12 Crafts of Christmas – Pine Cone Christmas fun

Yesterday Hours of Fun published the 3rd craft of Christmas, this time it was crafting fun with pine cones.

The download shows you how to make a glitter Christmas tree from a large pine cone, you can get the free download here.

At Hours of Fun we have been having more fun with pine cones, although not as much fun as I would like as I am still patiently waiting for some of the pine cones I collected a few weeks ago to dry out.

 

You could try making a pine cone reindeer.

Hours of fun free christmas downloads pine cone crafts (16)

For this you will need  – a drawing pin, a piece of ribbon, a pipe cleaner, 2 googly eyes, a piece of material or paper, a pompom and some glue.

I used the drawing pin to secure the ribbon in place, be gentle when pushing it in to the pine cone (see the picture below).

I shaped the pipe cleaner for the antlers then pushed it into the pine cone.  I rolled the material into a cone shape for the ears and placed them inside the pine cone, with a little glue to secure them in place.  I then stuck on the eyes and the nose to create this super cute reindeer.

 

Hours of fun free christmas downloads pine cone crafts (7)  Here he is hiding in our tree 🙂

 

You could also try making a more decorative pine cone, which you could design to match your decorations.  For this you will need a length of ribbon, a drawing pin, a button, a needle and thread.

Hours of fun free christmas downloads pine cone crafts (9)

I cut a piece of ribbon to hang the pine cone and again secured it in place using a drawing pin.

Hours of fun free christmas downloads pine cone crafts (10)

I then tied a bow using another length of ribbon, then placed in position with a button.  To secure the button to the bow and the bow to the hanging ribbon, I used a needle and thread and made a few stitches to hold it all in place.

Check out my Pinterst board for more ideas on pine cone Christmas crafting and dont forget to download our FREE crafts of Christmas download.

As always we would love to ssee pictures of any of your creations, share them on here,  or Facebook or Twitter or drop me an email to rachel@hoursoffun.co.uk.

Happy crafting.

12 crafts of Christmas – Santa cardboard Tube

12 Craft of Christmas download number 2 went out on Friday, this time you can download,for free, a quick and easy children’s craft to make a santa from a cardboard tube – super easy and cheap craft using a cardboard tube and some basic craft supplies.

Again I wanted to share some more ideas around this craft for those of you who may want to get creative and make some other cardboard characters.

Visit the Pinterst Board I create with more ideas for those of you wanting to try something else or challange yourself a little more!

Pinterest board – Cardboard tube Christmas crafts

Santa Cardboard Tube free download

Cardboard tube Christmas crafts santa, snowman and penguin

 

For the penguin I wrapped the tube in black crepe paper, stuck lots of cotton wool on the front for the Penguin’s belly, then cut out 2 wings and a base shaped like feet from black card.  Once these are stuck on you can again full it with some Christmas delights.

Penguin cardboard tube christmas craft download

For the snowman I wrapped the tube in white printer paper and stuck pompoms on the front for the snowman’s buttons.

I then wrapped a piece of ribbon around for the snowman’s scarf and glued it in place.  Using a pipe cleaner which I cut in half, I bent the ends to look like hands and stuck the pipe cleaners through the sides of the tube (once through the tube, give them a little bend inside to help them stay in position).

Finally I cut out a piece of black card for the base and glued the snowman in position, I then covered the black card with cotton wool to create a snow effect around the snowman’s feet.

Snowman cardboard tube christmas craft download

Happy crafting and don’t forget to share your creations by sending in photos.

12 Crafts of Christmas – Tea Light Snowmen

Hours of Fun’s first craft of Christmas went out on the 1st, a quick and easy download to make tea light snowmen.

Hope some of you have already got crafting and made some super cute snowmen to light up your tree – don’t forget to share your pictures as I would love to see your creations.

I wanted to share some more inspiration around tea light charactors for those of you who may wish to get more creative making different characters such as reindeer or Santa.

Santa and reindeer lit tea light christmas crafts downloadFor the Santa I used wide red ribbon and created a hat shape with the loop to hang him with.  Cotton wool for the beard, googly eyes and a white pompom for the tip of his hat

 

For the Reindeer I used ribbon to hang him, a pipe cleaner for his antlers, a bell – just because I love to add bells where I can!  Brown card for his face and ears which I coloured in using a marker pen and googly eyes.

