Christmas Crafts Round-Up from 2011 - 2013

Last week I did a round-up of some of our favorite Christmas books that really share the story of Christmas or the giving spirit. This week I thought I would share a round-up of the Christmas crafts we have done since Crafty Moms Share started. But before we share our past crafts here is a clip angel we made for one of Hazel's angel crafts from her Advent calendar this year. I was inspired by the Easy Paperclip Angel Ornament on Crafty Journal that I saw on Pinterest.

We used glittery pipe cleaners instead of ribbon and wooden beads instead of pearls.
I think the pipe cleaner made it easier for Hazel to do on her own. We made two before breakfast one morning. Now as I was going through my Christmas crafts of the past, I discovered I had too many for just one collage (Picmonkey wouldn't let me put them in one), so I made four. Two are general Christmas crafts, one is nativity crafts and one is "gingerbread" house crafts.

1) Felt  Peace Dove (Advent Week 2: Peace)
2) Paper Star Bag (Christmas Prep)
3) Felt Covered Ornaments
4) More Felt Covered Ornaments (Simple Christmas Ornaments/Decorations)
5) Snow Globes (apparently I didn't share these before, but they have liquid in them)
6) Painted Wooden Ornaments
7)  Painted Cardboard/Paper Mache Ornaments
8) Paper Advent Wreath
9) Coffee Cup Christmas Tree
10) Coffee Cup Angel
11) Kenyan-inspired Clay Ornaments
12) Kenyan-inspired Wire Ornament
13) Simple Christmas Cards (Operation Christmas)
14) Felt St. Nicholas
15) Felt Candy Cane Mouse (Holiday Stroll)
16)  Hope Ornament (Hope--First Week of Advent)

1) Felt Sheep
2) Our Salt Dough Ornaments
3) Angels, Angels Everywhere and Angels with a Toddler and  Some Angels
4) Pasta Wreath
5) Pasta Tree
6) Needle Felted Dala Horse
7) Needle Felted Elf
8)  Mini Advent Wreath (Advent Calendars -- Start of Advent)
9) Popsicle Stick & Button Trees
10) Button Tree Card
11) Straw Christmas Tree (Christmas Crafts for Kids ebook Review)
12) Snow Globes (Busy Day Getting Ready for Christmas)
13) Jingle Bell Crafts
14) Punched Paper Chain
15) Felt Ornaments
16) Fruit Candy Cane (Christmas Crafts for Kids ebook Review)
17) Toddler Fun Tongue Depressor Elf
18) Stick Reindeer (A Lovely Visit)
19) Christmas Book Ornaments (A Lovely Visit)
20) Beaded Wreath Pin
21) Winter Flower Fairies
22) Poinsettia Fairy
23) Painted Pine Cones
24) Applesauce and Cinnamon Ornaments
25) More Salt Dough Ornaments

Foam Trees and Gingerbread Men

Beaded Candy Canes

Beaded Candy Canes

Nativity Crafts

1)  Nativity Bracelet (Oriental Trading Christmas Craft Kit Review)
2) Foam Nativity Kit
3) Cloth Nativity
4) Toilet Paper Roll Nativity (Focus on the Nativity and
5) Wooden Nativity Pieces (Advent Week 2: Peace and Advent Calendars--Start of Advent)
6) Craft Stick & Felt Nativity (Focus on the Nativity and Busy Weekend)
7) Felt Nativity Ornament
8) Needle Felted Nativity (Sharing Christmas and Needle Felting)
9) Treble Clef Savior (Hope--First Week of Advent)
10) Gingerbread Graham Cracker Creche (Hope--First Week of Advent)
11) Wooden Nativity Craft (Oriental Trading Christmas Craft Kit Review)
12) Nativity Earrings (Oriental Trading Christmas Craft Kit Review)
13) Colored Wooden Nativity (Operation Christmas)
14) Nativity Story Stones
15) Printable Nativity (Focus on the Nativity and Sharing Saturday with Free Printables)

1) Toddler "Gingerbread" House
2) Valentine's Day Gingerbread House
3) Valentine's Day Gingerbread House
4) Gingerbread Train
5) Christmas Prep 2012
6) Post Christmas Gingerbread House
7) Mortimer's Gingerbread House (Virtual Book Club for Kids: Mortimer's Christmas Manger)

Advent Week 2: Peace

Yesterday was the second Sunday of Advent and we celebrate it as Peace. In Hazel's Advent calendar yesterday she opened to find a piece of white wool felt, white glitter clay and the word peace. I pulled out our dove cookie cutter to make these crafts. Since we had a bit of a crazy weekend, we have not finished them all, but did one this morning. We took the white felt, and I traced the cookie cutter in two pieces (the body and the wing). Then I attempted to write "Peace" on it, but it is not too clear. We glued the wing on and eventually will glue a ribbon on it.

