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A how-to guide to holiday crafts with the kiddos

Christmastime always brings along sweet memories of spending time together as a family. You probably already have a few great recipes for cookies, cakes and treats you can make with your little ones this holiday season, but what about easy crafts? Instead of attempting seasonal projects so difficult they might give Martha Stewart a headache, try out a few of these easy-to-follow, kid-friendly Christmas crafts that the whole family can enjoy.

Using the eraser end of a pencil helps shape the tissue paper squares used to make wreaths. (From happinessishomemade.net/For the AJC)

Tissue Paper Christmas Wreath

Grandma can't receive too many of these super cute tissue paper wreaths, inspired by Happiness is Homemade. This project requires only a few simple craft supplies and can be personalized with glitter, ribbons, pompoms and sequins.

Supplies needed

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  • Paper plate
  • Scissors
  • White craft glue
  • Paint brush
  • Green tissue paper
  • Pencil with eraser

Instructions

  1. Cut the center out of a paper plate using scissors, leaving a 2 to 3-inch border around the plate.
  2. Cut 2-inch squares from green tissue paper using scissors. The number of squares needed will vary depending on how many wreaths you make.
  3. Spread a thin layer of white craft glue over the paper plate border using a paint brush.
  4. Press the eraser side of a pencil into the center of each tissue paper square and press the paper around the pencil.
  5. With the tissue paper square still on the pencil eraser, press it on to the glue-covered plate. Repeat until the entire surface is covered with green tissue paper.
  6. You can go a step further and decorate your wreath with glitter, ribbons or sequins.

Easy Gingerbread Houses

Purchasing expensive gingerbread house kits for every member of the family can get expensive. This year, save money with these adorable, inexpensive and easy gingerbread houses, courtesy of That Mommy Blog.

Supplies needed

  • Large mixing bowl
  • 1 box confectioners' sugar
  • 2 large egg whites
  • Graham crackers
  • Paper plate
  • Serrated knife
  • Frosting
  • Holiday candies

Instructions

  1. In a large mixing bowl, create royal icing by combining the confectioners' sugar with egg whites and 1/2-cup water. Mix thoroughly.
  2. Use the Royal Icing to attach a graham cracker to a paper plate. This will act as the base of the gingerbread house.
  3. Attach two graham crackers together on top of the base using Royal Icing. Hold the graham crackers until they feel secure and stable, then repeat to attach the remaining "walls" together.
  4. To make the roof, carefully cut diagonally across a gingerbread square using a serrated knife to create two triangles, then attach them to the walls as gables using Royal Icing. Attach two graham crackers on top of the gables to complete the roof.
  5. Decorate the house with frosting, icing and colorful holiday candies.
Cranberry popcorn garland (Courtesy of TinkerLab/For the AJC)

Cranberry Popcorn Garland

Give your home that old-fashioned holiday feel by making a few of these homemade cranberry popcorn garlands with your kiddos.

Supplies needed

  • Large bowls
  • Popcorn (popped)
  • Fresh cranberries
  • Tapestry needle
  • Quilting thread

Instructions

  1. Fill two large bowls with popped popcorn and fresh cranberries so that little hands can reach them easily.
  2. Thread a tapestry needle with thick quilting thread and knot the end.
  3. Alternately string popcorn and cranberries along the thread until you have about 2 inches remaining, then knot the end of the thread. 
Sock snowman (Courtesy of East Coast Mommy/For the AJC)

Sock Snowman

If you have a few spare socks hanging around your dryer, use them to create these adorable sock snowmen with your children, inspired by East Coast Mommy.

Supplies needed

  • White sock
  • Dried split peas
  • White elastic hair ties
  • Cotton filling
  • Googly eyes
  • Pompoms
  • Buttons
  • Felt
  • Hot glue gun
  • Permanent markers

Instructions

  1. Fill the toe of a white sock with dried split peas, then secure it with the elastic hair tie.
  2. Fill the remainder of the sock with cotton stuffing, leaving about 2 inches of the sock unfilled, then secure the end of the sock with another elastic hair tie.
  3. Fold the unfilled opening of the sock over the filled section to become a stocking hat for the snowman.
  4. Decorate the snowman by attaching googly eyes, pompoms and felt accessories with hot glue. Use permanent markers to add details.

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