wanting to decorate our tree with homemade ornaments (by our kids) but I am craft challenged - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 16 Old 11-19-2009, 12:42 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I have a 2yo and 10yo. We would like to decorate our Christmas tree with homemade ornaments....some made by me, some by my 10yo and some by my toddler.

But I am seriously horrid with crafts. I am not a creative person. Does anyone have resources or ideas on ornament ideas for all age ranges that we could start working on now?

Thanks,
J
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#2 of 16 Old 11-19-2009, 01:07 PM
 
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For the 10 year old how about some simple felt ornaments. For example cut out 2 stars and decorate. You could sew on buttons, use glitter glue or do some simple embroidery. Then sew the 2 stars together, tucking in a little stuffing before sewing the last bit closed. Since felt doesn't fray it's a nice thing to start with. Snowmen are good this way.

Felt mini stockings are also quite cute and we use them to hang a few sweets on the tree.

For the 2 year old how about some salt dough. I use 1 cup of flour and 1/2 cup of salt with just enough water to make a dough.

Roll it and cut out shapes with cookie cutters. Use a cocktail stick to make a hole in the top to thread a ribbon through. Once that shapes are dry (ours took a few days or you can bake at a Very low temp in the oven) then you can paint them and go to town with the glitter. I would recommend sealing them with a spray varnish as they go mushy if they get damp.
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#3 of 16 Old 11-19-2009, 01:10 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Great ideas! I remember making dough ornaments as a child. (Warm fuzzy moment).

Thanks so much.
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#4 of 16 Old 11-19-2009, 01:18 PM
 
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i would try to pick a color scheme so the different types of crafty ornaments will look unified. if you wanted to do popcorn and cranberry garlands, then cream and deep red would be great for dough, felt and paper ornaments. otoh, if you want to keep the color possibilities wide open, you could pick a motif (like a star or even a circle) and let that unify things. scrapbooking paper could be a really fun way to introduce pattern without having to create the patterns yourself (cut the shape from the paper, punching the hole for the string, & it's done!).

i was just looking through my winter/christmas back-issues of martha stewart kids for ideas. there was a tree decorated with "snowballs" which were just cotton balls but it really looked cute! there were also amazing figures (santa, snowman, etc) made from stacking buttons on pipe cleaners. pom-poms, felted wool balls, and pipe cleaners twisted into shapes also can be fun. my very favorite were the ornaments made from candy, though.
http://www.marthastewart.com/article/candy-tree
this link only shows the instructions for one ornament. if you want the rest, i'd be happy to scan & email it to you! (ds1 wants to make these "without the hooks" so he can eat them, lol.)

eta: here's the link for the button ornaments . .
http://www.marthastewart.com/article/button-ornaments
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#5 of 16 Old 11-19-2009, 01:43 PM
 
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Your 10yo could make a popcorn garland! Just pop plain popcorn (airpop ideally 'cause there's no oil) and string it up with a needle and thread.

Or...
Paper snowflakes
Scrappy strips of cloth tied around branches
Decorations made of felt (felt cutout shapes, paint or glitter)

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#6 of 16 Old 11-19-2009, 03:17 PM
 
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The dough ornaments is a great idea and one we use often, for different holidays. For tree decorations one year I added cinnamon to the dough and cut out gingerbread men shapes.

Also I've used pinecones or cinnamon sticks or fabric sachets with cloves/potpouri - tied with ribbons or wire garland, bells, spray glitter, etc to decorate.

Sometimes at the craft or fabric store you can find wooden seasonal or animal ornaments that are unpainted. These can be fairly inexpensive and fun for the younger kids to paint. If the orament is also a picture frame, we might give these to relatives as Yule gifts.

