5 Gifts for Middle School Girls Tweens Can Make for Friends
Here are some of my kids’ favorite gifts for middle school girls that they’ve made. While they’re appropriate for any occasion, they’re also the perfect Christmas crafts for teens.
My daughters love to create things. They are constantly crafting, using one medium or another. One week they’ll be making bracelets and next they’ll move on to food for their American Girl dolls.
Luckily, they have a bunch of tween friends who also love DIY projects, so they are always constructing things for each other.
They make gifts all year for their friends, but they especially enjoy creating stuff for them during the holiday season. I love this because handmade presents are much more personal than store bought ones. They’re cheaper too.
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Every year, my girls scour Pinterest looking for projects that catch their eye. They save them all to their boards and use them to make up a list of things they want to create. It’s a great go-to place for gift ideas when they need it. Here are a few that they chose to make for themselves and some of their girlfriends this season.
If the girls in your life like to craft like mine, hopefully, this list will inspire them to surprise their friends with some fun gifts. And not just for the holiday, but all year long!
DIY Gifts for Middle School Girls to Make for Friends
Duct Tape Flower Pen
Both of my children love making things out of duct tape. We regularly have a large selection of patterned duct tape in our house that they use for various creations. One of their favorite projects right now is making flowers to add to the end of pens. To learn at first, Abigail followed the steps in this tutorial to complete a popular flower style.
After she cut the tape down into small rectangles, she folded over one edge, creating a corner for the petals, and started layering them over one another at the end of the pen.
With duct tape, she was able to turn something simple into something beautiful. She’s planning on giving one of these to a friend along with a journal.
Marbled Paper Bookmarks
Marbled paper is pretty, so the girls decided to make beautiful bookmarks to go along with some books they planned to give to their friends.
They each chose acrylic paint colors to swirl (pink/purple for Marianna and green/blue for Abigail), as well as a roll of coordinating ribbon for the tassel and small beads to tie on the ends.
Here’s how easy it is to make beautifully marbled paper bookmarks.
- First, cut the shape of your bookmark out of thicker cardstock. We used our paper cutter to get nice edges for our rectangles.
- Spray foaming shaving cream into a pan (we used an 8″x 8″ disposable aluminum baking pan) and spread it out, covering the bottom. You don’t need a thick layer, about 1/4″. Then drip some paint onto the shaving cream. Again, you don’t need a ton, just enough to color the shaving cream.
- Using a toothpick, pull the paint through the shaving cream, creating a marbling effect.
- Lay the bookmark down on the painted cream and press down slightly. Carefully remove it and lay it paint side up on a piece of paper (or something to protect your table).
- Remove the excess shaving cream with a window squeegee, by pulling it across the bookmark in one clean motion.
- Let the bookmark dry. After ours dried, we laminated it for extra protection.
- Punch a hole in the top, cut off a piece of ribbon, thread it through so it stays secure and tie some beads to the end.
Flower and Gem Hair Clip
Marianna loves wearing flowers in her hair, but buying them in the store can be very expensive, so I was happy when we learned how to make our own.
- Choose the silk flower you want to use and separate the petals from the stem.
- Hot glue all of the petals together in whatever pattern you’d like.
- Cut a circle of felt (big enough to cover the center part of the flower) and glue it to the back of the flower.
- Glue the hair clip to the felt. If you’re using a snap clip, you can glue a smaller piece of felt to the first one to secure the hair clip. We don’t add the extra felt when we use flat alligator hair clips.
- Pick a coordinating crystal gem and glue it to the front of the flower, right in the middle.
While doing some research for a co-op class, I came upon these charm bracelets. The girls think they are cute, so they added them to their list this year. They used buttons from my large button tin, so all we had to purchase were charms and cotton braided cord. Simple and inexpensive.
American Girl Backpack
My daughters have wanted a backpack for their dolls for quite a while and after making an Afikomen bag during a history lesson, I figured I could turn it into a backpack by adding straps.
This is an easy no-sew project.
- First, cut these dimensions out of felt:
- backpack – 1 piece 5 1/2″ W x 10″ L
- straps – 2 pieces 1″ W x 11 1/2″ L
- Fold up the short end of the felt, leaving about a 2″ fold over for the flap, and then hot glue the sides of the backpack.
- Glue the two ends of each strap onto the back, creating a circle for the arms to go through. Make sure the two straps are evenly spaced along the backpack.
- Attach a button to the front flap, using glue.
- If you’d like, you could add a small piece of Velcro to the bag to keep it shut.
I hope our list has encouraged you to start thinking about gifts your girls can make for their friends. There are plenty of DIY crafts out there that are perfect for middle schoolers.
What kinds of gifts for middle school girls do your tweens like to make to give to friends and family?
If you want even more Christmas gift inspiration, check out our friends at iHN.
Love these ideas. My daughter is working on some finger-knit scarves as gifts right now but I’m saving your ideas. We always love handmade gifts.
Thank you Tonia! I’ve been enjoying your website. Mine have done some finger knitting – I was thinking of having them use that process to make scarves for their AG dolls. We love them too.
Cute ideas! And easy, too. My 12 year old is making big flower hair-bobs for her niece and is sewing AG doll clothes for her sister. Love the marbled paper, we just might try that. Thanks for the inspiration!
Thank you Linda! My girls have just started learning to sew, so I’m still sewing their AG doll clothes. Their dolls make out quite well at Christmas! I’m glad I was able to inspire you. One tip on the marbled paper – you don’t need a ton of shaving cream or paint and make sure you use a squeegee that is as wide as your paper. I used something smaller at first and it didn’t work at all.
Such sweet ideas, Megan! I love these.
Thank you Dianna! I hope you have as much fun as we have had making them all.
I love these ideas, and know my girls will, too. Especially the duct tape flower–how cute!
Thank you Gin. My girls LOVE duct tape. They have made so many crafts out of it. They also love to make stuff for their AG dolls with duct tape. I love the flowers too. Luckily there are so many flower variations you can make, so you should never get bored.
Love these ideas! I’ve added a rainbow loom kit to my daughter’s Amazon wish list!
Thanks Aadel! She will LOVE it. I can’t tell you how many bracelets my girls have made with that thing since October. They are insanely popular and very easy to make with the loom and style book. I have a feeling they will be under many trees this year.
Great ideas! My 7 year old is also about Rainbow Loom, and she made several presents with it already. I think the backpack for American Doll is a great idea!
Great collection of crafts! Thanks for linking up!
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