I really wanted to have a little craft time with the grandlittles when they came. But what project would be easy enough for a four and five year-old with a minimum of mess and easy to complete before they moved on? I opted for easy matchbox ornaments and they were a hit.
You can upgrade this with a little more sophistication for the more experienced crafter, but it was fine for the little guys, too.
- Matchboxes -- I used small ones from the Dollar Store, which come in a package of eight.
- Washi tape or decorative papers to cover the boxes
- Piece to decorate with -- buttons, deconstructed jewelry, charms, collage fodder. (Items should be relatively flat for easiest assembly)
- Glue (I used E-6000; a glue gun would work too.)
- Ribbon (optional)
- Brush Markers (optional but recommended for children) or paint (optional)
- Awl or very sharp poking device. A very tiny hole punch might work two, but you're going through two layers of thin cardboard.
(Optional) -- If you want, spray paint the inner and outer box. I didn't do this so the rest of this method is based on NOT doing this!)
Remove box and matches from matchbox.
Using the outer box, cover with washi tape (recommended for small kids) or decorative papers.
Affix decorative elements to the front (and back if you want) of the outer box.
With the inner box, poke two holes close together. You can run a tapestry needle through it to make holes a little larger but it's not sharp enough for initial poking.
Cut a length of VERY thin cord, ribbon or string, longer than you want the hanger to be.
Thread string through the two holes so that the two ends to tie off are inside the box.
Knot the two ends at a point that allows you the right length for the hanger.
(If you want, you can add a bead or button to the hanger. We didn't do that for the kids.)
Finish the inner box. You can line it with decorative paper or (as the kids did) color it with brush markers). You can also put thin ribbon on the ends or cover the ends in microbeads or (if you dare -- we didn't) glitter.
Put the boxes together and you have a cute, easy ornament. Or three!
Our five year-old did three of these by himself (with the exception of the awl-poking/string attachment) in an hour or less. The four year-old needed a little more assistance.
Carson put a few trinkets for his mom inside his box. It would make a cute gift with some earrings or a small note or photo inside.
With or without, they make for a merry time!