Archive | Christmas RSS feed for this section

Home-made Christmas

23 Jan

Christmas 2012 was a busy one for  me, hence the fact that I haven’t posted in a while! This could well be the last Christmas that I am a stay at home mummy so I went all out with our Christmas crafting and play.

You may have already seen a couple of my Christmas posts. I loved making the Christmas Tree Elves and our Glitter houses, these were projects for me really. Lily did get involved when it came to the sprinkling of the glitter though! I think they looked lovely displayed on the mantlepiece.

mantlepiece

We also made some lovely Christmas Tree Pine Cones.  We used some lovely big pine cones for this which we found in the woods. Before using them I dried them in the oven at about 150 degrees for around 30 minutes. This gets rid of any sap and if they are nice and dry they will not rot. Keep an eye on them whilst they are in the oven as some dry quicker than others and will start to burn if left too long.

We spread some PVA glue onto the pine cones and then covered them in glitter. We cut out a cardboard star and covered this in both sides with more glitter. Use some nice stiff card so that it will sit nice and straight on top of your pine cone tree.

pine cone tree

We also decorated some christmas stockings and christmas trees that I had cut out from coloured card. All we did was stick some sparkly bits on and Thomas also decorated this stocking with his name. If you attach a horizontal ribbon in your window or along the ceiling you can peg these to the ribbon to make some Christmas bunting. Unfortunately I forgot to take photos of ours before packing it all away so you will have to imagine how they looked!

stocking

We’ve got lots of handmade decorations which we have made over the years. This one is so simple (and cheap!) and I just love it! You could make these as presents for grandparents and you could make a different one each year with a recent photograph. Just take an old plastic water bottle and cut off the bottom (about 4 or 5 inches) Make sure you have no sharp edges at the bottom.

Sprinkle some glitter onto it and then secure your photo with PVA glue. Attach a ribbon so that the decoration can be hung on your tree and hey presto! A very easy, simple craft that children can do themselves.

xmas photo dec

Another gift that we made this year was some lavender soaps with dried flowers. They were gorgeous and a big hit with Grandma and Nanny. You could also make these for Mother’s Day or Birthdays.

We had a couple of twig trees this year, in addition to our traditional Norway spruce. I love how simple but effective these trees are. They are perfect for displaying home-made decorations.

twig trees

Did you make any home-made Christmas decorations or gifts? Feel free to share links here, I’m sure we can all use some more ideas!

Advertisements

Fun with Snow Play Dough

17 Dec

Image

I saw this idea on the fantastic blog Imagination Tree.  I love this blog and get lots of inspiration from here. Do visit this link to get all the instructions on how to make this play dough. It is SO simple and it does behave just like snow! Not the freezing cold, icy snow but the lovely fresh soft stuff that is crunchy and clean.

Image

We had so much fun playing with this. We started off making a little snowman and some snowballs and then we got some animals out to play in it.

I used a piece of card to make a little igloo and Thomas loved burying the seal in it and making it snow on top of the igloo. We have had ours in a tupperware pot for over a week now and it is still as good as new. You could add little people or Lego to this for even more imaginative play.

Living in Plymouth we very rarely get snow. This may be our only opportunity to build a snowman this winter!

Image

Handmade soaps for Christmas

4 Dec

Image

This is an easy peasy homemade gift that children can make! My 6 and 3 year old loved making these and they will make lovely gifts for grandparents. You DO need to be careful which bits you let the children do as you are using hot soap but mine were happy to watch me do the actual pouring bit and it was their job to shout STOP when the soap got to the top of the mould.

You will need:

  • Melt and Pour soap – I bought 500g and we still have some left to make more. You can buy it online, I couldn’t find it in any local shops. We bought ours  from Bee Beautiful. They have a good selection and even have an organic option.
  • Chocolate moulds
  • Dried Flowers or glitter. We already had some dried flowers that we pressed in the summer but I understand not everyone is going to have these to hand! Glitter will work just as well.

Method:

Place your dried flowers (very small ones work best) into the bottom of your chocolate moulds.

Place around 100g of soap into a pyrex jug and pop them into the microwave for around 20 seconds at a time.  Watch the soap carefully and stir it occasionally.  You want the soap to be a nice melted liquid but you don’t want it to get to the point where it is bubbling. Ours took about 40 seconds but obviously it will depend on how much soap you are using and also on the power of your microwave.

When the soap has melted, pour it into your chocolate moulds (on top of the flowers or glitter)

Place your moulds into the fridge for about 30 minutes until they are set.

Remove them from the moulds. They pop out really easily.

