DIY Cheer Gifts
Nothing says Holiday Cheer like a handmade gift for your favorite cheerleader! Not only are handmade gifts less expensive, but you can personalize them with your cheerleader’s name, their team, and colors. Here are some DIY cheer gift ideas.
A cheerleader can never have too many bows! There are many ways to create a cheer bow, and you can make them any size and thickness that you want. The best ribbon to use is grosgrain, which you can find at craft stores like JoAnn and Hobby Lobby. Some of the stores even sell premade grosgrain bows that you can embellish with rhinestones, glitter, or iron-ons. The hot bow patterns are cheetah, zebra and chevron, with polka dots also being used. I always say that a bow can never have too much bling, so feel free to go crazy! If you want to make a professional bow, here is a YouTube tutorial that shows the easiest way to make a pro bow.
If cloth isn’t your thing then how about a duct tape cheer bow? Duct tape now comes in fancy patterns and colors, and you can find it at your local craft store or hardware store (yes, the hardware stores even sell the fancy tape!) How about a bacon cheer bow? Rubber duckies? Mustaches? The possibilities are endless! Here is a YouTube video on making duct tape cheer bows. If you have male cheerleaders on your team, think about making them a matching duct tape wallet in your team colors!
If you want to go mini, then make a cheer bow keychain! You can purchase keychains at your local craft store. Keychain cheer bows might be a great gift for a team since they are small and you can make a whole bunch quickly. They are great for hanging from a cheer bag zipper. (Photo courtesy of Karyn Rosario)
Here’s a video on making cheer bow keychains.
Every cheerleader needs to stay hydrated, so how about a personalized water bottle? You can purchase plain plastic water bottles at the dollar store (I recently saw them at a store called Five Below). Use paint markers from the craft store to personalize the bottle with your cheerleader’s name and team. Water bottles can also be decorated with duct tape. You can tie ribbons on the top that match your team colors if you get the kind of bottle with a screw-on top. To keep ribbons from fraying, put clear nail polish or a product called Fray Check on the tips.
It’s easy to personalize a tee shirt and make it look professional. The tee shirt section of your local craft store, such as Michael’s, Hobby Lobby or JoAnn, will carry plain tee shirts and sweatshirts. They also have a variety of things to decorate the tee shirt such as iron-on letters, iron-on cheerleading symbols and pictures, hot glue rhinestones, patches, and paint markers. If you’re an extreme crafter and you own a mechanical cutter such as a Cricut or Silhouette machine, you can really get creative with iron-on vinyl. My suggestion for tee shirts is less is more; stick to simple designs. You can find a lot of inspiration by looking up cheer tee shirts on the internet.
Cheerleaders need to keep warm on the sidelines so think about making a no-sew tie fleece blanket. It’s best to choose a pattern for one side and an accent color on the other. If you don’t want to tie the blanket, you can embroider the edge with a blanket stich. Fabric stores carry fleece in a ton of cute designs and colors. They also have tie blanket kits. Fleece isn’t cheap, so be sure to look for a sale or use a coupon. To make a tie blanket you will need a ruler, scissors, a marker and patience. Here is a tutorial on how to make a no-sew tie fleece blanket.
If tying all those knots on a huge fleece blanket sounds like too much, consider making a no-sew scarf out of a tee shirt. This is a great project for an upcycled tee shirt.
A simple yet personalized cheer gift is a framed cheer quote or picture. Find a photo of your cheerleader and put it in a plain frame that you decorate yourself. If you don’t have a photo, you can create an inspirational saying on your computer and print it on a color printer. Add photos, ribbons and bling.
When it comes to handmade gifts, it’s the personalization and the time and effort that make it a truly unique present. Even if you’re not creative, you can find inspiration on places like Pinterest, and then make the idea your own. Go spread some holiday cheer!
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