We need holiday decorations and the kids need activities. I'm not much of a home decorator; when a friend of mine described something in her house and used the term "accent wall", I actually had to ask her what an accent wall was. And just in case you're as interior design-edly challenged as I am, an accent wall is a wall painted a different color from the rest of the room, as an accent.
Our house has no theme. No color scheme. No real sense of decor. But at this time of year we usually break out the Christmas decorations that have been collected throughout the years. Sadly, this year, they are no more. And we have no extra money to spend on new decorations. So this year, I'm having the kids create most of the decorations.
On Saturday, Katelyn and my niece, Mele, each made a set of these (3-D felt Christmas tree and two snowmen):
I cut out the felt circles ahead of time so they'd be ready for the girls. (Read: I cut them out a year ago, but I never got around to doing anything with them until this year. Yes, that is my son taking a nap on the futon.)
We tried to glue the circles together with regular school glue, but the glue was quickly absorbed into the felt and nothing stuck. So I had to break out the glue gun. We cut out hats, eyes, buttons, and mouths from black felt. Katelyn glued a strip of glitter onto the hats of her snowmen, while Mele glued on ribbons instead. They used fabric markers to draw arms and whatnot on the snowmen and I helped them hot glue on ribbons for scarves. (If you don't have felt, this could easily be done with construction paper.)
I wish I had bought paste instead of school glue, I really would have liked for the girls to do more of the actual assembly and not just the decorations. I think paste would have worked fine.
We used a glue stick on some felt later on and it seemed to stick pretty well, but it was a little difficult to use - we were getting pasty lint balls at the top of the glue sticks.
Next, on to the Christmas tree. I free-handed a tree on a piece of felt, cut it out, and used it as a template to cut out more pieces. Each tree is made from three of the cut-outs. I sewed them together along the edges so they stand like a pyramid.
Once again, I cut and sewed these up last December. And since they were stored flat for a year, one of the sides has a crease down the middle, which gives the trees a tendency to fold in. So they might look a little weird in some of these photos, but we corrected the problem by stuffing the center of the trees with toilet paper. Ah, good old TP.
(Oh, and uh, please ignore our messy house in the background of all these pictures - you can tell our house is truly lived in.)
As you can see, the felt tree is very versatile, if you are invited to a Christmas party, you can get all fancy and use it as a hat! Or wear it as a part of your costume when you reenact the talent show in Grease 2 (that one's for you, Bon).
The girls cut out little ornaments from red, pink, and white felt and glued them onto their trees.
The challenging part of this activity was that Mele is 8 and Katelyn is 4. Mele had a lot of ideas for decorating and techniques to use. Another thing Mele had? Patience. Katelyn quickly grew bored of gluesticking on ornaments and turned to glitter to help speed up the decorating process. So one side of Katelyn's tree has ornaments, the other two, glitter. And once her tree was all glittered up she proceeded to pour out about a third of a cup's worth of glue onto a pile of ribbon and felt scraps and squish it with her hands. She said she was making spaghetti.
The final touch: sparkly gift wrap ribbon.