Colorful Christmas Crafts for Kids

A red and green Christmas? Not this year! Deck your halls and walls with candy-colored crafts that are simple enough for kids to make.

  • Aimee Herring

    Jolly Elves

    All you need are chenille stems, beads, and felt.

    What You'll Need
    * One whole chenille stem and half a stem
    * Small and large beads
    * Wooden face bead
    * Small jingle bell
    * Felt
    * Glue gun and hotmelt adhesive
    * Scissors
    * Ribbon

    Make It
    * Hat: Cut a 1-1/2-inch-diameter semicircle from felt. Wrap the semicircle around from point to point to form a cone, leaving a small opening at the tip; hot-glue to secure.
    * Scarf: Cut a 1/2-x-4-inch piece of felt; fringe ends with scissors. Cut a small lengthwise slit about 1 3/4 inches from one end for opposite end of scarf to pass through.
    * Body: Bend one chenille stem in half and, in the following order, thread materials over the bent point to about halfway down the stem: large bead for body, face bead, felt hat, small jingle bell. Leave about 3/4 inch above the jingle bell and shape the stem into a loop. Then, starting on opposite ends: Thread 4 small beads onto each leg and bend the ends to form feet. Use the half chenille stem to make arms by centering and twisting around the elf's neck area. Thread 4 small beads onto each arm and bend the ends to form hands. Wrap the scarf around the elf's neck, then thread ribbon through the top loop and hang.

  • Aimee Herring

    Easy Tree Skirt

    Christmas cookie cutters make the perfect templates for a cute holiday pattern.

    For instructions and an easy template, keep clicking.

  • What You'll Need

    * Painter's canvas drop cloth
    * String
    * Pencil
    * Scissors
    * Tulip puffy dimensional fabric paint (available at craftsetc.com)
    * Holiday cookie cutters
    * Fabric or acrylic paint
    * Sponge brush
    * Decorative trim
    * Glue gun and hotmelt adhesive
    * Red rickrack

    Make It
    Fold the drop cloth into quarters. Tie a 24-inch piece of string to the bottom of a pencil, then hold end of string at folded corner and, with the other hand, stretch out the pencil and draw an arc from left to right. Repeat with a piece of 4-inch string. Cut along both arcs, through all four layers of fabric, to create a 48-inch circle with an 8-inch center hole; unfold. Create a slit for the skirt to wrap around tree by cutting a straight line from the edge to the center circle. Trace holiday cookie cutters onto tree skirt, outline with puffy paint, then use a sponge brush to fill in with matching acrylic or fabric paint. Hot-glue red rickrack trim to the edge of the skirt.

  • Aimee Herring

    Season Opener

    A little paint brings a front-door wreath of acorns, pinecones, twigs, and walnuts to life.

    What You'll Need
    * Pinecones
    * Leaves
    * Nuts and other natural objects
    * Ceramcoat acrylic paint in various colors (deltacreative.com)
    * Glue gun and hotmelt adhesive
    * Grapevine wreath
    * White spray paint
    * Paintbrush
    * Duct tape
    * 4-inch ribbon

    Make It
    Paint 30-40 acorns and other nuts various colors; let dry. Meanwhile, hot-glue objects to the wreath; spray-paint white. When dry, hot-glue colorful nuts to wreath, as shown. Tie ribbon on wreath to hang.

  • Christmas Crafts: Polar Bear Ornaments
    Christmas Crafts: Polar Bear Ornaments
  • Aimee Herring

    Have a Ball!

    Squeeze paint inside clear ornaments for a swirly effect.

    What You'll Need
    * Clear glass or plastic ball ornaments
    * Ceramcoat acrylic paint squeeze bottles in various colors (deltacreative.com)
    * Paper towels
    * Ornament hooks

    Make It
    Remove the top of the ornament and set aside. Squeeze a few generous drops of paint inside the ornament, and let it run down the side to the bottom; repeat to create four or five stripes. Cover the top of the ornament with a piece of paper towel, then hold it horizontally for about 30 seconds or until excess paint runs to coat more of the ornament. Choose a complementary paint color and repeat the process to create stripes on the unpainted areas. When the ornament is completely coated, turn it upside down over a paper towel or garbage pail and let the excess paint drip out (this will speed drying time). Replace the ornament top, then attach hood.

  • Aimee Herring

    Advent Calendar

    Each day, your child can pull out a tiny sweet treat or a mini ornament to stick on the tree.

    For instructions and an easy template, keep clicking.

