Hello World! Welcome Friends! You can feel it in the air: Christmas is coming! Soon twinkle lights will be dancing along porch eaves, fir trees will be tethered to car tops and our kids will be writing their letters to Santa Claus. The holiday season comes up on us fast, and almost just as quickly, it’s gone. It’s been a turbulent year, but I want to make sure the very end of 2016 is characterized by hope, love and graciousness. What better way to spread Christmas cheer than by spending quality time as a family making crafts?
Salt Dough Ornaments
2 Cups white flour
1 Cup table salt
1 Cup lukewarm water (yes, it must be lukewarm!)
Ribbon, assorted colors
Giant wooden spoon
Step 1: Combine the flour, salt and water in a large bowl. Stir with the wooden spoon until it forms dough.
Step 2: Lay a sheet of wax paper on a flat work surface. Lightly dust it in flour. Remove the dough from the bowl and knead it until smooth.
Step 3: Once the dough is smooth, roll it out with your rolling pin until you reach the desired thinness. Keep in mind that if the dough is rolled too thin, it will burn in the oven. A good rule of thumb is to make the dough only slightly thinner than you would your sugar cookie dough.
Step 4: Preheat the oven to 300 °F. While you’re waiting for the oven to warm up, have the kids cut out shapes with the cookie cutters. The cookie cutters do not have to be Christmas themed. If your little one loves dinosaurs, then they can make a dinosaur ornament! Pierce a hole in the top of the ornament where you want it to hang, using a straw or toothpick.
Step 5: Lay out the ornaments on a greased pan. Put in the oven for 30 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool.
Step 6: After the ornaments have cooled, have the kids decorate the ornaments with glitter and paint of their choosing. Once dried, apply a thin coat of glossy Mod Podge. The Mod Podge will protect the ornament from being eaten by insects when they are stored away.
Step 7: At the top of the ornament insert a safety pin, this will act as the ornament’s “cap.” Thread a ribbon through the pin and tie it into a bow. Now you have a fully functioning ornament!
Tea light Snowman Nightlight
White crafting pencil
Felt: black, green and red
Ribbon: green and red
Step 1: With the black sharpie, draw two circles above the lightbulb of the tea light, these will be the eyes of the snowman. Draw five circles underneath the lightbulb in a U-shape underneath the lightbulb, this is the snowman’s grin.
Step 2: Color the lightbulb with the orange sharpie, this will be the snowman’s carrot nose.
Step 3: Using the white crafting pencil, draw a top hat on the black felt. Cut it out with your scissors. Cut out a skinny rectangle piece (the width of the top hat) from the red or green felt. Glue this to the base of the top hat.
Step 4: Glue the top hat to the top of the tea light.
Step 5: Cut a 4in. strip of ribbon. Criss-cross the ribbon. Keep it “tied” together with a dab of glue. Glue the top of the ribbon’s circle and press it firmly against the bottom of the tea light. The ribbon will act as the snowman’s scarf.
12 paper towel tubes
Tissue paper, assorted greens and blues
Hot glue gun
Packet of glue sticks
Step 1: Cut each of the 12 paper towel tubes in half. This will give you 24 total tubes. Set aside.
Step 2: Lay the tissue paper on a flat work surface. Take one of the cardboard tubes and lay it against the tissue paper. Measure how much tissue paper you will need to cover the tube and to close the end of the tube. Cut the tissue paper. Repeat this step 24 times. You need the tissue paper for every tube.
Step 3: Measure the diameter of the opening of the tube against your remaining tissue paper. Draw a larger circle around the first circle. Cut out. Repeat this step 24 times. Remember, you need it for every tube! Set aside.
Step 4: Lay the cut paper towel tube on a rectangle of the tissue paper that you cut in Step 2. The tissue paper should be flush against one end of the tube, and extending over the remainder of the tube. Tape one side of the tissue to the middle of the tube. Tightly roll the tube in the tissue paper and tape the other side. Repeat this step 24 times.
Step 5: Tie the excess tissue on one end with curling ribbon, leaving the other end open for now. Repeat this step 24 times.
Step 6: Put candy or other small treats inside the tube. To make the advent calendar about more than getting a treat, place handwritten notes in the tubes that list activities you and the children will do together during the holiday season, such as:
“Let’s find snow on Saturday!”
“Let’s write a family skit and perform it for each other.”
“We will volunteer at the Humane Society.”
“We will volunteer at the soup kitchen.”
When you make the holiday all about inclusion and giving to others, you will be teaching your children the true spirit of Christmas. Repeat this step 24 times.
Step 7: Take one of the tissue circles you cut in Step 3 and fold it over the open end of tube. Roll a rubber band over the tube. Tie the tube with curling ribbon and remove the rubber band. Repeat this step 24 times.
Step 8: Using your hot glue gun, hot glue one finished tube to a piece of cardboard. Flip over. Hot glue two tubes across. Glue them to the cardboard. Hot glue another piece of cardboard to the tubes. Repeat this process. The advent calendar should look like this:
Step 9: You’ll notice that the advent calendar takes on the shape of a Christmas tree! Place the number stickers on the smooth closed front of each tube, with #24 at the top. Your kids are going to have so much fun opening the corresponding tubes on their countdown to Christmas!
Christmas crafts for kids aren’t hard to find, you just need to know where to look. Share your finished projects on Instagram and Pinterest and inspire other families just like yours!
Happy Crafting! Thanks for stopping by! Have a great day/night depending on where you are in the world! Go with God and remember to be kind to one another!