Friday, December 28, 2012

Making GIANT Snowflakes

The other day we started making GIANT Snowflakes and it has been a HUGE hit with my daughter.  These snowflakes have made wonderful window decorations that literally fill the sections of our windows. They make great holiday and Winter decorations to brighten up the drab days of Winter here in Ohio.  Also, they would be a great way to bring some snow to warmer climates out there.
To make these GIANT Snowflakes you'll need:

Large White Gift Tissue 

The White Tissue Paper is great to use because you can fold this paper countless times cut easily through many layers.  It is a little tricky to fold, but you could have the tissue pre-folded for your kids and show them how to cut shapes.  My daughter mostly cut triangle shapes which is the easiest shape to cut.

Here are the steps.  Basically you fold the square into a triangle and keep matching each corner to corner to create smaller triangles. Between steps 5 and 6 you want to round the top so the snowflake will be a circular shape. Then begin cutting shapes on each edge. My daughter mostly cut triangle shapes because that is the easiest shape to cut. You can definitely experiment with different shapes.

Have FUN! Children and adults get a lot of satisfaction from cutting snowflakes.

And it is always a surprise each time you open a folded snowflake. This activity could be a science experiment in which you predict what each snowflake might look like.  It is a great lesson in symmetry too. Also, you could pair this activity with my Exploring Snowflakes...Up Close post and observe real snowflakes and learn about Wilson Bentley who took the first pictures of snowflakes.  Look how big this snowflake is compared to my daughter....AWESOME!

Here is some of our window display from outside our house.  They look wonderful! I'm sure it brightens everyone's day when they go by our house. I know it makes me smile each time I see them. 
Enjoy making snowflakes...

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Sunday, December 16, 2012

Glittery Magnolia Pods

When were on Thanksgiving Break in the South of the US we gathered some magnolia pods as we always do to add to our continuous nature collection. They are vey similar to Pine Cones, but have a large stem on them.  I've seen many others put glitter on pine cones,  so I thought why not put some glitz on Magnolia Pods and dress them up for the holidays? So that is what we did.
Here are the Magnolia Pods before glitter.

Paint some glue on the pods.

Then either sprinkle and shake the glitter on the pods...

Or place them in a small box and roll them around in the glitter for less mess.

You could fashion some ribbon onto your pods or pine cones.

Hang them as ornaments or garland.

Or just lay them out or place them in a decorative bowl for the holidays or anytime.

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Happy Glittering!

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Painted Salt Dough Ornaments

We finally finished our Painted Salt Dough Ornaments today.  Some of these beauties will be going on our Christmas tree and others will become some fantastic gifts to our family and friends.  It was a long process, but well worth it.  We made Salt Dough Heart Necklaces back in the Springtime for Mother's Day and they made fabulous gifts.
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To make Salt Dough Ornaments you'll need:
(We doubled this recipe)

1 cup flour
1/4 cup salt
1/4 cup water
cookie cutters 
acrylic paint
ribbon for hanging

Mix the flour and salt well and add water.  Add more flour if too sticky or more water if too dry.  Roll out on a flour surface to about 1/4 inch thickness.  Use cookie cutters to create the shapes for your ornaments and then place the dough shapes on a foil lined cookie sheet.  Use a straw form holes on the top of the ornament shapes.  Bake between 275 F and 300 F for 1 1/2 to 2 hours.

After the ornaments were done, we painted the dough shapes with solid colors of acrylic paint.

Then we added more detail with gold paint and other colors.

Lastly, we added some touches of glitter to add some sparkle which is always fun!

Next, we'll be adding some ribbon for hanging.

What have you been making with your children for the Holiday season?