Tag Archives: christmas decorations

Pop-stick Christmas Decorations

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Pop-sticks are so versatile, and they can be used to make simple and fun Christmas decorations. We made stars and trees using the regular sized pop-sticks, and some small stars with mini pop-sticks.

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Gluing the pop-sticks together.

Gluing the pop-sticks together.

Triangles ready to be glued together.

Triangles ready to be glued together.

For the larger stars, we made two triangles with the pop-sticks by gluing the ends together. Then we placed one of the triangles on top of the other one, so that one triangle was point up, and the other one was point down. We glued the triangles together like this, and got our star. To finish them off we added glitter glue and once they were dry, I tied a loop of string to one of the points so it could be hung on the tree.

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Christmas trees.

Christmas trees.

Adding glitter glue.

Adding glitter glue.

The Christmas trees were made with a triangle of green pop-sticks, and a natural coloured pop-stick glued behind the triangle to form the trunk. We had coloured pop-sticks, but natural pop-sticks could be easily painted green before construction. Glitter glue finished off the trees. Later, a loop of string was added so the tree could be hung up.

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Gluing mini pop-sticks together.

Gluing mini pop-sticks together.

The little stars were made by stacking the mini pop-sticks at different angles to produce eight points. A small dab of glue was all that was necessary to keep the pop-sticks together. Once dry, we tied some string around the stars to hang them from.

These decorations all look great hanging on our Christmas tree!

 

Felt Christmas Tree Decorations

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IMG_2659I was browsing in Riot Art & Craft the other day and we came across these little felt decoration kits. They looked like fun, so I bought two.

Sorted and ready to go.

Sorted and ready to go.

The circles came pre-punched in felt rectangles, so the kids popped them all out then put the scraps in the bin. Once we’d sorted the circles into piles of different sizes, I noticed that we were short a few circles, and the kids had to go and get them from the bin (luckily they were in a new bin bag so there wasn’t anything yucky in there!). We sorted the piles from biggest to smallest to make it easier to pick up the right sized circles.

Threading the felt circles.

Threading the felt circles.

We tied knots in the end of the silver string and threaded the plastic needles. Then the kids got to work, first adding the cylindrical bead for the tree trunk, and then the felt circles in descending order and finally the star bead. This was where it got a little tricky however, because then the instructions suggested making a loop and taking the thread back through the beads and circles to tie it off at the base where we started. I had to help the kids do this, and the star bead mostly popped off when we tried to tie the thread at the opposite end. The star was easy to thread back on, and then I added a knot above it to stop it slipping off again.

I have added a drop of craft glue to the bottom of the trunk bead and the top of the star bead to prevent the thread pulling through in the future. And I trimmed the end of the thread ready to hang on the Christmas tree.

L (7 years) found this an easy and enjoyable activity that she could complete herself. On the other hand, A (5 years), had more difficulties and required more help with tying the knots and getting the thread back through everything. Putting on the beads and felt circles was easy enough, but she kept letting the thread go, and she had trouble re-threading the needle. A made several trees with help, and still enjoyed it, but L could have done this as a solo activity.

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Foam Decorations

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Some 3D foam balls, sequins, seed beads, metal pins, paint and Christmas ribbon…. all the ingredients for some great bauble making craft.

My sequined ball...it did take patience to make, but it looks great.

My sequined ball…it did take patience to make, but it looks great.

I started making a bauble by placing a seed bead onto one of the pins, followed by a sequin, and then pushing the pin into the foam ball. I did this over and over to cover the ball. This was a bit too tricky for A to do, first she couldn’t get the seed bead onto the pin, then she dropped the sequin and the pin, and got a little frustrated with the whole project.

A's ribbon bauble.

A’s ribbon bauble.

So we tried for something a little simpler. For her first bauble we used three different Christmas ribbons, and wrapped them around the foam ball. I held the ribbon still while A secured each one with some of the pins. We continued to do this until the ball was covered in ribbons. I then tied a piece of thin silver thread to one of the pin heads (and glued it down)to hang it by. I think the result is quite nice, and it was much quicker and easier than the bauble I made with the sequins!

L working on her sequined bauble.

L working on her sequined bauble.

L also had a go at putting sequins and seed beads on a foam ball. She decided to place her pins randomly over the ball, rather than cover the whole thing because that would take too much time! As it was, she became tired of trying to get the tiny seed beads onto the pins after about a dozen or so. She wants to come back to hers later.

To make some more decorations, A painted another foam ball and a foam star with gold paint. Once the paint was dry she glued sequins randomly over the shapes. We added some Christmas ribbon to hang them up. These were much easier for her to complete on her own, and she was happy with the result.

A's painted star. The other side was red with sequins.

A’s painted star. The other side was red with sequins.

A's painted ball with some sequins.

A’s painted ball with some sequins.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The kids loved hanging their own decorations up on the tree.

Christmas Paper Chains

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IMG_3770I think most people have made paper chains for Christmas at some point during their childhoods. It is simple, fun, and they look very festive hanging up around the place. We had a scrap booking pad of Christmas papers, stickers and cut-outs from Lincraft, so we used some of the paper out of that to make the strips. I used a 30cm ruler to draw some lines on the back of the paper, so that the kids could cut along them to make the strips we would need. Each strip was the width of the ruler. L was quite good at cutting along these lines, A’s cutting was a bit more jagged, so she mostly left the cutting to L and I.  Once we had our strips, I showed the kids how to loop them and secure the ends together. L used the stapler to join hers, and A used sticky tape, as she found the stapler a bit hard to close.

Cutting the strips.

Cutting the strips.

Stapling the loops together.

Stapling the loops together.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

They continued to loop new strips together to make long chains. We then hung them up along the top of one of our doorways with blu-tack. It’s the start of our Christmas decorating. IMG_3769

Pipe-cleaners and Feathers

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While I was looking for a bag of coloured feathers in one of the craft tubs I found a packet of metallic pipe-cleaners. I also found the bag of feathers I was actually looking for. The pipe-cleaners reminded me of Christmas, and Christmas is less than three months away now… I’ve already noticed Christmas things on display at the shops. Anyway, an idea for Christmas decorations came to mind using the pipe-cleaners.

We placed three pipe-cleaners together and twisted them in the centre to anchor them, and then fanned the six points out. Each of these six points were bent back onto themselves to create a star shape. Each piece was finished by twisting the ends of the pipe-cleaners around the middle. To hang them up, one of the star’s points could be used, or we added half a pipe-cleaner shaped into a hook on some of them.

IMG_2754IMG_2760I also made some tree shaped decorations using green, purple and gold pipe-cleaners, but these turned out to be too fiddly for the kids. IMG_2757

The bag of feathers were also open on the table along with the pipe-cleaners. (And yes the kids had emptied both packets all over the table because that’s how craft supplies should be displayed for ease of locating just the right item among many similar or even identical items!) L started wrapping one of the pipe-cleaners around a feather, while A was attempting to string the feathers onto a pipe-cleaner. And so the next set of decorations came about. For these L and A picked out several feathers that they liked to go together, and I helped them wind a pipe-cleaner tightly around the end of the bunch of feathers several times. The end of the pipe-cleaner was shaped into a loop to hang them up.

Feather and pipe-cleaner decorations.

Feather and pipe-cleaner decorations.