Thursday, November 29, 2012

For the Kids Friday #91

Welcome!!  I'm thrilled you are here!
Can it be??  Christmas is only a handful of days away!!  I SO need to get on the ball here.  I have done a little shopping, but there is so many things I want to do for my kiddos!  I am really excited to see what all of you are doing for the holidays!  I am expecting some amazing features will be shared over the next few weeks.

And... don't miss these!
Now through Christmas...

Living Life Intentionally (a friend and frequent linker at For the Kids Fridays) is hosting an amazing series.  Each day from Thanksgiving to Christmas, bloggers will be sharing the Christmas traditions from places around the world.  I am excited to share about celebrating Christmas in China and Denmark.  Stop by and check it out!

AND, Starting December 1st...

Take part in this amazing virtual advent calendar hosted by Creative With Kids and Red Ted Art! Each day, a new blog will be sharing a simple and fun activity for the holidays.  SunScholars will be sharing on Dec. 8th!

 Now for my favorites from last week's party!
These posts have been pinned to the SunScholars THE BEST OF... For the Kids Fridays on Pinterest!

If you've been featured below
grab my A++ and brag about it to your friends :)
A++


Polar Express Printables
Polar Express Pack (free printables)
at 3 Dinosaurs


30+ Christmas Games
at Grandparenting and Parenting with a Plus!

Elf on the shelf jokes buttons 345x575 Elf on the Shelf   Printable Joke Cards
Elf on the Shelf Printable Joke Cards (Free!)
at Over the Big Moon


Hand Print Owls
at Maro's Kindergarten


Kid's Do-It-Yourself Turkey Snack
at Creative Fun Food

Now, on to this week's party!
For the Kids Friday



1)  I would LOVE for you to first be a follower of my blog.  (And why wouldn't you want to be?!)

2)  Grab my For the Kids Fridays Button and place it somewhere on your blog.  Be sure to link back to me!

3)  Link up as many KID-RELATED activities, games, recipes, parties, gifts, clothing you've created, crafts, traditions, lessons, and so on... that you would like to share.  Please add a different link each week.  They can be old or new... this is just a place to share ideas for our kids to enjoy.  Bonus points to those that serve some educational purpose too!  Link must be to the specific post, and not your general blog page.  Please don't link to your store.

4)  Share the love and comment on at least one other link.  Everyone loves to get feedback.


That's it!  Have fun, and thanks so much for participating!

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Glittered Tree Ornaments


I have loved coming up with homemade ornaments over the years.  This simple idea popped into my head the other day, and I couldn't wait to make them.  You can see my initial idea in the drawing below.  I had really hoped to find some brown beads in my stash of supplies to have dangling down from the center of the tree, but alas... I had none!  Perhaps I'll find some for the next time I make these.


Make these with the kids.  I suggest making the basic tree ornament and letting them decorate them as they like.  Using a sturdier paper, like card stock, will give you an ornament that could be a great keepsake.

Supplies
  • Green Card Stock
  • White Glue
  • Ribbon or String
  • Green Glitter OR Green Tissue Paper (two different ways to decorate)
  • Star-Shaped Beads
  • Craft Gems or Gem Stickers

Directions
1. Make a Template
I used a small bowl to draw a circle on a piece of cardboard from a cereal box to create my template.  To get the shape of cone I used, I cut the circle in half, leaving a little extra flap that I could use to glue the two sides of my cone together.


2. Cut Your Trees
For my trees, I used what I had... I used a glue stick to glue a lighter green construction paper to a piece of dark green card stock.  This gave me a nice, sturdy paper to work with.  I used my template and traced my semi-circles and cut them out.  (You can see them in the photo above with my template.)  

3. Build Your Ornament
I fount it helpful to first form my tree cut-outs into the shape I wanted them.  This helps to curl the paper so it is easier when you are ready to glue them together.  Though you can't see in the photo below, I also added a slight bend to my extra flap for gluing the tree together to help make a nice cone shape.

After shaping the tree cut-outs, cut lengths of ribbon to hang the ornaments by, and add a knot to form a loop.

Next, place the loop inside of your tree cut-out, so that the knot rests just below the top/center of your cut-out. Here you can see my some-what folded flap.  (See image below)

I chose to hot glue my tree together, though that is only because I am a huge fan of instant gratification and quickly moving crafts!  If you are doing this step with children, you can use regular white glue... you will just want to make sure to have them hold the cone in place for a while to allow the glue to take hold.
Add your glue to the flap and form your cone... making sure to keep the knot of your ribbon inside the cone.

