elder activities; jig-saw puzzle crafts/what to do when the pieces are missing/christmas wreath
from trash to craft,.... jig-saw puzzle pieces
working in long term care, the jig saw puzzles can stack up over time,... an ambitious resident might take it upon themselves to go through ALL of them,... separating out those that were missing pieces. or you might be at home snowed in with the kids on Christmas break. what ever the circumstances, this is a wonderful time occupier but we were faced with a problem,.... what to do with all the puzzles that were incomplete.
one idea that you are about to read,..... build a 3-D Christmas wreath.
a creative and phisical work out
the eye-hand coordination and dexterity required for this task may preclude some participants from the hands-on portion of the craft, but they can still contribute creatively in picking colors or soring for size.
the list of supplies should be close at hand as none are exotic or hard to find;
school glue,... lots of it
cardboard for the backing
small brushes for aplying the glue
spray paint for coloring the finished project and some pieces
spray clear coat for sealing the finished project
various ribbons or glitter etc for embellishing the project
and of course,.... SCADDS of otherwise useless puzzle pieces
the nuts and bolts,.... erh uh,... peices and parts
once you've decided how big your wreath will be and you've cut your cardboard back to size, you can begin gluing the puzzle pieces to the backing. its best to start with the largest pieces first and build layer on layer working your way to the smallest pieces. this will strengthen the illusion of depth.
save some of the small pieces out to be painted seperately. small flashes of gold silver and red will highlight the wreath once it has been assembled and painted green.
one of the nicer aspects of this project is that it lasts several days. the fun can be spread out over several weeks leading up to Christmas, or spread over a few nights in the last few days before the holidays. a sense of anticipation builds as the participants wait to see the finished product.
the green wreath
the green wreath shown above is simple in design, and comes together as quickly or as lengthy as you like. the project is very accessible to age groups and abilities. the small pieces that were painted gold, silver and red help to add depth and contrast, as does the highlight of silver on the edges, with the finishing touch being the red ribbon.
the best part of this project is the economics. made from supplies that are already on hand or easily acquired, its also a lesson in recycling,... going green for the holidays.
the gold wreath
we got a bit creative and decided to honor the original life of the puzzle pieces by not painting the whole project green as with the first wreath seen above.
in just highlighting the edges in gold, the original colors of the puzzle pieces show, adding a bit more color and excitement. in painting some very large pieces green we were able to apply the look of holly leaves coupled with red holly berries in the smaller red painted pieces. a simple red ribbon to Finnish it off ended the job.
we enjoyed ourselves with this silly little time killer, and found a use for something that would have otherwise occupied the land fill. i hope you too can find some crafty fun this Holiday season.
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