It's not what you gather, but what you scatter, that tells what kind of a life you have lived.

Sunday, December 7, 2014

12 Days of Christmas 2014 - Day Seven

Day 7 is something I did with the grandchildren a couple weeks ago. It's another idea I've been seeing all over the internet, but these litlle guys have been around forever, it seems! I remember making these when I was a kid, and that was a loooooooong time ago! (I will be 60 next Friday, so that really is a long time.)

First of all, you need pinecones. Duh, right? You will some that aren't too big and aren't broken or smashed. Nice, pretty-shaped cones. Turn them upside down on a cookie sheet and bake them on the lowest setting for 20-30 minutes to get rid of any critters that may have taken up lodging in them. Let them cool while you gather your supplies. You will need pipe cleaners, felt scraps, glue, small wooden head beads, pom-poms and some Sculpey clay if you like the shoes we put on ours, or you can use felt to make their shoes. I thought if I used Sculpey for their feet, they might have enough weight to stand up, but it didn't work very well. Anyway, if you are using clay, you need 2 small balls approximately the same size. Shape them like shoes and poke the end of a pipe cleaner into them to make a hole. Pull the pipe cleaner back out and bake them according to the instructions on the package. When they are done and cool, you will glue the pipe cleaner legs into the holes.

Now, cut your pipe cleaners in half. One half will be the arms and the other half the legs. We used tan, but you could use green or red, too. Find the middle of each piece and wrap it into the pinecone at the bottom for the legs and up higher for the arms. Use some good glue or hot glue to glue them in place. Now is when you glue the legs into the shoes, and make some hands or mittens to glue onto the arms. Glue your head bead to the top (which is really the bottom of the pinecone) and make a little hat to go on it. You just have to measure around the bead and cut a triangle that's about 1/2" bigger at the big end, to allow for overlap when you glue it. Make a little cone out of the triangle and glue it together, then glue it on the head. All the kids wanted pom-poms on theirs hats, too! Cut a long rectangle for the scarf and fringe the edges if you want. Wrap it around his neck and glue it to keep it in place.

Draw 2 little eyes and a nose with a permanent maker, and a mouth if you want one. They look cute with or without mouths, and if you put your scarf up under his nose, you don't even need a mouth!  You can also use a teeny, tiny pom-pom for the nose, like the one above. This one was made, with a little help, by my 4-year-old grandson, SJ. He wanted his elf to have a snowball in his hands, so we used a white pon-pom for the snowball.

Mine has a (plastic) Christmas light so he can help decprate the tree. And I glued the point of his hat down, too, but nost of the kids liked theirs sticking straight up. It's kind of hard to tell, but I pointed the ends of my elf's shoes and curled them up just a bit to make them look more like elf shoes.

If you put your elf's arm around a reindeer, he will actually stand up! Plus he looks really cute! The reindeer is the next project, so you can have one, too, if you like! Or 6 or 10! (I just realized that I forgot to put his bell on him! When next you see him, he will be complete, I promise!)

This project is a lot of fun and the kids had a ball! Even my 20-year-old granddaughter and her boyfriend had fun! This is a whole-family craft and it doesn't even cost much at all, so gather a few pinecones and gather your family and spend some time having some good, clean fun!

Here's a little joke for you. Q - What does the gingerbread boy have on his bed?  A- Cookie sheets!  Hahaha! This time of year should be full of fun, family-oriented good times, making memories that they will never forget. And if you don't have family near, there are always children who need someone to care about them, especially at Christmas. Go ahead, build some memories, and you won't regret it!

See you tomorrow!

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