Tag Archives: Christmas Crafts

Craft It Up Christmas. Book review

10 Nov

A few weeks ago, I was sent a review copy of the lovely book Craft It Up Christmas Around the World
I LOVE craft books but am often disappointed when I buy one which is full of the same ideas and crafts that I have seen a million times. Craft It Up Christmas however, is full of new crafts which I have not come across before. They are all influenced by Christmas traditions from around the world and the book includes fun facts from countries which have inspired each project.

The step-by-step instructions are clear and easy to follow, with great photographs showing you how the end product will look. My favourite craft is definitely the ‘Pay it forward’ advent calendar and we have been busy making this the past couple of days. We have tweaked it slightly and this is now going to be our ‘kindness advent calendar’. It includes ideas like ‘making a present for someone’,’phoning a relative and asking how they are’ and ‘feeding the bird’s. The great thing with this project is that you can get it out year after year, if need be you can always changing the wording inside each little envelope.

pay-forward

 

The children were able to help make this on a rainy day. They loved getting involved and thinking of ‘kind’ things that we could do for other people. Writing and sorting the numbers was also great for improving Thomas’ numeracy skills.

Kindness calender collage

This was a very easy project and luckily we already had everything we needed to make it. Many of the projects in this book can be made with items that you will probably already have in the house. There are crafts for all ages and for both beginners or more experienced crafters.

We are definitely going to try the yummy Snowman Cake Pops. They look adorable!

These almost look too good to eat!

These almost look too good to eat!

 

We are also going to try making this framed Christmas Tree  because I just can’t resist a button project!

christmas-tree

Craft It Up Christmas Around the World is a great book for all ages!

 

Book Review: Christmas Crafts By Catherine Woram

28 Oct

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I was very kindly sent a review copy of this book which contains 35 Christmas craft projects. It is a beautiful hard-back book with 128 pages of appealing photos, tutorials and ideas. The book is split into 5 chapters:

  • Decorations,
  • Table Settings
  • Cards, Giftwrap and Labels
  • Edible Gifts
  • Crafts for Children

All of the tutorials are detailed and easy to follow and each one includes a selection of images to help you create the finished product. It includes ideas for more traditional crafts such as making paper snowflakes and felt decorations, as well as some modern, fresh ideas such as chandelier drop decorations. There are instructions for three different types of wreaths which I am definitely going to attempt. It will be great to have some decent tutorials to follow as my attempts following online instructions have turned out pretty awful to say the least!

The children have already made some of the glittery Christmas tree cards and we are going to have fun trying out the snow-globe craft in the future. I would have liked for the book to include a few more ideas using up-cycled materials but unfortunately most of the ideas involve purchasing quite a few supplies.

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I would recommend this book if you prefer to have hand-crafted Christmas decorations  and like me, you go all out to decorate during the festive season. it would also make a lovely gift for a crafty person. Here is a link to the book on Amazon. Christmas Crafts – 35 step-by-step craft projects to decorate your house the homemade way

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!

Glittery pine cones

30 Nov

I love these glittery pine cones. SO simple for little ones to decorate. We used some little tubes of gltter glue that we had left over from other craft projects. Surprisingly it was a pretty clean activity, I think we would have made a lot more mess had we just used glue and normal glitter!

We dried our pine cones in the oven before using them. It gets rid of all the sap and bugs and means they are less likely to rot. We put them on a baking tray at 160 degrees for about 20 minutes. Don’t they look sweet? They are going to look great on our twig tree with  our other homemade decorations.

Image

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.