Looking for a more meaningful Christmas this year? Settle down with the young’uns and try your hand at crafting simple and unique holiday decor.
Rubber Band Ornaments
If you have children and don’t live on a mountain top in Burma, you’ve run across the recent fascination with those brightly colored looms that create rubber band bracelets. Boys and girls alike have adopted this latest craze with a vengeance — making bracelets and charms for friends, posting new and unusual tutorials on YouTube and searching for new and inventive ways of using up thousands of colorful mini rubber bands daily.
It seems the moms may have had a session or two of their own with the rubber band bracelet maker, and now lessons in making miniature candy canes, wreaths and other Christmas decorations populate the channels of YouTube, alongside all the ladder, string and hexagon bracelet tutorials.
Using the individual instructions they find online, kids can create homemade Christmas crafts using nothing more than a mess of tiny rubber bands and a lot of ingenuity. Be sure to lay in a supply of Christmas-colored bands and a package of wire hooks for hanging.
Papier-mache is easy enough for kids of all ages to make, and it has the added wow factor of making a huge mess. If you’re brave enough to try it, simply mix up equal parts of flour and water. Add a dash of regular old table salt to reduce the risk of mold and a dash of cinnamon for scent, and start tearing up all the unneeded paper in the house. Use newspaper, tissue paper, old wrapping paper — whatever you have and won’t miss. Dip your strips of paper into the mixture and wrap them individually around small, rounded balloons. Work layer by layer, allowing adequate drying time between. When your ornaments have hardened, pop the balloons inside and glue on a pretty sequin or button to cover the hole. It’s a good idea to tie a ribbon around the button before you hot glue it into place. This allows you to hang your ornament from the tree. Let the kids embellish their creations in a number of ways — paint, glitter, markers, beads and more. File this one under Christmas crafts for toddlers, because, with adult supervision and the recipe above, it’s a fun, messy and non-toxic adventure.
When you have more stuff around the house than you could ever use in a lifetime, try crafting a repurposed Christmas. Raid toy and jewelry boxes for small trinkets you can glue onto plain plastic ornaments to make customized decorations. Kids get the added kick of seeing themselves represented among the branches and Mom gets a mini time capsule of what they once played with, loved and wore.