Happy holly leaf wreath

I found this sweet book in the library last week. It is a really nice little one full of little festive makes children could manage. My child is still quite small though and not really able to stitch yet, but she likes to glue, and luckily there  a lovely little project i thought might be a good one for us to tackle together – a festive fabric wreath.

I did the preparation myself – first cutting out a card ring for the base using a tea plate and a mug as templates. Then cutting out some holly leaf shapes from all my green fabrics (i have a bit of a surplus of green at the moment, for a little secret christmas present project) I cut out five leaves from each of 4 different shades of green cotton, some green felt and some grey cotton.

Then it was time to get toddler involved! i mixed up some PVA glue with water to make it runnier, and gave this to Rose in a little tub. She dipped the leaves in and ‘arranged’ them around the ring (i might have helped a teeny bit with the arrangement – but only a teeny bit). It was quite a good idea to soak the leaves like this as it was easy for Rose to manage – she got the idea really quickly – and the leaves all stuck well. And it also meant that when it dried the fabric had a starched quality. The only problem i found was where we tried this with the felt leaves they were just a bit heavy and needed an extra gluing with normal strength glue afterwards.

Next i made some little baubles for the wreath. I used some brightly coloured fabric scraps and cut out circles of varying sizes (i drew these freehand so they are a little wonky). I layered some of the fabrics on top of each other, gluing them with the same watered down glue mixture as we used on our leaves, and embellished them a little with some buttons and a few stitches.

Lastly i taped a loop of ribbon to the back so that i could hang our little wreath up near our christmas tree. It’s so pretty, i am proud of Rose and my good work on this little project.

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Baubles of wool

I came across this really nice pattern and couldn’t resist a little more festive crocheting. Our tree is going to look so grand (when we get round to putting it up!)

pastel peach cream and mint crocheted christmas baubles

Free pattern can be found here (i am making the most of it!)

my crochet christmas baubles

There are a lot of projects in progress around here at the moment, but i am feeling confident that everything will come together in the (st.) nick of time (ho ho). It’s nice to be so busy with making at this time of year.

Happy festive crocheting!

little crocheted christmas wreath decorations

Good wreath

I have been getting into a festive mood this last week and turning my crochet efforts to help me decorate our little tree (‘crisps tree’ as Rose says – our task for the weekend – a happy chore)

These little crocheted Christmas wreaths are so cute, and so quick and enjoyable to make.

little crocheted christmas wreath decorations

Here’s what i did in case you want to make some too:
(notes.  abbreviation: sc = (american) single crochet. I used DK weight wool and a 3.5mm crochet hook)

In green chain 16 and join last chain to first with a slip stitch to form a ring.

row 1: 25 sc into the chain ring (enclosing the chain row inside the stitches)

row 2: sc into every stitch around (25sts)

row 3: **sc, 2 chain, sc again into the same stitch; sc into next stitch. repeat from ** 11 more times. sc into final stitch and pull through the final loop to create a long loop (to hang from tree) Break your wool here and with the loop and remaining length tie a double knot to secure.

little crocheted christmas wreath decorations work in progress

For the bow – in red, chain 40. weave in ends and tie in a small bow as evenly as you can.

Sew little bow to the bottom of your wreath. and tah dah!

Have you started decorating yet? i am excited to get going now.

Printing Christmas trees

When it comes to Christmas, i normally have a very last minute approach to my preparations, but learnt my lesson last year and am trying much harder this time round to do things in good time.

I like to handmake my cards, and was quite excited at the idea of getting Rose involved with my christmas cards this year.

There are some great ideas using children’s hand prints to make pictures of reindeer, angels and christmas trees. I decided the christmas tree idea would be good for us, as Rose loves her dot stickers (endless packets of dot stickers) and i imagined those making good baubles, and a decorated christmas tree seemed like the design best suited to Rose’s freestyle approach.

The first step was the hand printing.

So i was feeling pretty confident. A friend of mine did this with her one year old last year, i knew then that we were not ready for this activity at that stage, but really thought a year on we would be there….

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Rose liked painting her hands, but the hand prints did not really happen. She just ended up looking like a miniature hulk. We started quite a good production line though with me cutting and folding the cards as she painted and printed the ‘trees’.

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She did really well though, and i thought her trees were really lovely, if not exactly what i had in mind!

The next step was to decorate our trees. We used some of the dot stickers we had already, but i found some lovely glittery dots too just for an extra festive touch.

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I was really inspired by Rose and her printing attempts, and decided to have a go at some cards myself.

I have never really done a lot of painting before, but wanted to have a go at some potato printing and thought this was a good technique to try for my little christmas card production line. I used one big potato and two small potatoes and kept it really simple by just cutting out some elongated triangle ‘tree’ shapes. I mixed up some green paint and varied the shades a little by adding blue, white and black paints in different areas and mixing them up.

I used a paint brush to apply the paint to my stamps so they were not too gloopy. i liked the effect of doing a print, then doing a slightly fainter print afterwards without reapplying the paint. i liked the texture that came through from the heavier ones though, and how the lighter ones were more smooth.

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I liked the way the cards looked, but decided it would be nice to add some more colour to them, and christmas cheer.

I thought about adding sticker baubles like Rose’s cards, but decided it might be better to stick with printing. I used the end of my paintbrush dipped in paint to print on little dots. perfect!

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And it’s not even December!

Have you made your christmas cards? Have you had any success with toddler hand printing?