Christmas Crafts for Kids

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Even cats enjoy Christmas
Even cats enjoy Christmas | Source

Making Christmas crafts and decorations with kids creates new family traditions

Making Christmas crafts and Christmas decorations with kids can be a special time for the whole family, and might even become a family tradition. The best thing about making homemade holiday decorations is that many of the decorations will last for years, bringing back memories of the fun times you had together each holiday season.

If you love to create your own Christmas decorations and craft beautiful and useful gifts, you can start a new family tradition with your children and grandchildren by crafting with them. They will love making decorative and useful items that will become part of your Christmas traditions and memories for years to come.

Gear Christmas craft projects to age of child

First, let me say that crafting with kids is not for perfectionists, or the impatient! Each child will have his or her own agenda. You have your agenda. Hopefully, the two will coincide and you will both have a good time and come away with a nice decoration.The trick in choosing a Christmas decoration to make with children is to gear it to the capability and attention span of the child. This isn't necessarily defined by age as children have different abilities, even those who are the same age. If you choose craft supplies that are inexpensive and easy to find, you won't have to worry about anyone ruining an expensive project. Some good general craft items to have on hand are colored construction paper, blunt edge scissors for younger children, white glue, glue sticks, glitter or glitter sticks and paper towels.

Make your holiday crafting with the kids fun by putting on some cheerful music and preparing some snacks ahead of time. We love to listen to some of the old Christmas favorites that include Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer, Frosty the Snowman and other songs that we all know and love. It's best not to serve snacks near the area where you are working as crumbs can ruin a project and glitter can really ruin a snack!

Tried and True Decorations for Kids to Make

Here are some Christmas Decorations for children that are tried and true and suitable for fairly young children:

String popcorn

  • Materials needed: Plain popped corn, heavy duty white thread, sturdy needle. Use a heavier needle and heavy duty thread of a manageable length. When the length of thread is used up, just tie on the next length. Hint: Use plain popcorn and be prepared to vacuum up lots of bits of broken corn.
  • Directions: Give each person a bowl of popcorn and a needle with about 30" of thread. Longer thread is fine for older kids, but shorter pieces are easier to manage for little ones. Just tie pieces together when they are filled.

Paper chains.

This is something we all did in kindergarten 60 years ago, but little kids still like to do make paper chains because they can see their chains grow fairly quickly. This traditional decoration is fun for all ages and can be fun for young children if they have the dexterity to hold needle and thread.

  • Materials needed: Construction paper or craft paper in colors, scissors, stapler or glue sticks. Strips made from old Christmas cards may also work. Paper needs to be study enough so that it doesn't tear too easily, but thin enough so that loops stay together.
  • Directions: Cut strips of paper about 3/4" wide and about 5" long. Loops can be glued or taped.

Decorate Pine Cones.

Make gathering pine cones in the park or woods part of the project. It's a perfect excuse to get out for a walk with the kids.

  • Materials: Pine cones, white glue, gold or silver glitter, narrow ribbon.
  • Directions: Do this craft at a table covered with newspaper or plastic. Have the kids work over a paper plate or sheet of paper so that excess glitter can be saved and reused. Choose opened pine cones, and put a dot of glue on individual bracts. (Every bract does not have to have glue on it). Sprinkle a little glitter on each spot of glue, gently tap cone against the paper plate to remove excess glitter and set aside until glue dries. Make sure that the excess glitter doesn't have glue in it before putting it back into the container. When glue is completely dry, tie a narrow ribbon to the top and make a loop for hanging. Decorated cones can also be added to wreaths or table top decorations or displayed in a basket or bowl.


Decorate sea shells

We've had many beach vacations where we've collected buckets of shells. A nice way to remember those vacations is to make ornaments from them that you can hang on your tree or display in a holiday basket.

  • Materials needed: Sea shells, white glue, glitter, permanent fine point marker, narrow ribbon.
  • Directions: Cover the work table with newspaper or a plastic cloth. Shells don't really need a lot of decoration, but to give them a festive look, outline the edges with a thin line of glue and sprinkle with silver or gold glitter. Do this over a paper plate or sheet of white paper so that you can save the excess glitter. Glue a ribbon loop on the back side of the shell for a hanging ornament. You can also make a bed of tinsel in a shallow basket or glass bowl and arrange the shells in it for a seaside holiday look. Hint: If the shells were collected this year, use a fine line marker to write the date on the back. It will make a nice memento for years to come.

