I can not believe that It’s soon that time of the year again- but my favorite! Christmas!! Every year my kids and I do Christmas crafts and my kids also make a handmade gift for their grandparents and godparents. This post is a cumulation of the grandparent/godparent gifts, fun Christmas activities to do together and other Christmas crafts we’ve done in the past along with a few new ideas I have found and would like to try.
Glitter Glue Pine Cone Ornaments
We made these to give as favors to guests who attended our Christmas Open House Party. They were very easy to make and look really nice on the tree. If you can’t find any pinecones in your yard, you can purchase them at a craft store. We put small dabs of colored glitter glue around the cone and hot glued a bow made out of Christmas ribbon and a piece of twine as the hanger.
Candy Cane Reindeer
This was another favor we made to give out to guests after one of our Christmas Open House Parties. We glued on google eyes and small red pom poms for the nose. Then we used brown pipe cleaners to ties on the top as the antlers. I then grouped them and wrapped with a Christmas ribbon and each one had a tag with the family’s name on it.
This was a grandparent/godparent gift. I picked up a bunch of wooden frames from the craft store and the kids painted and decorated each one and then we put their school photo inside and they made really nice gifts.
Button Christmas Trees
I saw this idea on Pinterest and liked it, but modified it a little bit (our project is the picture on the right). We actually did this project during one of our homeschool days. As you can see, I cut out a different shaped tree, gave them glue and buttons. Both kids and I came up with completely different designs and it was fun to ask people to guess who made which tree.
Of course you can always do the classic gingerbread house. I love getting the houses that are pre-iced because it saves a lot of time and in my case, a lot of mess! In the past years I have seen many variations pop up as well including Mickey Mouse house, princess castle, trains, etc. You can find the kits anywhere, I have seen them in Christmas Tree Shop, Joann Fabrics, Michaels, Costco and at most grocery stores.
I discovered a few years back that having one house was not going to cut it in my house. My son likes to follow the picture on the box, while my daughter tends to want to do her own thing. So I started buying the village. It comes with four houses. They each get two and can decorate however they like. You do however have to put these together yourself, which in my experience was a little messy and frustrating. The triangles tend to slide off. Since we don’t eat them, maybe this year I will hot glue it and then cover in frosting.
Pineapple Top Bird Feeder
I was cutting a pineapple and the top was so perfect and looked like a Christmas tree to me. I started thinking about what I could do with it instead of throwing it out. I decided to make a bird feeder out of it. I spread Crisco shortening on the leaves to provide a base for the bird food to stick and then sprinkled in plenty of bird food. I topped it off with a piece of pineapple that I cut into a star (every Christmas tree needs a star)! I placed it out on the back deck and the birds loved it.
Cork Christmas Tree
I found this on Pinterest and thought it was a really cute craft to make (picture linked to source). I save all my corks and this is a great way to reuse them. I haven’t made this yet, but might use the idea for one of our grandparent/godparent gifts in the future.
This is another idea I found on Pinterest, but have not made yet (picture linked to source). I think these are very cute to use as Christmas decorations and look easy enough to make that the kids can definitely help!
Last, but not least, cute idea, but major fail for us! First picture is what is should look like, second picture is mine. See my post about this project here: http://wp.me/p67FXB-1q
I hope you find a useful and fun idea here! If so, let me know how it works out for you! Happy Christmas crafting!
Fall is such a wonderful season here in the Northeast! It’s the season of pumpkin and apple picking, warm days, cool nights and falling leaves. The trees are topped with vibrant hues of red, orange and yellow and people have pumpkins and beautifully colored mums displayed in front of their houses.
A great way to celebrate the season is to use nature to do fun activities and great projects with the kids!
- The easiest and most fun fall activity- rake leaves into a pile and jump into them!
- Go on a fall themed nature scavenger hunt. Print this one for free from www.moritzfineblogdesigns.com
- Dye the leftover pumpkin seeds and make pumpkin seed art. You can find a tutorial here: http://greeningsamandavery.typepad.com/greening-sam-and-avery/crafts/page/2/
- Use leaves, flower petals, sticks, acorns and other bits of nature to make a sign or a scene.