Tea light reindeer and santa (2)   Tea light reindeer and santa (3)

 

Check out the Pinterest board I have set up for Tea Light Christmas decorations for further inspiration, including more challenging projects for those of you who want to try something a little more advanced.

Pinterest board – Tea Light Christmas Crafts

Hours of Fun Tea Light Snowmen download

A fun day out at the Can Cook Studio in Speke

Our can cook studio day out

For Christmas last year we were given an amazing present of a Can Cook Studio session from my brother in law and his wife.  We had it booked in for March, but sadly due to me being poorly we couldn’t go and had to rebook.  After a long wait the date was finally here and we headed to Speke for our session with no idea what we going to find or have to do.

I had heard from Kurt who owns Fuel Shakes that the place was amazing, fully kitted out with kitchen equipment and kitchen pods available to hire by the hour which Fuel had used.  We arrived at the Studio which is located at the Matchworks, to be greeted with a beautifully laid out table with freshly baked scones, juice and tea and coffee.  After a delicious breakfast we headed to the display kitchen for the first demonstration going through what we will be making during the session and getting us started on the dough for the bread.  We then split off into pairs and got started on making 2 different types of bread – a focaccia and bloomer.  There was an air of competitiveness between Kev and I and following a comment on Kev’s dough advising it needed to look like mine, this competitiveness was embedded for the day!!

Whilst the dough was resting we headed back to the display kitchen to go through Cornish pasties which was next on the menu.  We learnt how to make pastry and learnt a few tips Kev is keen to try next time he makes some shortbread or a pie.  We were provided with the ingredients for the filling and headed back to our kitchen pods to get started.  We made a couple during the session then, due to time we boxed up the rest ready to be made at home.

Whilst the Cornish pasties cooked it was back to the display kitchen for the run through on sticky toffee pudding.  We made our own pudding and popped them in the oven along with the bread which was now ready for baking.  Whilst these were cooking we headed back to the dinning table to sit down with drinks and our homemade Cornish pasties for lunch.  We all really enjoyed our pasties, and making half the batch and eating them allowed us to identify any changes we wished to make to the filling before cooking the rest of them.

We left the Can Cook Studio with bags of food to take away with us and had had an amazing day.  They provided everything we needed, we had our own personal washer upper – Tony and we had a fun group of people who all seemed to really enjoy the session.  They didn’t rush us and made the session fun and interesting.  I would highly recommend these sessions to anyone who fancies learning more about baking and cooking.  They do lots of other sessions; visit their website to learn more about them.

Hours Of Fun Craft Countdown To Christmas. Make Your Cork Reindeer – 1 Day To Go!

Hours of Fun are counting down the days until Christmas by sharing a different Christmas activity each day.  Starting on the 13th December with the last post being published on Christmas Eve.

On the 12th day of Christmas my true love gave to me………A super cute cork Christmas reindeer!

Make your own Cork Reindeer.

Glitter pipe cleaners catch the light
Glitter pipe cleaners catch the light. Made by Chris

As it is Christmas Eve I wanted to pick a Christmas activity that was lots of fun and doesn’t require lots of equipment and tools.   Make your own Cork Reindeer is lots of fun and fantastic for the kids and adults to get involved in.    I learnt about these delights when my friend sent me a picture, saying look what we have made in work today.  I thought they were fantastic and looked a lot of fun to make so I placed my order for corks (although you could open a bottle of wine for the occasion!) and decided I would put a little kit together to take with us on our Christmas visiting.  We are going to get our nieces and nephews involved in some cork reindeer making and take enough supplies for the adults can make one too as I am pretty sure they will want a go!

To make 1 cork reindeer you will need

What you will need
What you will need

1 x cork

2 x pipe cleaners

1 x small pompom (or you can use tissue paper or tinsel)

2 x googly eyes (or you can draw them on with a pen)

Glue

Scissors

I have always had a pretty decent craft kit however since having a stock room in our spare room I am lucky enough to have easy access to lots of supplies.  I had everything I needed already in, although I had to head to the stock room for some pipe cleaners and my friend got my corks from Wilkinsons at a bargain price.  If you don’t have one of the items listed above see what alternatives you can find about the house.

