Many people dream about having a White Christmas. Not me. I lived the majority of my life in the upper Midwest under three feet of White Christmas, experiencing stormed-in Christmases, we-have-no-power Christmases, and cut-more-firewood Christmases. Snow is pretty, but it has to be shoveled and scraped.
I’m content enough to craft any all snow we have around the holidays. Snowmen are a whimsical way to decorate. While living in the Midwest, we’d take down the tree and leave up the greenery and twinkle lights and add snowmen. The décor helped us endure the longest, coldest month of the season. Now that I live in the Pacific Northwest I don’t use as many snowmen, and I’m loathe to decorate with umbrellas, the symbol of this area’s winter season, so when Christmas is over, decorating is over.
This clothespin snowman is a great project to teach kids some simple painting techniques. Every kid LOVES to paint. Every mother DREADS painting. Unlike boogers, paint doesn’t easily wash off clothes, walls, and fingers. It’s time to Let It Go! Oh, haven’t heard that a hundred times already today? Did I just stick that song in your head? If you take the time to prepare for spills and then teach the kids a few simple skills, it reduces mess and frustration for adult and child.
Tips for Painting with Kids:
- Set out supplies ahead of time. Their attention span is short.
- Count on them spilling their paint and wiping their fingers everywhere. Keep wet wipes and paper towels handy.
- Make a paint shirt for each kid. Old t-shirts work well. I also used old dress shirts, a few sizes larger than child. Cut off collar, leave the band, button it on backwards.
- A plastic placemat makes an excellent work surface for each child. You don’t have to wash it.
- Give each child a small cap of paint for each color. Water bottle caps work best, but I also use pop bottle lids, or communion cups.
- If using two colors, provide small cup of water to clean brush, or do it for them. Applesauce cups are perfect.
- Teach them to dip only the tip of the bristles in the paint.
- Better paint brushes give better results. I like real paint brushes, not the plastic ones with plastic bristles.
- Encourage them to paint in one direction to lessen brush-marks left.
- Younger kids need to be occupied during the drying time. Color or have a snack.
For more tips on crafting with kids read this post.
This is the fourth craft kit I’ve prepared for my daughter, Jana, and my adorable five grandchildren. The other kits were Baby Jesus in a Nutshell, Scented Cinnamon Ornaments, and a Peg Doll Nativity Set. Busy moms who want to create holiday memories appreciate the ready-to-go kits. This project didn’t have as many pieces, so I didn’t use individual bags for each child. All the cute variations add expense, so choose your final look based on materials on hand and the expense you want to invest.
Clothespin Snowman Craft Kit:
- traditional clothespins
- orange craft paint
- white craft paint
- black craft paint or black permanent marker
- 9 inch strands of jute for hanging
- 1 inch x 8 inch fabric strips for scarves
- caps for paint
- Paint the inside of the legs first.
- Hold the head and paint the rest. Let dry.
- Paint head. Let dry.
- Sand lightly with fine-grain sandpaper for worn look.
- Paint or marker on facial details. Practice on paper if needed.
- Knot the jute and glue on back of neck.
- Fold material in 1/2 or 1/3 and tie around neck, covering jute knot.
- Glue down scarf, trim to desired length, unravel edges.
- Write child’s name and year on back of snowman.
- Take a picture of child and craft.
- use thin fleece for scarf, cut fringe edge
- add a stocking hat (glue rectangle of fabric on head, seam in back, gather with thread, unravel)
- use small buttons down the front
- make carrot nose with Sculpey clay, glue on
- cut a carrot nose from felt
- add a top hat
Teaching a child to paint is not for the faint-hearted. But, it is a great way to increase their skill set and bring a little snow to your holiday season.
LET IT clothespin SNOWman!