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This was originally posted in December 2015, but I just think that it is the perfect creative Christmas gift (or anytime gift) for a child, so I wanted to share it again.   We still have this DIY craft kit box… all of these years later. 🙂

I am so excited to share our DIY Invention box (also called our “Craft Kit” or our “Crafting Box”… or whatever other names the kids give it at the time) with you!   It is the perfect gift for a creative child.


Do you have a creative child? 

If so, I’m sure you are always on the lookout for those creative gifts for kids.  We’re the parents of inventors ourselves.  Our house is covered in boys’ crafts, girls’ crafts, and really any other ‘gift’ that was made from those craft kits for kids that our kids have around the house.

Our kids love to create and they love to build.  I’m sure you can relate: A box becomes an airplane, a space rocket, robot arms, ski boots…

Coming up with a gift that was perfect for our “creator children” was a little tricky until I thought of this “invention box”.

What is an invention kit (or a”DIY Craft Kit”?)

It is a box that is stuffed full of “stuff” that they can use to craft.  If you find a button at the bottom of your drawer, it goes into the box.   Did you see a pack of stickers on sale at the store?  Take it home to throw into the box.    It is filled with anything and everything to allow for great DIY crafts for kids.

I filled it with a TON of stuff- some of it was laying around the house and some of it was picked up at the store or ordered online.


I didn’t include anything that he would need help with (ex: nothing that requires water or can get really messy.  It has to be stuff that he can open up, play with and clean up all by himself!).

The fact that they can use it independently allows them to use it more.

It really makes it the perfect creative Christmas gift idea for kids.   Our sons, and my nephew, all received one for Christmas one year.    They don’t make many “crafts for boys” types of kits at the store, but this one is great.  They can glue, staple, tie and create to their heart’s content.

A person sitting at a table in front of a window

Perfect Gift for Kids of All Ages:

This gift really works for any age child.  I have been watching our kids use this DIY invention kit for many years now, and they all use it.   Our kids use it to make everything from cool dream catchers with the yarn to great gifts for their grandparents.   The older kids even find themselves using it to make projects for school.

It’s awesome because it is inexpensive, making it a great arts and crafts gift for anyone.   It’s creative, imaginative, frugal fun for boys & girls.

We even pull this super easy DIY crafting kit out when our kids have a birthday party at our house and we want a fun, easy activity.  It has never failed us yet.  Their friends love to find new craft ideas as much as our kids love to create gifts and invent new things.

How to make this DIY gift for a creative kid: 

Grab a container and fill it with these things (be sure to read the comments for more great ideas).  You can find these items at most craft or dollar stores, or you can order them online (Most of them are sent with free shipping) by clicking on the affiliate links below.


Here is a peek inside of ours: 

gift for creative child

I threw it all into a cleaned-out tin popcorn container that we had and I just put the lid on.   DONE!

When I gave it to our son, he was SO EXCITED!!!

I didn’t put everything into it, yet, because I wanted to save some of it for his stocking, but our kids have already spent hours upon hours playing with this!!   (I saved the really fun stuff ~ stapler, glitter glue, etc…) for Christmas morning.   The extra arts & crafts supplies make fun Christmas gifts for kids.

Just let them have fun and be scientists & inventors that they were meant to be!

If you can think of some other things to add, I’d really love to hear them.    I am always adding to this box and the kids never fail to be surprised and excited when they find something new inside. 🙂

What else would you add? 

ps- here are 50 stocking stuffers that your kids will love:
50 stocking stuffers the kids will LOVE!

If you want to see my favorite gift list filled with Non-Toy gifts, check them out here
Sign for 50 Non-Toy gifts.

Hi there!

I’m Becky, a former elementary school teacher turned certified child development therapist and blogger. I work at home with my husband and together we are raising (and partially homeschooling) our four children in the Carolinas. I love diet coke, ice cream, and spending time with my family.

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      1. how about strawberry baskets, we’ve included a disposable camera– at the end of the summer we’ll get the pics. developed and when they have to do their “what I did over summer break” journal/writing assignment when school starts up, they can use some of their favorite pictures!

