Crafty Wednesday – Trees, Ornaments and Crafting

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Fun at Home

I’m not certain we are getting a Christmas tree this year.  I swear I’m not a Scrooge, but Christmas Trees take up so much space, they drop needles, and they tip over. Maybe Christmas trees are just for Grandmas — not parents with toddlers and German Shepherds.

And those ornaments…

Every year more break, leaving tiny pieces of glass on my floor.  I think I gave them all away last year.  I’m not sure yet, because I’m avoiding going down to the basement to try to find where I may or may not have stuffed all the Christmas decorations. So far, we took out a manger and an advent wreath — except the advent wreath has gold candles for some reason this year. I couldn’t find the purple and pink candles. They are probably with the Christmas decorations.

Another thing that really annoys me about Christmas trees is that my family is currently celebrating Advent. I would prefer to buy my Christmas tree on December 23rd and keep it for the 12 days of Christmas. The problem with this plan is

  1. It is near impossible to find an open Christmas tree lot on December 23rd, and
  2. The City of Minneapolis, being so culturally sensitive to Catholics, won’t take Christmas trees after the 12 days.

Oh, but that’s okay, because the Minnesota DNR would like us to keep our trees in our yards over winter to give the shrinking bird population a place to shelter. So all is good, right? No, sorry. The City of Minneapolis, being such an environmental leader, has an ordinance against dead trees. So I’m kind of stuck. I can get a tree on the City of Minneapolis’s schedule or skip it all together. For the first time in a couple years, I have a semi-clean home. No needles. No broken glass. No tiny wooden soldiers scattered all over the house. And, I kind of want to keep it that way. I’m really leaning toward skipping it all together.

So this is an article about homemade ornaments to make with your family.

I haven’t made any this year.

Non-Toy Gifts has year round suggestions for better gift and play ideas.

But, Stef over at Non-Toy Gifts, made some adorable homemade ornaments with her kids. I love this idea. If I were the type of parent to make or buy an ornament a year per kid, this would be perfect. I like the idea of making an ornament to reflect my child’s current licensed character phase because by next year, they’ll be onto something else and we will all have forgotten their current obsession.  This year, I would have the Umis, the Power Rangers and ThermoMan (from My Hero, a 1990s British Sitcom that my 10 year old watches obsessively).  Click the picture to the right or the link above to read how to make these wonderful time capsule ornaments.

If you would like to make homemade ornaments, but leave your mess elsewhere.  I have a few suggestions for you:

Image courtesy Lakeshore Learning

          • All About Family is hosting their annual Christmas Card and Ornament Making Event  at Urban Jerusalem Church in Minneapolis on Saturday at 4:00 p.m. 
          • Lakeshore Learning is making paper wreaths on Saturday from 11:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.  This is a drop in craft. 
          • Steppingstone Theatre has a Post-Show Create-A-Decoration event geared specifically toward grandchildren and grandparents.  Take in a show and then make an ornament together. 
          • Carpenter Nature Center is teaching a family-friendly course on how to make recycled ornaments and gift wrap on Saturday at 10:00 a.m.  This $6.00 event requires pre-registration. 
          • BeArtrageous has drop in studio hours where you and your kids can create from your own imaginations.  If you missed my October Crafty Wednesday, we tested out the BeArtrageous studio and my kids keep asking when we get to go back.
          • Heartfelt also has drop in crafts.  You can view their craft offerings in the current Holiday Gift Guide (pdf) here.

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About the author

Joy Peters

Joy Peters - co-creator and writer for

Besides Family Fun Twin Cities, I spend my 9 to 5 at a day job pursuing my weird passion for calendars and organizing things as a legal secretary. When I get home I spend my time with my four kids, 10, 6, 4 and 1. My amazing husband is both a full-time musician and full-time stay-at-home dad. Together we run a small radio empire — SiaNet Radio — playing, promoting and enjoying the wide variety of local music and art in the Twin Cities. I juggle all this while writing about exploring the Twin Cities with kids. I couldn’t be happier.

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