For as long as I’ve been Blogging (8 years now!), I’ve always made it a point to share our family’s Christmas crafts. Many people tell me they look forward to these particular entries (no pressure, right?!) and while I don’t have any truly new and ingenious ideas this year, hopefully you’ll still find something that will inspire you enough to pick up some paints or glitter & glue and create something. I try to give credit where credit is due so check for links in each project description.
I host a little craft day for my kids and their cousin every year and this year, we initiated a new member. My nephew Dominic just turned two and I thought this would be the perfect time to add him to the mix. It did make the planning stage a little more difficult because I was now picking out projects for a 2, 4, 5, 8 & 9 year old. We ended up repeating one of my favorites – the handprint snowman ornament – because I thought that would be a great keepsake for Anthony (cousin, 5) and Dom (nephew, 2) to go home with. The kids are mostly happy to eat pizza and watch movies together, so really they would have been happy with anything. Usually when I plan my crafts, I aim for 3 solids and 1 in case we have extra time. One is always going to be the star project: a really cute ornament or something that required a bit more time. Then I have a couple of filler projects which usually involve paint. This was the second year we repeated the wooden masks and it makes for a really fun ‘after’ picture. Oh and we usually finish up with gingerbread cookie decorating. I buy the pre-made cookies so it’s no fuss and the kids can just have fun decorating them.
The two year old’s cookie. He outsmarted me with the sprinkle container on the third try.
This was my nephew’s very first time painting and he loved it! Huge hit. I had to distract him with Spiderman coloring sheets because he was painting through projects at lightning speed.
We had a cold, wet and gray weekend so I didn’t take many pictures of the crafting process. If you want pretty finished project pictures with some instructions however, you’ve come to the right place! I am including projects from Craft Day along with some preschool-friendly projects I worked on with Grace this week. Love, love, love having the bulk of December off from shooting. It gives me time to play with my girl and help her create little masterpieces. :) I also had 6 of my older daughter’s friends over on Friday night and between pizza and the new Disney channel crossover show, we fit in two crafts. So there’s definitely a little something for everyone here.
This year’s Craft Day 2012 participants (L-R: Dominic (2), Emily (9), Andrew (8), Grace (4), Anthony (5)
On with the show!
THUMBPRINT CHRISTMAS TREES
What you’ll need: Elmer’s Christmas tree shape, paints
This was just a simple project I picked up as something guaranteed to work for all of the ages. Our craft store (I like AC Moore) had these really cute thick poster board snowflakes and Christmas trees. I figured we could make some trees all fancy just by adding thumbprint ornaments. Dom used the paints more like fingerpaints (right). This was his first time painting ever AND I let him start by putting his fingers all in the paint which = a free for all. He loved it! My kids made a joint tree (left).
I printed little tags with names and the year on the back. I’m big on making sure everything we create is dated.
I found these adorable sock snowmen while browsing Pinterest the other night and knew the kids and I had to try to make some. Within minutes I had all of the supplies out and in about a half hour, we had four cute snowmen completed while we watched The Mistle-Tones.
Side note: I actually do like Tori Spelling. If I didn’t, I would have attempted to climb her father’s gates in Beverly Hills to get a better peek at her house. True story. 2001 and without photographic evidence, you can never prove this happened. It’s about time she starts considering parts that are a bit more her age however. Snotty Tori in white fur toting around a miniature pup was a bit much.
What you need: tall mens crew socks, patterned dress socks, rubberbands, rice, twine, bakery string or yarn, small buttons, toothpicks, orange paint.
You may want to follow the instructions found at the original link because she had very easy-to-follow pictures. You basically cut the crew sock and using the top tube portion, turn it inside out, rubberband the bottom and turn it right side out. Now you have a little “bag” that you want to fill with rice. Once filled, rubberband the top closed. Cut and fit on your patterned sock. You can make three lumps (you would need two pieces of twine) or two. I made the short, fatter two-lump snowman and the kids made the taller three-lump ones. Fit the toe part of the cut patterned sock on as a hat. We added a bit of glue to secure them in place because they kind of wanted to pop off. Adorn snowman sweaters and hats with tiny buttons, beads, mini Primas, etc. I cut the edges off two toothpicks to make 4 noses and painted them orange. Glue on to complete their cute faces. :)
My fat lil’ snowman.
The kids’ cute snowmen. (Grace, Emily & Andrew). Emily made hers 100% on her own. I like how she sort of made the patterned sock look like a dress and the way she did her hat. :)
SNOWMAN FROM UP ABOVE
I love those melted snowmen cookies and thought this paper project was just as cute. Our snowman doesn’t look melted though. Instead, he looks like he’s looking up above, waiting for snow to fall down on his head. Or to bring you in for a hug. Or anything else a plump little snowman would look up above to do.
What you need: 8×8 piece of patterned paper, small square of patterned paper for the scarf, white cardstock, tiny piece of orange cardstock, black cardstock, three circle templates or objects you can trace around (we used a small salad bowl, wide glass and a smaller juice glass), small buttons for the eyes, glue.
