Very soon, the kids will be home for the holidays and be looking for something to do. The ‘I’m bored‘ mantra gets tired, very fast, but you do not want to have them turn into couch potatoes in front of the TV or on their phones/tablets the whole time. You want a more convivial, social time while at home as a family. Why not try these home craft projects for the whole family. You could even involve your children’s friends or visiting guests!
Why not do a family craft project, or a few mini-projects to keep them (and you) busy? There a million ideas on Pinterest that will help you decide what will work for you and your family.
What will you need?
Most of what you need you can get at a dollar store or hardware store – it does not have to cost a fortune! Start collecting what you need now so you are well prepared. Look for non-toxic materials as well, should you have little ones who like to put everything in their mouth.
It will get messy. So, plan for that. Create a project area where you have plastic or paper on the floor and enough containers or yoghurt tubs for the brushes, crayons and the like. You can keep a few rolls of paper towel at the ready in the case of accidents.
This is an obvious ‘gimmie’. With Christmas fast approaching, you can make a variety of decoration which can grace your own home but can also double as neighbour or family gifts. A handmade gift is always special and will be treasured for a long time.
Using some very simple materials and some innovation, making pretty and fun decorations is a wonderful way for a family to connect
Easy-peasy Wrapped Peppermint Balls
As an added feature, you can spray the ball with peppermint spray. These are lightweight and the whole family can partake. One person can cut the squares, another can cut the ribbon and another can choose what extra embellishments are to go with the finished decoration.
- Styrofoam balls
- Brightly coloured fabric squares (large enough to wrap around the
- ball with some extra to tie up)
- Ribbons (2) (1 x 6″ and 1 x 8″ lengths)
- White Glue
- Straight Pins
Simply put some glue on the length of your pin after you have pushed it through the ends of your shorter piece of ribbon and shove it into your Styrofoam ball – that is now the top of your ball and you should have a loop of ribbon attached. Now, dab some of the white glue all around the ball, then place the ball onto the centre of the fabric square, holding it by the ribbon loop. Now push the shorter sides of the square onto the glued ball. Then pull the four corners together and pinch them at the top. Tie the 8″ length of ribbon around the top, pulling it into the existing ribbon loop. Tie off with a nice bow. You can even add a piece of cinnamon stick to the decoration using hot glue or tie it in with the top ribbon!
Popsicle Stick Sleighs
Popsicle sticks are awesome! There are so many things you can do with them. You can even get the kids to collect them over the summer – or you can buy them at a craft store.
- 7 popsicle sticks per decoration (2 long, 5 short)
- Shish-kebab sticks (wood) 1 per decoration, broken in half
- White glue
- 7″ length of ribbon
- Hot glue (for the adults to use)
Layout 2 long sticks evenly with one short one on either side of the long ones. On 2 of the short sticks, place glue on them and attach them to the 4 sticks (cross-wise). Wait for it to dry, then glue the 2 kebab sticks in line on the short, outside sticks, extending above and below the length of the sticks they are glued onto. Once totally dry, turn over and attach the last short stick across the top.
You can then glue or tie on the 7″ ribbon to the lateral stick so you can hang it on the tree. You can also paint it or have each family member write their name on it, as well as the year it was created.
Shimmery String Balls
These are gorgeous and can be used not only on the tree but in a decorative bowel or along a staircase. It is a messy project, but as long as you prepare your area, everyone will be able to contribute. The kids can cut the strings and mix the glue, and can even wrap the string around the balloon. Even getting them to blow up all the balloons is super fun.
- Balloons (small)
- Glittery thick string or wool
- String – any kind (cut into 12″ lengths)
- 6″ length of Ribbon
- White glue
In a bowl, pour in your white glue and add a little water (2 tbsp) and mix so it is consistent. Cut the string into 4ft lengths and soak them in the glue mixture. Blow up your small balloons to the size you want your balls to be. Now tie the regular string onto the balloon nub you just tied off – this is what you will hang your balls from while they dry. Now pull one of the glued strings out gradually and wrap the end around the nub 3x. Now you can wrap the string around the balloon in a random pattern, thick enough to support itself. Remember, the once it is dry, you will pop the balloon and have to pull it out through one of the openings!
