Christmas ornaments made from ordinary pipe cleaners and inexpensive acrylic beads are very pretty and easy to make. They look quite impressive yet are easy enough for small children to make. This is one Christmas craft idea to use again and again. Older people will enjoy making this Christmas craft, too, which can be varied to make a number of different sparkling ornaments for your Christmas tree.
To make the bead and pipe cleaner ornaments, you need common pipe cleaners in desired colors and acrylic beads. Two types of beads are particularly effective when strung on pipe cleaners. One type are called sunburst beads, but are also known as paddlewheel beads, snowflake beads, or starburst beads. These beads have six faceted paddles spaced equally around a center that contains the hole for stringing. When several of these sunburst beads are strung consecutively, they fit against each other in an interlocking pattern.
The other type of bead that is also effective for this Christmas craft is called the tri bead or propeller bead. It has three rounded bumps arranged around the stringing hole. Like the sunburst beads, the tri beads interlock when strung consecutively. For the most sparkly and attractive Christmas ornaments, get tri beads and/or sunburst beads in translucent colors of red, green, and clear. The tri beads can also be found in metallic gold and silver which can be used in this Christmas craft as well.
Pipe cleaners can be found in silver and gold tinsel as well as chenille of all colors. For the Christmas craft, the best colors to use are the metallics and Christmas colors. The beads cover the pipe cleaners, but the ends will need to be twisted together and made into hangers, so they show.
Anyone, even small children, can string these beads on pipe cleaners. Bend up the end of the pipe cleaner so the beads don’t fall off. The pipe cleaner works like a needle, making a needle unnecessary. For best results, show the children how to alternate colors when stringing, or start a pattern of three colors. When the beads are strung on the pipe cleaners, they can be bent into different Christmas shapes. For instance, string red and clear beads alternately, then bend down one end of the pipe cleaner for a candy cane shape. Or alternate red and green beads and form a circle for a wreath. Use red pipe cleaner to form a small bow to decorate the wreath. Form a hanger for the Christmas craft or simply slip the circle over a branch of the tree.
If you experiment with clear beads and silver pipe cleaners, you can make some beautiful snowflake or star ornaments. Snowflake designs can be twisted of silver pipe cleaner only, without the beads for a simple but pretty decoration.
Bead and pipe cleaner ornaments are a Christmas craft you will find yourself using every year. Children and their parents will both appreciate this simple yet pretty Christmas craft.
Why You Should Decorate Your Home for Christmas
Are you one of those individuals who cannot wait until the holiday season arrives? If so, there is also a good chance that you may be interested in decorating your home for Christmas. If you have not yet decided, as to whether or not you would like to decorate your home for Christmas, you are advised to give it some thought. After a close examination, you will likely see that there are a number of benefits to decorating your home for Christmas.
Perhaps, the most obvious benefit of decorating your home for the Christmas season is that you will be supporting the holiday and expressing your appreciation for it. If you celebrate Christmas, whether you are religious or not, you likely know the importance, as well as the meaning of Christmas.
Christmas is not a holiday that you should be ashamed of celebrating, it is one that you should openly celebrate and you can easily do that by decorating your home for Christmas. Although you should be able to express your own views and beliefs, it may be a good idea to take your neighbors into consideration when decorating the outside of your home for Christmas, especially if you plan on going overboard.
If you are a parent, you may also want to make sure that you decorate your home for Christmas. Individuals of all ages love the holidays, but it is a known fact that children tend to enjoy the holidays more, particularly Christmas.
Decorating your home for Christmas will likely get your children excited about the holiday. You may also want to have them help you out with the decorating process. Your children could easily help you hang Christmas decorations around your house. They could also make you their own, unique handmade Christmas decorations.
Another one of the many reasons why you should decorate your home for Christmas is because decorations make for great pictures. Whether you are a parent or not, there is a good chance that you will be taking photographs or even videos of your Christmas festivities. What better way to make your pictures or your videos memorable than having Christmas decorations in the background?
You may want to decorate your whole home, but if the sole purpose of decorating your home for Christmas is for pictures, you could easily designate an area of your home for pictures. This may help to eliminate the amount of decorating that you will have to do.
Although there is a good chance that you would decorate your home for Christmas anyways, you may definitely want to if you are hosting a Christmas party. One thing is for sure, a party isn’t really a party without party decorations. That is why, if you are planning on hosting a holiday party, you should make sure that your home is decorated for Christmas. You will likely find your Christmas party decorations to be inviting and entertaining. In fact, depending on the type of Christmas decorations you choose, your decorations may easily lighten up the mood of your Christmas party.
As you can easily see, there are a number of reasons why you should or at least want to decorate your home for Christmas. The decision, as to whether or not you want to decorate your home is yours to make; however, there are a number of benefits to decorating your home for the holidays.
Christmas Tree Activities
Decorating the Christmas tree is an event that most members of any family look forward to. It not only is a time to reflect and remember where the various ornaments came from or who made them, it is also an exciting time that really brings Christmas right into the home.
There are a variety of activities you can incorporate into bring the Christmas tree into your home. Some families enjoy singing “Oh Christmas Tree” as the tree is brought into the home. Make a fun activity of this whereby everyone has to come up with an original verse to the song (since few know the actual words). This can keep everyone entertained while someone else works to get the tree standing up straight.
Once the tree is in a stand and ready to be decorated, make a game out of the ornaments. Put all the homemade ornaments aside and work with those first. Start with the first family member and ask them who made the ornament, where did it come from?
Once the details are out of the way, ask the crafter (likely a child) if they remember making the ornament. If you’re the parent, tell the child what you thought when you first saw the ornament. This is fun, since it reminds children that the things they make and bring home are meaningful to the parents.
There is always one ornament that is just ugly, or plain silly. Play “hot potato” with that ornament. Whoever gets stuck with the ugly ornament has to say one nice thing about it, such as “well, there’s a lot of glitter on it and that’s pretty”, or “Dougie made it, so I like it”. It’s a silly way to remind children to find good in everything. It might even remind them that things are just things. This is a good lesson for this time of year.
Some people use an advent calendar to count down the days until Christmas, and this is how it’s traditionally done, but there is one fun activity sure to be a hit with children. Similar to the concept in Germany (where the advent calendar originated) this involves providing one small gift for children every day until Christmas. In Germany, it’s only done for several days before Christmas, but you can do it for the 24 days of the month until Christmas arrives.
Buy tiny handled gift bags at the craft store. Buy 1 for each of your children. Have the children decorate the bags, and on each of the 24 bags, have them place a number as well, 1 through 24. As you decorate the tree, find space for each of these little bags. Because they have handles, they can hang right on the tree like an ornament, or you can tie ribbon on the handles so they have a more graceful swing. Each night, fill the right bag with a tiny prize or gift.
So if it’s the night of December 14, you’ll take bag #15 (all the bags with earlier numbers will be gone) and put some little trinket in it. It might be a piece of candy, a tiny ornament for your child’s own tree, a tiny car or small eraser. The idea here is that it’s a small gift, but come morning, that’s the first activity your children will engage in – discovering what little treat you left for them the night before.
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