Fast & Mess Free Glitter Ornaments

christmas ornament

 We had fun making these Christmas ornaments and the best part there was no huge glittery mess! Christmas ornaments beg to be glittered and I don’t know about your schedule but mine just got crazy so I don’t have as much time for glue to dry , no need, these have zero glue. Both my kids love making these and even though we used them as ornaments they could easily be made into gift tags too.  I was inspired to make this after seeing this candle project from The Ivy Cottage on Pinterest.

  1. Gather your materials. I used card stock for the circles, I wanted to make sure the tape would stick permanently and knew from experience that it does on card stock. Also used glitter provided for me by the folks atcraftprojectideas.com , ziploc bags, scissors, hot glue and gun, and pipe cleaners. I had ribbon in the picture thinking I would hang them with it but the pipe cleaners were perfect!
  2. Start by drawing and cutting out the ornament. I made circles but any shape would be fine.
  3. Add the tape, it goes without saying I added it for my daughter but I also had to help my 5 year old the first time. The tape was so sticky .
  4. Add the glitter to the zip lock .
  5. Shake! Can you tell she loved this?
  6. add more tape.
  7. Pop it in the next color of glitter .
  8. Shake.
  9. Keep going until they are just the way you want them. 
  10. My son told me his has lightsabres fighting on it.
  11. As you may be able to tell after it was dark and sugar plums were dancing in my kids’ heads I hot glued some pipe cleaners on for hooks. 
  12. Hang up on your tree.

Recycled Lid Ornaments

easy christmas ornaments for kids to make

I sorta promised my husband I wouldn’t spend much on craft supplies this holiday so I have been keeping my word and finding great ways to recycle instead. These ornaments are fun, fast, and cheap. Also as I sit writing this I am looking at how awesome these ornaments are on a lit Christmas tree!

  1. Gather your materials. You will need some cleaned lids ( yogurt, icing, even jar lids will work), old Christmas cards or photos, scissors, glue , permanent double stick tape, a pipe cleaner per ornament and glitter.
  2. Start by choosing your photos or cards and tracing the lid on the back of it.
  3. Cut out.
  4. Using the double stick tape attach the picture to the lid. Press and hold for a bit.
  5. Grab the glue and add to edge on the front.
  6. Add glitter.
  7. Let dry.
  8. Punch a hole and thread the pipe cleaner through.  If you are using a metal jar you can use hot glue to attach a pipe cleaner to the back. Adults only though!

Christmas Books

The Little Drummer Mouse by Mercer Mayer is a beautiful book. The dedication to his grandchild is perhaps my favorite part even though the book itself is wonderful too! Read it and you’ll see !  The story is a retelling of the little drummer boy , but in this book he’s a tiny little insignificant mouse. At least he thinks he’s insignificant until he follows the bright star to the manger on the very first Christmas night! The little acorn drum that this little mouse beats is anything but insignificant and he is thrust into the spotlight as Baby Jesus likes his music best of all ! The illustrations are amazing, they have so much detail I find myself opening this book over and over to just look. Great book, the test is lengthy for toddlers but preschoolers and older will love it.

Merry Un-Christmas by Mike Reiss is a fun twist on  Christmas Book. In it Noelle is tired of Christmas, because in her town it’s Christmas every day except one. She can’t fake the enthusiasm for another pony or bike but when she figures out that Un-Christmas is coming she is elated. It’s the only day she goes to school, it’s the only day the mail comes and it’s filled with tradition and special meaning. I love how this book turns everything topsy turvy and makes kids think what really makes Christmas special.

Mini Merry Book: Gingerbread Joy by Julia Woolf is a tiny little book that my 6 month old is nuts about. A good friend and I decided to do only books as gifts to each other’s kids this year and this was one of the board books my daughter received.  As expected it’s  a super simple book about baking gingerbread houses and people as a treat at Christmas time. What my daughter loves are the shiny foil inserts in the already fun illustrations. She smacks them over and over with her chubby baby hands and the text is simple enough my son can help read it to her. All in all a perfect little stocking stuffer !

Letter Christmas Ornaments

This recycled project is possibly the easiest custom ornament I’ve ever made. These easy letter ornaments are kid friendly Christmas decor ( or even gift tags) with a dash of learning in the mix as well . These big foam letters are part of a floor puzzle that we’d grown out of , but there are similar bath ones for much less available online , thrift stores or you can use small ones that you can find in the dollar section of Target and Walmart.

