Art / Architecture / Design · family · Nostalgia

12 Nostalgic Days of Christmas: 4 Nostalgic Crafts to Create with Your Kids This Holiday Season

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So looking at this post, you might be saying to yourself, “Crafts?  CRAFTS!? I don’t have time for no stinkin’ crafts! I have shopping and cooking and cleaning and shopping and errands and cleaning and shopping and . . .” 

Whoa there! I get it. The days leading up to Christmas can be hectic. Stressful. Out of control. How can you possibly take the time to make Christmas crafts?

Our suggestion? Take a step back, take a breather, slow it down, get you (and your kiddos) off their phones or Xboxs, and spend an hour or two together cutting and coloring and pasting and laughing and talking and singing and connecting.  Because crafting with your kids is really not about making the crafts, it’s about creating memories. Because when they are gone and out of the house and perhaps starting their own families, are they going to look back and say, “Remember that day I got that high score on Candy Crush!” (or whatever games people are playing now)?  Of course not.  They are going to look back and say, “Remember when every Christmas we would cut out paper snowflakes and hang them from the ceiling? I loved spending time together, listening to Christmas music, and crafting.”

But only if you actually spend the time doing it.

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So today we are sharing 4 Nostalgic Christmas Crafts, with suggested updates for a modern twist. The perfect blend of old and new!  These crafts are simple, fun, easy for all ages, and will help you connect with your loved ones.  So go ahead and start making memories that you (and the kids) will be nostalgic about in the future!  Because remember: Nostalgia helps you live a happier life. It better connects you to loved ones. It make you have a more positive outlook on life.

And goodness knows we need that now.


1) Construction Paper Chain Garland

Requiring only construction paper and tape (or glue), construction paper chains are a simple, fun activity for the whole family. Cut, loop, tape, repeat. My daughter Zoey and I made one in a matter of minutes, and we think it adds a touch of whimsy and plenty of Christmas spirit to our living room. (Her elf, Candy Cane, agrees.)

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For those wishing to up their paper chain game, we found this much more elaborate (but oh so cute!), updated version at stubbornlycrafty.com.

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The good folks at stubbornlycrafty.com provide detailed instructions and HUGE close-up pictures to help you create this colorful paper Christmas light garland.

So whether you create a simple chain or a more elaborate garland, you can be sure this Christmas craft will bring you and your kiddos together for quality family time.


 2) Paper Plate Christmas Crafts

I remember my grade school days, where the art teacher would set out a plain paper plate in front of each of us. By the end of the class, those simple, white circles would be transformed into colorful masterpieces—suns and planets and kaleidoscopes and faces—all of which seemed like magic. One of my favorite paper plate crafts that we would make at Christmastime were paper plate trees.

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Photo from http://www.iheartcraftythings.com

They are super easy to make:

  1. Cut a paper plate into thirds
  2. Stack on one another
  3. Glue together
  4. Paint and decorate however you please

Doesn’t get much simpler than that!

Curious to see if these were still a common craft for kids, I did a quick Pinterest search and was pleased to find the paper plate Christmas tree craft was alive and well in the world. But I also found out there are all sorts of other fun Christmas-inspired paper plate crafts out there, too. We especially loved this round-up of 16 Christmas Paper Plate Crafts over at Crafty Morning.

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Photo from http://www.craftymorning.com

Fun fact: Paper plates can be used in all sorts of clever ways. Who knew the old picnic standby could be so useful?

As with the paper chain garland, spending time with your kiddos creating happy moments together with these super-easy paper plate crafts will help create those “memories-to-be” that you and they will someday look back on and smile.


3) Salt Dough Ornaments

Who doesn’t remember these? Made with 3 simple ingredients (salt, water, and flour), salt dough ornaments are an old Christmas craft stand-by. Zoey came home from school with a handful of these the other day, and I was reminded of how many times I, too, had given my parents salt dough ornaments as part of their Christmas gift.

She was so excited to give me the two she made for me, and I had to smile as I placed them on the tree:

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She says it’s a monkey. I say it’s the Abominable Snowman. We agreed to disagree.
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A much more traditional (and recognizable) shape.

But no matter what shape or form these ornaments come in, they’re always made and gifted with love. And speaking of love, we love modern twist of these salt dough ornaments over at I Heart Naptime. The final product almost looks a bit tie-dyed (which brings back all sorts of nostalgia in and of itself!)

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Follow the simple instructions and pictures that I Heart Naptime provides and you’ll soon have some great, modern ornaments perfect for gifting or displaying on your own tree!


4) Snowflake cut outs

Another nostalgic holiday craft requiring only a piece of plain white paper and a pair of scissors (and maybe a pencil). There is something so very satisfying creating something so beautiful from something so plain as a piece of white paper.

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Photo by erin_everlasting, used under license (CC by-ND 2.0)

The trick is to get the folds right.

Not sure the best way to fold the paper? There are some good tutorials on line to help with this. This YouTube video shows the folds necessary to make a 6-pointed snowflake from a piece of letter-size paper.

After folding the paper, it’s time to cut out the shapes from the edges of the paper.  You can draw out a pattern before cutting or just start cutting!  You can start with simple, large cuts, but you can also create ultra-detailed (and ultra-small) cuts so that when you open up the paper, the snowflake is nearly as delicate as the real thing.

While you can create simple snowflakes with only a few cuts, here’s an elaborate snowflake demonstration:

Be careful opening the cut-out snowflake, or you might tear the paper. The cuts tend to hook to each other so use a little patience and soon you can have a room full of lovely snowflakes! It’s a simple and fun activity to do on a cold day during Christmas break, or just whenever you want to create a beautiful reminder of snowy days.

While these crafts will provide fun decorations for your home, the main goal is to spend quality time with family, making memories. With these crafts, you can take your love of nostalgia for the past, pass them on, and create new memories today.  Your kids will thank you.  And when you’re done, you will be free to go fight the traffic at the mall.

Or maybe you’ll decide to stay home and cut out a few more snowflakes . . .

What Christmas crafts are you making this December?  What memories are you making?  Share with us your favorite nostalgic (or modern!) crafts in the comments!

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Just joining us for this series? The links below can help you catch up:

12 Nostalgic Days of Christmas: 1 Christmas Infographic {First Day}
12 Nostalgic Days of Christmas: 2 Holiday Gift Guides {Second Day}
12 Nostalgic Days of Christmas: 3 Nostalgic Traditions {Third Day}

Check back tomorrow for a tasty Fifth Day of Christmas!

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12 thoughts on “12 Nostalgic Days of Christmas: 4 Nostalgic Crafts to Create with Your Kids This Holiday Season

  1. I LOVE crafting… every year I make gifts for as many as I can.. this year we are making hand print ornaments for their God Parents that they will color. Their eyes light up when I tell them they can help… great ideas! #fdflinkparty

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I’ve tried a few of these with my kids. Actually my daughter and her grandma decorated our house with snowflakes the other day. It was great to come home from date night with hubby to find them all over the windows, especially since in our part of California we don’t get snow!
    Thanks so much for posting another great post to the fandayfriday link party. Can’t wait to see what you come up with next! #fdflinkparty

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I forgot all about paper chain decorations until I started to read this post…and, then came the photo and I felt such a nostalgic rush! I can’t tell you how much I adore your blog…it’s going to have a huge following in the new year, mark my words 🙂 Thanks for sharing 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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