We Wish You a Crafty Christmas

Get creative this season and deck your house with decorations you can make with your kids.

  • Brian Pineda

    A Homemade Holiday

    Get your craft on and enjoy decorating for the holiday with your kids.

  • Brian Pineda

    Color Wheel Wreath

    Hammer small nails into a wood form, then have the kids wrap yarn around them to make this mod holiday wreath. Add homemade pom-poms for the perfect finishing touch.

    What you'll need:
    18" wooden wreath form ($4; Michaels Stores), pencil, ruler, small nails, hammer, yarn in 3 different colors, hot glue, scissors

    Make it:

    1. Mark 35 dots with a pencil along edge of wreath form, approximately ?" from outside edge, with 1" in between.

    2. Hammer a nail at each mark, being careful not to pound through wreath form.

    3. Knot first yarn color around top center nail (nail #1). From nail #1, bring yarn back to nail #24, wrap it around that nail and bring it back to nail #2. Go from there to #25, then to #3, then to #26, and so on in a clockwise direction. Knot at #1 when you've completed the first color.

    4. Tie the second yarn color to nail #1 and bring back to nail #26, then to nail #2, then nail #27, and so on; knot at end.

    5. Tie third color at nail #1 and bring back to nail #28, and so on; knot at end.


    1. Cut a 3" piece of yarn. Set aside.

    2. Wrap yarn about 60 times around 3 or 4 fingers and cut.

    3. Carefully remove yarn from fingers and tie the 3" piece around the center.

    4. Cut through looped ends, and trim the pom-pom into a circular shape.

    5. Hot-glue pom-poms to wreath. Secure all knots with hot glue.

  • Brian Pineda

    Silhouette Stockings

    Take a profile pic of each family member, then trace it onto fabric to craft these custom stockings.

    What you'll need:
    Stocking fabric in 2 colors, glue, sequins, 8" ribbon, cardstock, accent fabric, HeatnBond fusible backing (5 yards, $12; amazon.com), iron

    Make it:

    1. Download the stocking pattern and trace it twice on one color of stocking fabric, and cut out.

    2. Sew or glue edge of stocking. Using second fabric, cut a piece 5" high by 2 times the width of stocking top plus 1". Fold over and glue long edges. Sew or glue to top of stocking.

    3. Embellish the stocking with sequins, and hot-glue the ribbon tie to the top corner in order to hang it.

    4. Take photos of your family members' profiles and print them out on cardstock about 5" tall. Cut out and trace onto accent fabric that's been stiffened with HeatnBond fusible backing.

    5. Iron one family member's silhouette to the front of each stocking.

  • Christmas Crafts: Clothespin Skier Ornaments
    Christmas Crafts: Clothespin Skier Ornaments
  • Brian Pineda

    Scratch 'n' Gift DIY Advent Calendar

    Make these cards as your Advent calendar. Kids can scratch the paint with a coin each day to reveal a new fun idea.

    Advent clips

    What you'll need:
    25 1" wood circles, small number stickers (1-25), 2 colors of acrylic paint, paintbrush, 25 miniature clothespins, tacky glue

    Make it:

    1. Press a number sticker firmly on the center of each wooden circle. Apply acrylic paint over sticker and remove sticker immediately; let paint dry.

    2. Paint the front of the clothespins in the second color; let dry.

    3. Glue wooden circle to top of clothespin.

    Advent cards

    What you'll need:
    Cardstock, scissors, clear packing tape, dish soap, acrylic paint, paintbrush, string

    Make it:

    1. Download the Advent cards using Adobe Acrobat Reader. All card text can be altered; customize it as you like.

    2. Print cards onto cardstock and cut each one out along the dashed lines.

    3. Place a piece of packing tape over the center of the card, covering text.

    4. Mix 1 part dish soap to 2 parts acrylic paint and paint over the packing tape. Allow to dry completely. Once dry, repeat the process for a second coat.

    5. Hang cards on string with clips.

  • Brian Pineda

    Trim the Tree

    Deck the walls, halls, and branches with fun-to-make ornaments and garlands.

  • Brian Pineda

    Big Bang Drum Ornament

    Craft a mini drum from a round gift box.

