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Christmas is a magical time of family and friends, peace, love and joy. It's also a nightmarish whirlwind of overspending and kids hopped up on sugar and Santa excitement. If you're looking for a fun way to keep your kids busy for an afternoon and make some priceless Christmas memories at the same time, look no further! Here are 5 easy Christmas craft ideas you can enjoy with your kids (adult supervision is required for the glue gunning and scissor work). Best of all, these crafts are all made with items you probably have lying about your home right now, so you won't break the bank.

These Christmas craft ideas include:

1. Toque Mobile

You'll need:

  • A toilet paper roll, cut into 1.25 cm wide rounds (one for each toque)
  • Yarn in the colours of your choice, cut into 24 cm long pieces (about 30 pieces per toque) plus extra lengths for tying the pom-poms and attaching the toques to the mobile. You can adjust the sizes and lengths to make different-sized toques.
  • Cotton balls (one per toque)
  • An interesting stick or bar
  • Scissors
  • Ruler

  1. Start by wrapping the toilet paper roll round in the yarn, one strand at a time. Fold a strand of yarn in half and lay it over the wide edge on one side of the round. Bring the folded end of the yarn under the edge of the round and weave the cut ends of the yarn through the loop. Pull the yarn tight to make a tidy knot.
  2. Continue wrapping the round with more yarn until it is completely covered.
  3. Gather the long ends of all the yarn pieces and push them back through the toilet paper round together.
  4. Take a small length of yarn and tie the loose ends of the toque together to form the pom-pom. Trim the pom-pom to get the look you like. Stuff the mini-toque with a cotton ball to hold its shape.
  5. Repeat and make as many toques as you want for your mobile. I like odd numbers (3, 5, 7…).
  6. To assemble the mobile, cut a length of yarn and tie one end to a toque. Wrap the other end of the yarn around the stick a couple of times to add an extra pop of colour, then tie it to secure it. You'll want to make sure you're spacing the toques out along the stick, and that they hang at different lengths.
  7. Find the perfect spot to hang your mobile and you're done!

2. Button Christmas Tree

You'll need:

  • Cardstock or construction paper, colours of your choice
  • A variety of old and colourful buttons, beads, jewels, etc., in different shapes and sizes
  • A piece of yellow yarn or tissue paper
  • Clothespins
  • Scissors
  • Hot glue gun

  1. Roll the cardstock into a cone, good side facing out. Use the clothespins to hold the wide end of the cone together while you hot glue the overlap at the narrow end down. Use a small bead of glue to avoid over-the-edge seepage. Once that glue has set, glue the overlaps at the wide end of the cone.
  2. Trim the wide end of the cone with scissors so that it is roughly even. It doesn't have to be perfect, it just needs to stand up on its own, relatively straight.
  3. Take the yellow yarn or tissue paper and fold it in on itself a few times. Insert the yarn into the narrow end of the cone. This is the star! You can also use a bead or buttons to form the star if you prefer.
  4. Now comes the fun part – glueing buttons! Start with the biggest buttons and glue them to the cone, spacing them so that each ‘side' of the cone has some big buttons on it. Fill in the gaps with the smaller buttons.
  5. That's it! Make a few button trees of various heights and colour schemes for an interesting addition to your home. They also make great teacher gifts!

3. Mini Wreath

You'll need:

  • A small wreath form from your local craft supply store (or you can make your own with grapevine, ivy, or Virginia creeper)
  • A variety of greenery (real or fake), cut into small pieces – pine, cedar, spruce, eucalyptus, etc.
  • Ribbon, bows, bells, or any other embellishment you can dig up
  • Glue gun or wire

  1. One at a time, weave the ends of the greenery pieces into the wreath form, moving along the circle as you go filling in gaps. Try layering different types of greenery on top of each other. Cedar makes a great base layer, and pine is really fun on top.
  2. Once you've got the wreath filled to your liking, choose a spot (or spots) to attach your embellishments. Hot glue them on or attach them with wire.
  3. Voila! These wreaths look great as part of a table centrepiece or on the kids' bedroom doors.

4. Twig Star Ornament

You'll need:

  • Twig pieces of equal length (5 pieces per star, exact length doesn't matter)
  • Hot glue gun
  • Fishing line or twine
  1. Arrange your 5 twig pieces on top of each other to make a star shape. One at a time, glue the overlapped places together. Once the glue has set, tie the fishing line or twine to one point of the star for hanging. That's all it takes!

5. No-Sew Nordic Nisse (Gnome)

You'll need (for one gnome):

  • Scrap fabric:
    • A square piece, about 30 cm long/wide
    • A roughly triangular piece of a different colour, roughly the same length as the square
    • A small square of a contrasting colour
    • A piece of faux fur
    • A good pile of fabric scraps or fibre fill for stuffing
  • Elastic bands
  • Cotton ball
  • Hot glue gun
  • Scissors

  1. Start by making the gnome's body. Lay the square piece of fabric out, good side down. Pile the fabric scraps of fibre fill in the middle of the square. Bring the square corners up and around the stuffing and secure with an elastic band.
  2. Trim the faux fur into a beard-shape and size it for your gnome body. Hot glue the beard to the body at the elastic band.
  3. To make the nose, take the small square of fabric and wrap it around the cotton ball, secure with an elastic band. Secure the nose to the gnome body over top of the beard with another elastic band.
  4. To make the gnome's pointy hat, grab the triangular piece of fabric. Using the glue gun, roll the fabric into a cone shape and glue the seam together. Make sure the base of the cone is large enough to slip over the extra fabric on top of the gnome's body. Once the glue has set, stuff the hat with more scrap fabric or fibre fill, leaving enough room at the base for the extra body fabric. Glue the base of the hat to the top of the gnome's body just above the nose.
  5. You're done! Make a bunch to set around the house or give them as gifts – who doesn't love a gnome?!

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