We took this a step further and made our own little gift boxes to put these in. You can find lots of free printable templates on google. There are loads on the Don’t Eat the Paste website. Once you have found the design you want to use you can draw around this template onto white card giving your little one a blank canvas to draw on.

Lily came up with a lovely design on this box and we then attached a lovely Russian Doll gift tag which came free with a crafty magazine.

box-with-soap

soap-close

This is such a simple crafty gift and we loved doing this! Have you made any handmade gifts for Christmas? Do add a comment and a link, we would love to see them.

Miniature Christmas Glitter Houses

14 Nov

Around Christmas time I spend ages wandering around the garden centres admiring the pretty little village scenes that they have. I especially love the little merry-go-rounds and the ones with the families skating around on the pond. Sadly, these collections are all pretty expensive so I decided to attempt to make my own little scene using just card.

If you google ‘glitter houses’ or ‘paper houses’ you will find lots of free templates and instructions for making these and there are loads of cool images on Pinterest. (Have you guessed that I am a Pinterest addict?) They were originally called Putz houses so another search under this will also pull up lots of links.

These little houses and church cost me around £2 to make. I just had to purchase some nice thick card, I already had the glitter here anyway. For the little houses I used the Harvest Houses template from Victoria Magazine and the church template came from Little Glitter Houses. There is a huge amount of information on this website and loads of good tips to get you started. I’m not going to include a full tutorial on here as Little Glitter Houses show this much better than I can.

Just a few tips to get you started though.

1.  A few sites suggest using chip board for this. That sounded like far too much work for me so I just used some nice thick card and it worked very well.

2.  I found good old Prit stick worked best for gluing the different parts of the house together. A glue gun was too messy and PVA didn’t seem to work as well.

3.  I used a clear glue stick to cover the completed houses with glue prior to pouring the glitter over them.  The children helped with this and in hind-sight I wish I had supervised this more to get a little more glitter on the houses and less on the carpet! I might go back and add a bit more glitter in a day or two.

4.  I used fine, white glitter as recommended on most sites.

5.  I used an old cake board for the base and covered it in a couple of layers of fake snow. I saw this in a shop really cheap, I think it was about 75 p for a bag. We will probably put the rest of it in a tub and add some Playmobil people for some snow fun!

6.  Today I picked up some battery-powered tealights which fit inside the houses perfectly! The houses are going to look so sweet on the mantlepiece all lit up. They were only £1.50 for 4.

7.  You might want to invest in a decent craft knife for cutting out the houses. I was using an ancient old scalpel and it wasn’t really up to the job.  I did the cutting over an old chopping board to avoid any damage to the table.

8.  I would like to add some bottle brush christmas trees, preferably pink! These seem to be a bit of a pain to get hold of though so might have to wait until next year. In the meantime I made a little Christmas tree out of two tree templates. I cut a slit in the bottom of one template and a slit in the top of the other one to join them together so that the tree stands up.

9.  8.  Finally, this site contains no less than 124 useful links for paper houses. I haven’t manged to visit them all but the ones that I have are well worth a visit. There are some amazing ideas on here.

Christmas Tree Elves – easy christmas craft idea

12 Nov

I spotted these gorgeous little fellas on Pinterest and tracked them back to this  website which sells loads and loads of felt creations. They are all so gorgeous! Unfortunately it’s not an english website – I think it’s German but if you are clever with translations you might be able to place an order for delivery to the UK!

I thought I would attempt to make this myself. It doesn’t look nearly as good as the original but hey, that is part of the charm of making your own Christmas ornaments isn’t it? When the children are older and it is falling to pieces, at least I will be able to say ‘Mummy made that!’

Tutorial

These are so easy to make. My sewing skills are very limited so if I can make them anyone can!

I printed off a free Christmas tree template which I used to get the shape of the trees. Cut out two per tree. Sew around the outside of each tree leaving the bottom edge open.

Stuff your trees with a little material to give them some shape.

Cut a small slit where you want the face to go and from the inside push through a small polystyrene ball.

Finish sewing up the bottom edge but leave just enough space to insert a lollipop stick (you will use this to secure your elf to the log)

Sew on beads to decorate the trees and draw a face onto the polystyrene ball.

Add some little felt legs, again these are just two pieces of felt sewn together.

When you have made all your Elves, insert a lollipop stick into each one.

After ensuring that your log is fully dried (I left mine near the fire for a few days). Cover it with fine, white glitter.

Secure your Elves to the log by applying glue to the lollipop stick and pressing it onto the log. I used a hot glue gun for this, I don’t think PVA would be strong enough.

Easy peasy lemon squeezy… as my 3 year old would say.

What have you been making for Christmas? Please feel free to add your links here.