Friday, December 21

The Twelve Days of Christmas, Day 12: Fun Family Crafts and Merry Christmas!

I can't believe that Christmas is merely a few days from now, so I want to take this opportunity to wish everyone a wonderful Christmas and a happy New Year!  Whether you're traveling or staying home, I hope that you have a wonderful and blessed holiday.  I'll be back online next year.

I tried to think of something super-neat to post as my last Twelve Days of Christmas Recipes entry.  I thought about recipes and I contemplated crafts, and I decided that crafts would be more fun, especially since most families have children who are going to be on Christmas break, if they are not already.  I decided on a few simple crafts that children and adults can do together, and chances are you have many of the supplies already in your house. 

Day 12: Assorted Christmas Ornaments

My hubby made this ornament when he was six years old!
The first ornament requires a recipe:
4 C all-purpose flour
1 C salt
1 1/2 C warm water

Yes, salt dough ornaments!  Simply mix all of the ingredients together until smooth.  Roll out on a floured surface to the desired thickness, and cut with cookie cutters or shapes found in your kitchen.  Use textured items, such as cheese graters, to create designs in the dough.  If you have rubber stamps, you can stamp designs into the dough.  Punch a hole into the top of the ornaments using a toothpick and bake in a 300 degree oven for about an hour or until the ornaments are hard.  Paint as desired and run string or ribbon through the holes, and allow to dry before hanging on the tree.  A great way to make memories with the kids, and if properly stored and cared for, will last for many years.

Now, while those are baking, you can make the second ornament.  The second ornament requires supplies:

Package of C4 light bulbs (found at Wal-Mart for $0.98)
Glue that dries clear
Glitter of your color choice
16 gauge wire (found in jewelry-making sections of your local craft store-I used aluminum)
Paint brushes
Empty cupcake liner container
Wire cutters, pliers, and round-nosed pliers

You knew I'd use glitter at some point!  These are really easy to make, and beautiful to hang from the tree.  They even bring a hint of nostalgia to your Christmas decor.  Appropriate for slightly older children who can be careful around fragile things.

The first thing you will do is wrap wire around the top part of the lightbulb.  You can do this however you want; I chose to coil it completely around the metal to conceal the screw part.
Be sure to leave a small loop at the top for the decorative hook.
Then, pour a good amount of glitter into the cupcake liner container.  Don't be shy; the more, the better!
Now, paint your glue onto the bulb.
Dip the glue-painted bulb into the glitter, and roll it around until the whole thing is covered to just the way you like it.
Set it aside to dry.  Repeat on the remaining bulbs.
Now, for the hook:  Cut a 12" section of wire.  Hold your wire with the regular pliers, and take the very end of the wire with the round-nosed pliers.  Grip just hard enough to hold the wire in place, but no hard enough to leave tooth marks in the metal.  Begin to wrap the wire, tightly at first, around the ends of the round-nosed pliers.
Slide the straight end of the wire through the loop on the bulb.  Then, create another curl, more loosely this time at the other end of the wire.  Curl until you like it.
Repeat on the rest of the ornaments!

You can also embellish with ribbons or beads.  Be sure that the beads have holes that are large enough to accommodate the size of the wire--all of the beads I had had holes that were too small to fit on the wire.   Be creative!

Luke 2:19-20: But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart.  The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things they had heard and seen, which were just as they had been told.

Merry Christmas!

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