As you complete each one, hang them in an open area where they can dry – if in the house, place plastic underneath in case they drip. Once dry, you will now pop the balloon and pull it out carefully. If there is any dried glue in the open spaces, you can pick them out. Then take your 6″ ribbon and tie it onto the ball.
While the conventional evergreen wreath with a few fake cranberries or mistletoe is always lovely and festive – why not step it up a notch and flex your creative muscle a little? The family can decide what needs to go on it and what will look best on the front door!
Candy Cane Wreath
What better way to greet your house guests but with something sweet?
- 18 candy canes per wreath
- White glue or hot glue
- Large rhinestone or decoration for the centre
- 18″ thick ribbon
Place a plastic (disposable) placemat on the counter. Lay out your candy canes back to back, meeting like a heart on the other side so they make a full circle as shown. Once in position, glue the centre and all points where they meet. Wait for it to dry, then add the centre decoration. Once the whole design is thoroughly dry, loop the ribbon through the two top canes and tie it off. Now it is ready to hang!
You can play with the layout of the candy canes and choose a design you like as well. Just try to stop the kids from eating them while you create!
- Cardboard ring (whatever size you want your wreath to be)
- Burlap ribbon
- Cinnamon sticks – lots
- White glue or hot glue
- 18″ ribbon
- Commercial flowers or handmade paper flowers (the kids can make these).
Cut out your cardboard circle and also cut out the middle so, it is hollow. Either staple, tie or glue the ribbon onto the circle. Wrap the circle with the burlap ribbon and glue the end in place. Now place your cinnamon sticks from the mid-point of the burlap circle outward. You can make them as concentrated as you like or as sparse as you like. Once you are happy with the layout, glue them down individually. Once they are dry, you can add the flowers or decorations to the area at the inside of the circle, overlapping the bottoms of the cinnamon sticks. Just wait for it to dry before hanging.
All-Natural Rustic Wreath
By using materials found in your neighbourhood, you can create a very natural and beautiful creation. Your family can hunt for the materials you seek on a nature hike or visit to the park.
- Natural materials (sticks, bark, branches, pine cones, shells)
- White glue or hot glue
- 18″ ribbon
- Thin wire and pliers
- Use a flexible stick or heavier wire to create a circle
First, tie your ribbon onto the circular shape. Attach your larger materials using thin wire to the circle. Once the base materials are attached, you can glue the smaller bits to them. It is advised to place the heavier items to the bottom of the circle so it hangs nicely. The whole family can add bits and pieces to the creation.
Repurpose Old Furniture
You can use handprints to create a pattern around the edge, then paint funky, bright coloured stripes on the legs. Or you can glue down old family photos in a nice pattern, then varnish over it all a few times to make sure it has a thick, clear coat.
The table will make a great addition to your living or recreation room and be a marvellous conversation piece when people come to visit! It could also be a great gift for a family member who lives away from home.
Crafts Made From Nature
Wall décor can be anything – from a selection of sticks and rocks glued together to a gorgeous picture frame to showcase your family photos. Using white glue or hot glue and string, you can create anything your family can think up.
Painted rocks make great conversation pieces in a room. By gathering larger rocks with interesting shapes, you can have every member of the family paint a design of their choice – they can also use a commercial stencil and use a basic latex paint, then varnish with a clear, low odour brand.
So, flex your creativity as a family and get crafty! Using commercial materials or found materials, you can create amazing projects the entire family can be a part of. It does not take a lot of money to make home crafts – most of what you need can be procured at a dollar store, or found around your home. Make your home more beautiful with the love you put into your family created crafts!