Sunday, November 6, 2016

Kid-Friendly Christmas Ideas - Part 3

Would you look at how far we've come in such a short time, preparing for a kid-friendly, and hopefully-less-stressful Christmas!  So far, we've cleared out unnecessary furniture, put breakables and dangerous items out of reach, crafted pretty wall decor, and created a smaller tree to allow room for everyone's gifts.


Making the Tree Safe

We are lifting our small tree onto a table so that it will sit tall and proud, but with the little kiddos coming for Christmas, of course we have to make it as safe as possible.

We purchased a square board at ReStore Habitat for Humanity, to make the tabletop a bit larger so that the base of the tree would be more stable.


We secured the tree and the board to the table with ratcheting straps, one in each direction, criss-crossing over the tomato-cage tree's lowest ring and under the table's drawer.

If you would like your tabletop tree to sit even taller, try elevating the table itself, as we are doing by placing it on my DIY Industrial Factory Cart. It not only makes the tree visually more important, it gives another layer under the tree to place gifts, and makes use of the cart instead of just hiding it away somewhere.  Again, Ed will also run a strap between the slats in the cart, and around the table's lower shelf.  This will all be hidden by the tree skirt. (More about that next time!)


No matter what the size or shape of your Christmas tree, keeping it upright and safely secured will be one of your biggest challenges.  One thing we definitely will be making is a box-barricade just like this one pictured.  Just take boxes, add some weight inside, wrap them in Kraft paper, and add a pretty bow.  It wont' keep babies from attempting to touch the tree, but it will give parents & grandparents a few extra seconds to distract them.

(source: Pinterest. Original pinner unknown.)


Natural and Neutral Ornaments

I decided to start from scratch for the ornaments on this small tree.  Of course I turned to Pinterest for inspiration and instructions, and found pages of great ideas!

Here are inspiration photos for three of the ornaments I will be making for our Natural and Neutral theme; just click on the photos to link to the tutorials:

 Jingle Bell Pinecone Ornament


Hobby Lobby is my go-to place for most craft items, and that's where I picked up some mini-wood cuts, mini-pinecones, magnets, extra glue sticks, and ribbon; I headed to Walmart for canning jar lids; I also stopped by Dollar Tree for some jingle bells! I already had the canning rings, photo paper, and the chalkboard paint.

It looks like I'll be making five of the mason jar magnets, one for each of our five grandchildren, and also turning them into tree ornaments just by adding ribbon around the outside of the ring.  After Christmas, they can go on the fridge!

(Just a word of caution, although these ornaments should be unbreakable, the bells and tiny pinecones are small enough to pose a choking hazard, so please be watchful around young children.)

Be sure you stop on over to my Pinterest board, Kid-Friendly Christmas, for more great ideas and inspiration for your own family Christmas celebration.  Don't forget that you can always catch up with me on Instagram or over on my Facebook page.


Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Kid-Friendly Christmas Ideas - Part 2

Welcome back! I'm so happy you stopped by today!

Last time, I told you about how excited we are about having ALL of our kids and grandkids here at our house for Christmas this year!  Now that we've kid-proofed the house, let's move on to some decor!


Kid-friendly Christmas decor doesn't have to look like you walked into a coloring book or cartoon! And it doesn't need to be costly, either. This year, I chose a "Natural and Neutral" theme, and all of it is kid-safe, and easy to create!  In some of my next posts, I'll walk you through how to make adorable ornaments for the tree, and a nativity that the kids can put their hands on and play with.

Wall Decor


A couple of years ago, when we were living in Hawaii, I needed some quick, inexpensive Christmas wall decor for our little apartment.  Today, as I was going through some older posts, I realized how this is such a great idea to use when you have kiddos around, too!  Nothing breakable because it's up on the wall, it's all FREE printables, and you can adapt the letters for whatever holiday saying you choose!

https://journeyswithjuju.blogspot.com/2013/12/printable-christmas-wall-art.html
This year, the O Holy Night banner will probably go on the fireplace mantle, since we are forgoing the traditional Christmas stockings.  Look for it in the weeks to come, to see where I've decided to display it.

The Tree  


We normally put up an artificial tree due to my allergies, but this year the big tree is staying in the box because of space-constrains. When I started thinking of a smaller tree, I remembered that we already had the perfect one! Normally, it's on the front porch or in the front garden. I made it from a tomato cage and some faux green garland that we already had.


Here are the easy steps:
Supplies are one tomato cage, some faux green garland (I think I used 2 strands), floral wire, wire cutters, packing tape, and mini-lights.

First, turn the tomato cage upside down, with the wide round part on the floor.


Then, using floral wire, tie the loose ends together into a point. For safety, wrap some packing tape over the wire, so you don't accidentally cut yourself.


Next, starting at the bottom, begin wrapping the garland around, using the branches to tie around the tomato cage wire at the junctions. Wrap all the way to the top.



Lastly, add the lights, again use the branches to hold the lights, using them like a twist-tie.  Fluff out the entire tree to hide the wires of the cage.


Next time, I'll show you how we are setting up the tree on my skinny little table that won't take up a lot of precious space in the living room!


What are your plans for Christmas this year?  Will your home and table have friends and family gathered around, or will you be going "over the river and through the woods" to someone else's home?  I'd love to hear from you so please keep up with me on Instagram, Facebook & Pinterest!