  1. I’ve done this for years (started when I was a preschool teacher) – though I call it a scrap box and we use it primarily for collage art. I put in any sort of fun little “scraps” I can find. Aluminum foil is always popular. In addition to your list, I’ve also put in cotton balls, q-tips, fabric, wrapping paper, sequins, rhinestones, beads (buy a bundle of “mardi gras” style necklaces and cut them into varying lengths for a ton of beads for $1), ribbon, curling ribbon, heavy plastic (like from a bag on new sheets), crepe paper, cardboard tubes, leftover party napkins, dixie cups, scrapbook paper, construction paper, puzzle pieces (from when a puzzle has gotten ruined/lost pieces), sponges, foam, styrofoam peanuts, lids/caps, silk flower petals, nylon loops, rubber bands, zip ties (my son’s favorite), jingle bells, wax paper …

    Whenever I add “paper” type pieces, I usually cut them up into various sizes (they are usually leftover bits from cutting out other things but too bulky to be added whole). I try to keep everything under 2″ square (and rarely is anything “square” LOL).

    I’ve also found that liquid school glue is often needed for heavier items that don’t stick well with glue sticks.

    1. OH- thank you so much, Bonnie! I love those ideas! i have a few minutes today without the older boys, so I was hoping to run by the store and grab some more things. This gives me a great list. 🙂

      1. You’ll soon think of it as a way to creatively recycle small items. A few more things occurred to me while I was “out and about” today…straws/coffee stirring straws (cut into different lengths) and lids from applesauce/baby food pouches.

        I always like to sneak new things into the box when the kids aren’t using it so they find “treasures” the next time they play.

        Glad I was able to share!

  2. Love this idea you could add q-tips, empty containers like yogurt,peanut butter jars, egg cartons, Pringle cans, miss matched socks.

  3. Used this instead of candy or novaltyy toys that will pile up in giveaway.

  4. Hoping you’ll be able to see this… I’m reading through your decluttering series now. How do you handle “inventions” like this…they can pile up and add to the chaos that makes me crazy. =) How long do you let them keep the things they make?

    1. lol- they clean it up when they are done. At the most, I will let it go until bedtime & they will clean it up before they go to bed. 🙂 (If they beg to keep it, it has to stay in their bedroom.) 🙂

  5. That’s more what I was talking about – the actual end “product”. You know, the super cool paper eating princess that was created…and wants to be played with. How long do those get to stick around?

    1. haha! I guess about a week or two- but as long as it is kept in their rooms. I would really let them keep it as long as they want if its not in the way (in the living room or kitchen or too big). Then one day, when it is worn, I just throw it out. Our kids used a HUGE box that we had to make a fort- it was colored on, had things glued on it, had windows cut into it. It lasted almost a month before it was too loved and I threw it out. On the other hand, our son made a robot head out of an old cake box (the plastic kind from the bakery)- he used this kit to add things to it. It lasted about 3 days before I took it out. It was on his desk and he really didn’t care about it after a day or two. 🙂

  6. Wooden spoons for puppets. You can find packages of different sizes at the dollar store.

  7. This is a superb idea! When I was little my dad a mechanic if big machines used to drive a company truck and inside wad a wonderland for me. Nuts and bolts,pvc piping all different kinds. He would let me sit in his truck and connect things. Construct these long twirling pipes and when I got done he would give me a ball bearing and we would drop it in and see if it would come out the other end. This diy box just reminds me of how much fun I had with that. I havr a lil girl who id alwayd cutting, gluing, decorating and is very imaginative! This would be perfect for her! Thanks!

    1. Oh our son would LOVE all of that!!! (Pvc piping…) I might have to add that to the mix! 🙂

  8. Did a similar project for my granddaughters . I included a foam scrapbook from the dollar store and double-sided tape so they could stick pictures and other treasures in it. They had googly eyes and stickers and foam and scissors and glue, etc. The youngest was 4, and they loved it.

  9. Wow Becky, thank you sooo much for sharing this awesome idea! I am super crafty myself and am very proud that my six-year-old daughter Emma is aswell! She is so much like me xD but one thing that I’ve started to notice is that (like me at times) she wants to keep or save the craziest things with the intention on using it to make something with someday. Things like the formed plastic that comes as packaging with some toys, cardboard drink carriers (from Sonic Drive-in), etc. Just anything that gives her an idea or inspires her to create something. I am very proud of her for that, but at the same time it can be very frustrating to me when I’m trying to eliminate clutter from around the house. This invention box will be the perfect place to keep all her creativity-inticing trinkets! Reading your article, I got so excited about this idea and cannot wait to put one together especially for her while she is at school today and letting her add to it when she finds inspiration in something I or anyone else would normally throw away. Thank you again!! 🙂

  10. Thanks for giving me this simple yet interesting idea to keep my kids occupied during school holidays. Appreciate it!

  11. What kids science experiment magazine is your favorite? Looking to do a subscription for my 5 year old.