christmas crafting | 2011

I am going to be bold and subtitle this part one. I am hoping there will actually be a part two.  I have so many ideas (thanks brain that never shuts off and Pinterest) that there’s no way I’ll be able to sit around and not try a few more of these. After all, it’s only December 5th! There’s plenty of crafting time left. :)

This weekend marked our 2nd Annual Christmas Craft Day! Mind you, I’ve been doing crafts with my kids since they are babies. There was the time that Emily made everyone cute little foam figures for the holidays and she was a whole 4 months old. =P  Last year I decided to invite my cousin’s son over to join my kids and now it’s our new tradition to have him over each Christmas and leave with a box full of homemade decorations.

I love craft day for many reasons. One especially nice side effect is due to the fact that I have three kids creating the same craft. We don’t need three of everything in this house so we always choose one to keep and two to give away. So after all of our Christmas crafts are done, we have quite the assortment of gifts to give to people during the holiday season.

When formulating my Plan-Of-Crafting-Attack, I always choose a project or two that will {hopefully} WOW and mix in a few easy, fool-proof ideas. I know my audience. I am working with a 3, 4, 7 & 8 year old. Two are boys. Younger kids plus boys tend to fade faster. So we keep it light, breezy with plenty of time to watch a Christmas movie and have a snack in between.

Pine cone Christmas Trees are nothing new. A nice, simple craft that kills some time and results in a cute decoration. I wasn’t even planning to make these but one of my Aunts bought the kids a bag full of pinecones. Plus, I can’t resist glittering them. So much glitter sticks to these things. Yes, glitter excites me.

Here’s how you would make a super-simple pine cone Christmas tree:

1) Paint your pine cone green. The kids found that small brushes worked much better than the foam ones we usually like to use.

2) While the paint is still wet, sprinkle a generous amount of green glitter (ooooh, ahhh) onto the “leaves”. For the love of everything, please do this over a garbage can.

3) Put little glue spots on various parts of the tree. Older kids can decide this themselves. I placed the glue for the younger kids.

4) Glue down little colorful pom poms as ornaments. Use a larger yellow one for the star. Done!

Next-up we worked on some Christmas masks. This was one of those simple $1 crafts I bought to kill a bit of time. It ended up resulting in the cutest after picture. So glad we bought these!


There’s really nothing complicated here.

1) Paint masks. You’re like, 85% done at this point.

2) Take a funny picture wearing them!

Emily and Andrew did awesome jobs on theirs. Grace and Anthony tried their hardest and just globbed on the paint. Grace was actually doing a pretty good job but when I turned my back for like 3 nanoseconds to grab something, she smeared alllll of her colors together which resulted in a muddy looking reindeer who may be tinged with nausea. Nothing a little red nose and a yarn smile couldn’t fix.

This next idea was something that I saw on Pinterest. I used that for my initial idea and then changed it up a bit. You could add a ribbon hanger or a jingle bell inside the clay pot if you wanted. It did take me a few tries to shape the antlers in the way I wanted them.


Here’s how we made them:

1) We painted small clay pots brown. Let them dry.

2) Fashion a set of antlers out of a brown pipe cleaner. At first I clipped the pipe cleaner in two and made two separate antlers. Then I realized I was making more work for myself so I ended up folding the pipe cleaner in half but leaving it as once piece.

3) Glue on eyes and a nose.

4) Tie a red ribbon around your reindeer’s antlers. Done.

This next ornament is my favorite from the day!  It’s a great keepsake.

I saw a kit at Oriental Trading for something like this. I figured I dind’t need to purchase it though. It was easy enough to put together on my own. Here’s how we made them:

1) Paint a small wooden spool. I figured red would pop more on a green tree but you could make these any color you want.

2) Make a template in Photoshop so you know what your parameters on when filling out your Christmas list. I don’t remember the exact size of these spools but they weren’t that big. My paper inside was about 0.6″ wide and approximately 2″ long. I printed a test strip first just to make sure. Also make note that when you fill in your list, you’ll want to leave the first half of the paper bare, because you are going to roll this around the spool.

3) After your list is printed, laminate it. I made one that wasn’t laminated and while just as cute, I feared it wouldn’t last after many years in and out of wrapping as you pack your ornaments up.

4) Glue your laminated list to your spool. Feed some twine, ribbon or yarn through the holes for hanging.

Note #1: this is an adorable ornament and one of my new favorites, but it’s not a great project for very young kids. Aside from giving me their wish lists, assembly on this one was really all me.

Note #2: We had two extra spools so we made these for each set of grandparents too. You don’t have to write out a wish list. We listed their names (along with the family dog) and put two check marks near each name. “Merry Christmas! Love, Emily, Andrew & Grace | 2011”. Bam ~ done!

This next ornament came out cute but of course, I have already figured out a way to make it cuter. There I go, revamping my crafts.


I love crafts and knick knacks that are tiny-sized. So I will tell you how we made the above ornament and then how I think you could make it cute on a smaller scale.

1) Glue a plain ornament into a foil cupcake liner. Tilt it a bit to the side so it will hang a little ‘crooked’ on your tree.

2) Drizzle white paint on the top. We used a shimmery white which was sort of runny (by Folk Art). Worked nicely. Don’t pour a ton! I sort of gooped some one (like my word? Gooped?), watched it drip and then if I felt we needed more drippage (what about that one? Drippage. I’m on a roll!), I added a bit more.

3) While the paint is still wet, sprinkle on some seed beads to resemble sprinkles. This part made everyone laugh. I put a few beads in Anthony’s hand and told him to sprinkle them on. Well you know how little kids try to do what they are told but sometimes their coordination just isn’t there? So he turned his palm over and basically threw seed beads all over my dining room table. LOL! I said “Orrrr just throw them around the dining room!” Roaring laughter ensued.

4) Glue on a red pom pom for the cherry.

5) Add a ribbon for hanging. Done.

Now, my “lets revamp these” plan:

Use a smaller foil liner, a white pearly colored ornament (again, the smaller size. I saw them at Michaels), drizzle brown paint for chocolate sauce, sprinkles and a cherry. I really think I will make these trying this idea because the colors seem better to me. We made the above ornaments in green, pink, red and blue and while cute, when have you ever seen an aqua blue cupcake?

If you have in fact, seen an aqua blue cupcake, no need to comment here today.

Yes. I am totally over-thinking these. It’s what I do best.

After all of our crafts were made and the dining room table and floor were cleared from the majority of paint splatters, glitter and beads, we moved into the living room to decorate gingerbread men! I usually make a whole day out of decorating gingerbread with my kids but I thought this would be something fun for Anthony to do with us. The kids loved it! Right after I took the 8-count cookie picture, they all devoured one sweet, sugary cookie each.




L-R: Emily, Andrew, Anthony and Grace’s cookies

(Click the bold text above the gingerbread pictures for last year’s entry and links to our favorite gingerbread-decorating products!)

psst: If you missed last year’s Blogged projects, make sure to check both THIS entry as well as THIS one for even more kid-friendly Christmas crafts!

Lastly, I made myself a checklist last week listing all of the holiday pictures I would love to take. I never did made a final decision as far as a daily photo project goes. So I think I am just going to attempt to capture as many of my list items as I can and then maybe post them in a couple of Blog entries. I already have a few marked off my list. Perhaps this will help inspire you.

Have a great day!

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