Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Popsicle Stick Ornaments

Oh, the things you can do with popsicle sticks!  This instructional will show you how to make these three holiday popsicle crafts that can be used as ornaments AND/OR....
...in decorative gift wrapping!  The supply list is the same for all three projects AND you don't need that much!  Easy peezy lemon squeezy.

  • Popsicle sticks
  • Glue - hot glue (if you want instant results) & tacky glue
  • Paint & paintbrush - in the colors of your choice
  • Glitter - in the colors of your choice
  • Ribbon

1.) Cut 5 popsicle sticks in half.
2.) Hot glue (or tacky glue and let dry for a few minutes) the rounded sides of two popsicle halves together in the shape of a tee-pee (or letter V if it's upside down).  You can draw the intended angle on a piece of paper for the children to copy the shape if that helps.  REPEAT this step until all of the pieces are glued and you have five V's.
3. & 4.) Glue an open end of one of the V to the open end of another to start forming your star shape.  {TIP} Drawing a star for the children to visualize how the puzzle pieces fit could be helpful.
If using tacky glue, allow your star to dry before moving on to the painting.  If using hot glue....nevermind that previous statement.
5.) Paint your star whatever color you'd like and allow to dry for a few minutes (you could take a hairdryer to it to speed up the process).  Coverage will depend on what type of paint you use.  Acrylics will cover better while tempera (or poster) paint tends to absorb into the wood and not cover as well....BUT both will work.  Add a second coat of paint (I did because I used tempera paint) if you'd like your color more vivid & solid and let your star dry.  Repeat this step on the backside of your star (optional).
6.) When your paint is dry, add a line of tacky glue along the whole star and spread the glue out with your finger (or brush) to cover the popsicle sticks and add glitter. 
7.) Glue a loop of ribbon to the backside of your star and let it dry.

For the snowflake you'll need 4 popsicle sticks.
1.) Add a dab of hot (or tacky glue) to the center of a popsicle stick and cross it with another.
2.) Add another dab of glue to the center of the top popsicle and cross it with another stick.
3.) Continue crossing the the sticks (glueing them together at each level in the center) until all 4 of your sticks are used up.
4.) Paint your snowflake white.  Apply a second coat of paint if you'd like better coverage (allowing dry time in-between coats).  Repeat on the backside (optional).
5.) With a glue brush, apply glue to the entire frontside of your snowflake and sprinkle with clear or white glitter.
6.) Glue a loop of ribbon the backside and allow it to dry.

To include our friends who celebrate Hanukkah, you'll need 6 popsicle sticks for this star of David.
1.) Glue 3 popsicle sticks in the shape of a triangle with hot glue (or tacky glue and let it dry).  Repeat this step so you have two triangles.
2.) Flip one triangle upside down and layer the two opposing triangles adding glue in the spots where the two pieces touch.
3.) Paint (as instructed before) and glue blue glitter.

THE END.  Have fun & get messy!  ~ Miss Jenna

Monday, December 6, 2010

Gingerbread Garland

Photo & Instructions from Kaboose.com  - with a few personal alterations ;-)

Today, I'm sharing a fun project idea from Kaboose.com - Add some cuteness to your holiday home decor!  The level of ankle-biter involvement depends on the age of the child(ren).  If they are older and well practiced in scissor cutting, they can tackle this project with little to no adult involvement.   If your kids are young, do the cutting yourself and let them decorate.  

I'd like to offer an alternative to the instructions to paint the gingerbread garland.  If the ankle-biters are young, your garland is at risk of tearing, especially if they are a child that loves to drown their beloved projects in paint.  The grocery bag paper is pretty heavy, but may succumb to wetness.  Instead, try using  some inexpensive oil pastels!  They are soft in consistency, so the color will transfer easily.  Also, the colors will be more vibrant on the brown paper than using regular crayons, colored pencils or markers.  Crayola makes some good oil pastels and they are very affordable.  You can find them in most craft stores and home stores (like Target & Walmart).

  • Brown paper grocery bag (this is a good time to recycle your paper bags!)
  • Gingerbread girl and boy cookie cutters
  • Pencil
  • Scissors
  • Acrylic paint: white, red, pink, purple, orange, green, light blue, black OR oil pastels
  • Paintbrush (if using paint)
  • Glue or Tape
  • Yarn


  1. Cut a 7” wide strip the length of the paper grocery bag.
  2. Decide which side you want to be the front and turn over so that the back is facing up.
  3. Place gingerbread boy cookie cutter at the left side of the paper strip. Use pencil to trace the outline of the cookie cutter.
  4. Place gingerbread girl cookie cutter just to the right of the tracing of the boy gingerbread and trace with pencil.
  5. Repeat steps 3 and 4 until you run out of room on the paper.
  6. Use scissors to cut the outlines of the gingerbread people out, keeping them connected. Do not cut the gingerbread people out separately. If need be, cut around your tracing marks rather than on them to give yourself “padding” which will make up for any gaps between the tracings.
  7. Turn paper over so that your pencil marks are now facing down.
  8. DECORATE with your paint or oil pastels!  Dot buttons on by dipping the handle end of the paintbrush into the paint and then onto your paper.  Use thin paintbrush (or oil pastels) to add the “rick-rack” squiggles with white paint around wrists, ankles, and skirts.  Use a thin paintbrush or black marker to add smiles them dot on pink for cheeks with handle end of paintbrush.  Dot on eyes with black or dark brown and paint on red bowties for the boys.  Whatever your creative heart desires!
  9. Glue or tape a loop of yarn to the backs of each end piece so you are able to hang your garland.
  • Craft paper will work in place of a brown paper grocery bag. You can also use brown construction paper.
  • Cut individual gingerbreads to glue to cards and packages.
  • Always have some back-up Scotch tape to fix any tears.  Just line up the ripped gingerbread man and place a strip of tape to the backside.
Have fun & get messy!  ~ Miss Jenna