Handcrafting with our children is a happy part of a simple, homey Christmas, and the results will become keepsakes to treasure. Many times the results would also make thoughtful gifts for relatives and friends.
As lovely and satisfying as handmade gifts are, though, they do take a bit of forethought. Now is a perfect time to think about what kinds of homemade gifts you'd like to make this Christmas. Sit down with your children and perhaps a few books or holiday magazines and brainstorm your ideas together. Note what supplies you will need and add those items to your next marketing list. Take a stroll through your local craft store for more ideas and inspiration. Finally, take a look at your calendar and schedule a few weekends or evenings to work on your gifts.
Earlier this month, the boys and I made a candle craft to celebrate the Feast of the Archangels. As we worked on that project, I thought ahead to Advent and slowly this craft came to light. :) We plan to place our homemade Advent wreath in our children's Christmas corner this year, but we might make another for one or two people we know. Wouldn't it be fun to surprise someone you love with cocoa and cookies, and an Advent wreath made by your children's own hands?
This craft was very easy to complete in the space of a couple of hours this afternoon, though to be honest, I did most of it myself. I would think an older child could do this with adult supervision, however. Younger children would surely enjoy the painting and gathering of greenery!
Here are the basic materials:
- round wooden base
- 4 small glass candleholders
- purple and pink sheer ribbon
- small wooden stars
- paint (evergreen and gold)
Not shown: glue gun, tealights and evergreen sprigs
Directions: Paint the wooden base dark green and the small wooden stars gold. Alternatively you could "paint" the stars with glue and sprinkle them with glitter.
(Above you see the two applications; glitter left, paint right.)
While the paint dries, cut lengths of ribbon to fit around the outside of your glass candleholders. (A tip: The candleholders I bought for the Archangel craft were straight sided - and therefore the ribbon fit more smoothly around them. I did not realize the ones I bought for this project were tapered - this made it more difficult to get the ribbon to lie neatly in place.)
(A little overlap helps in securing the edges; trim the excess after the glue dries.)
With a hot glue gun, adhere the ribbon around the sides of the candleholders (3 purple, 1 pink). After all the paint is dry, glue the stars to the edge of the base and, then, the candleholders in the center.
As a final touch, tuck in a few sprigs of evergreen here and there, place a tealight candle inside each candleholder and light each night of Advent according to tradition. (You will need to replace the tealights each night; bags of 50 or 100 are available at craft stores and cost a few dollars.)
And here is the final result!
(Click on the image for a better view.)
I think the boys will enjoy blowing out the candles more than anything else - though they did like finding the evergreen branches. This task could be assigned to a young one throughout the Advent weeks.
Before I go, and since this is my first post here, I would like to thank Mary Ellen for her very kind invitation to post at her beautiful blog. I am honored to be included here and look forward to all the sharing to come!