Winter Crafts for Kids


Make a decorative Bunches of Beans Wreath.
Make a decorative Bunches of Beans Wreath.
©2007 Publications International, Ltd.

Winter can seem very long to kids and adults. On blustery days when no one wants to go out, craft projects can help to pass the time by keeping minds and fingers busy.

The end results of the craft projects in this article are also useful. You can use many of these projects to create decorations for the holiday season. Others make nice gifts for friends and relatives. And the kids will take special pride in this type of gift, since they can do much of the work on these projects all by themselves.

Follow the instructions below for easy yet interesting winter crafts that your kids will enjoy:

Cloth Place Mats

Make pretty cloth place mats and dress up your dinner table for the winter season.

Christmas Present Needlepoint Ornament

Stitch a present-shaped ornament to hang on the Christmas tree above the real presents.

Gift-Wrapped Door

Make sure you buy enough ribbon to tie around some doors after you're done wrapping presents -- it's a great way to decorate.

Sugar Plum Fairy Pillowcases

Keepsake Quilts

Make paper quilts with pictures and words that bring back memories to you and your family year after year.

Arctic Light

Fabulous Fabric Wreath

These wreaths are easy and fun to make, and they can really dress things up for the holiday -- or just for fun!

Bunches of Beans Wreath

Napkin Rings

Homemade Napkin Rings are a touching addition to any holiday dinner. Find out how to make Napkin Rings.

Down to Earth Stars

Make Down to Earth Stars with your kids, and enjoy this festive holiday decoration. Find out how to make Down to Earth Stars.

Begin your adventure into winter crafts with a set of cloth place mats.

For more fun winter-time crafts for kids, check out:

Cloth Place Mats

Make a set of festive cloth place mats.
Make a set of festive cloth place mats.
©2007 Publications International, Ltd.

Cloth place mats add a festive touch to your holiday table. Make a few as a winter craft project, with extras to put under the bread basket and fruit bowl.

What You'll Need:

  • 2-1/4 yards of cotton fabric
  • Tape measure
  • Blunt scissors
  • Felt
  • Needle and thread

Cut four 12×16-inch pieces of fabric. Fray the ends or sew a hem to trim the edges. To fray the ends, pull out a few threads so it looks like fringe. To make a hem, sew the short ends over about 1 inch.

Cut a piece of felt in a holiday design such as a turkey, Star of David, or Christmas tree. Sew the felt shape to the bottom right side of the place mat on three sides to make a pocket for the utensils.

Insert a fork, knife, and spoon in the pocket when you set the table.

See the next page for another winter craft project kids will enjoy -- a Christmas present needlepoint ornament.

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Christmas Present Needlepoint Ornament

Use these stitches to make a Christmas Present Needlepoint Ornament.
Use these stitches to make a Christmas Present Needlepoint Ornament.
©2007 Publications International, Ltd.

Make a Christmas present needlepoint ornament, a wonderful craft project to make on rainy or snowy winter afternoons. It turns indoor time into fun time.

What You'll Need:

  • Plastic canvas (available at craft stores)
  • Scissors
  • Yarn
  • Needlepoint needle

Before you start, practice these three basic needlepoint stitches. The continental stitch is a diagonal stitch. The Florentine stitch is a straight up and down or across stitch. It covers one or more squares. The outline stitch is an edging stitch around the plastic canvas.

To make a Christmas present ornament, have an adult trim the plastic canvas into a 4-inch square. Thread one end of the yarn through the needle, and tie the other end in a double knot.

Start with the continental stitch for the present's ribbon. Fill in the present with the Florentine stitch, then finish the edges with the outline stitch. When you've finished stitching, tie the yarn end in a double knot and trim the excess.

Cut a piece of yarn and tie it into a bow at the top of the plastic canvas.

Another way to decorate for the holidays is to gift-wrap a door in your house. Learn how on the next page.

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Gift-Wrapped Door

Make a gift-wrapped door.
Make a gift-wrapped door.

Turn your house into a big present with a gift-wrapped door.

What You'll Need:

  • Measuring tape
  • Wide colored ribbon
  • Scissors
  • Tape
  • One or several large bows
  • Christmas greenery
  • Cardboard
  • Marker
  • Hole punch
  • Yarn

Measure the height and width of your front door. Double the measurements and add 2 inches so you can wind the ribbon around to the inside of the door.

Tie the ribbon around the door to look like a gift package, and tape the ends of the ribbon together. Glue one or more large bows onto the ribbon in the center of the door. Add Christmas greenery around the bow(s) with tape.

Cut a large gift tag shape out of cardboard, and a write a holiday message on it. Punch a hole at the top of the gift tag, and attach it to the ribbon with a colorful piece of yarn.