This wasn't an ornament but we used it as our holiday cards: cut out small confetti sized tissue paper in seasonal colours. Brush glue onto cardstock, sprinkle the confetti evenly so it overlaps and makes interesting patters and brush more glue over it to decopage it down. When dry cut your cards out. Each one will look unique. We used long narrow "bookmark" shapes with the fold at the top. Add a hole punch and tie on a ribbon. The card could be a ornament or bookmark.

When I was done I had leftover supplies and gave them to a friend with a daycare. The kid made cards for their parents.

Rhianna
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#7 of 16 Old 11-20-2009, 10:02 AM
 
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We'll be gathering pinecones and gluing glitter to them. Hanging them w/ chenile yarn.

Yesterday we tried gluing pompoms to premade wooden ornaments. It was a failure - we needed to hold the pompoms on while the glue set and that was beyond my dc. We might paint them but I'm not sure what paint is non toxic enough to use at this age.

I'm also planning on using the huge recycling box of their colorings and making one of those paper chains.

 Single mama to two wild and sweet toddlers 2/08
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#8 of 16 Old 11-20-2009, 12:26 PM
 
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Instead of popcorn, I heard that mini marshmallows are easier for little people to do, since they take less patience.

I would also recommend doing only a bit of crafting each day so that they kids (and you) don't get too burned out.
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#9 of 16 Old 11-20-2009, 12:30 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Wonderful ideas. I sat down with my 10 year old last night and she helped me make a list of ornaments she wanted to do, and some we thought my toddler could help with as well. We are going to try and do a color scheme type of tree. We decided to do some "disposable" or quick and dirty ornaments, but also set aside some time for she and I to work on painting some nice glass balls and such. She also likes the idea of doing hand print casts of both kids, dating then, decorating them with something, then making a new one each year (we will have DC3 by next Christmas). It was fun getting her involved.

Thanks for the ideas and definately keep em coming!
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#10 of 16 Old 11-20-2009, 12:48 PM
 
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I want to do all homemade decorations for our tree this year.

We already have origami paper cranes for our tree. I practiced on junk mail until I could do it really well and then made the ornaments from some pretty gold art paper. A 10 year old could definitely do it.

I'm planning on cranberry and popcorn garlands, pinecones, and dehydrated orange slices. If I have time I might do some beeswax shapes (you can use candy molds) and felted balls with acorn caps.

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#11 of 16 Old 11-20-2009, 03:41 PM
 
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I also did dehydrated orange, lemon and lime slices one year. Really fun!

Rhianna
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#12 of 16 Old 11-28-2009, 10:24 PM
 
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Quick idea for the salt dough - microwave the shapes before you decorate them. 2-3 minutes per side depending on how powerful your microwave is. I tried this today and they were ready to decorate in 1-2 hours instead of days. Test it a little bit, because it will brown if left in too long.

Joanna - wife to Mike, mamachicken to Cub(8/98), Kitten (4/07), Dew-man, and Woe-boy(twins, 10/08)
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#13 of 16 Old 12-01-2009, 08:14 PM
 
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Our tree is decorated with popcorn garlands made by my 9 year old and I and clementine slices cut by the 4 year old and I. Smells great!

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#14 of 16 Old 12-02-2009, 01:44 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rhianna813 View Post
I also did dehydrated orange, lemon and lime slices one year. Really fun!

Rhianna
how do you do the dehydrated citrus slices??
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#15 of 16 Old 12-02-2009, 02:19 PM
 
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For your toddler, cut holiday shapes from old cereal boxes (or other thin cardboard) and let them paint on white glue and sprinkle with glitter. Very simple, but glitter makes everything fantastic and they look pretty with the tree lights.

And it will work with any "theme", too. Either cut your shapes to match the theme or chose a glitter color that works.
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#16 of 16 Old 12-02-2009, 05:29 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by alisonsage View Post
how do you do the dehydrated citrus slices??
These directions have always worked really well for me. I omit the cinnamon.
http://www.craftyavenue.com/school/a...=19&EntryID=58

Liv, mama to three girls (September 2005, June 2007 and September 2010)
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