To make a cork reindeer

Cut the pipe cleaner you are going to use for the Reindeer’s legs in half.  The wrap each pipe cleaner around the cork, twisting at the bottom to secure to make the legs.  Shape the pipe cleaners to help it stand up.  Wrap your other pipe cleaner around the front of the cork, twisting at the top to secure.  You can then shape your pipe cleaner into the Reindeer’s antlers.  Glue the google eyes in place and stick on the nose – hey presto you have made a cork reindeer.

You will need it to dry for a while to make sure the eyes and nose stay in place.  Then stand it on the fire-place or tie some string around it and hang it from your free.  It you use glitter pipe cleaners they will twinkle in the Christmas tree lights.

Hours Of Fun Craft Countdown To Christmas. Make your own wreath – 2 Days To Go!

Hours of Fun are counting down the days until Christmas by sharing a different Christmas activity each day.  Starting on the 13th December with the last post being published on Christmas Eve.

On the 11th day of Christmas my true love gave to me………A beautifully decorated Christmas wreath!

Make your own Christmas Wreath.

Last year we decided to make our own wreath to add to the decorations around our house, so I headed out to buy some plain wreaths that were ready for decoration.  It is another Christmas craft that is super fun to make and you can be imaginative and creative as you wish, using all sorts of different things such as ribbons, fabrics, lights, embellishments, twigs, berries, pine cones…..Have a route through your Christmas box and craft box and talk a walk round your garden or head out for a winter walk and see what you find.

You can buy wreaths of different sizes and shapes, made from all sorts of materials such as grapevine, wicker, plastic, polystyrene and you can make your own.  You can buy ready made wreaths from craft shops including Hours of Fun! garden centres, local high street shops and maybe even at your local supermarket.  You need to choose the right wreath for your design and need.

We have an artificial one on our kitchen door decorated with bows, presents, flowers, pine cones and a set of star lights and it looks fantastic.  We also have some 4″ round grapevine wreaths, left plain that we use as candle holders and one we have made into a Christmas tree decoration.  The mini wreaths can be decorated and attached together to create a garland or unique decoration and the larger ones can make beautiful festive centre pieces and provide a fantastic greeting if placed on the front door.  In American Christmas movies they often have massive, decorated wreaths in offices and homes as a centre piece to a room.

You can use glue, thread and jewellery wire or garden wire to attach things to your wreath, make sure you don’t leave anything sticking out the front of the wreath and if using glue allow it to dry before hanging your wreath up.  You can buy hangers made for your door or use a nail, just make sure it is secure and isn’t going to fall on someones head!

Go for it!  Head to your garden and see what you can find, then clear a space and get crafting with your wreath and create the perfect addition to you Christmas decorations.  Pop down to see your local Christmas tree shop as they often will give you a bag full of tree cuttings for free.

Hours Of Fun Craft Countdown To Christmas. Make your own wreath – 2 Days To Go!

Hours of Fun are counting down the days until Christmas by sharing a different Christmas activity each day.  Starting on the 13th December with the last post being published on Christmas Eve.

On the 11th day of Christmas my true love gave to me………A beautifully decorated Christmas wreath!

Make your own Christmas Wreath.

Last year we decided to make our own wreath to add to the decorations around our house, so I headed out to buy some plain wreaths that were ready for decoration.  It is another Christmas craft that is super fun to make and you can be imaginative and creative as you wish, using all sorts of different things such as ribbons, fabrics, lights, embellishments, twigs, berries, pine cones…..Have a route through your Christmas box and craft box and talk a walk round your garden or head out for a winter walk and see what you find.

You can buy wreaths of different sizes and shapes, made from all sorts of materials such as grapevine, wicker, plastic, polystyrene and you can make your own.  You can buy ready made wreaths from craft shops including Hours of Fun, garden centres, local high street shops and maybe even at your local supermarket.  You need to choose the right wreath for your design and need.

We have an artificial one on our kitchen door decorated with bows, presents, flowers, pine cones and a set of star lights and it looks fantastic.  We also have some 4″ round grapevine wreaths, left plain that we use as candle holders and one we have made into a Christmas tree decoration.  The mini wreaths can be decorated and attached together to create a garland or unique decoration and the larger ones can make beautiful festive centre pieces and provide a fantastic greeting if placed on the front door.  In American Christmas movies they often have massive, decorated wreaths in offices and homes as a centre piece to a room.

