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Craft Ideas from Winter Gifts Program

Posted by Cat Parrish
Children's Farmyard and Family Program Manager & Farm Based Educator

If you’re looking for simple natural craft ideas to do with your children for holiday gifting, here are a few of our favorites from our Winter Gifts program.  We really missed creating gifts together on this fun-filled day, but you and your kids can still make some on your own using found and recycled materials near you. Have fun! 




  • 3 ½ cups oatmeal
  • 2 tablespoons sunflower oil
  • ¼ cup sunflower seeds
  • ¼ cup pumpkin seeds
  • Honey and/or maple syrup to coat
  • ¼ cup dried cranberries
  • You can add other “extras” to your oatmeal to create different flavors in your granola!  Look for a variety of possibilities in the bulk section of your local health foods market.

Materials for gifting:

  • Clean jars
  • Scrap fabric to decorate lids of jars
  • Rubber bands help secure decorative fabric
  • Ribbon or yarn to tie on decorative lid (which hides the rubber band)


  • Preheat the oven to 325ºF.
  • Mix all ingredients (except cranberries!) in a bowl.
  • If the mixture is dry, add extra honey/maple syrup or sunflower oil.
  • Spread thinly on a cookie sheet.
  • Place cookie sheet in oven and check on granola every 15 minutes or so.
  • Take out granola once mixture is dry and toasted.
  • Toss with cranberries.
  • After your granola has thoroughly cooled, spoon it into your clean jars and add fabric, rubber bands, and ribbons to the lids.

Driftwood Jewelry/Key Holder



  • Driftwood
  • Natural rope material, or jute 
  • Small cup hooks that screw in.  (Here's another hook option.) We recommend buying these in person so you can see exactly what you are getting - it is very hard to judge the size of these hooks online.  
  • Hammer
  • Thin nail 


  1. Determine how many hooks you want on your piece of driftwood.
  2. Make a pilot hole for each hook by lightly hammering a thin nail a little bit into the driftwood. You’ll be able to screw in the cup hooks more easily this way.
  3. Tie jute onto the driftwood to hang it, and you're done!

Lake Rock Trivet or Coasters


These lake rock trivets were made using scraps of outdoor carpeting for the base.


  • A collection of flat lake rocks
  • Thick/corrugated cardboard, or a material that will not bend easily, cut into a 6" diameter circle for a trivet; 3½" diameter for coasters.
  • Hot glue gun
  • Matte finish spray (optional)


  1. Collect your rocks. It's important that they be as flat as possible. Our Lake Champlain Rocks are made of Iberville shale.
  2. Cut a circle (or circles) out of your cardboard. You can also use outdoor carpet, which you often can buy by the foot at your local hardware store.
  3. Glue rocks one by one onto your cardboard. You could arrange them on a separate piece of paper first (cut out in same size circle), to experiment with the best fit!
  4.  If you want your trivet to be slightly shiny, you can spray them with a matte finish spray once the glue has dried.


Lake Rock Refrigerator Magnet


  • A handful of lake rocks. Look for lightweight rocks (heavier rocks will slide down your refrigerator!) It’s also helpful to have rocks with one flat slide that will easily glue to the magnet.
  • Magnets.  You can find them here.
  • Hot glue gun
  • Paint pens, metallic pens, mod podge, dried flowers/leaves, to decorate your rocks. Lake rocks are beautiful on their own but also fun to decorate!


  1. If you want to decorate your rocks, do that before you glue on the magnets.
  2. Glue rocks to magnets.  To help avoid burning your finger with the hot glue, squirt a dot of glue onto your magnet, then press the rock to the magnet. (Don't do it the other way around!)

Happy Holidays! Happy Solstice!

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