  1. Gather your materials. You will need some foam letters, newspaper , markers, glue, glitter and ribbon.  You will also need something to poke the ribbon hole in your foam, we used a paintbrush.
  2. Start by covering your table with plenty of newspaper or something you can simply fold up and throw away. Glitter is awesome, I love it but it’s a drag to clean up , when you can simply fold and throw it’s much easier.
  3. Lay out your letters and color with markers. Be prepared for your kid’s hands to get covered in marker, the foam doesn’t absorb it easily and it will smudge. If this will frustrate your child, skip it and move onto the glitter. I am trying to do everything I can to get my son writing ,he has little interest in it, so I sneak it in everywhere.
  4. Add glue!
  5. Add glitter. Don’t be shy dump it on.
  6. Let dry. I let them dry for 2 days , then shook the extra glitter off . If your marker was still wet when you added the glitter , the glitter will have initially stuck to the wet marker but will now fall off. A few taps will take care of it.
  7. Poke a hole in the letter.
  8. Thread the ribbon through.
  9. Hang up!

Christmas Books

The Twelve Days of Christmas by Jan Brett is a great book to read whether your children are familiar with the song or not. I love that even though I think of it being a song, my son thinks of it as a math book, counting up the gifts on every page. In classic Jan Brett fashion the illustrations are incredibly detailed , in the side pictures you can follow a family trimming their tree and I particularly liked the holiday salutations on every page in different languages. Really my only complaint is the copy we got from the library was sticky.

It’s Christmas by Tina Burke is simple and brief but it’s not too simple to share with a wide range of ages. The story reads like a photo album with short descriptions of holiday preparations, traditions and celebrations. My favorite is the picture with Santa with a screaming baby. The heart of this book though is how it captures the feeling of having to wait forever for Santa to come.

Ho, Ho, Ho, Tucker! by Leslie McGuirk is a cute story about an adorable little dog Tucker who is crazy about Christmas. While getting into the holiday spirit he burns his nose on a cookie pan . When Santa sees his bright red nose he asks him to come a long for the fun on Christmas Eve. There is a lot of good natured humor that any young child will giggle at , Tucker peeing on a Christmas tree got some good giggles at our house.  I doubt this will be a Christmas classic to read on Christmas Eve but it a cute book your kids will enjoy.

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Green Christmas Crafts

hardBow3

Today’s guest post is my Amy, who like her post explains is a mom and not really a crafter, although she has me fooled!  I love how she approached these holiday crafts for a large group and you will too. Thanks Amy for sharing ! You check out more about Amy’s adventures on her blog, Blog-o!

Crafting for a Crowd:Festive Crafts at the Winter Fair

When I signed up to run the craft room at my childrens’ school Winter Fair, I wasn’t in it for the crafts. To tell the truth, I’m not really a crafter. My problem  with crafts, particularly little kid crafts, is that they can  be pretty bad for the environment;often they involve gluing a bunch of non-recyclable things to recyclable things so you end up throwing the whole schmagiggy into the garbage. Not to mention the amount of pointless stuff that gets manufactured just so kids can glue it onto other stuff!

In truth, I signed up to run the crafts room with an agenda: I wanted to green it up. Our school is one of the leaders in the city on environmental matters and I thought our Winter Fair crafts room should reflect that. In addition to that challenge, I and my co-crafters Nancy and Tanya had to create a variety of crafts  which would appeal to children from JK (four years old) to Grade Six (eleven years old), and that wouldn’t be too messy or too expensive. Here is what we came up with.

Bows and Chains, or The Stapling Table

bows and chains

The simplest craft we offered was paper chains made out of strips of construction paper. We cut lots of different colours of construction paper into strips, and provided both staplers and glue sticks. This craft wasn’t very popular, I think because the other crafts were more glamourous (or messy). However, one mom made a nice long paper chain of her own and said it was very  relaxing!

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Also at the stapling table was our most challenging craft: magazine paper gift bows. To prepare for this craft, we cut strips about five or six inches long and wide out of magazines. (The best pages for this are pages which are mainly one colour on one side and another colour on the other.) We also cut little inch-by-inch squares from cereal boxes to  act as backs for the bows.

There are two ways to make gift bows. I call them “The Hard Way” and “The Easy Way”. Here’s The Hard Way:

1. Take a strip of magazine and fold the end over into a twisted loop. Use a dab of stick glue to stick the loop together.

hardBow1

2. Turn the strip around and make another loop at the other end.

hardBow2

3. Set that strip aside and repeat steps 1 and 2 for three more strips.

4. Stack the four completed strips on top of each other, angling them to get a full bow. Staple or glue the whole thing to a cereal-box square.
hardBow3

Here’s The Easy Way:

1. Take a strip of magazine and join it into a loop. Bring the middle  of the loop together into a figure 8. You can staple this now, or just hold on to it, depending how dexterous you are.

easyBow1

2. Get another strip of magazine, join it into a loop and bring the middle of the loop together as above. Put the two loops together  in the middle to make a +. You can stop at this point and staple the + to a piece of card to make a very minimal, chic bow, or continue…

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3. Repeat steps 1 and 2 to make a second +, then join the two together at an angle to make a fancier bow.

