Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Felt Wreath Ornaments

Each year, Nora and I (and now Soren too) try to work on a craft to give as gifts to friends & family.  Last year, Nora threw her little heart & soul into papier mache ornaments.  This year, we're making felt wreaths (sorry if this is a spoiler to any family members!  Consider it...a sneak peek!).

This is an easy and pleasantly absorbing craft that I found on the terrific blog maya*made

You need:

-- various colors of felt
-- buttons in different colors & sizes
-- 3 1/2 " embroidery hoops
-- glue
-- ribbon or embroidery thread for hanging
-- pinking shears
Using your pinking shears, cut diamonds from the felt long enough to fold over your embroidery hoop, points-out. Glue the tips together. Keep gluing diamonds along your hoop until you have it as covered as you like.

When the glue has dried, let your child decorate the hoop with buttons. Nora liked putting all her buttons along the tips. In the maya*made design, she placed the buttons along the inside of the hoop. It's interesting how people have different artistic instincts! I let Nora arrange them however she pleased, because this is "her" gift.
Soren arranged a few buttons too, but then lost interest...so he did have *some* input into the family craft. We call him the Director of Morale.

Salt Dough Ornaments

The other night, we made salt dough ornaments.  It's a rustic little craft that kids can do much of themselves, and since we had water, salt, flour, and food coloring around the house already, we didn't have to venture out into the cold (and Nora, as you can see, could happily remain in her pajamas as she had most of the day!).  I've posted the simple recipe below.  It can easily be halved if you are running out of salt (like we were).  A half-batch made plenty of ornaments to decorate Nora's little Christmas tree. 

The coarser the salt you use, the more it will show up in the dough.  Add the food coloring to the water before mixing it into the dry ingredients.  Also, add your water just a little at a time, because I found that our mixture got too wet very quickly, and I had to add more flour.

Roll 'em out, give your kids some cookie cutters, and maybe a few doo-dads (buttons, craft pasta, etc.) to stick into the dough.  Even my 21-month-old was able to enjoy this!  He became very quiet and focused on squishing the buttons into the dough, but I cannot guarantee such an outcome for all 21-month-olds (or even my own on a different day!).  :)

Please scroll down for the recipe......


Is it just me, or are chubby little hands, concentrating on a craft project, incredibly cute?
Posted by Picasa

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Salt Dough Recipe

As promised.....pictures & more winter crafts coming tonight.

1 cup flour
1 cup salt
about 2 cups water  (add a little at a time)

Combine your flour & salt well in a bowl. Gradually add water until you have a not-too-wet doughlike substance. Roll out as you would cookies, cut into shapes, and let air dry or bake at 200 degrees for a couple hours til dry (keeping an eye on them -- thin edges may begin to brown before other shapes).

You can add food coloring or glitter to the water to jazz 'em up....

Push in sequins or buttons or colored craft pasta...

Remember to make a hole in the top of the ornament with a toothpick, so you can string up your ornaments!