Winter crafts for the family

Try these activities with your family or with the children of relatives. Not only are they fun and easy, but they’re useful for décor and gift wrapping!

Popcorn Garland

What you’ll need:

A spool of thread (any color will do)
A thin, sturdy sewing needle
Popped popcorn (plain without butter works best)
1 bag of cranberries—dried or fresh (optional)
A can of glitter spray (available at craft stores)
A couple of pretty buttons (optional)

  1. Measure out the amount of string you’ll need to wrap around your tree or to hang up. Add six inches, double the total amount, and cut.
  2. Pop popcorn using your preferred method. Don’t overdo it; you can always make more.
  3. Thread your needle to the center of the thread, just as if you were sewing on a button, and knot the loose ends tightly. Be sure your knot is large enough to prevent popcorn from falling off, or slip a pretty button on the end as a stopper.
  4. Carefully push the needle through each piece of popcorn, moving the kernel to the end of the string, and alternating with a cranberry every so often. Continue doing so until there are only about three inches of string left and tie it off or use a button as a stopper (you may need a bit more string if you use a button).
  5. Outside or in a well-ventilated space, lay the garland on a piece of cardboard and coat with the glitter spray. Allow it to dry.
  6. Hang your lovely, homemade garland and enjoy any leftover, unpainted popcorn!

Greeting Card Gift Tags

What you’ll need:

Several greeting cards (holiday themed or just something you like, used or new, but make sure they have no writing or print on the back of the top flap)
Scissors or a paper trimmer
A hole punch
Ribbon (any ribbon you like will do)

  1. Cut the top flap (cover) of greeting cards into gift tag sized pieces. You can cut them large enough to fold over or just big enough to print on the back. Be sure to cut in a way which allows any cute pictures or attractive patterns to fill the space. Cutting Santa’s head off is probably not ideal!
  2. Punch a hole into the upper left corner of the tag. If you’re using folded over tags and prefer to tape them to your gifts, skip this step and the next one.
  3. Pull a length of ribbon through the hole and knot it at the loose ends. Six to eight inches of ribbon is generally a good length, but adjust that according to your own needs.
  4. Fill out the blank side of the tag with your “To”s and “From”s. Be creative!

Reindeer Faces

What you’ll need:

Construction paper (brown and tan work well, but be creative!)
Children’s glue or glue stick
Embellishments (optional, but googly eyes and fuzzy red craft balls can be fun)

  1. Trace one of each child’s footprints on brown (or other color) paper and cut it out. This will be the reindeer’s “face.” No need to go between toes; a simple round top portion is fine.
  2. Trace both of each child’s handprints on tan (or other color) paper and cut them out. These will be the reindeer’s “antlers”. Be sure to trace between fingers!
  3. Glue the antlers to the top of the face (the toe area). The heel of the foot cut-out will act as the reindeer’s “chin.”
  4. Allow the glue to dry, and then add the eyes, nose, and mouth. You can use paper or fun embellishments, like ribbon, googly eyes, or whatever strikes your fancy!
  5. After the glue has dried, reindeer faces make awesome holiday cards for grandparents, or can be hung up as fun, festive décor.

What kinds of twists would you put on these ideas? Is there a fun holiday craft that your family especially enjoys?

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