For now we have put our Advent ornaments near the candles on the Advent wreath.

It helps remind us what each candle is for. We are planning on making a clay dove as well and I'm hoping to have Hazel try to "write" on it. We just have not had time yet to do this.

Hazel is loving the craft Advent calendar. She really is enjoying painting the wooden figures. We are a bit behind because of all the preparation I was doing at church for our Night in Bethlehem which went really well.  We still need to make our donkey ornament.

If you are looking for some other peace craft ideas or Advent craft ideas, check out Oriental Trading today and tomorrow they are running a special of free Shipping on Any Order PLUS a $10 eGift card with orders of $59 or more through 11:59 p.m. December 10, 2013 with the code FW50FS. (They have the same next Monday and Tuesday with the code FW51FW, and the 21st is the last day for ground shipping delivery by Christmas.)  Here is a search for Advent on their site. 

For Peace ornaments, they have the peace sign bag tag beaded craft (Steve does not like the peace sign, so we avoid it) and a peace sign ornament kit,  a foam peace ornament, inspirational jar craft (which includes "Christ is born" and "Joy to the world" as well as "Peace"), dove ornament kits (which include peace, love and joy) and I think my favorite is the Peace Prayer bracelet kit. If you want more ideas, you can also visit my Advent Pinterest Board.

For now, may Peace be with you and your family in this very busy season! If you are looking for more Advent ideas you can see our post on Hope last week and our Advent calendar post for this year.

Sharing Saturday 13-47

Have you entered my current giveaway? It is the perfect gift for any doll lover!

Sharing Saturday Button

Thank you to everyone who shared with us last week!! We had some wonderful ideas shared as always. This week is a bit crazy for me. Tomorrow is our BIG event at church. It is almost all together. I visited a few of last week's posts and we had many snowmen crafts shared, so I'm featuring a few of them and a couple of my other favorites!

1) From Crayon Box Chronicles: Build-A-Snowman Foam Dough

2) From Happy Hooligans: CD Snowman Ornament

3) From Little Wonders' Day: "Frozen" Treat Roll a Snowman Ice Cream in a Bag Game

4) From The Connection We Share: Snowman In A Jar Playdough Kit- Gift Ideas

5) From Keitha's Chaos: Math Activity from Our Elf on the Shelf

6) From Wesens-Art: Dancing Angel Tealights

Thank you to everyone who shared last week!! I hope you will join us and share again!! If you are featured here, please feel free to grab a featured button to display proudly on your blog. 


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This week we shared our craft filled Advent calendar, our Hope ornament and Advent Workshop crafts and wreaths, our leather doll clothes giveaway and a round-up of some of our top Christmas books that teach the story of Christmas or the meaning of Christmas. We will share an update on our crafts from our Advent calendar on Sunday as well as what we are making for week 2: Peace!

Don't forget to enter our Giveaway for that magenta leather doll clothes and accessories & a gift certificate for Leather Hide Store (see picture above)!!

Now for This Week's Party  
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Must Read Christmas Books!

Have you entered my current giveaway yet?

 One of my favorite ways to teach Hazel about Christmas is using books that share the true meaning of Christmas. I have shared some here previously, and I have been pinning them to a special board. Today I am going to share all of them with you. I have divided them into two categories: the ones in Biblical time and the ones in more modern time.

Biblical Times

1) The Christmas Story by Patricia Pingry I love The Story of Mary also by Patricia Pingry as well for this time of year. It has a little more details in it.

2) Asleep in the Stable by Will Hillenbrand is a wonderful story. It describes all the animals sleeping in the stable except the owls. The baby owl notices the baby sleeping in the manger and asks his mother about him. The mother explains who the baby is as well as Mary and Joseph and God.

3) Hare's Christmas Gift by Eleonore Schmid is a tale about a little, shy hare who awakes to see all the animals heading towards him. He begins to follow the crowd to see what is going on. They all surround a stable. Eventually the hare gets enough nerve to go in and see the babe lying in a manger. The baby calms him so much that he curls up and keeps the baby warm while they sleep together.

4) The Birds of Bethlehem by Tomie dePaola

5) Christmas in a Manger by Nola Buck is a board book about what each animal and person will do for the newborn baby in the stable. It ends with the baby and stating that He is the reason for Christmas Day.

