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Paper + Color = Holidays

December 16, 2009

I wrote last time that I was looking at my stashes with an eye toward holiday gifts and activities, and my paper stash was deserving of such a look as well.  We love crafting and creating and we have an abundant stash of paper, markers, pastels, paints and more in our closets and drawers.  That’s why I was so happy to find this lovely instructions sheet on crafting simple paper ornaments with children (or alone, or course) on the Jan Brett site.

My childhood friend Sarah and I had planned a day of holiday crafting with the kids, but after venturing out to the yarn shop in the downtown area, and leisurely enjoying a free carriage ride, free candy canes, and free cookies and cider with four school-aged children, we were a bit tuckered out.  Our grand plans of intricate holiday gifts and a baking bonanza quickly dissipated, and we looked realistically at our four sticky children clamouring for holiday crafts.  What we settled on was a couple simple classic holiday activities: paper count-down chains from construction paper, stringing fresh cranberries and stale popcorn (with a tapestry needle onto waxed dental floss–the floss is key to successful stringing by young ones), and the paper medallions we found on Jan Brett’s sheet.

The afternoon was definitely a success (paper chains, apparently, never get old), and we all had fun making our own medallions.  They are now brightening up our tree with festive color, and Sarah and I decided that paper crafts are the way to go and accomplished what we set out to do: spend some time talking with our children and working on a common project around one table.  The fact that our labor resulted in some pretty nifty ornaments was beside the point.

Medallion Tips:  We tried using oil pastels to color them, but we think crayon or markers work best.  If you want your pattern to match after folding, use a pencil to lightly mark the paper into quarters vertically.  Then, work from the center of each half of the paper (you will be cutting it on the half-way line later) matching each color as you work out.  Be sure the paper you use is not too thick, as it will be hard to make nice crisp folds–copier/printer paper worked well.

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