This section is from the book "How To Help The Shut-In Child: 313 Hints For Homebound Children", by Margery D. McMullin. Also available from Amazon: How To Help The Shut-In Child: 313 Hints For Homebound Children.
170. For Father or Uncle Bill, a calendar memo pad can be made from construction paper-one 8.5 x 11" sheet for each month. Rule each sheet into seven columns, and print the days of the week one day in each column. Now rule off six equal spaces down the length of the paper. In the comers of the squares, write the dates of the month, placing them in the proper columns. There will be a convenient space for writing daily reminders.
171. A good summer project for your child is making a paper fan for each member of the family. A very young child will enjoy making the simple accordion pleated type out of paper. An older child can make a more permanent cardboard fan. Use cardboard cut from tablet backs, box tops, shirt backings, etc. Glue, staple, or scotch-tape tongue depressors or ice cream sticks to the cardboard. Paste pictures on each fan, suitable for each member of the family: i. e., for Sister's fan, a picture of a masquerade ball; for Dad's fan, a picture of a hunting dog; for Mother's, a lovely landscape.
172. Remember, there are two sides of each fan to work on. Other design possibilities would be monograms, initials, names, or nicknames.
173. Bookmarks are gifts that can be made simply or elaborately, depending on the age and skill of the child. There are many varieties-from a five-year old's earnestly cut, long, narrow piece of colored paper with a primitive picture, to a teen-ager's beautifully inked design on parchment paper.
174. Weaving potholders from jersey loops on a simple frame is a popular handicraft. (Loops are usually available in craft, dime stores and in the needlework sections of large dept, stores). But do you realize that your child can make bath mats, table mats, or even hats or flat envelope handbags by sewing together a number of these potholder squares? Use all the squares of the same color because the colors may run when washed.
175. The back of a man's shirt (including the tail) is just the right shape for a dainty apron of practical size. Cut close to the shirt seams. Hem the edges and bind the top with tape or ribbon, leaving ends long enough for tying. From the sleeves make a large pocket or two small ones.
176. Why not make mittens? Buy a piece or two of colored felt or use good parts of old snow suits, coats or other woolen garments. Draw each mitten pattern a little larger than the hands they are being made for, by placing the hand on a sheet of paper and outlining around it. Before sewing the halves of each mitten together, applique or embroider a chosen design on the top halves of the mittens. Buttonhole-stitch each mitten together with yam. Be sure to leave the proper openings at the bottom of the wrist, one inch up the wrist at the thumb side, and two inches up the wrist at the other side. Buttonhole-stitch around the flaps at the bottom of the mitten.
177. Artificial flowers and corsages may be made from used stockings and Tintex. For instructions write to Tintex Home Economics Bureau, 485 Fifth Avenue, New York 17, New York.
178. Any household would find useful a yardstick case to be hung on the wall. Oilcloth sewn in a simple stitch, with a bit of wool or twine, is all that is needed. Add a pocket halfway down for a ruler and you have an extra special present. Don't forget a loop at the top for hanging.
179. Grandmother would probably like a pomander ball to hang in her closet. It may be made by sticking about three dozen cloves into a nice big orange. Dress it up with a bright bow and leave a loop for hanging.
180. Homemade cleansing cream is easily mixed. Just take:
4 oz. (8 tablespoons) Vegetable shortening
(from a grocery store)
2 oz. (4 " ) Petrolatum (vaseline)
1 oz. (2 " ) Double-distilled extract of witch hazel
Mix shortening with petrolatum, stir briskly, gradually add witch hazel, continue with a whipping motion until witch hazel is completely incorporated, add a few drops of mother's perfume; mix again. If this mixture is put into an empty glass jar (with a wide top, of course) and gaily wrapped, it makes a nice present.
181. Did you ever hear of a "Wish Book? " Your child may enjoy looking through magazines and picking fantastic, beautiful, or funny gifts for each member of the family, and for friends; for example, pictures of a dishwashing machine for Mother, a bowl of flowers for Aunt Grace, dancing lessons for Uncle Oscar.
182. Another possibility for the "wish" idea can be anniversary or birthday cards with amusing pictures of wishes for gifts, beyond the pocketbook but not the heart.
183. A dandy idea to please newlyweds is a scrapbook commemorating the day of the wedding. An interesting way to set this date in history would be to go through the newspapers of the day. Choose headlines of interesting world events, the weather report, local news, sports events-it might be fun to include that day's development of their favorite comic strip to help them recall the state of things on that eventful day. Other items to amuse them at a later year-advertisements, "timely" household and beauty hints of the day.
184. Many magazines print poetry, jokes, cartoons, and wise sayings. These can be clipped and pasted into a scrapbook.
185. Are there snapshots that you've never had time to paste in the family album? This can be an engrossing project for a child and a good "family" present.
186. For a child's baby brother or sister, why not a picture book? If made with muslin leaves, it will take hard wear. Be sure they stay put by using plenty of glue, paste or rubber cement on the edges of the pictures.
187. Cut a paper plate in half. Punch holes every half inch in the rim of the cut plate and all around the rim of a whole plate. Put the half-plate on top of the whole plate, with the hollow sides facing each other to make a pocket. Use yam or colored string to sew through the holes and hold the two plates together. Make a loop at the top for hanging on the wall. Shellac if desired. Use to put potholders in.
188. Tin can lids with no rough edges may be decorated with Christmas pictures. If Father puts holes near the edges, they can be hung with gay bits of ribbon to the Christmas tree.