There is nothing quite like the enjoyment that can come from creating crafts together during the winter. Families and friends can enjoy the Yule season with an inexpensive activity that features that cold visitor, the snowflake. This part of the Wheel of the Year usually brings many of those for most areas in the Western hemisphere above here in the United States, and especially in my own great state of Michigan. Here are some fun ways that you can get together with children, or friends, of both, and make some memories.
This idea comes from Bar Rucci., a graphic designer, art teacher, and mom. The idea is simple. Take some time out of the day and sit down and cut some paper snowflakes. There is no right way or wrong way to schedule this activity. It can be during, before, or after Yule.
Gather together your paper, scissors, some cellophane tape, and maybe some cocoa on a flat space. Fold your papers, and cut your snowflakes. Once everyone has made their desired masterpieces, spread them all out atop the table you want to cover to make the design you like. Now, tape all the flakes together, linking them on the bottom, arm to arm.
To jazz it up a bit, you could start off with scrapbook paper. Or if you are willing to deal with the legion of sparkles invading your space like a fey squadron, use some glue and glitter. Sequins are also a fabulous way to bring some zing.
For those of us who do public and private rituals, altar coverings made this way are a great way to include the younger members of the community or family to be a part of the solstice gatherings and festivals. Giant flakes can also be cut to use as a banner, if made with thicker paper products. There is no limit to how this activity can be scaled to suit the occasion. The only limit is the time and imaginations of those who are involved in the craft.
The thimble is one of those items that it seems that everyone knows about, but no one really notices anymore. They are found in dollar store sewing kits, in collections made of porcelain, and at holiday craft shows. But there is another use they can have for fun. You can make Thimble Babies.
For this to work, you will need to find a short and simple story that features at least two characters. You will also need a willing performer. Oh, and some other supplies:
A label sticker, or masking tape (plain)
A pom pom about the diameter of a dime.
Some washable markers, in different colors, with fine tips
You are going to perform a quick finger play with your babies, so hopefully you have some stories that you enjoy. If not, then there are great sources at Songs for Teaching. They have some really fun ones.
For our example, we are going to choose “3 Blue Pigeons”. Using the glue, attach the pom poms to three thimbles. You can, of course, color coordinate them if you wish. They should look like tiny towers with fuzzy balls on top. If you had four they could be itsy bitsty Watchtowers in a Circle teaching…..but I digress. (winks)
Now, attach the labels or masking tape to the front of the thimble. Draw little faces with the markers onto these. Have fun with it. For added character, consider gluing millet, or carrot, seeds as eyes. Adding some tiny blue tinsel would be great.
Once you have finished this, it is time to put them on your fingers. This is where the fun really begins, as each person can take turns being the story teller. Make as many as you like. It is simple and easy and they can be transported to Grandmother’s house with a minimum of fuss.
The story of the return of the Sun King would be fun, too. Yellow pom poms are easy to find. You could even enact your own battle of the Oak and Holly kings. Just remember to make it fun.
Special note: I am not responsible if younger boys decide that Thimble Babies make armor for thumb warriors in the back seat of the Chevy while you are driving and one flies into the dashboard.