you don't like.

3. Go over your design -- carefully -- with permanent markers.

4. Add pennies.

© 2007 The Washington Post Company