Thanksgiving is one of those holidays where everybody, especially children, can and should pitch in to make the occasion special. While younger children may not be ready or able to help out in the kitchen to prepare for the big feast, there is a lot they can do to brighten up the house and dinner table with home-made crafts. Stores make a fortune selling paper pilgrim hats and cardboard turkey decorations, but nothing brings a smile to a grandparent’s face more than being presented with some little treasure made by their grandchildren. Here are just five simple, easy-to-make craft ideas from an expert Connecticut crafter that any child can do to make Thanksgiving an even happier occasion.
The Pink Pom-Pom Project
1981 Post Road
Fairfield, CT 06824
“Looking for fun activities for kids during the holidays can be a huge challenge,” admits Alexandra Currie, a designer, artist and “crafter” extraordinaire. “Sure, you can reach for the computers and electronic devices to keep your children occupied, but getting crafty and creating things with their hands is far more satisfying than winning at Mario Brothers World 8 for the 20 millionth time! Yawn! I am a huge believer in crafting in any capacity,” adds Alexandra, whose charitable organization, the Pink Pom Pom Project, supports children and families whose members are battling cancer. “It’s fun, therapeutic and more entertaining than any other cartoon I have seen on TV,” continues Alexandra, who knows firsthand of what she speaks. Crafting, moreover, need not be expensive, she notes, as “more than likely your house is probably filled with crafting ideas that could easily be transformed into fun, holiday activities. All you need is some imagination! Here are five crafting ideas that will certainly change the game for the holidays and could possibly make you the mom of the year!”
Glitter Mason Jars & Vases for Candy, Table or Outdoor Votives
Supplies: Mason Jar, glitter, Modge Podge glue, 1 can of Spray Sealant , sponge brush, spoon, bowl, ribbons – tulle, butterflies and LED tea light are optional
Instruction: First rub the mason jar clean and dry. Then take your sponge brush and begin to paint the jar with Modge Podge glue, one side at a time. Pour your glitter into a small bowl and sprinkle glitter over glued portion over the bowl (this keeps mess down). Cover the entire jar with glitter. For Mason jars, should you wish to keep the screw top, leave the lip of the jar glitter and décor free. There are two parts to the jar top. Take the small top out and cover it with glitter. Once the jar and top are completely glittered, spray sealant over the full surface. Once dried, you are free to decorate with butterflies, ribbons, etc. These are great for bedroom, table or outdoor votives or just giving as a gift filled with candy.
Thanksgiving Message Wreath
Supplies: 10”x10” canvas, glitter, small cup, Modge Podge glue, 10-12 plain clothes pins, glue gun with glue sticks, sponge brush, spoon, bowl, silk leaves in fall colors and small colored notepad
Instructions: Take your sponge brush and paint glue on one side of the clothes pins. Leave it to the side to dry. Place an empty small cup upside down in the middle of the canvas and trace a circle. Take your glue gun and place end-edge of clothes pins at circle’s edge. The mouth (or pincher) of clothes pins must be pointed outwards. Follow with the rest of your glitter clothes pins. Decorate the edges of your canvas with silk leave by glue gunning them on. Write small notes and leave for loved ones.
Related: Kid-Friendly Crafts For Thanksgiving
Pom-Pom Pencil Toppers
Supplies: Pom-Pom maker or 3” rectangle of cardboard, scissors, yarn, glue gun with glue sticks
Instructions: If you cannot get a pom-pom maker, take the cardboard rectangle and wrap your yarn at least 60 times around your cardboard. Make sure yarn stays in the same place; this makes the pom-pom easier to take off. Once wrapped, cut skein of yarn away from pom-pom. Cut a small piece of yarn to act as belt for pom-pom. Gently remove wrapped yarn off of cardboard and tie yarn tightly around the girth of the pom-pom. You might want to ask a friend to help you tie it. Once tied, simply cut the looped ends of your pom-pom. Then hot glue your pom-pom to your pencil.
Turkey Can Pencil Holder
Supplies: 1 empty soup can, scissors, glue gun with glue sticks, sponge brush, Modge Podge glue, 6”x8” of old fabric, construction paper in multiple colors, 5 pipe cleaners, Googly Eyes, glue gun with glue sticks
Instructions: First, take your pipe cleaners and glue them on the can in a row with the glue gun. Pipe cleaners should be standing at least 4 inches from the edge of the can. Cover the can with Modge Podge glue and wrap it with fabric, also covering pipe cleaners. Tuck the extra edges inside of the can to protect it from the sharp edge of the can. Cut construction paper into strips of paper in the shape of a feather, 2 equal pieces in each color. These are to be glued over the pipe cleaners and act as feathers. Glue your googly eyes on to the front of the can and cut out a little triangle and glue it to the front.
‘Gobble Gobble’ Garland
Supplies: 5’ of middle to light twine, marker, patterned or solid papers, letter stencils, 12 clothes pins, Modge Podge Glue and glitter – tulle and flowers optional
Instructions: This craft is easy and quick. Trace “Gobble” twice onto the paper and cut it out. Paint with glue and glitter your clothes pins on both sides, and set aside to dry. Once everything is dried, gently clip your letters spelling ‘Gobble Gobble.’ Garlands go great in doorways or bed frames. They’re perfect for kids’ rooms.
Mark G. McLaughlin is a professional and prolific writer with a proven publishing record in a wide variety of fields. An historian, novelist, freelance journalist, ghost-writer, book reviewer, magazine editor, web and magazine columnist, Mark has more than 30 years of experience. His work can be found at Examiner.com.