You can use glue, thread and jewellery wire or garden wire to attach things to your wreath, make sure you don’t leave anything sticking out the front of the wreath and if using glue allow it to dry before hanging your wreath up.  You can buy hangers made for your door or use a nail, just make sure it is secure and isn’t going to fall on someones head!

Go for it!  Head to your garden and see what you can find, then clear a space and get crafting with your wreath and create the perfect addition to you Christmas decorations.  Pop down to see your local Christmas tree shop as they often will give you a bag full of tree cuttings for free.

Hours Of Fun Craft Countdown To Christmas. Make Your Own tree skirt – 3 Days To Go!

Hours of Fun are counting down the days until Christmas by sharing a different Christmas activity each day.  Starting on the 13th December with the last post being published on Christmas Eve.

On the 10th day of Christmas my true love gave to me………A beautiful handmade Christmas Tree Skirt!

Make your own Tree Skirt

For the last 4 years we have talked about needing a Christmas tree skirt for our Christmas tree, we feel it would be the finishing touch to our tree and look gorgeous covering the tree trunk and stand.  Last year I made a mini tree skirt for the little tree we have in the dinning room but the main tree is still waiting!  However this year we have made a start and it will be finished before the end of the festive season, it may just be after Christmas Day!

I have chosen not to provide full instructions and design – mainly because we are yet to make ours, but also because you are free to choose your own design and can even chose different ways to make the main section.  I have therefore providing ideas and suggestions to get you started and there is picture in the gallery showing how to make a tree skirt.  They are super easy and can be as detailed or simple as you wish.  The most important part of making a tree skirt is to pick your material and ensure you have enough of it.

To make the skirt

For the small tree we cut out a circle approx. 45cm in diameter and the large skirt is approx. 1oocm in diameter.

You can use any type of material, although we recommend using something with a bit of weight to it, so it holds its shape.  If you go for quite thin and flimsy material it is likely to sag around the tree.  We have used fleece for both of ours and for the large skirt we have done 2 layers as I plan to sew on decorations and I therefore wanted to back the fleece to hide any stitching etc.  For the backing layer I have chosen red upholstery material which is thicker and heavier.

For cutting out a neat circle I used a technique I have learnt from cake baking, when lining a round cake tin with grease proof paper.  Draw the circle onto a piece of paper, then fold it in half, half again, then half again.  Cut along the line you can see on this section, then when you open it up you will see your circle.  To cut out a circle from your material, use your paper template.  You need to ensure you cut a circle from the centre, this is where the tree trunk and stand will go.  I used my paper template, folded it back up and cut it into a smaller circle, I then laid this on my material and cut round it.  You then need to cut once through your material from the centre in a straight line to create an opening.

Decoration time!

You can decorate you skirt using material, gems, felt, cotton wool, beads, embroidered patterns, sequins and much much more.  Have a route through your sewing box and christmas box to see what you can find.

For the small tree skirt we used my Sizzix Big Shot Machine to cut out snowmen, Christmas tree, stocking and snowflakes out of sparkly organza white material and machine sewed them on.  For the large tree skirt I am not quite decided!  I can’t decide is I want a centre piece at the front with minimal decoration around the skirt or for a full on Christmas scene all the way round!  I think I may try some quilting to create a Christmas scene, building up the layers and using other materials such as felt and fleece to create depth and texture, however this will require some time and new skills so we will see…..!

There are photos below of the tree skirts so far and other decoration techniques used on Stockings that would look fantastic on a tree skirt too, however if you want to be inspired further then simply pop ‘Christmas tree skirts’ in to google and check out the images it brings up.

To ensure your tree skirt stays in place put some sort of fastenings  on the edge of the material where it meet.  I used velcro and it can be sewn or stuck in place.

Hours Of Fun Craft Countdown To Christmas – Christmas cards. 7 Days To Go!

Hours of Fun are counting down the days until Christmas by sharing a different Christmas activity each day.  Starting on the 13th December with the last post being published on Christmas Eve.

