Every year I have a bucket list of crafts to do. And we get to maybe two. This year, thank you 2020, we started making Christmas crafts in mid-November and are quickly working our way through our Christmas craft wish list. Now that the crafts are all organized, it’s time to use them up so you can be ready for the post-holiday clearance!
Crafts are not just a way to pass the time, make memories or create gifts. They help kids with fine motor skills and using their imagination with hands-on instant gratification. Kids feel a sense of achievement and, in our case, patience waiting for glue or paint to dry or clay to bake. Crafting helps kids focus and commit to a project.
We choose a new craft each month based on what we are studying or the kids’ interests. It gets them involved in what we are doing this month when they are a part of our homeschool planning process.
When we find something that really grabs their attention, such as working with clay or fabric, it becomes a regular in our crafting throughout the year. Kids can see their progress from one project to the next as they mold clay or draw figures. This year I found a few new crafts we plan to put in our repertoire, such as snowmen and gnomes.
We aren’t stellar crafters. We enjoy the process more than the end result. If you have a perfectionist, I’ve included a few crafts from fellow homeschool mamas that are ideal for kids of all ages and skill levels.
Christmas Crafts with Clay
Break out the clay and create handmade ornaments. You can create your own, use molds to create small ornaments or to use in scenes. There are so many ways to use clay for Christmas ornaments I can’t name them all. Here are a few we did this year.
Fill a clear ornament (the dollar store usually has them or one of the big box chains), with trinkets you made. This year we did little rolls of toilet paper with Christmas trees and 2020 made of clay. For the toilet paper rolls, we rolled white clay into small balls, smooshed them into cylinders and put a hole through the middle. We attached a small square of the white clay to the side of the cylinder and smoothed it in with our fingers. You may have to reshape the toilet roll, but it’s a fairly simple little trinket to make. It won’t be perfect, it’s not supposed to hang in a gallery.
For the 2020 trinkets we rolled out clay, in this case we chose the color blue, and wound it into numbers by hand. You can use a piece of clay rolled flat and thin as a backdrop to your 2020 or do what we did here. We rolled one long thin piece of clay and then shaped the top of the two and extended the bottom of the 2 and rolled it into an 0. We used a clay mold for the faces and rolled out tiny masks. To be honest, they look creepy to me so I’m not going to include them. But the twins had a great time giggling and rolling out the tiny little masks.
Include a snapshot of the family or other mementos to make a sort of ornament time capsule of this crazy year. Write a funny anecdote with sharpie and spray it with hair spray to make it stick. Spray from a distance of a few inches so it doesn’t get gunky.
Bake the clay at 275 degrees for about 15 minutes for thin, small figurines and up to an hour for large, thick ornaments. For the toilet rolls, we baked them for about 30 minutes. Coat them with clear lacquer or leave them be.
Christmas Crafts for All Skill Levels
We love snowmen and keep our snowmen decorations, inside and out, through the month of January. We plan to make these sweet snowmen ornaments from Whimsy and Purpose.
The beauty of this craft is it uses so much of the extra supplies we have laying around, from buttons to bits of yarn and pom-poms. She has also created a fun gnome ornaments craft that we’ll be using all year long. The gnome craft is good for kids of all ages. We make gnomes for Valentine’s day and spring and Easter and sprinkle them around the house. They are perched on shelves, plant pots, edges of sinks. We move them around to surprise each other, a sort of elf on the shelf for the New Year.
Clear Ornament Ideas
Have a kid who loves all things space? Living Life and Learning has a tutorial on how to make galaxy ornaments with a bit of paint and stickers. They turn out beautifully no matter what your skill level.
Paper Chain Reimagined
I had to share this from Beyond the Stick Figure. She makes a Christmas countdown paper chain that can be done in so many different ways. I love this idea that uses simple paper and pen paired with your imagination. We plan to use lines from our favorite Christmas books and movies for each day for next year. This year we are adding to a paper chain with funny moments from this past year. We cut a bunch of strips of craft paper and put them in a mason jar by the dining room table to have at the ready. We spend a few minutes in the morning talking about what we have done this past year and if something makes us giggle we whip out a piece of paper and jot it down.
I wish we had done this year’s ago. This homeschool mama is a trained artist and comes up with some truly inspired ideas. The video tutorials are great for kids to learn to do the craft right along with you.