Yes Christmas is right around the corner and we have been celebrating for the last few weeks in programs and wanted to share our top Christmas crafts that you need to try this season. These crafts can make perfect gifts for grandparents and family members. They come from the heart and the kids love to get involved. Plus as a parent I know one of my favourite things when decorating our Christmas tree is seeing all of the handmade memories that the boys have created.
1) Christmas Canvas picture - String of Lights
We did this one this year for a few family members. It worked really well for us because I was able to get all three boys to put their fingerprints on the canvas. Later on we added a Christmas message and had the boys sign the work. You can find patterns online for the string of lights or just hand draw them like I did. I did the string first so the boys knew where to put their prints. If you make a mistake and are quick most of the time you can wipe up the mess.
2) Christmas tree or Reindeer Canvas
We did this one at our craft workshop and everyone loved it. I have to say I am very fond of the Reindeer one. If you are only making one or two you can buy the canvas at the Dollar store but if you think you want to make a bunch Michaels sells a package of ten for a very reasonable rate. One tip for the reindeer is to make sure you do the feet prints low enough so you have space for the antlers.
3) Snowman Ornament
We also did this craft at our craft workshop, we started with shatterproof or glass ornaments depending on what the parent wanted and we had the kids cover their hand in white paint to make a handprint for the snowmen. I made a change when I did it at home and had each boy add one snowman instead of a whole handprint. Once the snowmen have dried you can paint scarves or even use permanent markers. A tip for this one is to use acrylic paint as the washable stuff will come right off the ornament. Another tip is to make sure you are holding the ball the right way up before you put on your handprint. We made some upside down ones by accident.
4) Christmas Plate
One more of our favourites from our craft workshop was the Christmas plate. We started with a small side plate and once again used the acrylic paint to create the kid's footprint. After we got the perfect print we added messages with permanent markers and added some creative flare or some dots if we didn't have much creative flare. If you are having a hard time making the print try to get a second person to help you out. You can always wipe the plate clean and try again. With all of our kid print crafts we like to have wipes and towels close by to clean up as soon as they are done.
5) Santa Snow dough ornament
I did this one a few years ago with my boys for myself and it was a great success.
We started with making some salt dough - 1/2 cup salt, 1/2 cup flour, 1/4 water (give or take), knead until dough forms. Make impression and cut out hand shape with a knife leaving a border. Poke a hole in the top for hanging. Bake at 200F for 3 hours. Paint, seal and ready to hang.
Once again I would suggest acrylic paint because over the years ours has chipped and I don't think we took the time to seal it, which is really important. I found this one was much easier than I thought it would have been and it is just so cute!
6) Reindeer handprint
There is something about the reindeer prints that I just love. This handprint one is cute at any age. You can do this one and turn it into a nice card. Start with a handprint and turn it upside down, then add a googly eye, then draw or paint the antlers and you are done! You could also use the handprint as stencil and cut out a print from cardboard, card stock or even felt and turn the reindeer into a tree ornament.
7) Handprint salt dough ornament
Start with your salt dough recipe again
1/2 cup salt, 1/2 cup flour, 1/4 water (give or take),. Take some time to knead the dough and when you roll it out make sure it is not too thick or too large, but make sure it will fit your child's hand. I think this is one of those crafts that is cuter when the hands are small, but you might need a second helper if you little one is very little.
Once you have the perfect print, make a hole for your ribbon- bake for 3 hours at 200
Once it has dried you can paint or decorate it.
Once again putting on some sealer will help it last
8) Handmade painted or felt ornaments
If all of this sounds like too much one of my favourite activities as a child was painting the glass ornaments from the store. Now a days there are lots of option in cardboard, glass, stone, wood and more. It is also fun to cut up pieces of felt and have your child put together a nice felt ornament.
Whether you are Martha Stewart or just a mom trying her best the holidays are a fun time to get creative and have your child explore their inner artist.