Running from the Law: Holiday Kids' Craft Blog Hop

Sunday, December 6, 2015

Holiday Kids' Craft Blog Hop

Hello friends! Once again, I'm co-hosting Savvy Sassy Mom's Holiday Blog Hop with a few of my fellow Product Scouts. This is the 4th week of our blog hop and the theme this week is Holiday Kids' Crafts! Each of the co-hosts listed below will be sharing a kid-friendly holiday craft and we'd love it if you joined us and linked-up your favorite holiday kids' craft post from your own blog! This is a great way to discover some new blogs, get fun ideas and make your posts accessible and pinnable for others! I hope you'll join us!

Amy Gene of O'Leary Love
Angela of Playing with Words
Carrie Beth & Jen of Magnolia Mamas

We've now come to the part of the post where (as co-host of this link-up and mommy blogger extraordinaire) I'm supposed to WOW and impress you with our incredible artsy-fartsy craft skillz and blow you away with my creativity, unbridled patience and uncanny ability to make crafting with kids look easy and fun! However, if you're a regular reader of this blog you know that I don't sugar-coat things and the reality of crafting (or doing anything) with children is much harder and more frustrating than blogs and Pinterest would have you believe. So I'm here today with a confession that I just need to get off my chest...

Hello, my name is Sara and I'm a crafting failure.
Let's just cut to the chase and let me tell you that we tried really hard to come up with a fun and easy kid-friendly craft for this blog hop. We experimented with not ONE...not TWO...but THREE separate crafts and they all failed miserably. One was so bad that I'm too embarrassed to even post the photos. The other two are ridiculous enough that I felt like I had to share, just so you know that you're not alone if you fail at crafts this year too.

For our first craft we attempted to make ornaments from melted beads. Maybe you've seen the tutorials floating around Pinterest on just how easy and fun this craft is. The basic premise is that you fill your metal cookie cutters up with colored plastic perler beads, melt in the oven for a few minutes and viola...instant adorable ornament. How hard could it be? (famous last words)
First of all, those little perler beads are a bitch to handle. They go EVERYWHERE and are a major choking hazard for little ones, so I didn't exactly think that one through. Secondly, Mac had absolutely no interest in trying to make the ornaments look like anything other than a giant glob of rainbow-colored plastic vomit, so I was constantly picking colored beads out of the white snowman and red heart (which were the two he "let" me have). 
Third, we made the mistake of putting the ornaments on wax paper, so after a few minutes in the oven to melt, the wax melted and the whole kitchen filled with smoke which set off the smoke alarms, sending the dog into a barking fit, Mac into hysterics and waking the baby up from her nap. UGH. This is point where I decided that all kids' holiday crafts should be paired with a corresponding adult beverage - the more stressful the craft, the harder the liquor. Paper crafts = beer. Scissors and glue = vodka. Anything with glitter should automatically be accompanied with a shot of tequila. 
Finally, we made two sets of ornaments, one with a thin layer of beads (above right) and one with a thick layer (above left). We weren't sure which would look better, so we experimented. The thin layer of beads stuck to the wax paper, but not too bad to the metal cookie cutters. We did the thick set second, so we swapped the wax paper for parchment (which fixed the smoking and sticking problems), but they completely stuck to the metal cookie cutters, making it nearly impossible to get them out. I had to break out the pliers, a screwdriver and a knife. I lost a couple cookie cutters in the process and also ended up with minor 2 cuts and minimal bleeding. Thankfully no stitches were required (I hope I'm current on my tetanus shot) and the kids didn't witness my temper tantrum while throwing the ornaments around the kitchen in frustration and cussing like a sailor.  
I think maybe the thicker ones look a bit better, but by this point I don't even effing care! These certainly were not worth the effort (or blood, sweat and tears) I had to put into getting them out of the damn cookie cutters. Maybe it'd work better with non-stick cutters? Or just leave the cookie cutters attached?  OR JUST DON'T DO THIS AT ALL. Problem solved. 
Ok, so they're not a complete failure, but definitely not as easy or cute as I'd hoped they'd be (the pictures make them look way better than real life). The hearts and trees turned out the best; the flowers and bells just look like blobs; and the snowmen are just sad melted mutants. Although, the kids didn't care one bit and Mac actually thought they turned out amazing! He kept picking them up and saying "Wow! Look at this one!" over and over. I didn't really know how (or want) to turn them into ornaments, so we ended up adding them to our fake plastic food supply in the kids' play kitchen, so now they have colorful fake Christmas cookies to bake in the little fake oven. They think they're awesome. 
But speaking of complete failure, this next project was a total disaster. My kids love playing with window clings, so I thought it'd be fun to make our own for the front door. Genius, right? Well, here's where Pinterest led me astray. The directions I read for multiple DIY window cling posts told me to add a few drops of dish soap and food coloring to glue, apply the glue directly to a piece of plastic (or any non-stick surface) and let dry. Again, how hard could it be?
We mixed the glue and used plastic cookie cutters for the shapes. Mac loved this project because he's totally obsessed with glue right now and squeezing it out by himself. I usually have to supervise his glue usage or he'll completely drown our projects in glue, so this was a nice project to just let him squeeze away. He still managed to end up with glue and food coloring all over himself, the countertop, the dog and me, but whatever. This is me letting it goooooooooo.
Our first mistake was that the glue ran out from under the cookie cutters, turning it into a giant shapeless puddle of glue. Once we realized that was happening, I put a can on top of the cookie cutter to keep the glue in.  Turns out that didn't really matter, because when the glue dried, it was a thin hard rock -- nothing like a soft sticky window cling. The green dried almost clear with weird hard bubbles in it. The red was hard and curled up on the edges. The white just completely shriveled up and cracked into pieces. The one snowflake below (that looks like a spiderweb) looked okay (hahahaha!) at first, but it was no where close to sticky or clingy and after I peeled it off the paper it curled in on itself and broke. We ended up throwing everything in the trash and scrapping the whole project. 
So, there's that. Neither craft really turned out like we hoped. BIG FAT CRAFTING FAILURE. However, I have to say that the kids had fun and I guess that's the important part. They played with the ugly rainbow cookies and the hardened glue blobs. They didn't have high expectations (or any expectations), so they were pleasantly surprised with our creations and thought the whole process was pretty cool. Mac even told me later that night that he really loves doing crafts with me and it nearly made my heart explode. It just goes to show you that sometimes it's not about the end result, it's about the fun you had and the memories you made along the way.