    What you'll need:
    3" round cardboard gift box, paint, paintbrush, needle tool, ribbon, scissors, glue, brads (American Crafts medium brads, $3; createforless.com), thread, 2 toothpicks, 2 beads

    Make it:

    1. Paint box; let dry

    2. Poke holes around the bottom edge of the box about 1" apart. Also poke holes around the edge of the lid.

    3. Glue ribbon over punched holes.

    4. Push brads through the ribbon and the holes and unfold arms on the inside.

    5. Glue top to box, making sure that the brads on the top and the box alternate.

    6. Wrap thread around the brads creating a zigzag design. Attach thread to opposite sides of the lid as the hanger.

    7. Snip points off toothpicks. Glue a bead to one end of each, then glue toothpicks to top of drum as drumsticks.

  • Brian Pineda

    Little Spruce Tree Ornament

    Turn a pinecone into a Christmas tree with pom-poms as ornaments and a brown air-dry-clay trunk.

  • Brian Pineda

    Joy Stick

    Paint a small stick, and glue miniature plastic animals to perch on the top.

  • Christmas Crafts: Ice-Pop Stick Sled Ornaments
    Christmas Crafts: Ice-Pop Stick Sled Ornaments
  • Brian Pineda

    Santa Hat Ornament

    Decorate a red party hat or make your own smaller version to create this jolly ornament.

    What you'll need:
    Red party hat or red craft paper, glue, tan craft paper, scissors, black and red markers, white pom-poms, yellow paper, ribbon

    Make it:

    1. Remove string from party hat or form red craft paper into a cone and glue to secure.

    2. Cut a 2" to 4" circle (depending on size of cone) from tan paper; draw eyes and cheeks on circle. Cut 2 ear shapes and glue to back of circle. Glue to middle of cone.

    3. Glue white pom-poms at the top point of the cone, around the cone above the face, and as Santa's beard.

    4. Color a black band around the bottom as the belt. Cut a small rectangular shape from yellow paper and glue to the center of the belt as a buckle.

    5. Glue ribbon hanger to top of hat.

  • Brian Pineda

    On the Ball Ornament

    Partially fill a clear plastic ornament with beads and glue colored cord around the top.

  • Brian Pineda

    Season's Weavings Garland

    What you'll need:
    1?" ribbon, ?" ribbon, tacky glue, Japanese decorative tape (happytape.com), scissors

    Make it:

    1. Glue two parallel strips of thin ribbon horizontally to the wide ribbon and let dry.

    2. About every 4 inches, cinch the ribbon and secure with a 2" piece of tape.

  • Brian Pineda

    Homemade Christmas Greetings

    Put your little elves to work on making cards to send to your friends and family.

  • Brian Pineda

    Gift Wrapped Card

    Turn a greeting card into a present with a pretty bow and a tag.

    What you'll need:
    Blank card, scissors, ribbon, tag

    Make it:

    1. Use your scissor blade to cut a slit in the middle of the card's seam slightly larger than the width of the ribbon.

    2. Insert the ribbon into the slit, and wrap the front of the card like a present, leaving the back flap alone so the card can be opened. Trim ribbon ends.

    3. Attach a tag with a holiday greeting.

  • Brian Pineda

    Picture Perfect

    Send an ornament and a card all in one!

    What you'll need:
    Black-and-white photo, white cardstock, scissors, adhesive-backed reinforcement circles, glue, colored card-stock, ribbon, 1/8" hole punch, blank card

    Make it:

    1. Print the photograph of your choice on white cardstock and cut into a 3" circle.

    2. Stick 2 reinforcement circles back to back and glue to a ?" paper square. Glue square to back of photo. Tie ribbon hanger through reinforcement circles.

    3. Cut a 10"x4" piece of colored cardstock and fold in half. Punch a hole through the front of the card, about 1" down from top, and write greeting above.

    4. Thread ribbon through the hole and secure on the inside with tape.

  • Brian Pineda

    Star Bright

    This festive card is super-simple -- no sewing skills required!

    What you'll need:
    Fabric or decorative paper, scissors, glue, blank card, 1/8" hole punch, embroidery thread

    Make it:

    1. Cut 2 or 3 different-size stars from fabric or decorative paper. Glue together.

    2. Cut 7 to 10 ?" slits on the bottom left-hand half of card, spaced ?" to ?" apart. Punch a hole about 1" in from top right corner.

    3. Insert thread through hole, and wrap over the front of the card, securing string inside first slit; repeat until all slits are threaded. Trim and knot ends together.

    4. Glue star over hole.

  • Brian Pineda

    Evergreen Greeting

    Raid your office supplies to make this Christmas card. All you need is a label maker, a foil star sticker, and brown tape.

  • Brian Pineda

    Wild at Art

    Cut shapes from your kids' abstract paintings to make modern holiday greetings.

    Originally published in the December 2011 issue of Parents magazine.