Easy and Joyful Holiday Crafts and Keepsakes To Try This Year

It is the most wonderful time of the year, and also the busiest season of all for moms! Between meal prepping, house decorating, and holiday shopping, kids across town are at home repeating the mantra: “I am bored!” about 20 times per day.

While I love spending time making arts and crafts with the girls, I am not a very arty person. So, something quick and playful has always been my go-to project. Here are some ideas for you to try this holiday season:

Holiday Paper Plate Wreath

Holiday Paper Wreath
Thanksgiving & Christmas Wreath made for our family

Chances are you have some construction paper at home, so all you need is a paper plate. First, cut out the middle area of the paper plate. Second, have the kids cut out little strips of paper – green for Christmas, or orange and brown for Thanksgiving. Third, glue the strip in a ring shape along the paper plate. Leave a little space for your bow or turkey body. Last, make the bow for your Christmas wreath or draw a turkey face/body for your Thanksgiving wreath. Find detailed step-by-step video instructions for the Christmas paper plate wreath here

Family Christmas Tree

Christmas Tree
Our Family Christmas Tree

There are hundreds of different Christmas crafts that can be made with little hands/feet, but this Christmas tree is one of my favorites. Instead of a tree with only the handprints from the kids, we created a family tree. After drawing the trunk, we start with the biggest hand in the house – typically the dad, followed by the mom, and then the youngest one at the top. Make sure you use different shades of green/colors for each person so they are easily distinguishable from one another. I love the idea of the tree resembling everyone in the family supporting each other. Because after all, parents will always be the strong foundation, supporting our children as they grow.

Hands, Feet, and Fingers Up on the Tree!

Penguin Rockband Ornament
This Holiday brought to you by our Penguin Rock band

Dollar stores or hobby stores always carry those ornament wooden slices/boards that you can decorate during the holiday season. Paint the whole wood board blue with white snow at the bottom. This will create an ice-cold background for your fingerprint penguin to be painted on. Leave the paint to dry. After the paint is dry, tip your little one’s fingertip in toxin-free white paint and make the body for the penguin. Last, add in the little details – face, wings, and feet – to your little penguins. Now you have a new custom ornament for your tree! This also makes a great gift for grandparents.

Laminated Ornament
Handprints and footprints from my little ones are one of my favorite ornaments.

If you have a laminator (which I highly recommend having at home), you can make these cute and everlasting ornaments easily with a little toxin-free paint, twine, a hole puncher, and some laminating pouches. Simply leave those little hand prints and footprints on the inside of the laminating pouches, wait for it to dry, run it through the laminator, cut out the shape, and then punch a hole for the twine to go through for hanging.

Make Giant Candies & Lollipop

Giant candy

These giant-sized paper plate candies and pool noodle lollipops will take you one step closer to fulfilling your inner childhood dream of owning a candy house. You will need:

For the paper plate candy, simply paint the back of the plates, making sure each pattern has at least a pair of plates, then glue the matching plates together when the paint is dry. Wrap up your “candy” in clear cellophane wrap and tie it up with a pretty bow!

Giant Lollipop
Which kid doesn’t love a lollipop their size?

I discovered these giant pool noodle lollipops when I was looking for ideas to make holiday parade props and instantly fell in love with them. First, you decorate your pool noodle with colored duct tape along the length of the noodle. Second, you roll up your pool noodle into a pinwheel. There are some tutorials online that recommend using a hot glue gun to keep the pool noodle in the pinwheel shape, but I’ve found that it will just tear the styrofoam apart, unless you want to hold on to your pool noodle for a long time until the glue cools… So instead, I just run clear packing tape or color-matching duct tape across the pinwheel to keep it in place. 

The last step is to wrap the lollipop up. There are two ways to do this. If you are turning this into a giant candy, I would recommend just wrapping it up with clear cellophane wrap. If you are making a giant lollipop, I find it easier to wrap the whole thing (including the broom handle) with a handheld packing plastic wrap and tape everything closed. Once your candy part is wrapped, you can use ribbon to finish decorating it with a pretty bow.

There are literally hundreds of ideas for holiday arts and crafts ideas you can find online, these are just a few we have made over the years that are quick and easy! We hope these inspire you to try some this holiday season. Remember, it doesn’t have to be the finest and most beautiful ornament in the world, it is the family time spent making it that counts. Besides, you get a keepsake to cherish for many holiday seasons to come.

Happy Holidays!

Judy Tsai
A first generation immigrant who came to the U.S. for the first time when she was 21 and settled in Texas since then. Judy loves to celebrate both her Taiwanese heritage and all the San Antonio fun happenings. She is mom to an animal lover & expert - August (2015) and Autumn (2018) aka #Meimei (little sister in Chinese). When she is not "mom-ing", Judy works in marketing, makes websites, and runs her own AirBNB. In her free time, she enjoys making crafts, cooking yummy food, volunteering at school and traveling to places whenever she can.