For another Christmas decoration that kids will enjoy making and using, see the sugar plum pillowcases on the next page.

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Sugar Plum Fairy Pillowcases

Sugar plum fairy pillowcases bring happy Christmas dreams while everyone sleeps. Use your imagination when you make this winter craft project.

What You'll Need:

  • White pillowcases
  • Cardboard the size of pillowcase
  • Pencil
  • Fabric paints
  • Paintbrushes

What does a sugar plum fairy look like? Is she wearing a long silver gown? A short blue tunic? Does she have wings or a wand? What color is her hair? Perhaps she is balancing a big sugar plum on the top of her head! However you want her to look, paint her in pretty colors so that any head resting on her will be full of sweet dreams.

Wash and dry a spare white pillowcase. Place a piece of cardboard inside so the paint won't bleed through. With a pencil, lightly draw a picture of a sugar plum fairy on the front of the pillowcase. When you finish, color in your outline with fabric paint.

After the paint dries, you may want to turn your pillowcase over and paint another sugar plum fairy on the back -- for double the dreaming pleasure!

The project on the next page, keepsake quilts, is one you -- and your kids -- will treasure forever.

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Keepsake Quilts

Make a sentimental keepsake quilt this year as a fun winter craft project, and then hang it up to enjoy for many Christmases to come.

What You'll Need:

  • White cardboard

Traditional quilts are made by sewing together squares of fabric in a special pattern. Often, the fabric was cut from old clothes and blankets used by family and friends. That way, the person who owned the quilt could sleep surrounded by happy memories of loved ones.

You can make a cardboard quilt full of memories by measuring 6 x 6-inch squares of cardboard and cutting them out. With a hole punch, punch three evenly spaced holes on each side inside the borders of each square.

Give a square to family and friends. Have them write holiday messages, draw holiday events, or draw portraits of themselves on the squares. Collect the squares.

Thread the needle with yarn, and sew the squares together through the holes you punched. You might need an adult to help you get started with the sewing.

When the quilt is all sewn, hang it in the family room or on the front door of your house. Bring it out each Christmas and add more squares for new family memories.

The arctic light on the next page won't last as long as this quilt, but you can make a new one whenever you want!

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Arctic Light

©2007 Publications International, Ltd.

Watch how the reflective properties of ice cause this arctic light to give off a warm, welcoming glow on a winter night.

Adult Help Needed

What You'll Need:

  • Water
  • Large metal mixing bowl
  • Plastic yogurt container
  • Small stones or coins
  • Large tray with sides
  • Votive candle
  • Matches (adult use only!)

Pour a few inches of water into the mixing bowl. Fill the yogurt container with stones or coins, then center the container in the bowl. Slowly pour more water into the bowl so that it nearly reaches the rim of the smaller container. Place the bowl in the freezer until the water is frozen.

When frozen, remove the ice from the mold. If the ice doesn't come out easily, run warm water on the outside of the bowl and the ice should slip out. Then dump out the stones or coins from the yogurt container, and pour in warm water to loosen it. Remove the container, and place the ice candle-holder on the tray.

Now it's time for sparkling fun. Place a votive candle in the opening, and have an adult light it. If you're fascinated by the way the light looks through the ice, go to your local library for some further study on light.

For a winter craft project that you can make and reuse year after year, see the fabulous fabric wreath on the next page.

For more fun winter-time crafts for kids, check out:

Fabulous Fabric Wreath

©2007 Publications International, Ltd.

Pencil-pushing fun turns plain squares of fabric into a lasting fabulous fabric wreath. A great winter craft project, kids can make one to keep, and others to give as presents.

What You'll Need:

  • Straw wreath
  • 1-1/2 yards each of 3 fabrics
  • Pinking or scalloped-edged scissors
  • Pencil
  • Ribbon
  • Optional silk flowers, charms, and other trinkets
  • Craft glue

Choose fabrics to coordinate with seasons or holidays. Using the pinking or scalloped-edged scissors, cut fabric into 2 x 2-inch squares.

With the pencil, push a square of fabric into the wreath. Continue pushing squares into the wreath until you have covered the front of the wreath. Tie a ribbon at the top of the wreath for hanging.

If you'd like, glue on flowers or other decorations to spruce up the wreath.

Variation for Younger Children

For a variation of the Fabulous Fabric Wreath that is easier for younger children to make, see below:

What You'll Need:

  • Wire hanger
  • Heavy-duty, needle-nosed pliers
  • 1-1/2 yards each of three fabrics
  • Pinking or scalloped-edge scissors

An adult should bend the wire hanger into a circle, leaving the hook portion in place. Use the heavy-duty, needle-nosed pliers to bend the hook into a loop for hanging the wreath.

