Thursday, December 18, 2008

Homemade Ornaments and Gift Bags

It may be sunny and warm here, but we are still working on getting into the Christmas spirit. We have a Cambodian crocheted nativity set that Mommy and I play act the Christmas story with every other day or so.

Today Ms. Maria shares some fun Christmas craft ideas for kids!

Simple and inexpensive are two goals I always have in mind when planning crafts for my kids and when making gifts. This project covered both of those objectives, provided us with two separate crafts, AND made numerous Christmas gifts. I love when that happens! I love even more when I find the main part of the supplies I need, brand new, at a garage sale! That means I've been holding onto 4 packages of clear Christmas bulbs for nearly 5 months now but considering they were 25 cents per package, well worth it!

Since the kids are 2 and 4, I did the honors of pouring the paint into the ornaments myself, although my 4-year-old did help a little. However, choosing the colors was all them, and honestly that was the most important issue for them anyway. For some of the ornaments we mixed colors, some were one colored, some had mixed colors and glitter, some just glue/a drop of water/glitter, some one color paint and glitter, you name it, they created it. Using a mini funnel made it easy for the kids to help pour the glitter into them too. Basically you pour the paint, put a paper towel or rag over the opening and make sure they hold it there while they GENTLY shake the bulb to mix it up. It's a great lesson in handling things with care so as not to break them. We escaped with 20 bulbs unharmed(we had already gifted some before I took the picture), not even a a 2 and 4 year old....not too shabby! We left the tops off for them to dry overnight and have been admiring them until we finally decided to wrap them this morning.

As for the wrapping part, since we are giving single ornaments to 18 different recipients (the kids each kept their favorites) I decided to be thrifty with the gift bags as well. I picked up a package of 50 white paper lunch bags from Wal-Mart for less than two dollars, and let the kids paint them and use stamps to decorate them. After they dried I folded the tops down twice, punched 2 holes in the top a couple inches apart, and strung a long, thin ribbon through. I love how they turned out with a simple bow tied on the top and long curls hanging down. I thought about making gift cards also, but then I remembered the many packages of sticker name tags I picked up on clearance after Christmas last year and they worked just great stuck onto the back of the bags.

Back in July when I picked these glass ornaments up and thought "Oh, these will be so cute to throw some paint in for gifts!" I had no idea they'd be popping up in magazines and websites galore this season. I feel so unoriginal now! Just yesterday I picked up our local newspaper to see a huge picture of some just like these and a how-to article from the art store in town that made them. Of course theirs were done with some fancy schmancy paints that only cost $32.95.....for the starter kit.....not including the ornaments! Well, we used the kids' tempera paints, Elmer's glue, and garage sale ornaments(they were brand new in the box!), and no one will ever know the difference! In fact, I think that everyone who receives these will love them because not only were they made with love but they were even wrapped in something a little extra special!
Maria is married to her best friend and stay-at-home-mom to her 2 and 4 year old. Having overcome infertility and miscarriages before being blessed with them, she truly appreciates the opportunity she has been be a mother. She can be found blogging at sharing her everyday experiences with mothering, crafting, teaching, and baking, just living a simple life and loving it!

7 comments: said...


♥ Somebody Loved ♥ said...

Re: Seven Factoids (of which I am re-naming Lucky 7 on my blog) are now posted.

Thanks for the tag.


sheila said...

Lovely gifts!

Prasti said...

wow! they look great, and an excellent gift idea.

dani said...

how cool:)
j, i have 7 "Christmas" factoids up at "give me..."

teachingtinytots said...

they are so cute! we make those lots they are funad n easy!

they turned out very pretty! love the gift bags!

Debra said...


I love giving and receiving ornaments as a gift. My Mam-Maw and I used to make them together when she was still alive..and that is a lovely memory I have with her.

Blessings to you today sweet one!