Your tree should now look like this...

My 5 year old helped me by adding star-shaped beads to the top of each tree, by threading them onto the ribbon. 

 We had a nice little forest of trees ready to be decorated.

4. Dress the Tree
I tried two different ideas for decorating these little trees, though I am sure the ideas are endless!  Let the kids be creative here!

Glittered Trees
To create a glittered tree, I painted the outside with a nice layer of white glue, placed in a small bowl, and poured a fine glitter over top until it was nice and covered.  Set aside until dry.
  

 Now a forest of glittered trees!

I had a bunch of little gems in my supplies that I thought would make the perfect "ornaments" on our glittered trees.  I used my other favorite craft glue, E6000 Multi-Purpose Adhesive, with a toothpick, to attach the gems to the tree.  I also used some sticky gems that I had on hand.
   

The beautiful, finished results!

They are so sparkly on the tree!  I love them!


Ruffled Trees
To create a ruffled tree, cut strips of green tissue paper about an inch thick.  Scissors with a scalloped edge work perfectly if you have them.  In order to cut through the tissue paper with these scissors I had to add a piece of paper underneath the tissue and cut the two together.


Beginning with the bottom of the tree, use glue to attach the tissue strips in a ruffle around the tree.  Repeat this process with a middle layer, and one last layer on the top.
  


You can now add gems to decorate your tree as with the glittered tree above.


Another simple ornament project to add to your tree!
 

You can also find a tutorial for my Glittered Cinnamon Ornaments HERE.

Happy Holiday Crafting!

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Glittered Cinnamon Ornaments


 

Ok, these are nothing new, I know.  I've been making cinnamon ornaments for years, and I even remember my mother making them when I was a child.  I thought I'd share one of our holiday favorites with you.  These ornaments are so easy to make, and a great project to share with the kids.  If you haven't given them a try, I encourage you to do so.  They smell soooooo good on the tree!


Ingredients
  • 2 cups cinnamon
  • 2/3 cup applesauce
  • 1 cup white craft glue (Elmer's Glue)
  • Fine Glitter
  • Something to hang your ornaments with

Directions
1.  Make the dough!
Mix your cinnamon, applesauce, and glue together in a bowl until combined.  I also added some fine glitter dust to my dough to give a little sparkle.

Your mixture should make a nice dough that shouldn't be too sticky.  If it is sticking to your fingers, add a bit more cinnamon.  If still too dry, you can add a bit more glue.

2.  Roll the dough!
It shouldn't stick to your surface if it is dry enough.  If it is sticking, sprinkle a little bit of cinnamon to your surface and/or your rolling pin.  Roll to about 3/8"... 1/4" seems a bit too thin, but 1/2" is a little too thick.

Use cookie cutters to cut shapes in your dough.  For a tip, I suggest using a straw to poke holes in the dough to hang your ornaments by WHILE your cookie cutters are still resting in place.  That will keep the pressure of punching the holes from distorting your cinnamon dough shapes.

When you remove the shapes you will notice the edges are a little rough.  Use your fingers to smooth the edges of your cut shapes so they dry nice and pretty.

3. Add more sparkle!
The little bit of sparkle in the dough wasn't quite enough for my girls.  They decided to add some to the top of the ornaments and gently rubbed it into the surface with their finger.  It left a beautiful result!  The great part is, he fine glitter sticks to the dough without the mess of extra glue.


My girls, hard at work...

4. Set aside to dry!
For drying your ornaments, you have two options.  You can leave them out on the counter (I placed them on paper towels) until they are completely dry... which may take a day or more depending on how thick your dough is and how moist the air is.  OR, you can place them in the oven at 200F for 2 or more hours.  Either way, you will need to turn the ornaments over at least once to keep them from curling.

The dry ornaments will have a slightly lighter color.

5. Add some string!
Add some ribbon, twine, string... anything you'd like to finish the ornaments so you can hang them on the tree.  Here are our finished ornaments...
  

6. Storage Suggestion!
To keep your cinnamon ornaments from going bad, or losing their wonderful smell while they are stored, I recommend keeping them in an air-tight container.  I have kept these for years in a ziplock bag with the rest of my ornaments.  Each year, I open the bag to hang them on the tree, and the smell is still lovely!

A beautiful addition to your tree, or a great way to decorate your packages!

Happy Holiday Crafting!