More fun things for kids to make

More ideas for Christmas decorations to make with kids

With a little more effort, kids can create more unique decorations. These are not necessarily difficult, but take a little more patience.

Frosted glass candle holders.

  • Materials for this project: small jars about the size of baby food jars, holiday stickers or cards or gift wrap with designs about an inch or two high that can be cut out, white glue, small votive candle or small battery powered candle, 1/4" wide ribbon.
  • Directions: Clean jar with warm soapy water and dry thoroughly. Center Christmas design sticker or cutout on one side and glue onto glass. Place another cutout on opposite side of jar. Squeeze about a tablespoon of white glue into a small dish and use either fingers or a small paint brush to cover the outside of the jar including the sticker with a thin layer of glue. Hold glue covered jar over a clean paper plate and pour salt onto the glue. This can be done directly from the container or with a spoon. Jar should be completely covered with a medium thick layer of salt. Press gently with fingers and set aside on paper to dry. Let dry for several hours or overnight. When completely dry, brush excess salt off with fingers. A thin layer of salt over entire jar and picture will create a frosted effect. Decorate with a ribbon tied around the neck of the jar and place a battery operated flicker candle inside. Several of these make a pretty group on a bookshelf or small table.


Felt Stocking Decorations

Christmas stockings in any size are perfect holiday decorations. One easy and fun project for kids is to make small stocking shaped ornaments to hang on the tree.

  • Materials needed: Felt pieces in red, blue or green, scissors, white glue or glue gun, decorations like sequins, buttons, ribbon, lace, glitter or fabric paint; narrow ribbon or gold cord for a hanger.
  • Directions: Draw a stocking shape on a piece of paper and cut out to use as a pattern. A good size for a Christmas ornament is about 2 1/2" wide by 4 1/2" long. Use a pencil or fine tip marker to trace the outline of the pattern onto the felt. Cut out the shape. One idea is to write the year on the stocking with 3-dimensional paint, then decorate with glued on sequins, beads or glitter. A piece of lace across the top adds a pretty touch. Let the kids write their names on the back with paint or marker.

Create memories and new family Christmas traditions

Spending a few hours or an evening with the children in your life making something creative and fun can be the start of a family Christmas tradition. You'll be making lasting memories along with those paper chains and decorated sea shells. The best part is that many of these items will last for years, and you'll smile as you use these decorations year after year. Have fun!

Happy Holidays!

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Copyright ©2011 Stephanie Henkel

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Comments 9 comments

Happyboomernurse profile image

Happyboomernurse 6 years ago from South Carolina

This hub brought back so many good childhood memories of making homemade ornaments- particularly the construction paper chains, strung popcorn and decorated shells and pine cones. So simple, yet so fun. Hope it inspires young families to spend some quality time together during the holidays.


Stephanie Henkel profile image

Stephanie Henkel 6 years ago from USA Author

Thanks again, Happyboomernurse! Oh my, you must be a night owl, too! I loved making decorations and doing crafts with my kids and grandkids. It was fun writing this article as it brought back some nice memories.


Wendy Krick profile image

Wendy Krick 6 years ago from Maryland

Making Christmas Decorations with the kids is really fun. I love all of your ideas.


coachb51 profile image

coachb51 6 years ago from West Point, MS

Oh I just cant wait for Christmas!


Stephanie Henkel profile image

Stephanie Henkel 6 years ago from USA Author

Thanks for stopping by, everyone!


Peggy W profile image

Peggy W 6 years ago from Houston, Texas

We did many of these same things as kids except for the seashells (we lived in Wisconsin at the time) and the frosted baby jars as candle holders. Great ideas for youngsters who may never have heard of doing these simple and fun projects. You would have been an excellent girl scout or cub scout leader! Perhaps you were?


Stephanie Henkel profile image

Stephanie Henkel 6 years ago from USA Author

No, I was never a scout leader, but I had did crafts with my kids and with my grandchildren on a regular basis. Now I even get together with my grown-up granddaughter to crochet, make cookies or make fimo beads, and we still love it!


Lee Hansen profile image

Lee Hansen 2 years ago from Vermont

I'm always in search of new crafts to make for or with my grandkids. These ideas for Christmas decorations will be fun for all of us. I really like the seashell ornaments and the frosted candles crafts - new to me, and my granddaughter will love those projects. Thanks!


Stephanie Henkel profile image

Stephanie Henkel 2 years ago from USA Author

Lee Hansen - Thanks for checking this out, Lee. Hope you and your granddaughter have a great time making these Christmas decoration!

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