Every year when Christmas come around, I puzzle and ponder, and try to create a few fun new crafts or recipes or other projects to make family memories. Almost every year for a very long, we’ve had an Advent Calendar. This year, however, I was contemplating creating our own Advent Calendar, and I didn’t get it finished in time to use it this year . . . . next Christmas we’ll be ready! But in the process of searching through the file drawers of my brain for ideas for an Advent Calendar, I did come up with a creative project that will be fun to make together with all of my girls, the Big Girls and the Little Girls, and all of our In-Between Girls.
One Christmas we made ornaments for all of the kids and grandkids that were simple red Christmas ball ornaments that were painted with the first initial of each child’s name. We painted the initials in black and then embellished each one with white polka dots. Then, we added a few green polka dots all around the initial, tied on some red and white polka dot ribbon, added the date in black marker on the bottom, and there we had a special Christmas ornament to add to their collections.
Last year we made lollipops from an old recipe that I’ve used frequently over the years. The recipe is from my vintage (originally received it as a wedding gift way back in the early 70s!) Betty Crocker Cookbook, which has lots of tried-and-true recipes that never seem to go out-of-date. We used to make these lollipops by the dozens, in different colors, embellished with silver candies, red and green sparkling sugar, or red hots.
They are super simple, made with only sugar, corn syrup, and water (!) so not only are they not great for kids’ teeth, but they taste pretty boring, too . . . . but they are pretty! They look really cute clustered in a small canning jar with ribbon tied around the top of the jar and then wrapped in clear plastic wrap, also tied at the top with a festive holiday ribbon.
Another year we made Christmas angels for tree decorations, using scraps of lace, fabric, ribbon, yarn, and leftover beads and buttons. All we needed to purchase for this project was a bag of small wooden beads (for the angel heads) and a package of silver pipe cleaners (both from Hobby Lobby). This was another great project to do with the girls because the only “tricky” part is gluing the heads and the halos on, which I did with the hot glue gun. Other than that, the girls could weave the ribbon through the lace and gather it up to make the angels dresses, and they had great fun gluing the sequins or beads on the skirts (using regular craft glue).
After putting all of the parts together, we then glued a ribbon loop on the back of each angel, between the head and the top of the dress, to use for hanging them on the tree. One great thing about this project is that you can make angels in a wide variety of colors, fabrics, and trims. Or, if you prefer to have your tree decorated all in a particular color / theme, you could do all of your angels in white and silver, or blue, or pink, or purple, or gold . . . . . whatever you like, and whatever supplies / scraps you have on hand.
This Thursday, just two days before Christmas, we are again working on a fun holiday craft project. We gathered up several empty glass jars (or emptied out a few from the fridge that just happened to be the right size!), washed them all up and set them aside to dry. Then we took a little trip to our local thrift shop, looking for a variety of little figurines and other tiny treasures that we could put into our home made snow globes.
When we got home, we pulled out our craft paints, glue, ribbon, and glitter (don’t you just LOVE glitter?) and started to experiment. So far, we have several of the lids painted in shimmery shades of ivory, silver, blue, pink, and purple (by this time I’m getting weary of the reds and greens). We’ve sprayed several of our little treasures with clear acrylic to seal them (because they are going to be immersed in water), and now we are just waiting for all of that paint to dry before we assemble our snow globes.
While we were on our treasure hunt, we found several little snowman figurines, a snow covered tree with Cardinals perched on the branches, a skating bear, and a strange looking contraption with little ice skates on the ends of some metal hook-type things. Perhaps they were originally put up on the wall of a garage or porch to hang ice skates on, but we took it all apart and now we can use those cute little blue and pink ice skates in one of our snow globes! Then we went outside and clipped of several small branches from the evergreen tree in our front yard, spray painted them silver, and sprinkled glitter on them . . . . I hope they work because they really turned out pretty! They might not hold up in the water, in which case I’ll need to see if I can find a plastic version of the everygreen branch. Probably I can just snip one off of an old wreath or candle holder. Let me go see what I can find . . . . .
I’ll post some pictures of the snow globes once we get them all figured out. In the meantime, we are focused this year on having a fun-filled, family holiday celebration, remembering the reason for this blessed season, and rejoicing in another Christmas to make more family memories. Have a very merry Christmas with your family, and let’s get back together in the New Year for more crafty projects, tutorials, and frugal living projects.