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 ISSUE 46   •   16  DECEMBER 2007  
   This issue: your favourite holiday crafts


1. Editorial
2. Paper plate decorations

3. Holiday accordian cut-outs
4. Paper sack holiday cards
5. Christmas spider cards
6. Featured subscriber blog

1. Editorial

Welcome to a very special edition of Kids Craft Weekly. This issue features fabulous holiday craft ideas courtesy of Kids Craft Weekly subscribers!

Thank you so much to everyone who sent in craft ideas. In the future I am hoping to open the newsletter up for submissions several times a year, so if you missed out this time there will be plenty more opportunities in the future.

Thanks especially to Gwyn, Meg, Jessica and Sienna who are the clever ladies behind the craft ideas in this newsletter.

Having a fortnight off from newsletter crafting duties left me with a little extra time to finish off the Kids Craft Weekly Creative Gift Guide. The guide features fun and quality gift ideas to stimulate your child's imagination and creativity. If you still need some inspiration for presents this Chistmas it may just provide you with the answers you need!

Thank you to the hundreds of families and schools who participated in the handmade card swap this year. I have been quite overwhelmed by the volume  of child-made cards that you have sent, not to mention the amazing crafty card techniques that you've come up with. I've also been swamped by emails from people writing to say how much their kids enjoyed the swap.

It has made me take stock of how fortunate I am to be a part of this wonderful community of people who value the creativity of our children and who take the time to sit with them and explore different ways for them to exercise their imagination.

I really want you all to know how much I appreciate your support and kindness, and how much I value your ideas and enthusiasm. To everyone reading these little words – thank you!

Kids Craft Weekly will be taking a well-earned break over the Christmas/New Year period, but I'll be back with another newsletter in January.

Until then, happy crafting and happy holidays!

Amber Carvan

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2. Paper plate decorations (by Gwyn)

Gwyn is an Australian mother who has two young boys with a bloke she went through high school with. Before having a family Gwyn studied fine art at university before becoming an anti-discrimination lawyer. Gwyn values creativity above all else and spends her evenings preparing art experiences for her children or blogging about them on My Kids Art.

These paper plate decorations are simple to make but look spectacular. They can be easily adapted to differing skill levels and can be used to decorate either the home or garden. We made both a wintery version, all about snow and stars, and a summery version, all about the green outdoors and a hot sun, but the possibilities are endless.
You will need
• paper plates (uncoated work best)
glitter/tinsel/sequins/pompoms etc
thread such as wool or ribbon
hole punch
1. Paint or draw on the underneath side of two paper plates.

2. When dry, glue your choice of decorative items onto the plates over or around the drawing or painting. Suggestions include stickers, pompoms, tinsel, mini wooden cutouts, flowers, shells, tinsel, sequins etc.

3. Using a child safe needle, thread your choice of decorative items onto a few strands of thread. Suggestions include pompoms, bells, cupcake papers, bottle lids, buttons, feathers, seed pods, bits of straw, pasta, shells etc.

4. When dry, staple the two plates together, decorated side out, and punch a hole at the top and the bottom of the joined plates.

5. Attach a long thread to the top of the plate for hanging purposes and attach the decorated threads to the bottom of the plate.

6. Hang somewhere they can catch a little breeze.

3. Holiday accordian cut-outs (by Meg)

Meg McElwee is a Montessori teacher, fiber artist, pattern designer, wife and servant to two cats. She writes a blog called Montessori by Hand which details her life as teacher in Mexico. She also sells her patterns online at www.montessoribyhand.net

Accordion cut-outs are a favorite among my students. I love watching as their jaws drop in awe as their cut design suddenly multiplies and manifests itself as a garland. For the holidays, we jazz up a classroom staple with a bit of fancy paper and glitter.
You will need:

Long strips of paper. The width is up to you, and depends on the size of the cut-out you want and your design. Experiment with different papers – from tissue paper to newsprint, wrapping paper to fancy hand-made options. The important thing when selecting paper is that it not be too thick, or else a child’s small hand won’t be able to cut through all the layers.
Marker or paint pen for drawing the design
White glue in a small dish and a thin paint brush
Glitter in a small dish
A working surface protected with newsprint
Note: This activity is suitable for young children who have a good amount of confidence using scissors. For a young child, you might want to consider folding and drawing the designs yourself and having the child cut them out. Older children (4-5 and up) will be thrilled to complete every step independently, without adult help.

