Guess what?! This is the last of our Christmas craft blogs – and it’s not even December!
Is that terrible? Or just organised? Maybe a bit of both? We’ve done the advent calendar, made the cards, looked at the the gift of giving and now we’ve moved on to wrapping paper and gift bags to put presents (I haven’t started buying yet) in.
Initially I thought it would be fun to stamp our own paper but I used one of those scratchy green cleaning pads, which was the only thing I had to hand. It wasn’t ideal as it soaked up the paint, which was probably to be expected.
Then I thought we could finger paint robins but Freya seemed to clock the huge roll of craft paper and decide maybe playing with her toys would be more fun (I think she managed 10 first).
We ended up with two good-sized sheets of paper but it wasn’t quite enough.
I’m sure I’ve made gift bags in the past but I couldn’t for the life of me remember where to start. Luckily good old YouTube to the rescue. I used this video which was very easy to follow (and the bags turned out well, I think). You can use any sort of paper. I picked craft paper because it’s sturdy. In the video she used newsprint and also actual wrapping paper as well as some she had designed herself. Once I got the hang of it I was able to knock them out quite quickly.
Hopefully people will think they are charming. Now I just need to start shopping for presents to fill them with!
Have you started/finished your Christmas shopping?
This year Freya really seems to be getting into Christmas – not least because she’s playing Mary in her class nativity (I’m welling up already and it’s still a week away).
She’s written a letter to Father Christmas listing some of the things she would like but I wanted to let her know, in a gentle way suitable for a four-year-old, that it’s not just about getting new stuff and that giving is just as important.
My mum’s friend is involved in a charity that helps disadvantaged families so I thought putting together a little Christmas parcel for a child, with Freya picking out some of the items, might be a good way to make her think but not cause her to worry too much. She’s quite a sensitive little soul so I have to be careful about the way I broach things.
We were sent a lovely little cloth bag in our craft box from Craft Merrily, which we receive as part of our role as Tots100 Bostik Bloggers. As this month’s theme is Christmas I thought we could decorate the bag using some of the other bits and bobs from the box and then fill it with some treats for a child in need.
To make and decorate the bag, you will need:
A cloth bag.
Gold leaves (or something for his arms).
Two googly eyes.
Bostik White Glu.
White pom pom (or cotton wool).
Orange pom pom (or something for his nose).
Beads or sequins for his mouth.
I don’t mind admitting I started off by asking Freya: “Do you wanna build a snowman?” (If you haven’t seen Frozen, it won’t mean much to you). She didn’t find it funny either.
It was only after we’d stuck on his eyes, buttons and made him a hat that I realised something was missing – his nose! Of course. I quickly found an orange pom pom to use.
Working out how to attach him to the bag is something I spent quite some time thinking about. Maybe I should glue him or sew him or a combination of the two. It was only when we had decorated him that I realised he had a sticky back (doh!).
After finishing off the decoration by sticking on beads for his smile and the white pom poms for snowballs, it was time to shop. We had some advice on what to buy and a mixture of practical and fun seemed to be the way to go. We are luckier than many people but still have a limited budget so we went to our local pound shop to get some things.
We came home and packed the bag and I sealed it with some double sided tape so the items don’t fall out. I wrote on the label what age child it was aimed at.
I know it’s only a little gesture but I hope it brings some joy to a small person this Christmas – and helps Freya realise how fortunate we are.
Please note: We were sent the box of craft items free of charge in return for a post.
Did you know there are just over seven weeks until Christmas? Hands up if you’ve started your present buying yet. Not me. What we have done already is some festive crafting, starting with a peg advent calendar.
As many of the shops now put their decorations up at the start of October I have been fielding “is it Christmas today?” questions (from Freya, not Mark) for several weeks now, which is why I thought we’d make something she can use to count down (the pegs will also double up as Christmas tree decorations).
Thanks to some happy post from Craft Merrily, as part of our role as a Tots 100 Bostik Blogger, all we were really missing was the wooden pegs – and the ability to name all of Santa’s reindeer.
“There’s Prancer and Dancer and Vixen and Grumpy and Sleepy and, oh, wait…”
The internet was able to help with that and, after a quick trip to a pound shop for the pegs, we were off.
25 wooden pegs.
A foam wreath base.
Paint (we used acrylic).
Wooden reindeer shape.
Lolly sticks (to make the wreath base a bit stronger).
Decorations (including beads, pom poms, stars and sequins).
Pipe cleaners, wool and silk thread (for snowmen scarves).
Pretty string or cord.
Black, orange and brown marker pens.
A wooden reindeer for the middle (with two googly eyes and a red pom pom nose).
Bostik White Glue.
Bostik Foam Pads.
How we did it.
There are all sorts of characters you could include such as penguins, The Grinch and angels to name just a few. You could even do a nativity. We kept it simple and picked Father and Mrs Christmas, the reindeer (once we had worked out how many there were), snowmen and elves.
I set Freya to work painting the pegs the various base colours. To make it easier for her (and less messy) I clipped the pegs on to a plastic tray (actually the cases from dummies, which I kept). The white needed two coats.
With a little bit of help, Freya had fun decorating the snowmen. She wanted to play with them after they were finished rather than do any more. Luckily, Father Christmas very kindly sent one of his elves to visit (you’d think they would have better things to do) and she woke up the next morning to find they had all been decorated.
Some how, even though I thought it was out of the way, we managed to get paint on the wreath base. After making it a bit stronger with some lolly sticks, I decided to wrap it in gold ribbon to cover the stains. It also means once the pegs come off it will still look nice (although I’m going to spread the pegs out a bit).
Rudolph was going to be our centrepiece so Freya coloured in the wooden shape and then, having spent some time using her hand as a puppet, glued his eyes and nose on. We stuck the green and red cord to his back and then attached it all to the wreath base.
Time to pop on the pegs and then, with Freya’s help, number them with a black pen.
There are many things I like about this craft, including that she can use it to practice her number skills. The pegs are easy to get on and off and she’s also had a lot of fun just playing with them. I made some snow out of cotton wool and we had a whole Christmas scene going on.
And here it is on the wall.
While it took a bit of time, I think it was well worth it. It’s reusable too (imagine if she passes it down to her children, if she has any). I’ve written the date on the back of Rudolph so we can remember the year we made it.
Are you planning to make anything for Christmas? Can you name all of Santa’s reindeer?
Note: As a Bostik Blogger we received the craft supplies free of charge in return for this post.