- Collect and paint acorns. A tutorial can be found here: http://www.homestoriesatoz.com/fall-2/how-to-paint-acorns.html
- Collect remaining flowers from bushes, your garden or wildflowers and press them. After we pressed ours (left them in books for a few weeks), we made a flower collage.
- Make a leaf painting using leaves as a stamp or painting around them for the outline.
Summer reading! The school assignment that parents have a love-hate relationship with. My ten-year-old son loves to read and religiously reads every night before bed. He’s already knocked off two out of the four chapter books assigned! LOVE it! He does the reading on his own and enjoys it. My eight-year-old daughter, on the other hand, is still on her first book. HATE it! I have to pull every trick out to get her to read. I know what you’re thinking…maybe she struggles with reading. Nope! She is a really good reader, above grade level. So, I decided to involve her in creating a book corner in her room. She has a dollhouse in her room that was mine when I was a kid. She has stopped playing with it so we emptied it of the furniture, pushed it against the wall and used it as a bookshelf. We added a beanbag chair to the corner and Voila! A book corner where she can read or write in journals. She loves it and so far so good with the reading!
It’s that time of the year- again- when the school year is wrapping up. This year it was important for me to get my kids’ teachers a special gift because after homeschooling for a year and a half, my kids started a new school mid-year and their teachers have been phenomenal! They were so welcoming and caring and helped my kids transition almost seemlessly and helped to create a wonderful environment where they are happy and thriving!
For my daughter’s teachers, I wanted to buy them a children’s book that touched upon teaching or thank you teacher, but couldn’t find exactly what I wanted so my daughter is going to make them a book in her own words about her experience with them, which I think will be more special. She also made a card for them. I found this printable on Pinterest that was pinned from www.weheartedu.com.
I resized it and printed it in the center of the page and then had my daughter paint on her handprint, a book and a heart. She will sign her name in the heart.
My son, on the other hand, is a Lego fanatic and he is in fifth grade, and I think he has outgrown the crafting stage. So for his teacher, he made a gift card holder out of Legos. He used a blonde minifigure to look like her and the minifigure is holding an apple. Then he made a slot to fit the gift card in.
I love old wood. There’s something about it that immediately attracts me. I don’t know if it is the feeling that I might be holding old history and that it must contain a story or that I just find it intriguing. I have a lot of items in my home that I have purchased that feature repurposed old wood. I’ve picked up boxes, crates, benches, a framed chalkboard and others along the way (see some pics of items below).
I found an old wooden box at a tag sale for $4, so without a plan bought it. I had it for a while and tried to think of uses. I used it as a purse holder and then a holder for unused picture frames, and then it just sat empty. Finally, I decided that it would make an awesome jewelry holder. I had necklaces hanging one on top of another always getting tangled, some jewelry in a jewelry box and some on a shelf. Now, this could be a place where it is all together and I can actually see it. So I went to Home Depot and got some small nails, a piece of chain and some hooks. This is where the “imperfect” part of my crafting comes in. Home Depot had the chain in silver, but not the nails and hooks, those were only in gold. I didn’t prefer them in gold, but was anxious to get the project done because it was, after all in my mind. I screwed two eye hooks on the back in the center, but towards the end of the box and attached some picture hanging wire. Then hammered two picture hooks in the wall so the box would hang evenly on two sides providing more stability than just a center hook. Then I counted my necklaces and bracelets and screwed in the screw eye hooks and tapped in the nails. I used the screw eye hooks for the necklaces and the nails for the bracelets and then hung my dangling earrings in pairs from the chain. You will see more imperfection if you look closely, I didn’t take time to measure out evenly so some don’t line up, but you can’t even tell with all the jewelry on because the necklaces and bracelets are different lengths. And there you have it….a new jewelry holder and it only cost me $13.00 to make!