December 2017 archive

DIY Ornaments Play Date

| Activities, ad, Age, Animals, Christmas, Decor, DIY Home, Early Elementary, Everyday Crafts, Family Bonding, Holidays, Older Elementary, Preschool, Unplugged Time

Thank you Moose Toys for sponsoring this post. Get crafty with your kiddo and make “ooniements” with Oonies by Moose Toys this holiday season!

I’m a mom and I’m a serious crafter, so I’m almost always fine with making a big crafting mess. But sometimes around the holidays when crafting, wrapping, and decorating is at its height, I feel like my kids are the cobbler’s kids with no shoes (or in this case, crafter’s kids with no crafts)— sometimes I just can’t deal with one more messy art project!

ponies craft session kids easy diyWhen we got this cool Oonies by Moose Toys, my kids were immediately excited (they had seen them on YouTube kids!), so they basically taught me what to do…a testament to how easy it is to use. We decided that we would invite some friends over to make “ooniements” for a little Christmas tree.

Oonies are like tiny, sticky balloons…they stick to each other and each set comes with eyes, tails, fins, arms, noses, etc to turn them into cute little creatures. There are tons of ideas in the booklet that comes with the toy, but naturally, these kids wanted to invent their own. Oonies also stick to each other, so you can make a cute inchworm or even a long strand of colored beads that can look like a garland.





At first I was all prepared with my red and white baker’s twine to make little ornament hangers, but you don’t really have to; Oonies just stick pretty much wherever you put them. They nestled nicely in our little flocked mini tree that the kids chose to display on a tower of wooden blocks.

They don’t last forever which is a blessing and a curse in some ways…a blessing because what parent doesn’t have a ton of art projects laying around? And a curse because, well, the kids expected to wake up to see their creatures still hanging out in the tree the next day. But we just took the appendages off and made new ones so the fun can happen all over again.

I was selected for this opportunity as a member of CLEVER and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.

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Box Car DIY Ornament

| Christmas, Decor, Holidays, STEM, Vehicles

Cardboard gift boxes are as much fun to build with as classic wooden blocks…stack a small one on the back of a bigger one, glue some buttons on the bottom edge, and voila! You have a car!

Let your kids pick out the wheel color and soup up the body with different colored washi tape. Add a paper tree to the top, and it becomes that magic moment of hauling the best part of Christmas home to the family!

What you need:

  • 1 ½” x 2 ½” white jewelry box
  • 1 ½” x 1 ¼” white ring box
  • 4 medium green buttons
  • 2 small yellow buttons
  • 2 extra small red buttons
  • ½” wide light blue washi tape
  • ⅜” wide patterned tape
  • 2/8” wide dark blue tape
  • Twig
  • 1 sheet of two tone green paper
  • 1 silver star sequin
  • Approximately 18” string
  • Hot Glue
  • Scissors

Make it!

  1. Glue together top and bottom of larger jewelry box and turn upside down. Glue top of ring box to the back end of larger box to create car body.
  2. Wrap bottom “bumper” of car in patterned tape, wrap skinny tape around top edge of the box and add rectangles of light blue tape to ring box for windows
  3. Glue four green buttons on sides of box for wheels, red buttons in back for tail lights and yellow buttons in front for headlights.
  4. Cut two 4” circles out of green paper. Fold the bottom section of one circle into a triangle then fold back and forth in the opposite direction to create a folded tree shape. Repeat with two other trees. Glue three trees together along their edges to create a pyramid shape. Glue piece of twig inside pyramid for a trunk.
  5. Glue tree to the top of car and add star to the point.
  6. Wrap string around car, knotting above tree and knotting again at the ends to create a hanging loop.

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DIY Lightbox Ornament

| Christmas, Decor, DIY Home, Holidays

light box christmas ornament diy

When I think of what I love about Christmas tree decorations, it’s two things…the lights and the ornaments. So making a lit ornament is a win-win for this crafter.

We played around with lots of ways to get make these little boxes glow, and with a string light bulb poked through the back, these snowflake shapes came to life.