On the 6th day of Christmas my true love gave to me………A handmade Christmas card!

Make your own Christmas cards

Making Christmas cards is one of my favourite things to do for Christmas, although I often leave it a little late in starting them, it then becomes a race against the Post Office posting dates to make sure they get to people in time!!  I set a reminder this year at the start of November to get going on them, but it seems I ignored it!  I need to come up with a more effective reminder system for next Christmas!

You can have a lot of fun making Christmas cards and you don’t need to be an expert artist or crafter, you just need some glue, scissors, old Christmas cards, card blanks and some coloured paper or card and off you go!

You can recycle your old Christmas cards and make some fantastic new ones.  Cut out the pictures on the front, you can also cut out the verse or greeting printed inside the card and use this on your  new card creations.  Layering a card up is a simple technique that produces a fantastic finish.  Using sticky pads for this works really well to give it depth.  You can cut out a shape a little smaller than your card in coloured or Christmas printed paper, then using your recycled card topper build up a picture. 

One thing I have learnt recently is that some of the layered cards can become too thick to send as a normal letter and you will have to pay the extra to send it as a large letter.  It is worth baring this in mind when you are sticking them together.

My favourite purchase last year was a pad of Christmas printed paper.  I have used it for loads of things and it has been cut up and stuck on lots of cards.  Printed paper brings a stylish look to any card, and you can layer it up with a pieces of plain coloured paper or card to produce an effective design. 

I have used rather a lot of felt shapes for this year’s cards.  I have a little felt obsession and can cut through felt using my Big Shot cutting machine and am slowly building up a fab Christmas cutter and embossing selection to use with the machine.  With the combination of Christmas printer paper, a simple purple heart can be made into a feature on a Christmas card.

This year I have also had a lot of fun making Christmas characters with pipe cleaner and then attaching them onto cards using a needle and thread.    You can make snowmen, reindeer, Father Christmas and anything else Christmassy.  If you then cut out a piece of card or paper slightly smaller than your card blank, attached the pipe cleaner figure on to this sheet using a needle and thread, don’t forget to stick the ends of the thread down with some sticky tape.  Once attached you can then stick your pre-cut card/paper onto you card blank and der der!!  You have hidden your sewing leaving a neat finish and have made a super fun card to give someone.

I love receiving hand made cards and always keep them as I have a box upstairs that I put all hand made cards into.    Each year the number we receive seems to be increasing too which I love even more.  Apologies to those of you who will be receiving a Christmas card from us as there is a chance you will see it here before you receive it!!

Hours Of Fun Craft Countdown To Christmas – Mince pies. 8 Days To Go!

Hours of Fun are counting down the days until Christmas by sharing a different Christmas activity each day.  Starting on the 13th December with the last post being published on Christmas Eve.

On the 5th day of Christmas my true love gave to me………Some scrummy home made mince pies!

Make your own Mincemeat and Mince Pies

Last Christmas we decided it was time to make our own mincemeat.  We love making mince pies and Kev now makes the pastry so it seemed only right that we should make the mincemeat.  It was set as a January task.  Late on in November I decided I should really start buying the odd jar or two ready for Christmas baking, only to get home and remember about the jars we had put away 10 months ago!  I love it when that happen.

I used Delia’s recipe for mincemeat, click here to visit her site for the recipe.

You can have a lot of fun making mince pies as they are simple and if you don’t want to make it all at home you can buy ready to roll shortcrust pastry usually found in the freezer or fridge sections and jars of mincemeat ready to use.    You can make them different sizes by using different muffin tins and decorate them in all different ways.  You can do lids in the shape of a star or other shapes so you can see some of the mincemeat through the gaps or do full lids and decorate them with shapes using small Christmas cutters.

To make mince pies, roll out your pastry to a thickness of 3mm.   Grease your tin.  Using cutters to match the size of your tin cut out circles and place them as the pie bases. Cut out your lids – match your cutter to the size you are making.  Spoon mincemeat on top of each pie base, brush the edge of the pastry with a little milk/egg mixture and place your lids over the top, sealing them around the edges using your finger.

Bake them in an oven for 15-20 minutes, keeping a close eye on them to ensure they don’t brown too much.  Let them cool then sprinkle with icing sugar and eat!