Now it's your turn!  I've set the bar pretty low (you're welcome!). It's not going to take much to impress me, so show me your favorite holiday kids' craft! 

How to Participate:

  • Link up your favorite holiday sweet treat by putting the URL and name of your blog post into the InLinkz widget below.
  • Visit 3-5 other blogs in the Holiday Blog Hop and leave a comment on other posts.
  • Share this Holiday Blog Hop with your friends and readers on social media using the #SavvySassyHoliday hashtag.
  • Don't forget to head over to Savvy Sassy Moms next week to link up for Week 5 which is all about Holiday Drinks (and I rocked this one)!


  1. Well, the pictures are very pretty! I remember doing those little beads as a kid with my mom by ironing them down, on top of wax paper, but they were held together on little holders with tiny spikes. Maybe using an iron is no better than the oven for these, but still! You make me laugh, girl. Love it.

  2. I love your decorations ideas! Such a great thing to do with kids :) How many made the tree?

    liz @ sundays with sophie

  3. This is too freaking funny! This is why I end up doing the most basic crafts ever! Paper plates, paint, and glue... Key for success every time ;). I've seen both of these on Pinterest and thought they looked like too much trouble. Thank you for confirming that and giving me a great laugh to start my Monday :)

  4. I remember those perler beads from my days at daycare & you are so right. I shivered every time one of the little girls got them out because they would end up all over the damn was terrible. I have been so terrible at doing any crafts with Cash lately. I still have a few weeks before Christmas, right? ;)

  5. It did look like a great idea and like you said, the kids had fun and that's the important thing. I'm pretty lame. I haven't done any Christmas crafts with the kids yet. I'm going to try to change that this week.

  6. HAHA!! Your commentary throughout the post had me cracking up!! I am the EXACT same way. I hate when Pinterest leads me astray. I will say, your pictures (and obviously Mac) are absolutely adorable!

  7. Well look at you trying to get all crafty! At least you tried! I do not craft... I leave those activities for Liam to do at school. ;-)

  8. I liked doing those bead things when I was younger. One Christmas, I remember making them for my aunts as ornaments for their trees. :)

    So much fun!

  9. I laughed all the way through this. Because this is us. Every damn time we try to craft. I've pretty much thrown in the crafting towel. We don't do then often (ever).
    I do love your ornaments/fake cookies. Surely there has to be an easier way to melt them!

  10. LOL I love your honesty! And it is so sweet that Mac enjoyed it so much. Makes me think I should probably do some crafts with my little guy. I actually DO have artsy-fartsy skillz, but thinking about doing crafts with his wild little self stresses me out a bit.

  11. This is one of my all-time favourite posts, Sara! I definitely learned the wax vs parchment paper lesson the same way. I'm sure Mac had a great time regardless!

  12. Ha ha! I love your posts and how honest you are. I may have laughed out loud while reading, but only because this is exactly what happens to me. :) I remember loving those beads as a kid. So annoying when it doesn't come out like you want. Still cute though.

  13. I've always wanted to try the head melting activity!! Glad that one turned out so well!!

  14. It's 11:30 so I wasn't literally LOL but, on the inside I was! I too have such high expectations about craft with Jack already & each time they turn out less than what I had envisioned! Just this weekend a couple of girlfriends came over to hang out & do "hand print ornaments" (baby hand prints on the clear ornaments). Well, filling the ornaments with fun stuff went great... getting Jack's hand on there, not so much! My friend & I tried 3 times and it was a big fat baby hand blob. Matt came in & asked if I wanted help.... got it on the first try!!! Thankful for him but, really!? I haven't decided if I'll be doing more Christmas crafts or not! LOL!

  15. this cracked me up! pinterest (minus my pins OF COURSE, hehe) is a throne of lies!! hey, at least he had fun! i thought the ornaments at the top turned out kinda cool!

  16. This post made me laugh at loud. As much of a pain those bead ornaments were, they turned out pretty cute!!

  17. You make me laugh!! “The more stressful the craft – the harder the liquor!” Ha. YES! At least your kid follows through with the craft. I spend no less than 30 minutes prepping for a fun craft (that he seems excited about) and then after we are 3-5 minutes into it he is over it and I’m left to finish the craft by myself, plus the cleanup. Every.damn.time.

  18. And now I don't feel bad for not doing a SINGLE craft with Jude, because I know it would just drive me to want to drink and I can't do that right now (damn you, pregnant belly)! But your pictures are gorgeous so you totally get points for that!

  19. I feel you on this one!!! I hate melting perler beads, those suckers NEVER turn out for me! But I do like using them for threading so I keep them around ;)

  20. As a fellow craft failure, I adore this post. Thank you for the laughs! I am clinking my poorly painted Pinterest wine glass with yours!

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