  • What You'll Need

    * 17-x-17-inch piece of green felt
    * Scissors
    * 22-x-35-inch piece of light blue felt
    * Glue gun and hotmelt adhesive
    * Four 2-x-15-inch strips of red felt
    * White adhesive felt numbers
    * 26-x-3/8-inch wood dowel
    * Assorted colored felt
    * Hook Velcro
    * Ribbon

    Make It
    * Calendar: Enlarge the tree template (see below) by 300 percent. Fold the green felt in half, then place the template flush against the folded edge. Trace and cut through both layers of fabric; unfold. Hot-glue the tree to light blue felt, about 3 1/2 inches from the top. Center the strips of red felt below the tree and hot-glue only the bottom edge of each strip to the base. Create 6 pockets by gluing the left edge of strip to base felt, then adding a vertical line of hot glue every 2 1/2 inches until you reach the right edge. Label the 24 pockets with felt numbers. Fold base felt back 1 1/2 inches at top of calendar; secure edge with hot glue, and pass dowel through channel.
    * Ornaments: Cut 24 holiday icons from assorted colored felt (make sure each ornament is no more than 1 1/2 inches wide ). Adhere a small piece of hook Velcro to the back of each ornament; tuck one into each pocket. Tie ribbon to each end of dowel to hang.

  • Christmas Crafts: Clothespin Skier Ornaments
    Christmas Crafts: Clothespin Skier Ornaments
  • Aimee Herring

    Frosty and Friends

    Snow cute! These soft puppets are made from craft scraps, spare buttons, and socks.

    What You'll Need
    * Two white tube socks
    * Needle
    * Thread
    * Polyester fiber fill
    * Ribbon or fabric scrap
    * Glue gun and hotmelt adhesive
    * Small buttons
    * Pom-poms
    * Black and red felt
    * Black or gray baby sock
    * Scissors

    Make It
    Cut off ribbed end of both tube socks. Fill one sock about 3/4 full with fiber filling, then insert second sock up through the middle filling. Hand-sew a few stitches at the toe to keep inner sock in place. Tie a fabric scrap or piece of ribbon around the neck as a scarf (make it tight enough to create a neck, but loose enough for a kid's hand to fit inside the sock). Use buttons, fabric scraps, felt, and pom-poms for snowman's features; attach securely with hot glue or hand-sew. Cut a small baby sock in half and roll up ends slightly to create a hat; hot-glue to top of sock. To keep stuffing inside the puppet, hot-glue or hand-sew the two socks together around the base, leaving an opening in the middle for a child's hand to fit through.

  • Aimee Herring

    Simple Ornaments

    Raid your craft drawer to decorate the tree: Make a flurry of snowflakes from buttons and Popsicle sticks, and jazz up felt birds with sparkly sequins.

    For instructions and an easy template, keep clicking.

  • Snowflake and Felt Bird Ornaments

    Snowflakes
    What You'll Need
    * Popsicle sticks
    * Buttons
    * Craft glue
    * Thread
    * Scissors

    Make It
    Glue three Popsicle sticks together in an asterisk shape and let dry. Glue buttons along each stick, as shown. (Be sure to position a larger button at the end of one stick so that the button holes are not blocked.) Push thin thread through large button?s holes to hang.




    Felt Birds
    What You'll Need
    * Felt
    * Scissors
    * Craft glue
    * Sequins
    * Spring clothespin

    Make It
    Trace the bird and wing templates onto felt and cut out. Glue the wing to the body and decorate with sequins. Attach a clothespin to the back with glue.

  • Aimee Herring

    Hung with Care

    Old-school stockings: Dress up kneesocks in primary colors with a homemade tag.

  • Aimee Herring

    Chain Gang

    Link colorful chenille stems together for a garland that goes on and on and on...

  • Alison Miksch

    Snow Globe

    Encase photos, crafty creatures, or holiday trinkets inside a plastic cup to make a nifty tree decoration.

    What You'll Need
    5-ounce plastic cup
    Tack or pin
    Ornament string
    Small bead
    Colored card stock
    Pencil
    Decorative-edge scissors
    Small paintbrush
    White glue
    Opaque white glitter
    2 thin orange chenille stems
    3 black chenille stems
    1 white chenille stem
    Black and white felt
    1/8-inch and 1/4-inch hole punches
    Strong craft glue
    Scissors
    White paper
    Red toothpick
    Small piece of white clay
    1 silver chenille stem

    Make It
    Globe
    Make a small hole in the bottom of the plastic cup using a tack or pin. Insert one end of the ornament string through the hole, and thread small bead onto string inside the cup. Bring the ornament string back through the hole and tie ends together to form a loop. Put the cup upside down on the card stock, trace around it with a pencil, and then trim 1/4 inch outside the line with decorative-edge scissors. Use a small paintbrush to fill in the middle of the card stock with white glue, and sprinkle with opaque white glitter. Set aside to dry.

