A fun and quick DIY for Christmas Eve (with printable!)

DIY Christmas Eve wreath

Firstly, thank you SO MUCH for all the wonderful comments about this year’s Fir Lady; she’s settling in wonderfully and has managed to retain the fullness of all of her skirts despite our raging central heating and log burner!  I have lots of pics to share of our home as it takes festive shape for the holidays, but whilst I gather them up into a sensible order here’s a quick DIY to plan for Christmas Eve if you have little people in the house… a wreath just for Rudolph and his reindeer friends!

Be warned though that you’ll have a job to do late on Christmas Eve because by the morning it definitely needs to look like this (don’t try this until you’ve renewed your dental insurance)…

Reindeer wreath on Christmas Morning


You’ll need a cardboard or wooden wreath form, strong glue (I used a hot glue gun) and a selection of veggies.  Simply arrange and glue them around the wreath, get your little person to fill out the tag and then hang or rest it in pride of place where the reindeer can find it.  Easy!

Two bizarre tips on technique;

  • If you’re using carrots, try to handpick them so you can choose similar lengths and girths (!).  I was lingering over my choices in the supermarket and holding two carrots up against each other for size when a woman stopped me to exclaim; ‘Goodness!! You MUST be a great cook to care about the exact dimensions of your carrots in recipes!’  Well quite.
  • Ensure your veggies are at room temperature before glueing them (I could never have imagined writing that line).  My first go, I took them straight out of the fridge and they all promptly fell off the wreath after 5 minutes.
  • When biting the end off the carrots at midnight after a glass or two of champagne, give the paper tag a good chew as well.  Reindeer are not very discriminatory.

Nail those, and the rest is simple.  You can find the printable below to download and customise; I printed mine out on brown kraft paper and strung with some festive ribbon.

Have a good week!

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Reindeer Wreath Tag from katescreativespace

A touch of Christmas magic….

Ok, I know I said I would be switching off for a Christmas break, but then I saw something rather magical and I had to briefly share.

Will you be leaving out a snack for the reindeer tomorrow evening, or do you know someone who will?  If so, here’s a sure-fire way of catching a glimpse of them when they arrive.  It’s your very own motion-activated video film, triggered by the skittering of hooves across the floor. Well, almost.

First, take a photo of your hearth or the place you’d usually leave out a plate of carrots.  Take it in the evening or under-expose the shot so it looks atmospherically gloomy and moonlit.  Here’s ours…


Now, upload your photo to here ( on a mobile device or iPad, and the app will carefully add rudolph and a plate of carrots and send you an authentically accurate mini-film of the moment Santa arrived in the night, to wow your children with on Christmas morning.  Like this…


Christmas magic, right there.

*Updated: it looks like this app may not work in all geographies; if anyone find a link from other countries please do post in the comments!*

Also, are you tracking Santa? He’ll be on his way soon…

Merry Christmas!

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Hand & Footprint Reindeer Cards

A little midweek creative fun for you if you have little people around (or just a very large sheet of paper if using your own hands and feet; well, why not?).  Harry and I like making homemade Christmas cards, but unless you make them all in one long afternoon, it’s an activity you have to start early and do in fits and bursts of enthusiasm in order to have your finished beauties ready for posting in good time.  Harry has a typical toddler attention span so we will usually make 2 or 3 cards before the temptations of lego / the biscuit tin / muddy puddles lure him away, leaving a glittering array of half-glued creations and festive painty footprints in his wake.

This year we’re making hand and footprint reindeer.  It sounds – misleadingly –  like possibly the easiest project ever, as it simply involves painting your child’s hands and foot and pressing them onto a sheet of paper.  If you have a baby who can be strapped into a highchair for this, it’s ideal.  If you have a mischievous toddler who makes it his mission to evade your clutches and is slippery as an eel, then it is a battle of wits and cunning.  Huge fun, but wait for a clear day and try this outside if you can…

To make this, you’ll need child safe paints (fingerpaints, powder or poster paints are ideal; anything that won’t cause a reaction on the skin and will be easy to wipe off), eyes, red pom poms or buttons and scraps of gift wrap.  We also used little paper snowflakes cut with a craft punch, and glued on a bell. Brush the paint onto your child’s hands and one foot (a tip; do this one at a time, or your child will turn into a paint octopus and you will have no hope of co-ordinating anything).  Press each one firmly onto a sheet of white card stock.  If your child is old enough (or very young), you can probably get the placement right first time, but if not just get them to stamp lots of handprints and footprints, and you can cut out the good ones and arrange them collage-style afterwards.

Fig A: When crafting with a calm and cooperative child who has not consumed any sugar lately:

Fig B: with a more conventionally unpredictable toddler, just cut out 3 good prints and arrange them onto a fresh piece of card in the shape you want.

Once you’ve made your reindeer head, you can embellish it however you like – this is great fun for older children, or something you can do yourself if your toddler has lost interest, or is not yet dextrous enough to do the sticking and decorating.

We trimmed ours and mounted it onto a sheet of A4 sized red card stock.  It’s a picture rather than a stand-up card, but can easily be propped on a mantel or pinned to a kitchen noticeboard to add some festive cheer.

When we’d made a couple of these big pictures (and before we glued on eyes and embellishments), we took a photo of the reindeer, uploaded it and used it to print off lots of smaller ones onto pre-folded A6 blank cards – this is a great way of mass-producing your original art without the stress…

As you can see, using different sized eyes gives some very different and comical expressions.  Each reindeer will look very different depending on the print and the size and shape of your child’s hands, so make them look as original as they are!

I’ll be back later in the week with some festive stars and also the results of my weekend willow-weaving course (but really, there’s no need for bated breath and huge anticipation of majestic willow marvels I assure you; let me manage your expectations in advance ;-) )