Snowflakes and Sparkles - December Craft Party Hot
With everyone in the holiday spirit, it’s a great time to gather your residents together in one room and organize a community holiday craft party.
This month, residents will be making an assortment of winter and holiday-themed crafts for all ages – from children to older adults and everyone in between. We’ve highlighted a few snowflake crafts but there are other ideas and links at the end of the article.
As always, with any craft event, it’s important to try the crafts yourself before sharing them with your residents.
While working on your own sample design, you may find ways to streamline the process or discover new techniques that you want to share. A trial run will also give you some finished samples you can set out for residents to copy so they know they’re on the right track.
You may also learn that you’ll need to substitute certain materials or processes in order to make the craft compatible with your unique resident population and community facilities. For example, if you don’t have a lot of plugs available you may not be able to set up as many work stations for things like hair dryers or glue guns.
Be sure to scope out your crafting area in advance and think about how you’ll organize the craft stations and the materials.
Most of these materials are available from your local art, craft, or hobby supply stores. Keep an eye on discounts and in-store sales to take advantage of coupons at both online and walk-in retailers to get a deal on supplies. There’s really no reason to pay full price with so many online discounts available. Retailers like Michaels, Hobby Lobby, Jo-Ann, and other craft stores have readily available coupons online.
Remember also, you won’t be the only one rushing craft stores to buy your holiday items!
You may want to consider purchasing supplies in bulk online to save the time and stress involved with shopping in person with the holiday crowds. If possible, plan your craft party weeks in advance and purchase materials well ahead of the actual day.
There are literally thousands of holiday and winter-themed crafts, but we’ve curated a few to get you started. You don’t have to do all of these during your craft party, but do check them out and then choose the ones you feel work best for your community.
Snowflake wreath with snowflake patterns
One of the quintessential winter projects is cutting snowflakes from both white and colored paper. To make it easier on your residents, you can make intricate patterns available for them to trace onto their folded papers. For this project make sure you have both adult and child-safe scissors available for residents.
Image source: Pinterest
This project can easily be transformed into a Frozen-themed design with Disney characters added to the wreath for additional child-charming fun.
The main materials are either paper snowflakes cut from various shades of blue and while paper (decorated with glitter as-needed) or pre-cut foam snowflakes already to go. Visit That Little Cute Cake for full instructions.
When cutting your own paper snowflakes, be sure to keep the designs small and simple – this will decrease the amount of time it takes to make all the snowflakes by hand.
For more elaborate snowflake designs, you can print templates for ease of cutting. You may also want to design cardstock stencils for tracing the designs onto folded paper. Be sure to keep a sample of each snowflake design available so that children and parents know what they’re getting.
Salt-Dough Snowflake Ornaments
Image source: Better Homes and Gardens
If you have access to an oven on-site, these snowflakes can be created and baked ahead of time and ready for residents to decorate. Alternatively, you can purchase wooden snowflakes from your local craft store and make paint, markers, glue, and glitter available for decorating.
- To make your own inedible and bankable salt dough, combine the following ingredients and mix until sticky:
- 1 cup salt
- 2 cup flour
- 1 cup water
- Using a rolling pin and plenty of flour, roll out the dough until it is about ¼ inch thick.
- To make the shapes, use store-bought cookie cutters, or paper templates, to cut the dough into snowflakes.
- Once the snowflakes are cut out, use a pencil or skewer to make a hole at the top for hanging.
- Snowflakes should be baked in an oven for four hours on low heat – roughly 200 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Cooled ornaments can be decorated with paint, glue, glitter, or permanent marker.
- The ornaments can be hung with loops of yarn, rope, ribbon or twine.
Other craft ideas include:
- This is a perfect recycling project that uses old magazines or catalogs. The project can also be demonstrated to residents at the event and encouraged to complete at home later.
- Two candy canes wrapped in felt with pipe cleaner antlers make an easy (and edible!) craft.
- These large wall hangings are easy to assemble, paint, and decorate. Consider hot glue instead of white glue for faster construction.
***TIP*** Try the crafts before committing your community to the whole process. Time how long it takes to make each craft. Add up the full amount of time for completing all your projects so you can schedule enough time on the party day. Also, be sure you allow a few minutes for stragglers and clean up. ***TIP*** You may have residents that come in late, or don’t get to complete all the projects. Consider having “to-go kits” for residents and kids to take home. This way, they can complete the projects on their own time. Combine materials into zipper bags to they have everything they need to finish their crafts with their parents at home.