    Penguins
    1. Fold a 6-inch piece of orange chenille stem in half.
    2. Form the body by making a loose spiral around the orange chenille stem with a black chenille stem. Loop the two ends of orange chenille stem to form feet.
    3. Tuck a 1/2-inch piece of white chenille stem into the top and bottom opening of the black chenille body.
    4. Fold top of orange stem down to form beak. Use hole punches to make the eyes from black and white felt and glue on.
    To finish: Once glitter is fully dry, secure penguins to base with strong craft glue. Press sign (glue piece of paper to toothpick) into white clay and stand it next to penguins. Add craft glue around the rim of the cup and glue to card stock. Hold in place until glue sets. Glue a piece of silver chenille stem at the junction of plastic cup and card stock.

  • Snowy Wonderland
    Snowy Wonderland
  • Alison Miksch

    Family Photo Wreath

    Take your pictures out of the frame and create a clever holiday decoration.

    What You'll Need
    12- or 14-inch Styrofoam wreath form
    Colored card stock
    3-inch circle template
    Pencil
    Scissors
    Glue stick
    Decorative-edge scissors
    4-x-6-inch black-and-white photos
    Craft glue
    Ribbon
    Jingle bells
    2 T-pins

    Make It
    Use circle template to cut circles from card stock; cut faces from black-and-white photos into slightly smaller circles. Use a glue stick to attach the photo cutouts to card stock, then trim the card stock with decorative-edge scissors. Glue the photos to the surface of the Styrofoam wreath form with edges overlapping. Thread ribbon through jingle bells and tie bows. Glue the bells in between the photos as desired. Attach a loop of ribbon to the back of the wreath with T-pins and hang.

  • Alison Miksch

    Sweet Ornaments

    Your kids will love to see their personalized sugar cookies hanging on the tree.

    1. Heat oven to 350 degrees F. On a clean surface, knead 3/4 cup all-purpose flour into 1 tube (19 ounces) refrigerated sugar-cookie dough until combined. Roll dough out to 1/4-inch thickness. Cut out wreath and star shapes using cookie cutters. Place 2 inches apart on cookie sheets. Using a straw, poke holes at tops of cookies; bake for 15 to 20 minutes. Gather remaining dough and repeat to make more cookies. Let cool 3 minutes. Transfer to wire rack and let cool completely.

    2. In an electric mixer on low, beat together 1 box (16 ounces) confectioners' sugar, 2 tablespoons powdered egg whites, and 5 tablespoons water. Increase speed to high and beat 5 minutes. Divide icing among four bowls. Cover and set aside one bowl. With remaining divided icing, tint one portion aqua-blue, one red, and one a green-yellow shade using icing colors. Transfer a third of each tinted and white icing to pastry bags fitted with #3 writing tips. With remaining icing, sprinkle in a few drops of water to thin out.

    3. Frost wreaths with thinned aqua-blue icing and stars with thinned white icing. Using bagged icings, pipe names onto bottom halves of wreaths and pipe berries with leaves onto top halves; pipe names and colored dots onto stars. Let dry completely before hanging. Makes about 2 dozen.

  • Alison Miksch

    Doggie Biscuits

    Treat your puppy to tasty gingerbread snacks.

    1. Heat oven to 325 degrees F. Combine 3/4 cup hot water and 1/4 cup butter in a large bowl. Stir until butter melts. Add 1/2 cup powdered milk, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1 large egg, beaten. Stir in 2 cups whole wheat flour, 1 cup quick oats, and 1/4 cup wheat germ. Mix until dough forms. Knead on a floured surface to form a stiff dough.

    2. Roll dough out to a 1/2-inch thickness and cut out dog-bone shapes using a cookie cutter. Place on baking sheet and bake 50 minutes. Let cool completely. Store in airtight containers. Makes about 2 1/2 dozen.

  • Alison Miksch

    Dressed-Up Napkins

    Add a little flair to your table with stamped napkins.

  • Alison Miksch

    Advent Alternative

    Make a tree by tacking 25 decorated envelopes to a corkboard -- a month full of surprises!

    Originally published in the December 2007 and December 2008 issues of Parents magazine.

  • Holiday Craft: Handprint Tree
    Holiday Craft: Handprint Tree

    Watch and learn how to make cute and colorful crafts with your kids this holiday.