Kid Craft: Decorations for Two Special Days
By Sherryl LaPointe
This month, we will be doing one basic craft and adapting it for two different holidays.
Pipe cleaners (Usually sold in multi-colored packs, about 12” long — if you can find only red for Valentine’s Day or green for St. Patrick’s Day, you may prefer that)
Fairly strong scissors (not children’s scissors)
Flower or potted plant*
Strong, fast-acting craft glue*
Old, “peeled” crayons*
Small safety pins*
(Starred items are needed according to which use you make of the craft.)
1. Cut pipe cleaners in half if they are the 12” length. For hearts, you will want two pieces of about 6” for each heart. For shamrocks, you will want eight pieces. The exact length is not important, but having all pieces of near-equal length is important.
2. Bend all pipe cleaners into a “J” shape.
3. Attach two J shapes, first at the hook, then at the base, by either twisting them or with a dot of very strong glue. The twist looks better, but is harder on the fingers. Also, if using glue, a drying time is required.
4. If you are making shamrocks, join four hearts together at the skinny part of each heart. The wide sections are, of course, the four leaves of the four-leafed clover. They are probably most easily joined by making “tails” on the base of each heart, then twisting them together at the center, and smashing the twisted the part flat. To stabilize, you may choose to place a dot of glue at each spot where the leaves meet.
What to do with them
After your hearts or shamrocks are completed, there are several options for what to do with them.
1. They can be glued on card stock, as the centerpiece for a holiday greeting card.
2. Add one of the 12” pipe cleaners, as if it were a stem, and place it in a vase or potted plant as a holiday embellishment.
3. Glue a safety pin to the back and use a heart or shamrock as a pin.
4. The pipe cleaners are the right thickness, so these could be used to make rubbings. Lay the pipe cleaner shape flat on the table and place a piece of typing-weight paper on top. Guide your child in using the side of a crayon, or the side of a soft lead pencil, to wipe softly across the entire paper, making an image of the pipe cleaner shape. These rubbings would be good for backgrounds for greeting cards, or even letters.