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 – 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

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 – Make your own Santa hat. 6 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 7th day of Christmas my true love gave to me………A handmade Bright red Santa hat!

Make your own Santa hat.

A couple of years ago I made Kev a Santa Hat made from red fleece with a white fluffy trim and a white fluffy ball for the end.  This Christmas the hat has disappeared so we needed a new ones making and what better day to make Santa hats than Christmas Day part 1!

It took us about 2 hours to make three Santa hats, using red fleece, white fluffy trim and a wool pompom for the end.  We had a large pompom and a small pompom already made and used the pompom set (available at Hours of Fun!) for making the third pompom.

Please ensure you read through all the instructions before starting. 

How to make a Santa Hat

You will need:-

Pencil and Ruler

Scissors

Red Fleece  approx.1  metre square

White fluffy material approx. 1 metre x 20cm

Needle & Thread (Sewing machine optional)

Wool and pompom template or ready-made pompom

Any embellishments you require – bells, sequins, printed Christmas designs

PDF version of Santa hat guidance sheet

Step 1 – Check the size of your hat

Measure around your head and add 4 centimeters, then divide by 2. 

e.g. head measurement = 60cm + 4cm = 64cm / 2 = 32cm

As a rough guide for a children’s hat 34cm for an adult’s hat 36cm

Step 2 – draw the hat on the fleece/material

Using a ruler and a piece of chalk/pencil draw a line to the length measured in step 1. Do this on the reverse side of the material.  Then draw 2 more lines to create a triangle.  The taller your triangle, the longer your hat tail will be.  See the diagram.    Step 3 – Cut out your triangles

Cut out the triangle.  Use this as the template for a second triangle then cut this out so you have 2 triangles the same size.  You can also use a piece of paper to draw out the triangle then place on the material to cut out the shape.

Step 4 – Sewing

Lay the 2 triangles, right sides together and either by hand or using a sewing machine, sew the 2 triangles together along each side.  Sew approx. 1cm in from the edge

Step 5 – Cut out the trim for the hat

Decide how deep you want the trim to be, we did it 5cm.  Cut out 1 piece of white material the full length of the hat.  The trim is made in 1 piece to wrap all the way round the hat.  In this example the size cut was 64cm x 5cm

Step 6 – Sewing

Position the white material around the hat and pin in place,  leaving approx. 1cm to be turned in along the bottom edge.  Turn the hat inside out and sew the white trim in place along the bottom and the top and across the join, see diagram for guidance. 

If you need to make a pompom why not treat yourself to the pompom tool available at Hours of Fun.  They are fun and easy to make.  You just need wool and a pompom template.

Step 7 – attaching the pompom

Once you have a completed pompom you will need to sew it to the top of your hat.  Using a needle and thread securely sew it to the top of the hat.  If you can, add a long piece of wool to your pompom by wrapping it round the pompom and tying it in a knot so it is hidden.    You can then feed this through the top of your hat and secure it on the inside.

Step 8 – embellish and decorate as desired

If you want to add anything else to your hat now is the time.  You can sew bells on to it, sew sequins or anything else you have designed.

Step 9 – Wear with Christmas spirit.

Wear your Christmas hat with pride!

We would love to see any pictures you may have of hats you have made or if you use these instructions.  We would also love to hear from you if you spot any errors or mistakes in these insructions so we can amend them and make sure we provide people with accurate steps in making a santa hat.

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 – Make your own crackers. 9 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 4th day of Christmas my true love gave to me………A set of crackers for the table!

Make your own Christmas crackers

I had always wanted to make crackers for the Christmas dinner table as I thought it would bring a personal touch to the table and they are a lot of fun to make.  They do require adult supervision but children can get involved and make the crackers themselves.

If you google ‘ make your own crackers’  you can buy lots of kits that have everything you need to make a set of crackers or you can go for it and gather everything you need yourself and get crafting.

To make 6 crackers

You will need:-

6 x A4 sheets of thin card

6 x jokes, make them up yourself or have a look on the internet or in a joke book

6 x Christmas hats – see below for how to make them yourself

6 x little toys or gifts – head to your local supermarket and check out the party section

2 pieces of Ribbon

Double sided sticky tape or glue

Sticky tape

Scissors and a craft knife if you have one, keep it out reach of children

Pencil

Ruler

Stickers or toppers

Snappers – check out your local craft shop  – Hours of Fun will be selling them next Christmas!

To make the crackers

  • Measure 8cm in from each edge and draw a line down the page
  • Measure 10cm in from each edge and draw a line down the page
  • Draw and cut out a row of diamonds between the 2 lines, making sure your diamonds do not touch – see diagram

A craft knife is a fantastic tool for cutting out the diamonds. Place your paper on something you can score into and using the craft knife cut each diamond out.  If using scissors you can fold the paper along the middle of the diamonds and cut through the shapes that way.

  • securely stick the snapper to the inside of the cracker using sticky tape.  The snapper needs to be central across the length of the cracker

Now its time to roll your cracker

  • Place double-sided sticky tape or glue along the inside edge of the length of the cracker and roll your cracker into shape

To make your cracker smaller and to make it stick better, it is best to place double-sided sticky tape to the other long edge, along the outside of the cracker this time.

