Needing something to keep the kids entertained during the start of winter break.
Here's a craft that satisfies all three of those needs. You can use it as gift wrap, as an actual gift, or as a distraction from the fact that it's only 3 days until Christmas and your kids are bouncing off the walls!
Here's how you do it...
What you'll need:
Fine tip Sharpie
Print out a cross stitch pattern to the size that you want it (leave a few inches on each side of the image for a border on your tote). I used a snowflake from Made to Treasure.
Cut out the cross stitch grid pattern and tape it to your tote.
With a fine-tip Sharpie, poke through the paper and make a dot onto the tote. Keep going until you've completed the whole grid. Don't forget to make a dot around the outside border of the grid.
Following your pattern, use paint pens to draw x's in the shape of your pattern. Use colors that are contrasting enough that you can really see the design clearly.
Here are a few pics of the technique in progress...
Mention the word garland and I'm all ears. Bunting has the same effect. I even have a whole pin board dedicated to my love of the swag. Honestly, I think I could start a blog solely on the topic of DIY garlands. Hmmm...there's an idea in there somewhere.
Anyway, back to Christmas crafts. I really wanted to make some dipped wooden beads (I got these from Oriental Trading...just $6.25 for 24 beads!) and so I decided to combine them with my garland obsession.
First I started by dipping them horizontally, and then thought it would be fun to turn the bead and dip them the other way. Below are photos of how I dried them. The green grass thingy is a bottle rack by Boon from when my kids were babes, and then I needed more space so I grabbed this foam pumpkin and used it as a pin cushion. I used watered down acrylic paint, and they dried pretty quickly. (I'd say let them sit for 2 hours to be safe.
I doubled threaded them onto silver string...I think i want to try a more vibrant cord, but mixed with a tree of bright ornaments, it will look pretty rad. Or framing a mirror. Or wrapping around the walls of a kid's room. Endless possibilities!
I love these beads so much. I love them just sitting on a plate on my mantle. Maybe there's a necklace in my future.
Have you finished all of your holiday wrapping? I'm going to venture to say the answer is NO. I am all about simple wrapping paper (yes, butcher paper is my fave) with fun tags and decorations. But with the volume of gifts that we wrap this time of year, they can't require too much labor.
When I started making this tag, I had the ornaments hanging from a glued-on stick. That felt too fragile. Then I created a tree branch out of yarn. That felt too laborious. So I tried it with this very simple design, using the circle stickers as ornaments to house each letter of the recipient's name. Honestly, it's really easy, fast, and you can let your kids help!
Cut tag to fit the recipient's name. The tag should be about 2" wide and for a 5 letter name, a 4"-long tag is the perfect size. Add a little length for every additional letter. (For names like Charlotte, Henrietta, and Jonathan, consider using just initials!)
Adhere one sticker to the far left in one color, then the correct number of stickers for each letter in the name (or initials) to the right of that in a different color.
Adhere the words "to" or "for" in the single colored sticker and the letters of the name in the following circles.
Use silver paint marker to draw a little square on the top of each circle. The draw a line up from that square off the top edge.
Punch a hole at the far left and thread string through.
Maybe this trend is so 2012 (don't say 2011, please) but I can't get past my love of feathers. I love them in decor, I love them in kids' craft, and, really...who can resist a boa? There's no reason in the world that feathers and Christmas can't hang out together. Which is why I crafted these 3 different DIY feather ornaments. Here's how you make 'em...
SUPER-EASY PAINTED FEATHER ORNAMENT
What you'll need:
Paint stripes, dots, or zig-zags on your feather in various colors of craft paint. Let dry.
Embellish design with glitter glue.
Tie string to the feather's needle and hang from the tree.
EASY PASTA FEATHERS
What you'll need:
Cut a leaf shape, about 6" by 2" (at the widest point).
Paint 7 to 10 pieces of linguini to match your paper. Let them dry.
Glue one long piece down the center to make the spine.
Glue short pieces from the spine outward, breaking them at the ends.
Leave some spaces between noodles to cut out little slits or sections.
Tie string to the spine and hang from your tree!
WASHI TAPE FEATHER ORNAMENT
What you'll need:
Pencil and paper
3-5 rolls of washi tape; various patterns of the same color
Draw a 6" line on paper and lay transparency on top of it. You might want to tape it down to keep it in place.
Adhere 3" pieces of washi tape to cutting mat and with a straight edge, slide the tape with X-acto knife into very thin strips, about 1/16" to 1/8" thick.
