The holidays will be cozy in 2020, with most families limiting celebrations to just people who live in the same house together. Here are some fun Christmas crafts to do with your children to make the season festive, even if the celebration is small.
To have a crafty Christmas, stock up on supplies and tools. Here’s a partial list of materials handy for making crafts—you can order online from craft stores and arrange for curbside pick-up, or delivery in some cases.
- Construction paper in festive colors
- Felt in red, green, gold, and black
- Pipe cleaners
- String, ribbons, or yarn
- A variety of non-toxic glue (colored or glittery)
- A lot of colorful pom-poms, in various sizes
- Plastic craft “googly eyes”
- Cotton balls
- Pinecones, with open scales
- Paper plates
- Cinnamon sticks
- Cardboard toilet paper or paper towel rolls
- Non-toxic paints
- Glue gun
- Box cutter
Important: Many of these crafts involve small parts that are choking hazards, and some of them require sharp tools. They are not suitable for toddlers or preschoolers. Parents are responsible for supervising their children, maintaining safety, and determining which crafts are safe for their kids.
Homemade Advent Calendar
The Christmas countdown is more fun when you create your own Advent Calendar. Make a large, bearded Santa or Elf face from construction paper. Make the beard long and wide enough to use for the calendar days. Carefully draw numbers 1 through 24 (or 25, if you include Christmas day in your calendar) on the beard. Pin it on a bulletin board or punch a hole at the top for a string to hang it on the wall. Let your kids take turns gluing cotton balls over the numbers, one by one each day, until they are all covered, the beard is fully fuzzy with cotton balls, and Santa is on his way.
There are other ways to make an advent calendar. Parents will do most of the work, and kids will have the fun: find a plastic ornament organizing tray with 24 compartments, that fits inside a large gift box. Or, divide the inside of a cardboard gift box into 24 sections, using sturdy cardboard strips in a cross-hatched grid (vertical strips with notches or slits, to fit down onto horizontal strips).
Place your ornament organizer or cardboard grid on the top of the box. Lightly mark where to cut doors or flaps to open, to reveal whatever you place inside each compartment of the box. These could be holiday stickers, small candy treats, or ornaments. Then put the lid, with the doors or flaps cut, but not open, on the box and let the kids decorate it, numbering the 24 days on the flaps.
An alternative is to let the kids decorate the top of the box with glued on holiday scenes cut from wrapping paper, first. Then, mom or dad can place the grid on the decorated lid, mark where the flaps should go, and write the number on the doors in mixed up order. Then, carefully perforate where you marked the location of each compartment to make the doors. Hunting for the correct number to correspond to the day is part of the fun of advent calendars.
Pinecone Christmas Trees and Ornaments
You might find supplies for this craft right in your own backyard. If you don’t have natural pinecones, craft stores may have supplies. Large cones look a lot like mini-Christmas trees when you paint them green with non-toxic paint, then glue on colorful pom-poms as ornaments. Make a star topper out of a gold or bright yellow pipe cleaner, and place your “tree” in a base made of a toilet roll ring, cut in half, and paint red.
To make an ornament from a pinecone, turn it upside down and glue your pom poms on the underside of the open scales of the pinecone. Use a glue gun to attach a loop of ribbon or string to the top of the ornament (formerly the bottom of the pinecone).
Paper Plate or Handprint Christmas Trees
A paper plate, folded in half and painted green, makes a perfect section for a craft Christmas tree. Cut two additional sections, each slightly smaller than the one before, and staple them in a stack, vertically. Add pom pom, felt, or construction paper ornaments.
Another fun Christmas craft to do with your kids is to have everyone in the family trace their hand on green construction paper or felt. Then, cut out the handprints and use them as the tiers of your craft Christmas tree. Glue them to a backing or inside a shallow frame, and decorate with felt or pom poms.
Illustrated Christmas Stories
Everyone has their favorite Christmas story or character. Encourage the kids to draw their favorite Christmas elf, reindeer, or snowman, and build a short story around them. Alternatively, you can help your children create their character from pieces of construction paper, and glue those to another piece.
Make a story book by putting the pictures on one half of a piece of construction paper. Stack the picture pages atop each other, and fold them in half. Staple them together in the center, along the fold, to form a booklet. Then, let your kids write out the corresponding story opposite each picture. Or, try having them write the stories out on a separate piece of paper, cut to fit the pages of your booklet. “Illuminate” their words with glitter glue. Allow the pages to dry thoroughly, then glue or staple them in place opposite their corresponding picture.
Cinnamon Stick Reindeer
Turn three cinnamon sticks into a reindeer face by gluing them into a triangular shape. Add a red pom-pom at the tip of the triangle to create the nose, then use pipe cleaners to form antlers on the opposite, wide side. Glue plastic eyes on the sides of the triangle, about halfway between your “antlers” and the red “nose.” Tie a loop of twine around the “crossbar” of the reindeer face, between the antlers, and you’ve got an ornament to hang on your tree. You can also make reindeer out of twigs you find in the yard, or painted popsicle sticks.
When your crafts are complete, clean up and store sharp tools well out of reach of the kids. Keep supplies organized in plastic storage boxes. Loose pom poms and leftover craft “eyes” can go in resealable plastic bags to wait for next year.
Staple Headquarters supplies tools for office and home use, do-it-yourselfers, and construction pros. We stock staple guns useful for upholstery and framing, hog ring pliers for closing heavy plastic or burlap bags, electric and pneumatic nail guns for building, and hammer staplers for roofs and house wrap. We even have decorative colored staplers you can use for organization or to add flair to booklets and bulletin boards.