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.

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