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Busy Bees for Crimbotrees!

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With the longest day behind us, time marches on and if you’re like me you’re starting to think about the school holidays and how to keep the kids busy.

Hopefully, the weather will be kind and we’ll all get outside to enjoy some fresh air and sunshine, but it’s always good to have an activity or two up your sleeve for those inevitable cries of “I’m bored!”

While we’re not really thinking about the festive season yet, you can get ahead of the game in the school holidays by organising some craft activities to make festive decorations using everyday household objects. You’ll be doing your bit for the environment, you’ll keep the kids busy and you’ll have unique decorations to decorate your tree when the time comes!

Junkmail Snowflakes

It’s years since I actually made paper snowflakes, but it’s like riding a bike, apparently. Just in case you need a reminder, here’s how:

You’ll need some coloured junk mail (the more colourful the better) and a pair of scissors.

  • Take a square piece of junkmail (if it’s not conveniently square you can fold a rectangle to make an isosceles triangle and cut off the leftover bit and voila – a square!)
  • Fold it in half diagonally
  • Fold in half again
  • Fold a third towards the centre
  • Fold the other third towards the centre.
  • Cut the “top” off at an angle.
  • Shape it as you like it.
  • Unfold to reveal your unique junk mail snowflake! You can string a few snowflakes together with some thread or string for some cheery bunting.


Salt Dough Decorations

You can make basic salt dough with 4 cups flour, 1 cup salt and 1 to 1 ½ cups of water. If the dough doesn’t come together, add water very gradually until it forms a ball. It’ll keep in the fridge in a freezer bag until you’re ready to use it.

  • Place a potato-sized piece of dough in between some greaseproof paper or clingfilm, and roll out with a rolling pin to about half a centimetre thick.
  • You can cut out shapes either freehand or with cookie or scone cutters. Pull away the extra dough from around the shapes, leaving the shapes in place on the paper, and re-roll the leftover dough.
  • Use the end of a drinking straw to poke a hole at the top of each ornament for hanging.
  • Decorate the ornaments by gently poking a pattern of holes in the dough with the end of a straw (careful not to go right through unless you mean to).
  • Gently move the sheet of parchment paper with salt dough ornaments onto a cookie sheet at bake in a 275F oven for 2-3 hours or until the salt dough is hard, but don’t let it colour.
  • After it’s cooled completely, you can add a coat of paint and of course, nothing can fail to be improved by throwing some glitter at it – but make sure it’s bio-degradable glitter!
  • Stained glass decorations have the wow factor, and are easy to make by making a salt dough ‘frame’ and placing different coloured boiled sweets in the centre, which will melt during baking. This can get very hot so allow to cool completely before touching – and make sure children are supervised at ALL times.
  • You can also make cool gift tags from salt dough, and you can personalize them with initials or names.

Put them away safely and you’ll have some memories of summer crafting when you put up your fine Scottish Christmas tree.

I hope these festive craft ideas don’t get the young ones too hyped for Santa – there’re a few more sleeps yet!