Christmas Craft: Air-Dry Clay Ornaments

So, I picked up a tub of white Crayola air-dry clay when I was at Walmart a couple of weeks ago.  I thought the boys might like to try making some Christmas ornaments with it.  Last year they loved working with salt dough so I figured that this would be just as fun.  And no baking!   That was a plus for me 🙂

It was really pretty simple.  I rolled out some of the clay on a piece of parchment paper.  It was probably about 1/4″ thick because I knew the boys would be stamping Christmas imprints and the ornaments had to be thick enough to withstand a heavy stamping hand…

We used my circle cookie cutter (the one I use to make round sandwiches for the boys’ lunch) to make a bunch of shapes.  The boys got sort of tired of simple circle shapes after a while and resorted to making some more amorphous, alien-looking ones.  Too bad I didn’t take any photos of them!

We got out my Christmas stamps and went to town stamping all sorts of holiday images onto the wet clay shapes.  You’ll note that the stamps were not exactly clean when the boys stamped.  I figured that the black ink would not be an issue since we would be painting the ornaments anyway.

I used a bamboo skewer to make holes at the tops of the ornaments and also to write the boys’ names on the back with the year.  We let our masterpieces dry overnight on the parchment paper.  The next day, Wildman was really sick on the couch and did not want to finish his ornaments.  Cutie Pie insisted that we do his though so I got out some scrapbooking paint in red and green as well as some green glitter.  Cutie Pie did a great job of painting the fronts of his ornaments and then sprinkling just the right amount of sparkle on top.

We let the paint dry over night then I added a bit of baker’s twine and a jingle bell to Cutie Pie’s ornaments.  I think they turned out great!  The grandparents are going to love theirs.  I know you can’t really see the stamps due to the copious amount of paint/glitter that was applied but I just love them!  Wildman will be decorating his as soon as he’s feeling 100% again.


4th of July Craftiness: Coffee Filter Sparklers

I’m not sure where I came across the inspiration for this craft.  It’s something I found a while back and mentally noted for future reference.  Like when I was planning activities to entertain the kids while we were visiting family in Alabama!  I crammed as many art supplies as I could into one bag so we could work on some fun projects for the 4th of July.

When cleaning out the top of my spice cabinet I found an almost full pack of filters from our old coffee maker.  Woo hoo!  We could do the coffee filter sparklers without a trip to the store for supplies.  I was surprised that we actually had these.  You see, we’ve had several filter-less coffee makers since the one that required required these paper wonders so I’m not sure how old they are exactly.  Let’s just say that the top few were a tad yellow…


Red, white and blue pipe cleaners

Coffee filters

Watercolor set with paintbrush

Cup of water

Patriotic ribbon


How to:

Flatten out the coffee filter on a piece of newspaper and paint one side with your choice of watercolors.  The color bleeds through the paper so no need to paint both sides.  Allow the filters to dry completely then fringe the edges with scissors.

Cut 1 1/2″ from a pipe cleaner and set aside the small piece.  Tear a small hole in the bottom of a coffee filter and thread longer piece of pipe cleaner through the hole.  Create a small hook in the end of the pipe cleaner.  Tie patriotic ribbon to the hook then close the loop to secure the ribbon in the center of the sparkler.  Gather the coffee filter up around the ribbon and twist.  Secure the coffee filter by twisting the small piece of pipe cleaner around the bottom of the coffee filter.

Once everything is secure, fluff the sparkler and enjoy!  They make a lovely centerpiece of “flowers” too.

Birthday Party For Jesus

Last Sunday we were invited to a sweet friend’s house to celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ.  The idea was to give the children a chance to learn the real reason for the season.  I was in charge of bringing bananas for the healthy snack buffet.  We were also asked to bring a gift to donate to a local charity.

It was a wonderful afternoon spent with a bunch of families that we have not seen since our Lab School days.

Our hostess gathered all of the children around the massive Christmas tree and read the story of Jesus.  Afterward, she let them go nuts at 3 different craft stations that were set up on the back porch.  The children could decorate sugar cookies, decorate tree ornaments and make a paper chain advent calendar.

The cookies were top on my boys’ priority list, of course!

Then Wildman took a turn with making an advent calendar.  He’s gotten so good with using scissors.

I ended up bringing the craft stick tree ornaments home for them to decorate.  My boys had had enough of the crafts after about half an hour. The lure of the trains and other toys was just too strong.

When cupcake time rolled around the boys dropped the toys like a bad habit 🙂  Cutie Pie’s face in the above photo cracks me up.  He looks ridiculously giddy about diving into that cupcake!

Check out this flower mural from the playroom:

The flowers in the mural matched the flowers on the futon cover in the playroom.  So cute!

I didn’t take a photo of the flowers in the kitchen but our hostess had a similar thing going on in there.  The flowers beneath the kitchen window match the pattern on the valence.  I wish I was able to paint murals…  I would do mini-murals all over my house!

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