A very Merry Christmas to you all. Instructions for this to follow. Made and used with permission by my lovely (very crafty!) friend Layla 🙂
Maddy created this really quick wreath a few days ago while I was running around taking our little boy to hospital. She takes her craft blogging very seriously 🙂 It’s very easy but it looks rather nice I think.
The wreath starts with a cereal box cardboard ring on the back, then squares of green craft paper cut out and bent slightly. Pinking shears are perfect for a prickly look 😉 I think Maddy cut red circles out for the berries but sticky dots would be perfect too. Once it was all stuck down and bent to satisfaction, she punched a hole in the top of the ring and hung it with a pipe cleaner. I think possibly a ribbon would have worked better, but still!
Last year we had fun making these little beaded elves from pipe cleaners and wooden beads. With some creativity, bits of fabric and ribbon we ended up making lots of fairies too and strayed into Fimo heads and faces too; the possibilities are pretty endless.
First of all we bought some assorted wooden beads on ebay and some proper pipe-cleaners from a real tobacconist (not chenille craft stems, they are too thick). Next we made the body shapes out of two pipe-cleansers.
Make two shapes like this, one more twisted than the other and slot the less twisted one on top of the main body. It makes arms which you tighten around the neck. Then add a large bead body, leg and arm beads and a head on top of the whole thing. You can buy wooden face beads, or draw on plain ones with Sharpies. Fold back the pipe-cleaner to make hands and feet and hold on the beads. Accessorize with gauze, silk petals etc. We made pointy Fimo hats, with a hole pressed through the top for a hanging loop, and stuck them on top.
This craft first featured on our family blog.
While looking for some inspiration to do some cross stitch last week, I found various Christmas bauble designs... And got inspired. I'm always on the look out for hama bead ideas I can adapt to my own purposes and some of these were really tempting. With a nip and a tuck and a wander into our imaginations, we created 22 bauble patterns, with 2 of my children spending a whole day and a half making them up in beads. Maddy then transferred them patiently on to our design software.
Here are the first 4 for you to try. You can of course make them up in any colours of hama beads. We really like them in gold, pearly, silver and all the standard festive Christmas colours. All you need are beads, a large square pegboard and some ironing paper.
The next batch will go up, free as usual on our other resource site BeadMerrily which is dedicated entirely to Hama Beads. If you don't want to miss them, why not pop over there and join the email subscription for hama bead ideas direct to your inbox. There are already lots of other Christmas Hama Bead ideas there to look at. All 22 patterns will be available to print or download as a free PDF.
The slot at the top is to thread ribbon through and make a decoration garland, though you could hang them on the tree with it too. We have a no decorations up before mid-December rule here though, so you'll have to come back for that photo next year!
Last week I took a version of the firework jar craft to our regular home education group. The kids have got fairly good at fimo crafts now and can produce some creative and individual pieces of work with them. I took a bag full of baby food jars, some large bars of soft black fimo and small bars of translucent fimo along with shape cutters of stars, holly leaves etc
As you can see, they all came up with something unique and the jars make very beautiful candle holders. As before, roll out some black fimo and cover the jar, blending the cracks to make it smooth. Ten cut out shapes in the black and gently remove the piece, replacing it with a translucent piece instead. Use a pencil to make holes through to the glass and fill with balls of translucent clay.
A clutch of these on the Christmas dinner table would be a beautiful, memorable table decoration indeed. Yet another perfect use for baby food jars!
Photo credit for my lovely friend at Le Ciel Rouge.
We wanted to make some pretty traditional ornaments to go on our light up twigs this Christmas. Since we are currently sewing-machine-less due to an accident with an over-zealous daughter and a large wedge of material, it is handsewing all the way. This time we thought we would add some festive fabrics to our staple felt sewing; I got mine at Hobbycraft but I think the Etsy ones I linked to are much nicer.
I loved that everyone could access these on their own level; the older ones of us beaded them and the younger ones just did stitching, which was a great opportunity for her to work on even stitching and straight lines. The results are stunning and, hung in among Christmas lights, they look very lovely indeed.
These are really simple to construct; draw out some shapes on fabric/felt by using cookie cutters as templates (or anything else festive shaped; I will try to add a printable soon). You need two inner (smaller) shapes, one for the front and one for the back.
Next place this shape on the felt/fabric for the outer (larger) shape. Draw or cut round it with a margin of 0.75cm so it has an edging.
