Make the Season Merry with Fun Christmas Crafts

Make the season merry with fun Christmas crafts for all ages.  With Christmas around the corner, it is time to think about gifts and, of course, the budget! Children can have fun and help stretch the Christmas dollars by making inexpensive gifts for family and friends.  Have your child make their own gifts and give them a great sense of accomplishment.  Inexpensive materials found around the house or at a local craft store can be used to create a lovely homemade gift.  Create a brighter season this year around your kitchen table with these easy to make Christmas crafts.  One of them is sure to be the perfect gift for someone special to your child.

Christmas Hand Print Wreaths

When it is the thought that counts, Grandma would prefer a homemade gift made especially for her. Nothing is so precious to Grandma as a little ones hand print.  This Christmas hand print wreath is a beautiful picture wall hanging that relatives can enjoy for many years to come.  The sweet hand prints that help create the circle of the wreath are sure to be cherished as a memory keepsake.   Help your children get the true spirit of Christmas with family Christmas Eve  activities .  For supplies you will need;

A large bottle of evergreen fabric paint (the washable kind)
A square of unbleached muslin fabric or sturdy woven fabric suitable for paint
(21 X 20 inches)
A large paint brush
A paper plate
An 18-inch red ribbon
Fabric glue
A sink and cloth for washing hands
A big well rounded mixing bowl
A pencil
A 24-inch slender wooden dowel or circle rod
A 35-inch piece of green string
Sewing machine

Step One: Lay the muslin or woven fabric flat on a table.  Place the mixing bowl upside down in the center and lightly trace a circle in the center of the fabric.  Be sure to leave some space between the wreath and the top of the fabric for the dowel.

Step Two: Position your child in front of the fabric and fill the paper plate with the green paint.  The fabric paint will not come out if it gets on your child’s clothes, so be sure to put them in old clothes or cover their clothes with a large bib or a paint smock.  Take one of your child’s hands and with the large paint brush, thoroughly paint the hand with the green paint, being careful not to drip.

Step Three: Carefully position your child’s hand at the bottom of the circle and make a hand print with the paint, carefully following the curve of the circle.  Press firmly on top of the little hand to make a definite print and ask your child to be careful not to wiggle their fingers during the hand print process.  This helps avoid smudging.

Step Four:  Paint your child’s hand again and make another hand print just at the end of the first one.  Continue this process until the top of the circle is reached.  Begin the same process again at the bottom of the circle on the opposite half, going the opposite direction while continuing to the top.  Continue making the prints until you have an entire wreath circle of hand prints.

Step Five:  Wash your child’s hands and let the paint on the fabric dry.  Take the red ribbon and tie it into a simple bow.  Glue with the fabric glue onto the bottom center of the wreath between the opposite hand prints.  Let dry.

Step Six:  At the top of the wreath fold the fabric back 1 and ½ inches.  Sew a ¼ inch seam across the back on the edge of the fabric.  Feed the dowel or rod through the tube seam so that both ends peek out at the ends.  Tie the green string securely on each end.  This hand print wreath made with your little one’s precious hand print is now a beautiful wall hanging that will be enjoyed for many years to come.

Snowman Tic Tac Toe

For friends and cousins, give the game of snowman tic tac toe.  This crafty gift is sure to bring smiles and hours of Christmas fun.  For supplies you will need;

White cardstock or foam board. (Foam board works best.)
Red foam board
Black foam board
Orange foam board
Fine black felt marker
A ruler
7 red buttons
7 green buttons
A set of mixing bowels, large, medium and small
A pencil
Tacky glue

Lay out three pieces of white foam board and trace three circles (large, medium and small) using the pencil and mixing bowls.  Cut out the circles.    Position the circles like a traditional snowman with the small circle on top; (head) the middle circle in the middle, (body) and the large circle at the bottom (foot area.)  Glue each circle at the bottom, overlapping slightly and keeping the glued portion in the back.  Let dry.  While drying, have your little one create a snowman’s face.  Using the black foam board, trace and cut eyes, eyebrows, mouth and hat.  Using the orange foam board, trace and cut a carrot nose.  Using the red foam board trace and cut a scarf.  Position the facial pieces on the small circle (face) of the snowman and glue.  Position the scarf on the dividing circle line of the face/body of the snowman and glue.  Glue the hat on the top of the small circle (head) overlapping at the top of the circle.  Let dry.  Take the ruler and the pencil and help your little one draw two 3 inch straight parallel lines on either side of the middle circle (body) with two inches of space in between.  Turn the ruler horizontally and draw two 4 inch lines across the parallel lines with a 1 and ½ inch space between, creating 9 tic tac toe squares.  Go over the lines with the fine black felt marker.  More suggestions for just the right Chrismas gifts for the new mom or dad.  Demonstrate to your child how to play tic tac toe on the cute snowman squares using the different color buttons.

Christmas Stocking Ornaments

For a gift that keeps giving year after year make a sparkling Christmas stocking ornament.  This craft is designed for older children and can help them learn a basic sewing whip stitch.  For supplies you will need;

White scratch paper
A cookie cutter shaped like a stocking
A pencil
Scissors to cut material
Squares of felt material in different Christmas colors
Clear sewing thread
Hand sewing needles
Tacky glue
Sequins, ric rac, small bits of lace and other decorative finery
A spool of gold ribbon

Take the white scratch paper and position the cookie cutter on one side of the paper.  Trace and cut.  Turn the cookie cutter opposite and trace across on the other side of the paper.  Cut.  Put the two patterns together and make sure that both sides line up.  Adjust by snipping if necessary. Select a square of felt and with a pen trace the pattern on one side and the other across on the other side.  Put the two cut pieces together and make sure that both sides line up accordingly.   Adjust, if necessary, by snipping.

Take the clear sewing thread and thread one of the hand sewing needles.  Make a medium sized knot at the end.  Putting both sides of the felt stockings together, have your child begin sewing at the top of the stocking by bringing the needle up from the bottom side of the stocking.  Have your child
continue to sew, whipping the clear thread around the stocking by bringing the thread around and up through the bottom side with the needle.

Continue until the opposite side of the top of the stocking is reached.  Show your child how to make a sewers knot by leading the thread into the last stitch and making a small hole.  Lead the needle into the hole which will automatically knot as the needle is pulled through.   Have your child select the sequins and other decorative finery they would like to use to decorate their stocking.  Have them position it on the stocking and then glue.  Let dry.

Take the gold thread and measure an appropriate hanging amount across the top of the stocking.  Have your child glue or sew the thread on each side of the stocking leaving enough of a loop so that it will hang beautifully on a Christmas tree.  Your child will be excited to give this dazzling gift of their own handiwork away.

True joy in the Christmas season comes from thinking of others and watching them be surprised with the perfect gift. Children get so excited when they get to help with Christmas planning and preparations. When a child gives a homemade gift, they give the most precious gift of all, the gift of themselves.

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