You know that scene from the movie Tangled, where Rapunzel and Ryder sit on a boat and watch lanterns in the sky? Yeah, that is my dream.
There is just something magical about lanterns, and so yesterday afternoon, we made lanterns to have our own little winter festival in our backyard.
Using materials that we had around the house; recycling bags as aprons, cupcake cups as paint holders, and recycled glass jars as our lantern, we improvised to make something beautiful. My favorite kind of craft.
– Glass Jars (empty jam/pickle/tomato sauce jars)
– Acrylic paint and brushes
– Tea Light Candles
– Pipe Cleaners
It’s mesmerizing to watch them craft. Both so different in their approach.
Penelope is very focused; careful about where her colors are, and covers large areas before she switches colors to paint again.
My sweet Oliver is more playful. Sometimes painting the glass, sometimes painting his hand, and just happy to be experiencing the activity.
They covered the surface of the glass, and once it dried, I secure some pipe cleaners around the mouth of the jar to create a handle.
While they sang happy birthday (which they do every time they see a candle lately haha) I added a tea light candle into the jars. And Voila! Beautiful lanterns!
The best kind of memories, I think, are the ones you remember when you hear a song, when you smell a certain smell, or from the sensation on your fingers as you run them through an embroidery a loved one made for you. Tangible memories.
During the holiday season, a time when tangible is a very common theme, especially with gift giving, the idea of creating tangible memories stuck with me. Finding a way to make tangible something that my children associate to an experience or memory, rather than a gift.
With this craft, I hope I am creating moments with my children that they will remember whenever they touch or see a pine branch.
Pine Branches that we foraged during our walks
Flour and Glitter
The older Penelope gets, the more impressed I am by how well she is able to do crafts. On her own, she poured some flour and glitter onto a baking pan and mixed it. She was taking her craft very seriously, it was so endearing to watch. In the meantime, I cut a few pine branches and coated them with a thin layer of glue. She then pressed them against the flour mix and the result was quite beautiful. The flour mix creates a beautiful simulation of snow that looked quite magical. Once the glue dried, I grouped the branches into similar size lengths and by overlapping them, created the shape of a wreath. I secured the branches to one another using a hot glue gun, and mixed the greens with, and without the flour mix coat, together.
Once completed, I ran some ribbon through them, and they were ready to hang as decor for the holidays.
A fun and easy activity to do with the kids, and they turned out so beautiful!
Whether it’s a hand written letter, a scarf you knitted yourself, or wall art you made with your children; there is something quite special about the handmade.
Large piece of white paper
Directions: Squeeze paint onto various spots on the paper, and using the branch as a brush, let them explore.
The handmade isn’t instant, and in a world where everything moves so fast, and “time consuming” is a bad thing, not- instant is a great quality. Crafting takes time. There are steps, there is a process, and within that process, moments to practice patience and imagination as one stops and makes changes along the way. It offers moments to slow down and to experiment, again and again.
With a 2 year old and a 7 month old, “slowing down” sometimes seems impossible to achieve, ha! When we’re making crafts though, I see it. Using simple materials – branches, a large piece of paper, and paint – the kids are happy and entertained for 15 -20 minutes. Penelope experiments in the ways she moves the branch to mix the colors, and in the process, the most beautiful textures and color made. Oliver still quite young, finds more wonder in the branch itself, examining the leaves, and trying to eat them, ha! Perhaps I’m a little biased (I have a Fine Arts degree), but I hope my children find making things with their hands therapeutic like I do, and if not, that they remember the moments we sat down around our kitchen table, creating moments to enjoy the process of making things, of spending time together, of slowing down, and of creating beautiful things with our hands.