With 3 kids, there is no reason not to involve them in the process as well! What Grandparent doesn't love a small homemade ornament, or a card? Or hand print art? While Christmas is still 2 months away, now is the time to get started on craft projects, so that you don't feel so rushed when December arrives. I like to set aside a Saturday with no other plans, and let the kids get creative.
Here are a few idea's I've been looking at to help get the kids into the spirit, and to help cut back on our Christmas gift costs.
What You'll Need:
Craft Glue, Hot Glue, or Glue Dots (school glue won't cut it on this one)
Terracotta clay pots- any size you want, but a 4-5" would work nice
Plastic google eyes
Red pom-poms- glittery or non
Three shades of brown craft foam, cardstock paper, or construction paper- your choice.
Tulle or netting to wrap candy in unless the candy is wrapped already
Pretty ribbon if you use the tulle or netting
You are going to need to make 2 antlers (dark brown), 2 large ears (medium brown), and 2 slightly smaller ears (light brown) to be the 'inside' of the ear. You'll also need 2 eyes, and 1 red nose.
If you have a larger pot, the easiest way to make the ears is using a child's hand to trace the shape. With the smaller pots, simply draw an ear shape on the medium you choose from the darkest brown color.
Glue the middle ear to the bigger ear, then glue that to the middle bottom of the antlers. Glue the antlers to the inside rim of the pot in the back.
Glue the eyes to the middle of the front of the pot, and the red pom pom nose under that, near the bottom of the pot.
Fill with wrapped candies, or make a tulle or net bag to wrap candies such as M & M's into. Voila- a cute reindeer candy dish to give away. This is great for teachers.
What you'll need:
Pony beads in assorted colors
Tinsel pipe cleaners
This is basically just bead stringing, and twisting the wire to create shapes.
Similar to the Holiday Napkin Rings, you can make a snowman. Bead about 18-20 beads in the middle, then twist to create the bigger snowball. String 12-14 beads onto the remaining portion, leaving enough space to twist the strands together on top.
Cut 3 pipe cleaners in half. Laying flat, twist two of them together in the middle to create a cross shape. Use the remaining two to create an X shape on top of the cross. String 3 beads towards the center of each strand to create a sparkling snow flake.
Use a gold pipe cleaner to form a bell- fold the pipe cleaner in half, and pinch a small bit of the bed to twist. Fluff it out to a circle to create a hanger. Now, shape the two end strands into a small bell shape, bending the ends towards each other to form the bottom. String 1 small jingle bell to the bottom center as you twist the ends together.
These ornaments make a great addition to a tag on top of a gift, and take hardly any time at all.
Christmas Puzzle Frame
What You'll Need:
Assorted puzzle pieces, any size
An old picture frame- this works better if the frame is flat, and not decorative with edges and bumps, and designs
Thin holiday ribbon
Have the kids paint the puzzle pieces green or red, leaving an assortment of both. While still wet, the kids can sprinkle glitter onto the pieces. Once they are dry, the child can start gluing them to the frame, covering the whole outer side of it. Let this dry flat over night.
Once it's dry, tie a bow to place in the top corner, then run ribbon trails across the top, and down the side, gluing them into place here and there to create a bump going down it.
You can add a pretty picture from a past holiday if you would like, or the kids school photo, or leave it empty. This is a great craft for all those puzzles that are missing a piece or two.
The frame is my own directions, based on doing this when I was younger. Here are some alternate plans I found online, which differ, but could be a lot more frugal!
Christmas Puzzle Frame Alternate Directions