WARNING! This activity is very messy, sticky, glittery and oh so awesome!
We put up our Christmas tree last night, and when the mess was finally packed away, and the kids were all in bed, and everything was quiet, I stopped and looked at our lopsided tree.
Our tree is not pretty. It is not perfectly decorated, it doesn’t have a stylish colour scheme. Our tree is not even real! Our tree may not be beautiful but it is a perfect reflection of our family.
It is covered with crazy ornaments my Mum sent me from the UK the year our twins were born. It has decorations made by all of the big kids at kinder (preschool). It has decorations given to my kids to remember ballet concerts and past Christmases. It has an angel on the top given to me by a little girl I used to teach more than 15 years ago! It has tinsel that Noah just HAD to buy this time last year even though he didn’t at all understand the concept of Christmas. And it is crammed into the corner next to baskets of washing and some plaster boards that are waiting to go into our new bathroom.
Yep… that is our Christmas tree, covered with crazy, multi-coloured ornaments and memories, just how it should be.
Every year we try and make some Christmas decorations to add to our crazy Christmas tree and this we we went with a sticky, gluey wool Christmas decorations.
To make some gluey wool decorations you’ll need:
- Something to cover your work surface – this will be messy
- Some damp clothes for sticky fingers
- Wool or string in a couple of colours
- PVA/White glue watered down a little – lots of it!
- A container to put your gluey wool in
- Non-stick baking paper
- Free printable shape template or paper with your own shapes drawn on it
Before you begin cover your work surface. We used newspaper for this so that we could just throw it away as I knew it would get pretty gluey and very glittery! We also put a container of damp wash cloths in the middle of the table for wiping sticky and glittery fingers, and there was lots of them!
My kids and I came up with four simple Christmas shapes to use as a template for this activity – a star, a circle, a heart and a Christmas tree. You can download the free printable template here, or you could draw your own shapes to use as a template. If you are drawing your own, keep them large and simple and use a thick, dark coloured marker so the lines can be easily seen.
Set your template on the table and cover it with a sheet of non-stick baking paper. Make sure you use non-stick paper or you’ll never be able to get the decorations off when they are dry! Now it’s time to get gluey!
Cut your wool into lengths of about 5-12cms and dump them into a container. Totally saturate the wool with watered down PVA (white craft or wood glue that dries clear). You’ll need lots of glue and you need to make sure that every strand of wool is really really gluey.
Once everything is well and truly gluey, pick a shape to start with, grab a piece of gluey wool, and carefully place it on top of the shape, molding it to follow the outline.
Make sure the outline of your shape is quite thick, you will probably need more than one piece of wool to get a nice strong outline. Then you can start filling in your shape however you like. Make sure any piece of wool you add to the shape touches the wooly edge of your shape and sticks to it well so it all holds together when it is dry. Make sure all your pieces of wool are very very gluey, add more glue to the container of wool as you go if needed.
Once you have enough gluey wool on your shape, sprinkle a little glitter over it, or a lot! (Glitter drives me nuts, but it’s Christmas so I let me kids go for it with the glitter!).
Put your gluey shapes, on their non-stick paper on a flat surface, cover the top with another piece of non-stick baking paper, and put something flat and heavy on top of that to press them down. Leave them to flatten for an hour or two, then you can take off heavy things and set them aside to dry.
It will take a few days for the glue to completely dry, but when everything is dry and done you can carefully peel your shapes off the non-stick paper, add a string, and they are ready to hang on your tree!