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?

hello hallowe’en

I have never really been one for Hallowe’en celebrations, but i decided this year to jump on it and make some fun activities for Rose and me. I saw this blog post from ispy DIY about no carve pumpkins, and the picture of the pumpkin covered in little dots reminded me a lot of a sticker book of Rose’s where we had to stick spots on the ladybirds. Rose enjoyed that activity, telling me the colours she liked and sticking them on, so when i saw it i thought it looked like something she would like, and festive to boot.

Our pumpkin didn’t turn out quite as dotty as i first imagined, but it is quite psychedelic and we had a lot of fun make it. It was quite a nice project for us as broke down into two sessions of crafting fun.

We started off by painting our pumpkin as i thought this would give a nice base for our stickers. There was a bit of a novelty value in painting a pumpkin too! We just used some poster paint which we got from our little toyshop locally. Rose has learnt the word ‘splash’. i am still finding paint splatters (please don’t let this put you off)

painting a pumpkin no carvepainting a pumpkin no carve for children

I also bought some black card for another little project to help pass some of the time, but our pumpkin was quite wet in places so I left it overnight before the next phase.

Rose peeling off stickers for her no carve pumpkin Rose sticking stickers to her no carve pumpkin

I managed to find some little stickers stickers inexpensively in one of the stationary shops – a selection of coloured spots and stars, so once our pumpkins were dry it was sticker time. I didn’t need to explain it to Rose, she knew what she was doing.

 halloween mask cut outhandmade halloween masks work in progress

With the painted card from earlier, i made a little paper template and cut out some mask shapes – we added the last of our stickers then threaded through some elastic to make them into something we can wear to scare daddy when he got home from work. (we made him a mask too!) They are not really very scary though, more like friendly Halloween.

Here are our finished projects. a good week’s work (Rose doesn’t like wearing masks, so Rich and I posed with baby for a ‘scary’ face selfie).

no carve painted and stickered pumpkinscary faces in handmade masks

Happy friendly hallowe’en everyone! Please let me know how you celebrate.
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