On Thursday we did an afternoon of crafts. Today (Saturday) the table is still sticky, there’s glitter on the floor, but the fruits of our labour are proudly handing on the tree and on the playroom walls! Our Felt Christmas Trees featured in the beautiful Craft Advent hosted by Sadhbh over at Where Wishes Come From. While the glue and buttons of the felt trees stole the kid’s imaginations these twinkling lovelies are my absolute favourite. Maybe I love them because fairy lights spark joy in my very soul or maybe it’s because these are the perfect mix of art and engineering but they are divine!
We did two types of Twinkling Christmas Art – a christmas bauble – which was very much based on some gorgeous but simple cards I’d made a few years ago, but the options are endless. Basically if it’s pretty and suits a twinkle, go for it!
Here’s how to make them….
- a blank canvas- nothing particularly expensive so I can recommend the ones you pick in in the Tiger Stores or in any art shop. I used two 12” x 10” cotton canvases with a deep edge – which cost about €4e each;
- a small set of battery operated fairy lights – I used the Ramsta ones from IKEA which cost €5;
- acrylic paints in a variety of colours;
- a few (clean) corks (as if you needed any other justification for a glass of vino?)
- some rubber or lino;
- a large A3 page;
- masking tape;
- a Sharpie or other permanent marker in a dark colour;
- hot glue gun;
- a scissors, skewer, screwdriver
First, prepare your canvas. Decide on your shape and the size that you are making it. (Hint: remember that you can stamp up to the edge of the canvas but you can’t fit lights in under the frame so aim to fit your shape inside the frame).
For the symmetrical shapes turn the A3 page at landscape orientation. Fold it in half down the middle and draw on half the shape. Cut through both sides of the paper and open out to show the full shape. If you’re going for something more complicated (good luck!) then you draw the shape on the A3 and cut it out.
Place your template on the canvas and position it in the centre. Using the masking tape, secure the paper in place, as shown. Cover the edges of the canvas with masking tape so they stay white.
Next make up your stamps. Cut a number of small circles (roughly 3/4cm in diameter) from the rubber / lino. Using the glue gun stick one on each cork and set aside to cool and stick. Alternatively you could just do this with fingertips – but then you’d have less justification for the wine so think that one through.
Get your paints ready. My kids were doing the stamping so I gave them one colour at a time to avoid mixed up colours and stamps. Controlling but sensibly so! Stamp one colour at a time, allowing time to dry between colours if it’s all getting a bit hectic. Make sure you’ve an even application of dots and colours. For the tree add a little tree trunk with a brush and brown paint.
Set aside to dry for a few hours. Use the Sharpie to add any details such as a bow on the top of the bauble, and your young artist’s name and date.
Remove the paper and masking tape. Now this bit I didmyself – though an older kid may well be fine doing it supervised. Using the skewer make a little hole in the canvas which you then widen by inserting the screwdriver and giving it a little turn. Make one hole for each light – again getting a good scattering over the stamped picture.
Carefully put a light in each hole, and tuck the battery pack in behind the frame. If you have to you can secure each light with a drop of glue, and similarly the battery pack can be held in place with glue or a piece of masking tape.
Sit back and let those twinkling lights do their magic. And finish the wine.