Cut the fabric into 6 x 1-inch strips. Tie the fabric pieces onto the wire circle; push them close together so they completely cover the wire. The more fabric strips you tie on, the fuller the wreath will be.

For a different kind of wreath, see the bunches of beans wreath on the next page.

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Bunches of Beans Wreath

Bunch up some beans and create this lovely wreath.
Bunch up some beans and create this lovely wreath.
©2007 Publications International, Ltd.

Cook up a work of art without nearing the kitchen, and make a bunches of beans wreath.

What You'll Need:

  • Foam plate
  • Scissors
  • Assortment of uncooked beans
  • Clear-drying craft glue
  • Plastic spoon
  • Acrylic gloss paint
  • Paintbrush
  • Ribbon or yarn
  • Optional: beads, charms

Cut out the center of a foam plate. In a large bowl or pot, mix uncooked beans with glue. Be sure the beans are completely covered with glue. Spoon the beans onto the cut plate -- make sure they are spooned on in fun heaps. Let the glue dry completely.

Paint the wreath however you'd like or to fit a season or holiday. Glue on beads, charms, or ribbon bows for a more festive look. (For a Christmas wreath, you could paint it green and then glue on red beads.)

Tie the ribbon to the top of the wreath for a hanger.

Homemade napkin rings are a touching addition to any holiday dinner. Learn how to make napkin rings with your kids on the next page.

For more fun winter-time crafts for kids, check out:

Napkin Rings

Make napkin rings with your kids to use at special family dinners.
Make napkin rings with your kids to use at special family dinners.
©2007 Publications International, Ltd.

Make napkin rings with your kids for a heartwarming accent to your holiday dinner.

Coordinate these napkin rings with other table decorations to create a table setting with a theme.

How to Make Napkin Rings

What You'll Need:

  • Construction Paper
  • Blunt Scissors
  • Paper Towel Tubes
  • Craft Glue
  • Markers

Step One: Cut construction paper to fit around a paper towel tube. Glue the paper around the tube. Repeat with other paper towel tubes using different colors of paper.

Step Two: Cut the paper towel tubes into 2-inch rings. Use markers and cutout shapes to decorate each napkin ring.

Step Three: Write each guest's name on a napkin ring to make place cards.

Step Four: Cut out circles or other shapes from construction paper and glue them to the napkin rings. For birthday parties, make the ring look like a cake. For a picnic, decorate the rings with red and white checkerboards to look like the napkins. For an everyday dinner, draw on something that each family member likes to eat.

Down to Earth Stars are an easy holiday decoration that you can make with your kids. Find out how to make this winter craft for kids on the next page.

For more fun winter-time crafts for kids, check out:

Down to Earth Stars

Down to Earth Stars are ideal holiday decorations.
Down to Earth Stars are ideal holiday decorations.
©2007 Publications International, Ltd.

Down-to-Earth Stars are a stunning holiday decoration you can make with your kids. Twig stars make terrific natural holiday tree ornaments. Here are two different kinds of twig stars you can make to decorate your tree, a window, or any place!

How to Make Down to Earth Stars

What You'll Need:

  • Small Twigs (several inches long)
  • Upholstery Tacks
  • Hammer
  • Yarn
  • Metallic Gold or Silver Paint (optional)

Step One: To make a five-pointed twig star, you'll need five twigs, all the same length. Lay them in the shape of a five-pointed star.

Step Two: Use gold or silver upholstery tacks to attach the twigs at each point. The tacks not only hold the star together, they add a pretty, shining touch.

Step Three: For a really shiny star, spray paint the twigs with metallic gold or silver paint before you tack them together.

Step Four: To make a six-pointed twig star, you'll need three twigs, all the same length. Cross the three twigs in the middle so they make a shape like a six-pointed star.

Step Five: Wrap the twigs with yarn to hold them together, beginning at the center where all three twigs meet. Wrap the yarn around one stick, then the next, then the next. Keep wrapping the yarn (it will make a sort of bull's-eye pattern) until it is close to the ends of the sticks. When you're finished, tie the yarn in the back.

Step Six: You can use different colors of yarn on the same star to make a colorful design. Or, turn your star into a snowflake by painting the twigs white, wrapping them with white yarn, and adding white or silver glitter.

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ABOUT THE CRAFT DESIGNERS

Gift-Wrapped Door by Lisa Lerner and Kersten Hamilton

Sugar Plum Fairy Pillowcases by Lisa Lerner and Kersten Hamilton

Keepsake Quilts by Lisa Lerner and Kersten Hamilton