Advent Workshop

I love making homemade gifts for the holidays and so I organized an Advent Workshop at our church to make some crafts and get into the holiday spirit.  We actually had 11 crafts and plenty of people attended (75 to be exact)!  Here are some of the great ideas, I got most of these from pinterest but I also had some very craft people help who came up with their own ideas.

Up first we have Christmas finger puppets.
Finger Puppets from coin wrappers
These were a huge hit for the older elementary and tween ages because it takes some time to design the little bits of character for a finger puppet.  It can be as basic as the reindeer or as complicated as Santa.  And everywhere in between.  They came out great:

A great idea for gifts for mom, aunts, or grandmas is a Bird's Nest Necklace.  I got the beads, wire, and necklace chains from Oriental Trading.  Click the links to find what to buy.
Bird's Nest Necklaces
These were also a huge hit, but for the older girls and women of the group.  Larger diameter wire makes the nest look more nesty (haha!), but it was neat to see how different each person's was. 

For younger children, a Christmas nativity is a fairly easy ornament that will travel and store very well.
Nativity Ornament
We had even preschoolers paint their sticks white, orange, blue, and brown, and used some yarn as "hay" for the little manger.

Finding gold pipe cleaner is difficult, but makes this project worth it.  I got mine at Amazon.

We also had the skiing pinecone snowman from pinterest, which was very easy for young children to make.  It didn't hold the interest of older kids because there aren't too many things to do to it, before you are done. 
Skiing Pinecone Snowman
I brought a bunch of different plaid fabrics for the kids to pick their favorite.  They also turned out really great, and show each child's personality.

One of my favorite crafts was an Ornament Wreath, which is pretty popular right now.  The great thing about it is that ANYONE at ANY AGE can make it.  BUT, you need a TON of ornaments.
Ornament Wreath
 Estimate on 60-80 ornaments per wreath.  We made about 16 wreaths with 800-900 ornaments.  AND you do have to hot glue all the little metal clips on the top of each ball so they won't fall off when you string them on the wire.  We broke a few ornaments during construction, but it was a fantastic craft and everyone really enjoyed it.  Here is an action shot:

We also had four other craft stations: Melted Crayon Ornaments, Gingerbread Houses, Fingerprint Reindeer Christmas Cards, Bell Necklaces, and Handpainted Ball Ornaments.
Fingerprint Reindeer and Bell Necklace
Fingerprint Reindeer
Painted Ball Ornaments hanging on a tree
Gingerbread House

Finally, our church's woodworking group came and gave out wooden ornaments made for the children that came to Advent Workshop.

Have you done any of these crafts?  What are your favorite homemade gifts?


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