Monday, January 16, 2012

Semi Recycled Christmas Craft for Kids {Jingle Bells}

Victoria loves to decorate for the holidays....but not with store bought crafts.  Each new season or holiday she spends time creating decorations for our house.  Its really adorable to watch her create stuff.  Some of the projects are ones that I have taught her, others are things she comes up with all on her own.  We try and make as much as we can using thing we would normally recycle.  So far for our winter/Christmas decorations she has made quite a few banners, 
a million 
 okay maybe like 60 snowflakes {she really wants to see snow this year}, jingle bells, and tons of art.  To me, the homemade kid made decorations are my favorite.  They are just so cute and unique and really fun to look at.
This tutorial is for a jingle bell craft inspired by a photo I found on Martha's blog.  You can see the post for her version here:
We did ours a little differently and the way we did it, you get more jingle bells out of one carton of eggs.  It was Victoria's idea to do it differently.  She wanted round jingle bells instead of the triangle like shape you get when following Martha's instructions.  Since it was her craft, I let her be the leader. :)

For this project you will need:

1 cardboard egg carton
paints in various colors { we used a soy based paint}
a box cutter
paint brushes
cup for water to clean your brushes
12 jingle bells
yarn needle
1: Use a box cutter to cut down the middle of your egg carton {Adult Part}
2: How it will look once you cut it
3: Use a box cutter to cut off the side flap and place that small flap in the recycling. {Adult part}
Cut out the circles that your eggs would normally sit in.  The middle cone parts can be used for jingle bells as well but then you will need a few more bells.   Victoria really wanted round ones instead of the triangle cut of Martha's so we went with that.  After cutting them out she said: " You know what mom?  This was a better idea because we get more jingle bells out of the container."  I like the way you think little one :D  The cutting out of these should be done by an adult or an older child because it  can be a little tricky.  Round them out but cutting the edges off.
Paint your little jingle bells.  We did two coats of a base color and then let them dry all the way before adding some details to them.
After you add your details, let them dry all the way before moving on to the next steps.
Take a piece of yarn a couple feet long {really this all depends on how many jingle bells you want to put on them and how long you want it} and thread one end through the needle.  Take the needle and go through the loop on the jingle bell and pull it down till there is about two inches or so left on one side of the yarn.  Do a double knot so secure it in place.  Trim off the access yarn so there is just a short tail left.  Go up through the inside of the jingle bell cup that you made with the needle and pull the cup down so it sits on top of the jingle bell.  To put multiple ones on one piece of yarn you will just slide another jingle bell on, leaving a gap between it and the last one and do a double knot to secure.  Attach another cone the same way and slide it down to sit on top of the bell.   Victoria wanted three each so that is what we did. :)
She had so much fun making this craft, its really kid friendly and  they can do most of it by themselves with minimal adult prep work.   Once you have the amount of bells on that you like you will just tie the yarn in a double knot making a loop at the top.  We let Victoria do this part so she could figure out just how long she wanted  them to hang.  You could add a bow to it or another other kind of embellishment to make it more you or more festive.
The one Victoria made to hang on the door to her room.  She loves having this one on her door.  In fact this morning she was purposely opening and closing her door just to make it jingle, all the while giggling like crazy and singing " I've got bells on my door! I've got bells on my door!"  It was def. one of those priceless mom feel good make you smile moments. :)
We also have them hanging on all our other doors now when you go in and out of our doors you here "jingle, jingle".  :)
In the picture to the right you can see one of the banners Victoria made to hang above our garage door.  She made it out of scrap paper from the printer {you know when you print a coupon out and  then you have like half a page left?  She used a bunch of those from the scrap bin we keep} and scrap scrap booking paper.  I will have to take a photo of all the snow flake banners she has hung in our kitchen, they are pretty cute if I do say so myself. :)
So there you have it, a fun semi recycled kids Christmas craft.  Oh and another great thing with your egg cartons.  Save them and use them to pour paint in if you have little ones who love to paint like I do.  If you use a paint that can be recycled then you can throw the whole thing in the recycle bin when you are done. :)  Just make sure there is no left over egg on them and wait till the paint is fully dry before tossing them in your recycle bin. Otherwise you will wind up with a paint splattered recycle bin...not like I know from experience or anything ;)
Tomorrow I am hoping I will get some time to do my tea cup pin cushion tutorial.  I have made two and have a few more to go for holiday gifts.  Loving how they are coming along.

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