All posts by Abigail Cole

In keeping with the spirit of ‘miniature things’ in this season’s craft tutorial, I thought I’d write a short mini-blog giving a few more details about the materials I’ve used for this craft, since they are all things that I already had in my craft cupboard and are handy to have around, and if you’re looking for a few ideas for craft staples to give as gifts this Christmas 😊

For the last few years, I’ve put together lists of ideas for useful crafting supplies that also make good gifts and these can be found here, here, and here. If some of these items are on those lists too, that’s because they are super useful and we use them a lot!

The Christmas Garland craft in this tutorial used the following materials:

High-bond, non-toxic craft glue – I do mention this glue a fair bit, but it really is a go-to glue for me, it’s relatively inexpensive, dries clear & flexible, works on lots of different projects, a little goes a long way, strong bond and non-toxic!

Pritt-Stick – whilst it is more expensive than other brands, I really find it to be more efficient to use in the long-run, as it really does give the best bond. Unfortunately, we’ve found that so many other glue sticks dry out and are quickly unusable and go to waste, or cause frustration because they don’t stick. I’m always open to other recommendations for glue sticks that work though!

Mini Pom Pom makers – I discovered these miniature pom pom makers by Clover earlier this year and whilst a little more fiddly than larger sizes, have been super fun to play around with! Pompoms in general are lots of fun and a great family craft to play around with – there are plenty of pompom making gadgets to explore too! 

Small sewing/embroidery scissors – these are a constant companion for me and again, super handy for so many crafty scenarios… they more suitable for older children upwards, and can be used for papercrafts/cutting washi tape, art journaling as well as sewing of fabric crafts. We love these cute scissors in a range of colours from Cotton Clara

Felt – I find felt a great fabric to have a small stash of tucked away – for younger children especially it can be easier to work with than other fabrics, and it is very versatile, has so many great colours, is very tactile and it can be cut out and worked with as it is (no sewing required), works with glue etc or it can be incorporated into sewing projects. You can find coloured felt in most craft/sewing shops.

Mixed papers – these can be shop-bought collage papers, or simply saved and recycled wrapping papers or paper bags, things that come your way throughout the year 😊

Yarn/wool – a bundle of inexpensive yarns and wools are always handy to have around – pompom making is always fun but there are always also useful for hanging things, finger knitting, friendship bracelets and so on…

Twine – over the last couple of years I’ve found two reels of twine to be so useful for so many things, not least a number of crafts in group settings! It’s more string-like than wool (so slightly stronger/neater) and is pretty and versatile, and can be found in the Works or other craft supplies shops. I chose some twine in a more neutral colour for versatility and to use in many crafts.

FIMO (or other types of Polymer Clay) – Fimo/polymer clay is a great material to have tucked away for a rainy-day activity… again, it lends itself to so many different projects, from fun open-ended child-led projects (like making monsters, characters, dragons…)  to making things like beads or charms to incorporate in other projects.

Christmas Crafts can become Family Treasures

I hope you’ll be able to find a little time for your own festive crafting… whilst it can be tricky to carve out the time during this season, it can also be the perfect excuse to set some creative time aside. Crafting can have an added sense of purpose at this time of year if you’re making your own gifts or decorations – children often love to make their own gifts for family and set about it with great determination – especially when trying to keep it a surprise too! Much like Little Mouse in the story The Very Busy Day by Diana Hendry and Jane Chapman, it can be so lovely to see the sense of kindness, purpose and pride in something they have created all by themselves. Often only a few basic materials (and copious amounts of Sellotape!) are required for the most delightful creations!

I also find Christmas crafting to be a lovely way to come together for a few quiet moments amidst the business of the season, and it can most definitely be a way to calm little hands and stay a little more settled in an otherwise overly exciting time. It doesn’t have to be anything complicated; cutting out snowflakes to pop in a window, or DIY Christmas cards. This Blue Peter Christmas make was a firm favourite that we keep with all our decorations and still enjoy admiring year on year! Over the course of time, all the Christmas crafts and makes, whether made at school, home, together or independently, and no matter how complicated or simple, time-consuming or quickly-made, can become a much-treasured physical memory-bank that lasts a lifetime.

With that in mind, wishing you all plenty of calm and crafty moments this Christmas as well as a warm and cosy festive season 😊 

© 2023 Abigail Cole

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