6) The Cobweb Curtain: A Christmas Story by Jenny Koralek, William Barclay, and Pauline Baynes is a tale about a spider at a cave who sees the Holy family hiding from the soldiers and spins a web over the cave opening so they will not be discovered. It is a wonderful tale for the Escape to Egypt part of the story.

7) Three Wise Women by Mary Hoffman is a tale of three women in different places who see the star and drop what they are doing to follow it. Each brings the baby a gift of her own without realizing where they are going or why, but having the faith to know they must go.

8) Voices of Christmas by Nikki Grimes is a tale about the various people in the Christmas story. It has a line about each person and then has what the person might say or think. It even includes a neighbor in Nazareth. It gives lovely perspectives on the story.

9) Who Is Coming to Our House? by Joseph Slate

10) The Third Gift by Linda Sue Park is the story of myrrh. The tale is told by a young boy whose father is training him to harvest myrrh (sap from a special type of tree). His father lets him remove the biggest tear, as they call them. When they go to market to sell their tears, the spice market merchant calls them in to meet his special guests who have been waiting for them. The special guests are the wisemen. Eventually it is asked who the gifts are for and the young boy wonders why they would bring myrrh to an infant since it is used in funerals. This book answered so many questions I had about myrrh. I really enjoyed reading it and learning from it.

11) Little Owl and the Star by Mary Murphy

12) The Story of the Three Wise Kings by Tomie dePaola

More Modern Christmas Books that Teach the Christmas Message

1) An Early American Christmas by Tomie dePaola

2) God Gave Us Christmas by Lisa Tawn Bergron is another one of her books with Little Cub. I love this series because they explain so much of God and religious ideas in ways children can somewhat understand. This one of course covers Christmas and who invented it. As always there are lessons about how God loves all of us in it.

3) A Goodnight Christmas by Nola Buck goes through saying "Good night" to all the people and animals in the Christmas story and more as you realize it is a little boy saying it as he goes to bed on Christmas Eve.

4) The Night of Las Posadas by Tomie dePaola is a great story to show what another culture does and a little Christmas magic.

5) Angel Pig and the Hidden Christmas by Jan Waldron gives the true meaning behind Christmas. There is no money for gifts and the pigs are upset, but they learn the lesson that the best gifts do not come from a store.

6) The Birds of Bethlehem oops! That was in the one above!

7) Moritmer's Christmas Manger by Karma Wilson

8) The Sparkle Box by Jill Hardie is my new favorite Christmas book. I won it recently from Teach Beside Me. (She has some amazing giveaways going on still.) This book is about a young boy who sees a sparkly box on their mantle and asks his mother about it. She says it is a gift for all of them that they will add things to it and then open it on Christmas morning together. The boy sees a homeless man while riding in the car and asks his mother about him. He sees him again when they are leaving a store. The boy had picked out a pair of mittens for his class's mitten tree and a piece of candy for himself, but he gives both to the man and yells "Merry Christmas!" as he leaves. On Christmas morning the boy sees the box under the tree. When he opens it, the box is filled with slips of paper. On the paper are the things the family has done for others this Christmas season. The parents explain that this gift is for Jesus. The boy asks how it is for Jesus since it was a gift for others. Needless to say it brings home a wonderful message about charity.  

I also won with this book The First Christmas Night by Keith Christopher. It is another wonderful version of the Christmas story. You can read a review of it at Teach Beside Me: Christmas Books Review and Giveaway.

9) The Legend of the Candy Cane by Lori Walburg is an amazing story about a candy shop opening up in a small town. A stranger came and bought the shop and no one knew what it would be. One girl bravely knocked and asked if the stranger needed help. She was happy to see the boxes full of candy. Then she saw something she had never seen before, a candy cane. The shop owner tells her about the candy cane. How it looks like the shepherd's hook and a J for Jesus. Basically all the legends I have ever heard about it are in this book. The message however is that the candy cane represents a more important message. How God sent Jesus to save the world. The shopkeeper asks the girl to help him spread the message to everyone.

Now I am sure we will have more to share, but this at  what I have at this point. I am thinking maybe next year we will do a story Advent calendar. Hazel is loving the craft one this year though!

Sewing Leather Doll Clothes Review and Giveaway!!

Disclosure: I was sent samples of leather for free to write this review and use in my church event but was not compensated in any other way. All opinions are my own.