First, cut out all of your paper pieces: three different sized circles for the body, a hat, carrot nose, two small mittens and a scarf (the scarf should be made slightly larger than the head-sized circle). Grace glued all of the pieces down herself. You want to go in this order:
1) bottom biggest circle 2) two arms 3) middle circle 4) scarf 5) head 6) hat 7) facial features
She drew the smile on last. Super-simple and very sweet when finished. She’s giving the second one she made to Grandma. :)
Here’s Gracie working on her snowmen…
DOUBLE HANDPRINT REINDEER
This project turned out so great! Here’s where I found the original. I can’t wait to work on something else with Grace’s handprints. My favorite part is her ‘signature’ and her age.
What you’ll need: nice heavy cardstock (I love the orange peel textured version), brown, black, red & green paints, googly eye
As you can clearly see from the picture, one hand gets stamped upside down (we did this one right side up first and then just rotated the paper) and the second gets stamped right side up. That second hand gets painted brown aside from the fingers: they should be black to form the antlers. We added the partial Christmas tree on the side to kill some dead space. Once dry, add the red nose (that’s Grace’s thumbprint), hooves, an eye and a half-smile. Make sure to sign & date. :)
SPARKLY SNOWMAN WITH SOCK HAT
So I may be obsessed with glittering glass ornaments now. So easy and the outcome is so beautiful! I bought a bottle of Glitter It! and the process was so simple. You squirt some inside the ornament and turn to coat. I drained them upside down for a few minutes and then added about a teaspoon of fine glitter. Again, turn the ornament to coat it with glitter. I let them sit upside down overnight so everything would drain.
What you’ll need: glass ball ornament, Glitter It!, fine white glitter, part of a fuzzy sock, ribbon for hanging, ribbon for around the hat, black & orange paint.
I glittered the ornaments the night before the girls came over to save us some time. Once glittered, you want to work on the hat. I bought super-fuzzy socks from the craft store and cut each in two. First we fastened a ribbon onto the ornament’s top. Then over that, we fitted on the sock hat making sure some ribbon peeked out of the top so we could hang it after. Tie tight toward the top and glue the rim around the head. The girls used a Q-tip dipped in black paint for the eyes and coal mouth and a toothpick dipped in orange paint for the carrot nose.
MINI LIGHTBULB REINDEER
This project was actually created in 2008. When I was photographing crafts the other day and looking at my tree, I was pretty sure I had never shared it here and its so cute and simple that I figured I’d throw it into this year’s mix (*When looking back at older entries after composing this, I realize I did a quick write-up on this little guy two years ago. I’m going to leave him in this entry anyway. Perhaps he’s going to make his way to your craft table in 2012!)
This ornament actually holds a special place in my heart. When I was dating my husband, his sister had a three year old daughter (now my 14 year old niece!) We had only been dating a few months when Christmas rolled around and his little niece gave me one of these reindeer bulbs in a little Christmas baggie. I was touched, and I’ve hung it on my tree every year since. Since 2008, this little guy has hung right next to my original.
What you’ll need: small opaque lightbulb, brown pipe cleaners, small glittery red pom pom, googly eyes, ribbon, glue.
If I remember correctly, one pipe cleaner will actually take care of both antlers for you. Just cut one in half and then bend each half into a kinda-sorta loop shape. Glue to the back of the bulb on the metal part (hot glue may be your best bet). Decorate the face. Glue on a ribbon for hanging. Super-simple and cute. We made a whole bunch back in 2008 and gave them to the Grandmas and Aunts for their trees.
COFFEE FILTER SNOWFLAKE BALLERINA
This is the perfect project for older girls. It was a little difficult to cut the dainty fingers. For my group of 9 year olds, I had to cut the finger area for them.
I would love to be able to share my ballerina silhouette but I fashioned a template from something I found online. If you Google or dig around Pinterest you’ll find some other versions and you may even find a downloadable template.
What you’ll need: white cardstock, either a really good freehand or a ballerina template, coffee filter, string for hanging.
First I printed all of the ballerinas onto white cardstock and had the girls cut them out. In hindsight, a simpler pattern may have been a bit easier because they were having trouble around the delicate areas like the wrists and fingers. I had to perform some minor Scotch tape surgery on a few of the ballerinas. I really do love the finished look of these though. After they cut them out I had them design their own coffee filter snowflake. Make sure they don’t cut right in the center because you are going to need to cut a circle there later to be able to fit the skirt over your ballerina. This was a little tricky since our dancers had those spread out arms. I put each skirt on the paper dolls for the girls so we wouldn’t have any broken paper limbs. I ended up gluing them a bit so they’d stay in place. For hanging, I threaded white thread on a needle and strung it right through the head (there goes the delicateness of this whole project. A hole to the head will do that.) You could also use fishing wire. These look really cute hanging and swirling around.