Over the weekend, we got our first bout of snow in the Northeast for the winter season (the huge storm at Halloween doesn’t count since that fell during autumn). What that meant is I needed to pull out the craft box on Saturday afternoon to keep my 7 year old busy and not complaining that there was nothing to do.
Along with the crafts we did manage to do, here are some others that are fun and easy with little mess. Those are the ones I like to do!
Snowman Measuring Stick
- Wooden paint stick from any paint supply store or Home Depot.
- White paint
- Felt (any color, we used blue)
- Foam sheets (white, black, red, yellow, orange)
- Brown pipe cleaners
- Sharpie permanent markers (red, black)
- Paint the wooden paint stick white and let it dry. Starting at the bottom of the stick, mark off 1 inch intervals by drawing a small line in black and numbering in red 1, 2, 3 etc. from the bottom of the stick up towards the top.
- Start by making the snowman’s head by using the white foam sheet and cutting it into a circle. Glue that on to the top of the stick and use the markers to put eyes, a mouth and an orange carrot nose. Using the black foam, cut out a top hat and glue it to the top of the snowman’s head. We embellished the hat with a red foam band and a yellow star.
- Cut a strip of felt 10” by ¾” for the scarf. At each end, cut vertical slits to make fringes. Wrap the completed scarf around the neck of the paint stick.
- To make the snowman’s arms, cut the brown pipe cleaners the length you’d like the arms to be and make a few fingers at the end with a small piece of pipe cleaner and glue to the back of the paint stick.
- When it snows, place the snowman into the snow until it reaches the ground and see how much snow you have!
3D Paper Snowflakes
- 6 Evenly sized squared of paper, we used light blue. The size of the paper square can vary from 4” to 10”. Use paper of good strength to hold up the snowflake structure.
Thanks to Wikihow.com for having the instructions written out with detailed pictures. I did not have the time to take a picture for each step.
- Fold each of the 6 pieces of paper in half, diagonally. If the paper you are using does not make a perfect triangle, cut off the rectangular edge that sticks out and make it align perfectly.
- Cut 3 lines on each side of the triangle from the folded edge (as per video), make sure not to cut through the unfolded paper edges. The cut lines should be parallel to one another each side and come close to meeting in the middle but not touching; leave a small space between them. To make this easier, you can fold the triangle in half. This way you’ll cut both sides at once, making a symmetrical snowflake. This might not be suitable for thicker paper, since the number of layers makes it difficult to cut through.
- Unfold your paper and turn it so that the diamond shape is facing you.
- Keeping your paper diamond side-up, roll the first two innermost paper lines together to form a tube. Tape these two pieces together. You should see triangle shapes on each side of the roll.
- Turn the diamond over to the other side. Take the next two paper lines and pull them together on the opposite side of the tube and tape together as before. This will be a more rounded shape and wider than the first tube.
- Keep turning the paper and joining the paper lines together on opposite side in the same fashion until all paper lines have been joined.
- Repeat steps 3 – 7 with the remaining 5 pieces of paper.
- Join 3 of the completed rolled pieces together at one end and staple together using the other hand. Do the other 3 pieces the same way. Now you will have 2 pieces consisting of 3 strands or “arms” each.
- Staple the two new pieces together in the middle. You are almost done!
- Staple where each of the 6 arms meet. This ensures that the snowflake shape is pulled into place.
(courtesy of Martha Stewart.com)
Making a felt ball is incredibly easy; simply wind wisps of wool into a blob, dip it in hot, soapy water, and gently roll it into shape with your hands. Colors and patterns can be added to make the results resemble marbles or Super Balls. Smaller versions can be used to make necklaces and barrettes.
Tools and Materials:
- Felting wool (Available in a wide range of colors, felting wool is prewashed and carded, or brushed straight.)
- Pitcher of hot soapy water (A formula of 4 tablespoons of liquid dishwashing detergent to 6 cups of water enables the wool fibers to cling together and become felt. Use detergent that does not contain scents or dyes.)
- Baking tray (to catch excess water)
- Sponge (to sop up the water so it can be reheated)
- Kitchen scale (To make several same-size balls, you’ll need to weigh the wool before you start.)
- Begin with a small wad of wool, then wrap lengths of wool tightly around it. Keep adding layers until your fluffy ball is approximately twice the size you want it to eventually become. Saturate the ball in the hot, soapy water, and then gently roll it from hand to hand without squeezing. Keep doing this for about ten minutes, dipping it in the hot water as it cools. The wool will seem like a wet, scraggly mess, but don’t worry. Soon the ball will begin to harden.
- Now add designs. To make stripes, work strips of wool into the ball with your fingertips. To make dots, wind some wool into a disk, like a cinnamon swirl, then dip it and work it in with your fingertips. After adding designs, roll the ball in your palms some more, dipping if it cools. Stop when it has shrunk to the size you desire. Rinse with cool water, and let dry.