Today I am going to share my first experience with sewing with leather. I was approached awhile ago by Leather Hide Store and Kyson Leather to see if I would be interested in creating something with leather and reviewing it here. I struggle with what to make with leather. I started a Pintrest board on Leather Projects to get inspired. I was not sure if I wanted to make a bag, a purse, or something totally different. Then I decided to make Hazel's doll some leather clothes.

Now Hazel has asked Santa for a "Hazel" doll--a doll that looks like her. I found a Madame Alexander What a Doll doll with brown hair and brown eyes at KMart and it happened to be on clearance (which I did not realize when I picked it). You can see her above. I have not completely taken her out of the box yet so her hair will not get too messed up. I figured since she loves to change her dolls clothes and have them have purses, I would make her a leather jacket, purse and boots and I would make them bright pink since that is her favorite color. I figured since it would not take much leather to make this, I could make two and give one away to a lucky reader. Well, they loved this idea and also threw in a $25 gift certificate to go with it so the winner can experience working with leather as well.

Now while I was trying to decide what to do, Leather Hide Store sent me three pieces of remnants for my church's Night in Bethlehem which will be Saturday. One of the pieces was used to be a map of the journey Mary and Joseph took from Nazareth to Bethlehem. The other pieces and some scraps from the first piece will be used to decorate our Leatherworking Shop in our Marketplace. The Bethlehem Marketplace will have eight shops where a demonstration will be done or a craft will be made by the families visiting. The Leatherworking Shop will have leather lacing to make into bracelets, so we just needed something to help give it the leather feel and smell. All of us at my church are so thankful for this amazing donation.

While I was waiting for my magenta leather, I started looking for some patterns for doll clothes that might work with leather.  I found two McCall's patterns that had different things I liked. I luckily got them on sale at Joann Fabrics when they were 5 for $7. Then I talked to my mother who told me I needed to get special needles for my sewing machine. I found them at Joann Fabrics as well and while I was there I asked if I would need special thread. They suggested getting an upholstery or craft thread so it would be stronger. I found the perfect color in a denim thread and figured this should work.  I also did some research on line for suggestions when sewing with leather. World of Pineapple has some great leather sewing tips and tricks.

The magenta leather came and I could not wait to try sewing with it. The first thing I made was the two purses. I used the McCall's MP327 (the pattern pieces had the number 6669 instead). I bought some sequined appliques for them instead of trying to make the one the pattern had. I have to admit one of the hardest things to sew was the straps for the purses. Doll scale made it a bit harder to work with the thickness.

Doll in Giveaway Outfit
Then I started on the boots. I used McCall's MP325 (the pattern pieces had the number 6804 instead) for the boots and jackets. After making the four boots, I started the jackets. I intended to make the jackets identical, but I started following the wrong jacket instructions and missed sewing on the collar on one. Now some tips for working with leather. Copy the pattern pieces onto the wrong side of the leather. You cannot use pins since the holes will not go away. You can use clips like paperclips or clothespins. One of my favorite things was you did not have to finish the edges like you do with other fabrics.

Doll in Hazel's Doll Outfit
I grabbed one of Hazel's other 18-inch dolls to model the outfits for us since I have not taken her Christmas gift out of the box completely. Our plan is to have her new doll sleeping in a sleeping bag under her small tree in her room with the fancy dress hanging on the tree. I have to finish the dress and make the pajamas for the doll. I also want to make matching pajamas for Hazel. I found some cute gingerbread men flannel to make them.

Ok, back to my review. I have to say how wonderful it has been to work with  Leather Hide Store. They are a family run business and have been in business for eight years. They sell at Leather Hide Store website or on ebay as Kyson Leather. My experience with them is that they are a company that remembers what customer service is suppose to be. They will send you five free samples, and if those five do not work they will send you five more and this is without entering payment information. The quality of the leather they sent me was wonderful and I am so happy I had this experience. I expect I may have to get some more magenta leather to make a purse for Hazel so she can match her doll (my purse happens to be the same color too). So if you are looking for leather for a project, please check out Leather Hide Store. I know you will not be disappointed.

Now for our giveaway. You can enter to win one leather doll outfit which includes a pink leather jacket, pink purse and pink boots. (I made all of them and will admit they are not perfect, but I know any child would love them for her/his doll.) The clothes should fit most 18-inch dolls.  In addition to this, Leather Hide Store is adding a $25 digital gift certificate. To enter you need to follow my giveaway rules and follow the Rafflecopter. The giveaway ends on December 16th so I can get the outfit to you hopefully by Christmas depending on the mail!

 a Rafflecopter giveaway