We've been crafting so much that my glue gun caught on fire. For real. I had to throw it out after flames shot out of it and it set off the smoke detector.
Okay, not really about the smoke detector, but everything else is true.
I love crafting with my kids. I feel the same way about crafting with them that I feel about cooking with them. I absolutely positively love doing it.
Except for the mess they make. I could do without that. But anyway.
I sat down one Saturday afternoon while the girls were playing Barbies, and I hot glued about twenty of these snowflakes. They are so easy I can't believe I'm showing you how to make them.
But here we both are, so let's get on with it.
- Popsicle sticks - we used regular and mini. Jumbo would give you more painting surface, so I might try those next except that Joe said we could absolutely positively not make any more ornaments to put on our Christmas tree. (But he did not say we could not make any more for gifts, so we might still have crafting to do.)
- Hot glue & glue gun
- Paint - white is best for snowflakes but the girls wanted to use blue, too, so I obliged.
- Sparkly pipe cleaners
- Glitter glue
- Sticky gems
1. Glue the popsicle sticks together. Start with a plus sign, then lay an X overtop of it. These are the best snowflakes.
I used regular popsicle sticks and mini ones, both of which turned out awesome.
2. Paint the popsicle snowflakes. As I said above, I wanted white snowflakes, but the girls wanted blue and white ones. We are a Penn State family after all.
I make it a point never to interfere with their crafting process because it is their process. I want them to make whatever their creative vision has in mind. So they used blue.
A few of the ornaments below are unpainted, and that is because they got tired of painting popsicle sticks and wanted to go straight to glitter glue.
3. After the paint is dry, use glitter glue and stick on gems to decorate your snowflakes. We used a variety of patterns and color schemes, and they all came out really great. Do whatever you want. You can't mess these up. (More on that below, so read on.)
4. When the glitter glue is dry (which could take until tomorrow depending on how much you use), cut a matching sparkly pipe cleaner in half. Turn the snowflake over and hot glue the pipe cleaner in a U shape to the back to make a hanger.
You're done! Attach some hooks and hang them on your tree.
This one makes me laugh. I don't know where Grace learned the term ombre, but this is her ombre snowflake.
This one was her Penn State snowflake:
So I promised you I'd write more about perfect snowflakes, so here it is.
If I really wanted to, I could make dozens of perfect popsicle stick snowflake ornaments. It would take me some time and some supplies, but I could do it. The lines would be perfect, the dots would be perfect, and they would all be white and sparkles. They would be lovely.
But I don't want dozens of perfect snowflakes.
I want my kids' snowflakes.
My kids' snowflakes are imperfect, and I love them.
Allie is 4. She paints sloppily. She squeezes globs of glitter glue onto her projects, and she draws squiggly, uneven, unsteady lines, and she can't make a round dot for anything.
And that's exactly why I cherish her ornaments so much.
Because they're not perfect.
Some day, Allie will be big like Grace, and her lines will be straight and her dots will be round, and her ornaments will be pretty but lacking in something.
Because lovely comes at the price of naiveté. She will know then that the work she made when she was little wasn't perfect. She will know that perfect is a standard to conform to. (Not if I can help it, but still, it is there.) She will know that whatever she wants to do is not always good enough.
Right now, Allie doesn't know that her snowflakes aren't pretty and perfect because she made them and she likes them and I like them and that is all that matters.
So I hang up her globby ornaments, and I will write the date on them and pack them away with care in January. And I will get them out next year and ooh and aah over them all over again, but only in front of Allie.
She will know that she did good, and that I was proud of her, and she will be proud of herself. She will be confident and joyful. She will know that I value her and her work.
I want to remember this now because all too soon, she will make perfect snowflakes and these imperfect ones will be all I have left of her childhood.
So let your kids make their crafts however they want to make them. Don't force them into white snowflakes if they want to make blue. Let them put globs of glitter glue on their snowflakes, and set them somewhere safe where they can dry for the three days it will take. And then hang those snowflakes on your tree like they were the best ornaments you have.
One day, you might realize that they are.