December 10, 2013

Dressing The Christmas Tree DIY

 I'm always on the lookout for new Christmas crafts to make into family traditions. Here are three great, kid and grandparent friendly, traditions that we enjoy.

 ~ Stringing popcorn is a great "sitting around enjoying the family" type of activity. As an added bonus, you can snack on your supplies as you go. We use embroidery and plastic canvas needles, crochet cotton and popped popcorn by the bowlful. We invite all the grandparents and have cut lengths of cotton threaded onto the needles and bowls of popcorn ready before our guests arrive. Then we can sit around the table, stringing popcorn and chatting the latest happenings. The best popcorn to pop has either a large, soft, puff or a nice hole already in the middle. Personally, we just use the cheapest store brand for stringing and make extra bowls for eating in our favorite flavors.

 ~ Stringing cranberries is a new tradition that I added last year. It's basically the same as stringing popcorn except that none of our participants seem to care for eating the supplies. You should be able to get bags of cranberries at your local grocery store around this time of year, just make sure they are firm. Mushy cranberries are not good for this activity. I have learned to make the strings for our cranberries much shorter than for the popcorn because the berries are much heavier. Next year I think I will have the popcorn and cranberries strung together.

When we untrim the tree, sometime in January, we also unstring these colorful goodies and throw then out for the woodland creatures.

 ~ Salt dough ornaments are always a hit with the kids. This activity is in two steps and involves paint so it makes a great weekend project. Not only do we use these as ornaments for our own tree but we also give them as gifts.
Ingredients: 2 cups flour (bleached, all purpose), 1 cup salt, 3/4 cup cold water, 1/2 teaspoon alum.
Directions: Mix the ingredients by hand in a medium bowl. flatten on a non-stick surface and cut freehand or with cookie cutters. Bake at 250 degrees, on an ungreased baking sheet for 2 hours. Once cooled paint with acrylic paints.


I'd love to see your version of these crafts. Please share your images and crafting blog links.

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