One of my favorite parts of the holidays is the extra time I get to spend with my younger sister. She is a great mom to two adorable children (though I may be biased) and she can out-craft me! We have legendary craft nights putting together the ultimate shell-ornaments for my fish tree, making handmade cards for everyone we know, or just making "stuff" with the kids. I asked her to help me come up with five simple holiday crafts to use in the classroom with supplies a teacher might already have. I can't wait to tackle these in my own class this season!
Happy Holidays, everyone! I love getting creative for Christmas, and I’m excited to share five fun, seasonal paper crafts that your students can make for decorations or gifts. These simple ideas are arranged in order from easiest to most difficult to help you choose something appropriate for your grade level.
This is a super-easy project that little ones and older students alike will enjoy. This would make a great classroom decoration, with one or two bows contributed from each student.
To make one bow, cut a sheet of colorful 8½” x 11” paper in half widthwise and fold it accordion style at about 1” intervals. Twist a 3”-4” length of silver pipe cleaner around the center to secure, then fan out the bow on either side. To make a garland, use a hold punch to punch a hole in the top left and right corners of the bow, and string on a ribbon or twine.
Feeling less crafty? Some scalloped evergreen trim can add a holiday punch to your room too!
These sweet little trees would make great ornaments, decorations for a Christmas village or in a forest created by the entire class! To make one tree, cut two identical Christmas tree shapes from green cardstock or construction paper (a template is provided if needed). Cut one tree in half vertically from the bottom to the center, and the other tree in half from the top to the center (see figure).
Decorate both sides of each tree as desired; my sample was made using small dots of glue and white sequins. Once dry, assemble the 3-D tree by sliding the top slit into the bottom slit. If you like, you can add another large sequin for a tree topper.
The three-dimensional folded effects on this oversized holiday card are surprisingly easy to replicate. To make the holly leaves, cut two holly shapes from green cardstock or construction paper (a template is provided if needed). Fold each leaf in half lengthwise, then unfold. To make the berries, cut three small, approximately 2” circles from red cardstock or construction paper. For each berry, cut in from one side to the center. Form the cut circle into a shallow cone and glue the end in place (see figure; use a clothespin if needed to hold the cone together until it dries). Let the berries dry.
To make the card, fold a sheet of 8½” x 11” cardstock or construction paper in half widthwise. Glue the bottom ends of the holly leaves in place on the front of the card, then layer the berries and glue them in place to cover the ends of the leaves by using a few dots of glue on the bottom edges of the berries.
Read Katie Kazoo Switcheroo Holly's Jolly Christmas or Hamster in the Holly to bring some reading. Students can add their holly decoration to a summary of the books for a festive, but learning-centered, project.
This is a great personal project that children can make for their friends and family. It can also be adapted for younger children as well as older, depending on the complexity of your embellishments!
To make a card base, fold a sheet of 8½” x 11” cardstock or construction paper in half lengthwise, then cut in half so that you have two smaller cards. Make the snowman bodies by painting four fingers with white paint (excluding the thumb) and hand printing them onto the bottom half of the card. Paint a snowy ground underneath the “snowman” family.
Once the paint is dry, embellish as desired! I used a black marker to add eyes, mouths, buttons and arms; paper scraps for carrot noses, hats and scarves; and scrap hole-punched paper for snowflakes.
See how I use snowmen making to run a construction company in my classroom, how Top Teaching blogger Erin Klein ties snowmen to future careers, or put all those spare socks to use with another snowman craft.
This project is perfect for middle or high school students. It is made using strips of inexpensive, lightweight corrugated cardboard, which can be purchased in large sheets of different colors from art supply shops, or in 12” sheets from craft stores. You can also use plain corrugated paper and paint when finished.
Each snowman is made using a ½” strip of corrugated cardboard: one 12”, one 9” and one 6”. Roll each strip up with the bumpy side to the inside, and glue the end in place to secure. Glue each coil together edge to edge from largest to smallest, creating the snowman body. Add a few black sequin buttons down the front and let the body dry.
To make a top hat, cut a ½” strip of black cardboard to 5” long. Roll it up (bumpy side to the inside) and glue the end in place to secure. Cut a small circle from black cardstock, then glue the black coil flat on top. If you like, add a hat band using a small scrap of thin rickrack, ribbon or yarn.
Once the snowman body is dry, glue the hat on top and let dry. Glue a loop of ribbon or trim to the back of the hat for a hanger.
If that's simply not enough crafting for you, check out the "25 Days of Book-Themed Ornaments" my class created last year.
I hope you enjoy crafting with my sister as much as I do! You can see more of her work in her new book, Paperplay, at Rebel Craft Media, or at Rocket City Mom. My students have already seen the designs and are ready to tackle making bow garlands as soon as I will let them loose on the construction paper!
Remember, you can still use the Readers, Friends, and Family discount. Just click on the coupon below.