1. Fold the paper accordion-style, as shown below.

2. On one of the ends, draw a figure such as an evergreen, a gingerbread man, or a star – the sky is the limit, as long as you draw in some form of  “connecting band” which will link the designs together. (For the tree, the connecting band is made up of the bottom boughs of the tree.) Cut along the lines.

3. Unfold!

4. With a bit of white glue in a small dish, use a thin paint brush to apply glue to the “boughs” of one of the trees. Using your fingertips, sprinkle glitter liberally over the recently glued areas. Repeat with the other trees.

5. That’s it! Place your accordion cut-outs in a window, use them as accent pieces for gift wrapping, or drape them on the tree!

4. Paper sack holiday cards (by Jessica)

Jessica Wilson is the crafty-mad scientist behind jek in the box, scrumdillydilly and scrumdilly-do! She lives a short hop away from Hollywood with her sock crafty husbandman, their evil kitty and a mob of sock monkeys. She favors stripey socks and never leaves home without her camera.

Put your wee ones to work making holiday cheer with a recycled twist! Have you upgraded to a bento box for your wee ones and find you have an enormous stack of lunch sacks about to topple over? Never fear, with a little paint, glitter, scissors and your mucho talented tots you can whip up a batch of the most festive holiday cards ever! Don't stop at just one!

You will need:

paper lunch sacks
washable paints or acrylics
large clean new sponges
markers and/or crayons
candy canes, stickers or other small trinkets


1. Place the paper sack in front of you length wise. Grasp bag in one hand and cut the bottom off in one straight motion. Save the bottom for a future project.

2. Fold the remaining part of the sack in half. By removing the bottom you have created a card with a pocket to fill.

3. Staple your sack at the fold to secure.

4. Cut your sponge into a triangle (or star or circle). Dip into paint (you can mix the colors a little for an extra fun effect). Stamp the front of your paper sack. Repeat the process for your trunk.

5.  Add a sprinkle of glitter to the wet tree print. Set aside to dry.

6. When your trees are dry you can add your fingerprint ornaments. Dip the tip of your finger into a color and stamp a few "ornaments" onto your tree. Repeat the process in as many colors as you like. Set aside to dry.

7. Write your holiday message inside each card.

8. Slide a trinket such as a candy cane or handmade ornament into the pocket you created by cutting off the bottom of the sack.

5. Christmas spider cards (by Sienna)

Sienna Wildfield lives in West Chesterfield, MA, with her family. She is a community organizer and activist, and editor of HilltownFamilies, an on-line grassroots communications network for families with grade school children.

Sienna is a published poet and accomplished photographer, and hosts the Hilltown Family Variety Show on WXOJ, 103.3 FM (Northampton, MA) every Tuesday at 7pm with her five-year old daughter, Persephone. Sienna is also an herbalist/nutritionist and is currently working towards her master’s degree in nutrition.

Inspired by the legend of the Christmas Spider and Ed Emberley's thumbprint designs, my 5-year old daughter Persephone illustrates how to draw a Christmas Spider to attach to a holiday card.

(NB. Sienna has a fabulous video of Persephone demonstrating this craft on her blog – I strongly recommend you visit it. It's just adorable! – Amber)

You will need

• squares of white card stock
• black (non-toxic) ink pad
• thin black Sharpie (or something comparable)
• red marker
• blank white greeting cards
• glue dots


1.  Take your thumb and press it onto a non-toxic black ink pad. Then press your thumb into the middle of a small square of white card stock, making the body of the spider. (Try to get your kids to wipe off their thumb before proceeding or smudges will most certainly happen).

2. Take a thin black Sharpie and draw four dots down each side of the spiders body. Then draw “L’s” or “7’s” out from each dot to create eight legs.

3.  Draw a triangle just above the spiders body as a hat, then add a circle to the top for a pom-pom.

4.  Color the triangle in with a red marker, leaving the pom pom white.

5.  TAD-DA!!! You now have a picture of the Christmas Spider! Place four "Glue Dots" in the four corners of the back side, then adhere to the front a  blank white greeting card.

But before adding it to the card, a holiday greeting can be written (by hand or with your printer) on the bottom of the front. We wrote “Holiday Greetings from the Christmas Spider.” On the backside of the card we printed the legend of the Christmas Spider.

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6. Featured subscriber blog

Six thirty-seven

"Wife, Mama, Daughter, Sister, Friend, Photographer, Runner, Scrapbooker."

To have your blog featured in this section just send in your web address and I'll add you to the list. But be warned, the waiting list is currently very long. 


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