Begin laying tape from center line outward, tearing the middle pieces to about 1" long. (You can lay a photo of a feather underneath the transparency as a guide.)
Work up and down the spine of the feather until it's full.
When finished with step 4, adhere a 1/8" by 6" strip of colored tape on top of the drawn line to create the spine.
Cut out the feather shape from the transparency and tape a string to the center spine end to hang.
I'm a big fan of wine corks as a crafting supply. (This in no way reflects how much wine I drink. It doesn't. Really. Ok maybe a little.) But I've never actually made anything with a champagne cork. (Bubbly gives me the hiccups.) After making this little elf, my mind is racing the the characters that a champagne cork can become. Bring on the Veuve!
What you'll need:
Black straight pins
Hat: Roll a small piece of felt into a tall cone shape and seal along the seam with tacky glue. Trim the bottom edge so it's straight. Add a 1/4" band from contrasting felt and glue it around the bottom edge. (I cut it with scallop shears, but you can use regular scissors.) Glue hat to the top of the cork.
Eyes: Push 2 black ball pins into the face about 1/2" apart.
Scarf: Cut a 6"-by-1/2" piece of felt and fringe the two ends. Tie it around the "neck" of the cork. Glue down if necessary.
Arms: Push 2 toothpicks into either side of the cork's body and trim down to about an inch. Glue a small bead to the end of each as a hand.
Legs: Trim skewers to 3". Wrap washi tape around them and press the points into the bottom of the cork. Glue beads on as feet.
Put your elf on your windowsill, your mantle, or a bookcase. Or fine, you can also put your elf on the shelf.
Don't get me wrong, I love a good time-consuming craft undertaking every once in while, but sometimes it's fun to whip up a quickie with nearly immediate satisfaction. Like this Paper-Strip Christmas Tree Ornament, for example. You can make this with kids as young as 3 years old (my toddler son Oliver made one that looks more like one of these fake-tree-cell-phone towers), and you likely already have the supplies around the house! Here's how you do it...
Cut 4 1" strips of glitter paper (you can use yellow paper or glitter your own if you don't have this) and glue them together as an asterisk. Adhere a dot in the middle then glue to the top of your tree.
Cut a 3" piece of string and glue it to the back of your tree ornament.
Come back for the next 9 days for more fun craft ideas to make these days before Christmas fly by!
It's been almost 2 years in the making, but my book, Project Kid, is ALMOST here! After months of crafting, then months of copy editing, my first kids' craft book is at the printer, on its way to being a real, 3-dimensional object. While it looks like it actually exists by the look of the photo, this is actually a digital rendition that Artisan made for the publicity materials.
To my patient blog readers who have dealt with my comings (having a baby) and goings (having another one just 18 months later) and my very erratic posts, I promise there is much to look forward to!
I have been known to love a wreath in my day, and more than ever, I feel that Halloween is a very wreath-worthy holiday. Now that my kids are of the Halloween-appreciation age, I'm so into making Halloween crafts (Full disclosure: I used to not be the biggest fan of crafting for this day!).
Like many other pinners on Pinterest, I am obsessed with string art! And I must say, it is so beyond fun to do. It looks hard and tedious but I swear to you it's not! Scroll down to read how to make this wreath and the super cute and friendly pom-pom spider!
What you'll need:
14-inch round foam wreath
Small black nails
3 colors of yarn (including black)
4 black pipe cleaners
1/2-inch white pom-poms
Tiny black pom-poms
Spray paint wreath and let it dry.
Insert 31 nails, evenly spaced, around the circle about 1 every inch.
Take the darkest yarn and tie it to nail number 1 (abitrarily chosen). Now loop the yarn around nail number 24 then to nail number 2 then to nail 25 until you have made it all the way around.
Take your next color and tie it onto nail 1 and loop it around nail 25, then 2, then 26, then 3, again until you have made it all the way around.
Tie your 3rd color to nail 1 and loop it around nail number 26, and so on. You notice that each level of yarn has created a narrower band around your wreath. Tie each yarn off on nail 1, knot, and trim.
To make the spider, wrap thick black yarn around your hand about 50 times and cut it from the skein.
Cut an 8-inch piece of yarn, slip the bundle off of your hand, and tie the yarn around the bundle securely.
Take all four pipe cleaners and slip them under the center tie and pull until they are even on each side.
Snip through all of the yarn loops, then trim the pom-pom until he is nice and round.
Glue small black pom-poms to white ones, and glue them in place as eyes. Glue spider to the wreath to cover nail number 1 where you tied off your 3 yarns.