Sunday, December 4, 2011

Day 4 of Christmas Crafting: Popcorn Garland

 Ok, so popcorn garlands are hardly novel, but they are a classic for a reason.  I love the long string of fluffy white kernals with pops of red interspersed.  I knew that it would be perfect for our tree this year. 

So I popped a bunch of popcorn, but I chose not to use fresh cranberries.  I found a strand of wooden cranberry beads and decided to go that route instead.  I figured I would be able to use them year after year.  But there's one problem.  Claire has now discovered the joy of popcorn and wants to scarf down any bit she can get her hands on.  Which means when she sees the garland on the tree, she's gonna do her darndest to eat it, and that means those lovely cranberry beads just became a choking hazard.  Dang it.  So, I guess this will only grace the upper levels of the tree.  Good thing that's eye-level, because I think it's gorgeous!

I ended up with about 9 feet of garland on my first round, but I'm going to make more.  I used a pattern of 15-5-15-5-10-5 popcorn kernals with one red berry in between each section of popcorn.  I liked the variety of spacing, but also love that overall it's uniform.  It serves both the creative and analytically portions of my brain, I guess.

This project used less than a quarter cup of popcorn kernals (Claire downed about half of that), 25 red beads, and a wee bit of white embroidery thread.  (I used 3 strands to give it added strength-- toddlers have super-human strength when they see something they want, I swear.)

On to another Christmas countdown activity that Claire and I are doing.  I found this idea on the web, too, (of course) at this great site that has lots of Christmas ideas for crafts, activities, etc. here.  Every day in December Claire and I are going to unwrap a Christmas book and read it.  My teacher's heart loved this idea immediately, of course, but by no means did I have 25 Christmas books lying around.  I did make a recent trip to Half Price Books where I picked up a couple, but my local library was the saving grace here.  I picked up about 20 Christmas picture books, lickety split.  The best part of getting them from the library is we get to "test drive" them this year.  If I really like a few, I can keep my eye out for them and build our collection over the next few years.

Anyway, once I had gathered all the books, I wrapped them.  This took a fair amount of paper, so I picked some up at the dollar bin section of Target-- gotta love that.  Once wrapped, I tucked them in a green bin and let Claire ogle them for a bit before selecting one.
 Sorry for the fuzzy photos.  Unwrapping was fast and furious!
 Oh my goodness.  This is not a baby face.  How did that happen?
 She loved the first book, which was The Christmas Magic by Lauren Thompson.  The illustrations by Jon J. Muth are absolutely gorgeous.  We had lots of fun pointing out Santa, the reindeer, the stars, and Santa's sleigh.

I think this may be one of my new favorite traditions.  I love the one-on-one time with my sweet baby girl, and how her eyes light up with wonder with each of these books.  It's turned into my favorite time of our mornings.

Do any of you do this, too?  If not, I highly recommend it.  What a gift it is!

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