Making Felt Beads
- Make felt balls the size of large beads, and use a toothpick to poke a hole through each one before it hardens.
- To make a necklace, thread balls on embroidery floss, tying a knot on either side of each bead to space them apart. To make a barrette, pierce the bead off center; and slip a bobby pin through the hole.
(courtesy of Familyfun.com)
- Permanent marker
- White cotton shirt
- Tacky glue
- Sponge brush (or a new kitchen sponge)
- Fabric paint
- Use a permanent marker to draw a thick-lined snowflake template on the paper.
- Place the template over the cardboard and slip both inside the shirt, centering them behind the upper front of the garment. You should be able to see the template through the shirt.
- Using a thin line of tacky glue (about 1/4-inch wide), trace the snowflake design onto the shirt. Let it dry for 10 minutes, then fill in any gaps with additional glue. Let the glue dry completely, until it is transparent (approximately 3 hours).
- Dip the sponge brush in the paint and dab around the snowflake, completely covering the surrounding area. Use less paint toward the outer edge of the design. Let the paint dry overnight.
- Soak the tee in warm water for about 10 minutes or until the glue softens. Peel off the glue and let the shirt dry, then follow the package instructions to set the fabric paint.
Frosty the Bagel
- mini bagel
- cream cheese
- 1 baby carrot
- sliced black olives
- sliced red pepper
- Spread half a mini bagel with cream cheese, then add a baby carrot nose, sliced black olive eyes, and a sliced red pepper mouth.
- For the earmuffs, simply curve a thinly sliced piece of celery along the top of the bagel as shown and hold it in place with a broccoli floret at each end.
Snowy Handprint Tree
(Courtesy of Kaboose.com)
- 1 sheet light blue construction paper
- 1 sheet white copy paper
- Brown acrylic craft paint
- Glue stick
- 3 tablespoons granulated sugar
How to make it:
- Lay white paper sideways (landscape) and cut the paper in half using a curvy cut. Place paper across the light blue construction paper. Use the glue stick to attach it to the bottom third of the blue paper. Use scissors to trim off any excess white paper.
- Paint child’s palm and fingers with brown paint. Have child spread out his/her fingers then press his/her palm and fingers down onto the paper. Wash off child’s hand.
- Use finger to paint on a “tree trunk” under the palm print.
- Use the glue stick to apply glue to the fingers (branches) and snow (white paper). Sprinkle all glued areas with granulated sugar. Carefully lift paper and tap off excess sugar over the sink or a piece of wax paper.
- Use glue stick to draw dots or small circles onto the blue paper, sprinkle with sugar again and tap off excess.
- Construction paper is perfect for impromptu craft projects.
- Poster paint will work in place of acrylic craft paint.
- Be sure to wash child’s hand with soap and water before continuing with the project so that the paint will come off easily.
Paper Plate Snowman
- 3 miniature paper plates
- Orange and black construction paper
- 2 black chenille stems
- 1 white chenille stem
- Light blue chenille stem
- 2 large green pom poms
- Scrap material for scarf
- 3 medium sized buttons
- Black marker
- Pink crayon
- White craft glue
How to make it:
- Line the paper plates up like a snowman, one above the other. The plates should be front side down. Use a pen to poke a hole at the bottom of the top plate, about ½” above the lip of the plate.
- On the second plate, poke two holes, one at the top and one at the bottom, again, about ½” above the lip.
- One the last plate, poke only one hole at the top.
- Cut white chenille stem into thirds. Insert one of those chenille pieces into the hole on the first plate. Take the other end of that chenille piece and poke it through the top hole of the second plate. This will join the two plates together. Twist the ends of the chenille together snugly at the back side of the plates. Use a piece of tape to secure the chenille ends down and cover the holes so that they don’t rip.
- Take another third of the chenille and poke it through the holes at the bottom of the middle plate and the top of the bottom plate. Repeat the twisting and taping process from step #4. Save the last third of the chenille stem for a different project.
- Cut a long triangle out of orange construction paper for the nose, round the edges if you like. Glue to the center of the first paper plate.
- Use black marker to draw on eyes and mouth.
- Use pink crayon to color a cheek.
- Cut the blue chenille stem (if needed) to fit around the top of the first paper plate. This will form the band for your snowman’s ear muffs. Glue to the plate and then glue the green pom poms at each end for the muffs.
- Glue three buttons to the center paper plate. (See full the photo of the snowman.)
- Cut two simple boots from black construction paper and glue to the bottom plate.
- Tie a piece of scrap material around the snowman’s neck for a scarf.
- Save old or outgrown boxer shorts for crafts! The plaid material pattern works great for projects like these. If you are uncomfortable with this, save old t-shirts that are not worthy of clothing donation instead.
- Save old and mismatched buttons or buy bags at the craft or thrift store.
- We used miniature paper plates for our project, however regular sized plates can also be used.