Now I just want to decorate a whole tree in these! Who’s with me?

What you need:

  • Square jewelry box  (3 ½” x 3 ½” )
  • Exacto knife
  • Paint and Paint brush
  • A square of white paper
  • Two colors of washi tape
  • Scissors
  • String
  • Pencil
  • Nail file
  • Hot-glue gun

Make It!

  1. Draw a 2 ½ “ square in the center of the box lid to leaving a ½” margin on all sides. 
  2. Use the exacto knife to cut out the square, and sand down thee edges with a nail file.
  3. Paint the top and sides of the box and let dry.
  4. Trace top of box onto white paper and layer washi tape inside the square to create a criss crossing snowflake design.
  5. Cut out square and secure in the center of lid opening with washi tape.
  6. Poke a hole in the back center of the back using a pencil or scissors.
  7. Cut and knot a loop of string, glue it into top corner of the box lid and close the box to secure.
  8. Hang on tree, inserting light into the back of box.

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Snowy Diorama Ornament

| Christmas, Early Elementary, Grown-Up, Holidays, Older Elementary, Tween to Teen

If you happen to have a few extra gift boxes laying around as you are shopping and decorating and baking and shopping some more, save one to make this precious snow scene diorama!

This is one DIY Christmas ornament that will definitely become a focal point of your tree!

What you need

  • 3” x 2” jewelry box and fluffy cotton filler
  • 4” x 4” square of blue sparkly paper
  • 3 small white pom poms
  • 1 black perler bead
  • Green, orange, and black paper
  • Twig
  • Silver star sequin
  • ⅛” red ribbon
  • White string
  • Hot glue gun
  • Scissors
  • Pencil
  • 1/16″ paper punch

Make it!

  1. Trace the bottom, side and top edge of the box onto blue sparkly paper, cut shapes and glue into back, sides, and top of box.
  2. Cut box filler into a curved hill shape and secure in box with glue.
  3. Cut two 2” circles from the green paper and cut each circle in half. Fold the bottom section of one circle into a triangle then fold back and forth in the opposite direction to create folded tree shape. Repeat with two other trees.
  4. Secure two trees in the back of the box. Glue a piece of twig to the third tree as a trunk and glue in front of snow drift. Add star to the top with glue.
  5. Glue three pom poms in a stack then secure in front right corner of the box. Use tiny paper punch with black cardstock to create two eyes, and add small slice of orange paper for carrot nose. Cut a 1/4-inch circle from the black paper, glue to the top of snowman head, and add the perler bead to create a hat. Cut a 2 ½” piece of red ribbon and tie below the head to create a scarf.
  6. Squeeze a line of hot glue around the opening of the box and add string, trimming off excess.
  7. Cut a piece of red ribbon, approximately 12” long, and secure around box with hot glue starting at the bottom and leaving a loop at the top for hanging,

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DIY Flameless Menorah

| Baby, Early Elementary, Hanukkah, Holidays, Preschool, Toddler

Like any present-filled holiday, my kids are always amped up like never before on each of the eight nights of Hanukkah. And when that gift-fest is mixed with the lighting of candles…well, let’s not even go there. But here’s a very easy DIY, flameless menorah that you can make for your family in literally less than 10 minutes (give or take, depending on how fast a painter you are).

I made a version of this years ago when I was on staff at Parents, but I thought I’d remake it with a slightly cleaner look! You can make it very sleek and simple with just one color straw and one color erase, or mix it up and make it cray!

What you’ll need:

Make it!

  1. Paint all 10 spools in the color of your choice. Let dry.

2. Stack the small spool on top of one of the larger spools. You can glue it or just rest it.

3. Push straws down into each spool hole, making sure the straw in the stacked spools sits taller. Top straws with eraser caps, per the eight days of Hanukkah.

I love love love this project because it’s literally the easiest thing you can ever make. And because you can keep your Hanukkah candles “lit” all day. And because it’s a quick, non-waxy clean-up. And because, well, it’s darn cute!

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