  • Place a piece of ribbon around one end of the cracker, lying it across the diamonds
  • Gently tighten the ribbon and the cracker should gather where the diamonds are cut out
  • Tie your ribbon in a bow to secure the cracker end
  • Through the open end of the cracker pop in your toy, joke and hat
  • Using a piece of ribbon repeat the above step for the other end of the cracker
  • Decorate your cracker using stickers and toppers
  • Place on the dinner table ready for Christmas dinner

To make your own Christmas hat you can use any type of paper, crepe paper is perfect for the job.

  • Measure round your head and add two centimeters to the length – divide this figure in two

For this example we have a figure of 15cm.

  • On your paper draw two rectangles approx 10cm wide and 15cm long.
  • Cut out both rectangles
  • Either using a ruler or go for it freehand cut out triangles along one edge of each rectangle – see picture below
Diagram showing the zig zag cut at the top of the hat
Diagram showing the zig zag cut at the top of the hat
  • Stick the two rectangles together using glue or sticky tape to create a longer rectangle
  • Place it around your head to check the size, then stick the other ends together creating your Christmas cracker hat.
  • Leave it as it is or decorate it with stickers

Download the cracker diagram here Make your own Christmas crackers

Hours of Fun Craft Countdown to Christmas – Christmas Tree Decorations. 12 days to go!

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

On the 1st day of Christmas my true love gave to me………A handmade Christmas decoration!

Make your own Christmas Tree decorations.

Christmas tree decorations are lots of fun and can be as simple or as tricky as you wish to take on.  Using Christmas coloured felt, foam and material pieces  you can create gorgeous decorations to add to your tree.

Snowmen, Christmas trees, stockings, angels, reindeer and snowflakes are fab shapes to work with, accessorising with googly eyes, glitter, shapes, ribbon and beads.

Hours of Fun sell make your own Christmas Tree Decoration kits which contain everything you need to make a decoration along with instructions, and we are happy to put together a particular shape or colour theme for you.  You may even be able to make a decoration using items around the house.  Have a wander around and see what you can find.  Look for scraps of material, old clothes, cotton wool, coloured paper, coloured card, ribbon,  string, buttons and stickers.    Find your scissors and glue and get crafting.

Draw the shape you want to use onto some plain paper, we will use a Snowman in this example.  Cut the Snowman out and use it as your template.  Trace the shape onto your material, foam, card, make sure you use something that will hold its shape when hung.  Decorate the Snowman by cutting out and gluing on a hat, scarf, buttons and arms if you wish, don’t forget to give him a face!  You will need to attach some ribbon or string to the top of the Snowman so he can be hung from the tree, this can be done by making a hole in the Snowman and threading a piece of ribbon through or by gluing it on – make sure it is secure as you don’t want it falling from the tree.

Other ideas

Buy some polystyrene balls which you can get from craft shops and decorate them with Christmas printed materials, ribbon and sequins.  These create fantastic baubles and you can make a set of matching colours to fit in with your colour scheme.

Buy plain baubles and paint them with Christmas pictures and designs, why not use glitter and googly eyes to add effects.

VISIT HOURS OF FUN AND CHECK OUT THE CRAFT AND HABERDASHERY SUPPLIES

Hours of Fun at The Reebok Stadium craft and gift fair

The latest craft fair we have appeared at was at the Reebok Stadium on Sunday 2nd December 2012, this was the biggest event Hours of Fun had done to date and I was really looking forward to it and also a tad nervous!

It was going to be a long day as the fair was 10am – 5pm, I much prefer 11am – 4pm on a Sunday!  We had to get over to Bolton too so the alarm clock had to be set and everything was packed and ready a few days before hand.  I had decided organisation was the key to this event running smoothly!   The hall was massive with rows upon rows of stalls selling all different types of gifts, treats, handmade goodies, food and much much more.

The talk around the hall between stall holders was that it wasn’t as busy as expected, however there was still a steady trickle of customers wandering around the stalls and the cheese stall behind us didn’t stop all day!  Hours of Fun had a steady flow of customers and we managed to cover costs, but it hadn’t been as successful as I had let myself hope, especially as the stall costs at these type of events are more expensive than the other events I had appeared at.

The organisers were creative crafts association and the day ran smoothly and they kept us informed including announcing it was time to pack up just after 4pm when the customers had slowed to a near stop.  This was fantastic as often you can see stall holders starting to pack up or looking around for guidance as to what to do when there have been no customers for a while.  I feel keeping the stall holders informed is a very important part of the day.

Not sure if I will do one of these large events again, maybe sometime next Christmas.  I  think I would focus on a limited number of products to take and sell, but with the cost of the stalls I will need to think carefully before booking any more.

I had some amazing support again from my family, with my mum, dad and brother  coming over with my nieces and nephews and Chris came over for the day bringing some fab Christmas decorations to add to the stall and help out.  Thanks to everyone. 

We now look forward to the last fair of the year – Goosnargh Village Hall near Preston this Sunday 16th December 2012.