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These bows look great, but they would look even better if you could figure out a way to finish the middle of them. We were experimenting with  gluing a little loop in the middle on top of the staples. Perhaps you could stick a sticker over the staples, or it might be nice if you made them with coloured staples.

Cards

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We set up two tables for the children to make cards. At one table we provided small, deckle-edge cards along with crayons and watercolour paint. We drew simple holiday designs on some cards, and left the others plain. Some of the kids coloured with crayons and then painted over the crayons, and some just painted. This craft appealed to all age groups: the little ones made a painty mess and the bigger ones were very careful and precise with their painting.

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largecards5
The other table had larger cards, some of which we stamped with  festive designs and others left plain. We provided pencil crayons, glue and foil shapes and let ‘em at it.

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Ornaments

The last craft;my favourite;was directly inspired by this one . To prepare, Nancy borrowed a die-cutter to cut a bunch of shapes out of card stock: trees, round ornaments, dreidels and stars.

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We cut lots of coloured bits out of magazines and sorted them into baskets by colour. We also cut out interesting little pictures, like animals and bugs, and cool patterns, as we came across them.collage5

Our little crafters stuck on the bits of magazine using stick glue, and then a helper trimmed any overhanging bits from the edges…collage9

And voila!collage11

This craft, as Allie says, works equally well for little kids and bigger ones. Little ones love the gluing and the sense of accomplishment, older kids like experimenting with colour and texture and combining images in unexpected ways.

In the end the Craft Room was a big success: everyone who came in, big and small,  left with a craft which they enjoyed making and were proud of. We managed to reuse a lot of stuff, and most of the things we bought,  like recycled paper and cardstock, and woodless pencils,  were easy on the earth. And even I appreciate crafting a little more! Maybe I will make some bows for my Christmas packages.

Nest Egg Ornament

Nest Christmas OrnamentMy original idea for this was to have it closed and have jingle bells inside , but I was concerned that if it broke the jingle bells could be a safety hazard. So I went back to the chalk board and decided to cut one side open and make a home for one of my favorite little bird ornaments that is getting old and needs a comfy place to rest. This is not nearly as hard as it looks but it’s finiky and would frustrate young kids, which is why it’s a naptime creation for older kids or adults to do while preschoolers snooze!

  1. Gather your materials. You will need yarn, glue, a dish, water, a balloon, some cotton balls , scissors , ribbon and your ornament of choice.Nest Ornament
  2. Start by blowing up your balloon a little, and tie it.Nest Ornament
  3. Mix your glue in a dish with some water. It’s about 4/5th glue 1/5th water.Nest Ornament
  4. Cut your yarn into manageable pieces.Nest Ornament
  5. Drench your yarn in the glue and wrap it around your balloon.Nest Ornament Nest Ornament
  6. Let dry- I clip it to a wire hanger and hang it over my utility sink.  I dried mine for a few days.
  7. Pop the balloon and pull it from the yarn .Nest Ornament
  8. Cut an opening in the yarn.Nest Ornament
  9. Add cotton balls.Nest Ornament
  10. Glue your ornament on.Nest Ornament
  11. Add ribbon.Nest Ornament
  12. Hang on your tree.Nest Christmas Ornament

Books

One Little Chicken: A Counting Book by David Elliot was a great library find. You count chickens as they dance all different styles, my favorite being the chickens who dance the hula ! The rhyming text is really fun and the pictures will make you giggle, I mean there are chickens in leotards doing ballet! Totally tickled my funny bone. The best part though is that it gets the reader involved after counting to ten, the chickens turn the tables stare at the reader and implore them to dance!  One of my new favorite counting books.

Birds by Kevin Henkes , illustrated by Laura Dronzek is stunning. I love this author but this book is absolutely about the pictures. The cover is beautiful but there are pages that I just wanted to look at the way I look at paintings at a museum. The book is perfect for toddlers and young preschooler, it’s non fiction , simple and has a great flow. The colors are so vibrant I would bet that infants would dig it too! Awesome awesome awesome!

Owl Babiesby Martin Waddell was an instant hit with my son. I knew it would be, much like little Bill the smallest of the three baby owls my son is fond of saying “I want my mommy”. The three birds are distraught when they discover mama owl is not there. I love how they huddle together, and think a lot before mama Owl returns non- challant about the fact that she’d returned. The illustrations of the owls are so expressive , which with very few facial features is impressive. Patrick Benson did a wonderful job bringing all three owl’s personalities out visually as well as making the setting ominous without being frightening to young readers. Great book!