Saturday, December 28, 2019

Christmas and winter crafting

Today I'm sharing some Christmas and winter craft ideas I've been working on during this holiday season. I kind of see my style of crafting as similar to the idea of 'Loose Parts Play' for children. In this style of parenting and education, the adult sets out various types of materials and open-ended items and allows the children to arrange and play with them as they see fit. I did this with my children without knowing it was a real thing.
I like to think of my crafting style as 'Loose Parts Crafting'. I often buy crafting items without any idea of what I will do with them. But when I start pulling out my materials and start playing with various things, I get ideas of what to make. I'm sure you do the same.
I also craft items that can later be pulled apart and reused in another project. So while the hot glue gun and I do a lot of great work together, I also like glue dots and regular tape to create temporary crafts that I can take apart whenever I like. I have put together several ideas using materials I have found at the dollar store and local craft stores. I don't have easy access to nature items right now, but a good forage outside and you will find plenty of crafting materials.

I bought these pine cone and branch wood cutouts last year in my travels, but tucked them away without a plan for how to use them. This December as I was decluttering my desk compartments, I found them tucked in a small drawer. Still unsure of what I could do with them, I added them to the growing pile of crafting materials I was looking at. In the end, I turned them into temporary ornaments to hang on my garland trimming our back porch door. I simply threaded jute through openings in both wood cuts, then threaded a large wood bead and tied a knot above the bead. For the branch, I added red pom-poms with glue dots so that they could easily be removed if needed. Otherwise I would use my hot glue gun to fasten any decor to the woodcuts. 

It's very basic decor and I only put them on the sides of my garland since we open and close our curtains every morning and evening and I did not want my ornaments to get caught in the curtains.

The following set of photos is not a tutorial, but a showcasing of different types of materials combined in multiple ways to create a variety of items for ornaments or decor. I used a bit of hot glue and glue dots, but some of these arrangements are just placed together and can easily be moved.
All the moss seen is synthetic craft moss, available in various colors and types wherever craft items are sold.  The walnut shells are real, saved from a bag of baking walnuts. The birch rounds are also from a craft store, but you can also use real tree parts if you have access to them. The wool felt balls were attached to the hemp cord with glue dots making it easy to remove them and use them as ornament balls in the little tree. The tree and deer wood cutouts were purchased last year and finally put to good use. None of this is difficult to assemble and all of it is inexpensive to find.

The last craft in this post is based on mini rattan balls I found and bought without any idea or plan. I ended up using most of them to make clove pomander ornaments.  
I simply stuffed whole cloves into the larger openings of the rattan ball. Then to make sure they could not fall back out, I squirted hot glue into the center of the ball so that the cloves are now stuck together. 
I was going to experiment with other scented items like dried orange peel, cinnamon sticks and star anise, but didn't have them ready at hand. I show three different styles of hanging the clove ball, but there are million more ways you can do it with whatever materials you want to use. They smell lovely.

I hope you have seen something in this post that inspires you to dig into your craft materials and see what unique items you can create. Thanks for reading all the way to the end! 

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