We used a few different methods for completing them:
For the small white star with a heart, I glued it all together and only stitched the hanger in at the end; I left a space in the gluing and stitching from the inside so no ends showed, placed the felt hanger and then glued up around it.
For the circle Josie glued fabric to felt and stitched her button on to each side.We glued it together and stitched the hanger in and then she stitched a white decorative circle.
With all the beaded stars, create the completed felt object, gluing the two sides together. Insert a needle between the felt pieces and come out of one side. Thread a seed bead on and go back into the same place with the needle, this time going right through to the other side. Thread another bead, then stitch back down, this time going at a slight angle so the next bead can be sited a little further along without any stitches showing on the outside.
My Christmas Crafts Pinterest Board has loads of ideas to make use of, including lots of handsewn decorations.
After we had made the above decorations, I found this pin which is even nicer!
Last week Maddy had a go making candle holders in Hama Beads, using jars and colours to reflect the changing seasons. You can see her efforts here; they’ve already been getting a good showing on Pinterest and I think they were very innovative.
Naturally I wanted in on the act as she inspired me to try using some of the special effect Hama Beads that have come out in the last couple of years.
These are made from red, silver or gold hama beads in the bottom of the jar. Then I added pearl hama beads mixed with clear ones and topped them with the same colour as the bottom. I had preheated the oven to 180c and popped them in for about 10 minutes. I kept an eye on them and pulled them out once they had melted just enough. The pearly beads really glisten and the clear ones add a sparkle too; they look a little like snow and are very effective.
One important thing to do is take them out of the oven carefully while still hot and press a tealight holder into the top to flatten it. However I’ve since found that pouring water and a little bit of white glitter into these adds even more sparkle and of course the water keeps the candle base cool and allows it to float on the surfaces lightly.
Full making details are over on BeadMerrily, where the original version was featured.
A really quick and easy make last year was these bead and button decorations made with memory wire, beads, buttons, bells, ribbons and yarn. eBay proved a good source of all of these bits and bobs, though they have inspired me to maybe add some of those things to our own shop next year.
After that we branched out and used beads too, which added some glittery sparkle.
The tricky bit was securing the top of these. Proper clear sellotape (or wire to twist if you have that knack of that) and some softer ribbon would have worked better. They looked really beautiful on our light tree though and were a great way to use up spare beads and buttons. A few of them ended up with tiny bells strung on the ends, which made it all very festive.
This craft originally featured on Patch of Puddles where you can see higher resolution photos of all of them.
For a very easy needle felted Christmas project, you can try making ornaments that can hang from a tree or in the window or from a bunch of artfully arranged twigs. I have to buy my artful twigs, though this does mean they are fake, with lights in them and last for years, so it isn’t all bad 🙂 A few ornaments like this would keep the kids quiet for a while without taxing the brain too much and they look gorgeous too.
It’s nice and simple. Needle felt a triangle of dark green fleece to a moderately spongy flattened shape, then make a small brown rectangle in the same way and felt it to the back. That’s your basic Christmas tree shape. We just used ordinary cheap wool to blanket stitch around the edge, which make it look a little more ‘finished’ and then glued some buttons on to be decorations. Glittery stars etc would work just as well. If you stitch a loop to the top, you can hang it from wherever you choose.
Joining in with Festive Friday.
This craft is one we did last year and put up at home; I think it was the thing that made me truly fall in love with the decorative power of pompoms. It looked beautiful, far greater than the sum of its £1.50 ball of yarn parts and was one of the things we put away to bring out again for this Christmas. There is something delicious about the mix of colours, the plump pom poms and the non-Christmas theme of it. It really added a chic touch to our very ordinary living room.
We bought about 15 colours of yarn, in big 200g balls of cheap acrylic; each pom pom was made by winding two colours together. The pom pom on each side contained one of those colours, which just gave it a nice gentle changing feel as it went along. Blues, reds, greens, yellows, purples and golds all seemed to work really well together. We used medium pompom winders and did both colours at once, so they were quick and easy to make. We threaded yarn on to a wide ended needle and doubled it twice, so there was a really strong core holding them together and then pushed the needle through the centre of each pom pom.
This could easily be altered to suit any colour scheme, with metallic threads or other decorations dangled between. It was one of my favourite elements to our living room for all of last Christmas, so much so that I replaced it with a rainbow swag while we waited for the birth of our baby boy in January!
This craft was first featured on Patch of Puddles, our family blog.