This weekend, we're with Matt's family in Southern Iowa. We put up the big family Christmas tree after Thanksgiving dinner, and our niece and nephew (ages 4 and 6) were mesmerized. Unfortunately, they also wanted to spend a lot of time playing with the more delicate ornaments. Their mom mentioned wanting to do some sort of kid-friendly felt tree, and that sparked a memory in me.
During grad school, one of my friends wanted to do a tree, but she didn't have much room in her tiny apartment. She decided to hang a felt tree on the wall, and we all decorated little felt ornaments to hang up on the tree. I showed the pics to my sister-in-law, and she was game.
This morning, I avoided the worst of Black Friday by waiting to go out until noon. I picked up some felt for our project. I purchased both a yard of green (~$4.00) and 8 little felt squares (23 cents each, except for the fancy leopard print, which was 97 cents). My mother in law was buying some stockings to decorate, so she picked up a pack of glitter glue for ~$5.
Once we got home, we got everything going. I roughly traced a tree on the felt. Actually, I did this twice, as you can see. I'm not 100% happy with my tree (the branches tilt up a bit too much), but it's good enough.
And the finished, cut-out tree:
I don't have much for reference in this picture, but the tree is a bit more than a yard tall. We used the width of the felt so we'd have a taller tree.
Then, we got down to business. My SIL and I cut out ornaments, and we did some decorating along with my niece. My nephew sat next to me and played with legos, but his only decorating contributions were "no, thank you" when I asked if he wanted to decorate and "laser eyes!" or "red!" when I wanted decorating suggestions.
Here I am, decorating the star for the top of treee:
Here's my SIL and niece decorating:
Here's the laser-eyes teddy bear:
And a collection of a bunch of finished ornaments -- click on the pics to go to flickr and see a bigger version:
Here's the "finished" tree on the table. The ornaments are still drying, so we aren't able to hang the tree up yet. But I'm hoping the kids have a fun time "decorating" this tree of their own and don't get too much into the big tree. If nothing else, this was a fun way to spend an afternoon. My niece managed to hang on for a good bit of decorating, and she really enjoyed checking out the ornaments I was doing in between bouts of running off to play or get a snack.
I anticipate this would be a great craft for a slightly older kid (ages 5-10 or so?) or anyone artsy. Our overall expenses were under $12, and we have plenty more glitter glue for other crafts. When I made this in grad school, we used push pins to secure the tree to the wall. Using the push pins, we put on garland and candy canes, and the ornaments stuck just fine. I'm not sure how well it will work with little kids, but my SIL has velcro waiting in the wings in case the tree needs a little something more.