Kid Craft: Springtime Holiday Creations
By Sherryl LaPointe
This month, we will be doing one basic craft and adapting it for two different springtime holidays happening in February and March, Valentine’s Day and St. Patty’s.
Pipe cleaners (usually sold in multi-color packs, about 12 inches long. Or, if you can find single-color packs, go with red for Valentine’s Day or green for St. Patrick’s Day.)
Scissors (a heavy pair, not children’s scissors)
Depending upon how you decide to use the craft, you will also need some of the following items:
Flower or potted plant
Strong, fast-acting craft glue
Old, “peeled” crayons
Small safety pins
1. Cut pipe cleaners in half if they are the 12-inch length. For hearts, you will want two pieces of about 6 inches for each. 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”s 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 at the skinny part. The 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, and then twisting them together at the center, and smashing the twisted part flat. To stabilize them, 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 things to do with them. As you know if you have been following my columns, I do not believe a child’s creation should ever look like something only a mother (or a grandmother) could enjoy. If you as the parent will assist your child, these will be crafts anyone will enjoy.
1. They can be glued on card stock as the centerpiece for a holiday greeting card.
2. Add one of the 12-inch pipe cleaners as if it were a stem, then place it in a vase or potted plant as a holiday embellishment.
3. Glue a safety pin to the back and use it 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. Use 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.
Sherryl LaPointe, a retired teacher and children’s minister, lives with her husband, Harris, and dog, Muffin, in Gulfport. They enjoy frequent visits from their daughter, Linette. Sherryl enjoys pursuing many hobbies including crafts, art and writing.