It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas … and, if you have a young child at home, the candy canes are undoubtedly made of pipe cleaners and the holiday bells cut out of salt dough. It’s Christmas craft season, ring-ding-a-ling!
I, for one, need all the help I can get because my kid loves craft. She’d sleep with the sticky tape roll under her pillow if I’d let her. Enter Shannon from Oh Creative Day. If you’ve been around here since the beginning you’ll remember Shannon’s Matisse-inspired paper cutting, which is one of my favorite easy-as-pie-and-looks-awesome crafts. And now, for Christmas, she’s totally outdone herself with a new e-book 12 Oh Creative Days of Christmas.
The book features – as you might well guess – 12 original Christmas craft ideas, all named after Christmas songs, along with printables and a whole stocking full of tips. It’s super inviting with the bold colored crafts and easy tutorial images.
The Mini Artsplorer and I had a peruse through the book, and I told her she could pick two projects to try out. She had that roll of sticky tape in hand faster than you can say, “won’t you drive my sleigh tonight”.
First up, we went with Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer – but, honestly, you can give those reindeers any color nose you like. I thought these were so cute. Plus, I was pretty sure I could put my hands on a couple of old toilet paper rolls and some sticks (every pre-schooler mother has a stash of sticks, right?).
Here’s an example of the clever tricks Shannon has up her sleeve … using an egg carton as a base for painting the tubes. Yeah, I know. I should have thought of that, too.
I got my thinking cap on and used the same method for painting the sticks (antlers).
Then, we basically assembled every loose part I could think of from our stash, and we dressed our reindeer. I think they’re pretty cute, if I do say so.
From the first leaf through of the 12 Oh Creative Days of Christmas, there was one clear favorite for Mini – “Walking in a Gingerbread Wonderland,” a gingerbread diorama, which includes a printable gingerbread house and gingerbread men in the appendix. It was a three day chorus of “Did you print the gingerbread house yet? When can we do the gingerbread house?” before we finally got to work.
And then, when we did get to work, we really ended up making quite a go of it because we kept coming up with new ideas. She spent a whole evening coloring the gingerbread house. I covered a Tiny Teddies box with wrapping paper.
The next day, we needed to do the background, and I suddenly remembered that she’d asked me a few times about doing potato prints (I don’t even know where she learned about potato prints. Play School, I have my eye on you…), so I cut a star out of a sweet potato and let her do her worst.
We glued the gingerbread house in, and got sparkly and snowy.
We put the gingerbread man on a popcicle sticks, and then Mini had the brilliant idea of cutting a line in the bottom behind the house, so that we could push the little guy around like a puppet. I suggested cutting out the window, so that they could look out when they were back there.
I was rewarded with a very exciting show about the gingerbread who was born in the oven just that very morning.
There are two things that I particularly loved about the crafts in this book. First, that they’re technically very manageable, and can be adapted to your child’s skill level. And, second, I found them so easy to make our own. If you have a look at Shannon’s versions of these projects, you’ll see that ours look pretty different, and that’s based on using mostly what we had around the house and finding our own inspiration. You don’t have to follow her example to the letter to make these projects come out well.
These projects have really brought us a lot of joy, and an absolute minimum of stress. We’ll be diving into more of the 12 creative days between now and Santa’s arrival. Head over to Oh Creative Day if you want to get your mitts on your own copy.
We were kindly gifted a copy of The 12 Oh Creative Days of Christmas. Opinions are all ours!