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Homemade Christmas – Fun Freebie

October 20, 2012

First of all, thank you to all who voted for my picture in the contest.  I didn’t win, but there was some incredible artwork, and the winners’ images were amazing.  I now have new goals to shoot for in improving my own art.

I was going to post about painting fabric, and I’ll get to that another day, but we had a bit of a surprise last week that has changed my plans.  Unfortunately, redecorating our house has been put on hold, and Christmas prep has begun.

Yes, I know it’s not even close to Christmas, and we haven’t even had Halloween or Thanksgiving yet, and I know how annoying it is that stores have had Christmas decorations up since what seems to have been the 4th of July, but there is a very good reason for it.

Last week, we found out that my husband – who right now is the sole income provider – could possibly loose his job sometime in December or just after the new year.  His company is being sold, and in order to keep his job, he has to interview and go through the whole hiring process with the new company, and there are no guarantees he will get the job.  I hope and kind of think he will, but since there are no guarantees, we have decided to cut back all extra spending, and throw as much money into the emergency fund as we possibly can.  As Dave Ramsey would put it, we are going to “scorched earth” and “beans and rice” – which means that our Christmas budget has been cut almost completely.

But that is not going to get me down.  I am creative, and my kids are creative, (and still young) so I will be making Christmas this year.  They will be getting probably close to as much as they have gotten in past years, it’s just going to be homemade, and since I have 4 kids, in order to get it all done, I have to start now.

I know what many parents are thinking, though.  Homemade Christmas?!?!?  Seriously?!?!?  But I have some pretty awesome ideas, and since my kid’s video game and TV time is seriously limited anyways, and I realized that they never play with the store-bought toys I get them every year, I really think this could be one of the best Christmases ever.  It’s fall break, and they have not been watching TV, or playing video games, or playing with the action figures and other toys they got in birthdays and Christmases past – they’ve been playing with the scrap wood leftover from me cutting out their presents, and a wooden sword their cousin made them – thanks Zach!

So the next couple of months, I will be busy sewing dress-up clothes for my daughter (thank you hobby lobby for your incredible sale on patterns and for Halloween costumes) with my huge pile of scrap material, making hobby horses/unicorns, rubber band guns and targets, robots and magic wands out of wood, personalized bedroom decorations, dress up jewelry and more. And the best part is, thanks to my time in selling art on Etsy, I have amassed quite a bit of art materials that I can use – so supplies will cost me almost nothing.  So, as I finish some of my favorite projects, I’ll try to post them here – except for the ones I will be giving to potential readers – those I’ll have to post after Christmas so they’ll still be a surprise.

So one of the first things I have finished is something for my older boys – 7 and 9 years old.  I have to admit, the idea isn’t mine.  It’s something that was really popular when I was in elementary school, so I decided to re-create it.  It’s a funny face book.  It’s almost like a puzzle to help kids create guys like this:

It’s a book that I made, scanned and printed.  You can print it and have it spiral bound at Office Max for around $4 if you really want it to look nice, but since we are on a budget, I bought a 3-prong pocket folder, 3-hole punched the pages, and put them in there.  The bonus is, they can put extra paper in the pockets.

Here’s how it works.  There are separate pages with different options for each of the character’s features – there are pages with different faces, one with different eyes, one with different noses, and so on.  Kids can pick a face and trace it onto a piece of regular copy/printer paper.

Then pick a set of eyes, and trace that where you want it on the face:

Then trace on a nose, mouth, head and body.  To trace the ears, you need to trace one ear on one side of the head, then move the paper so that the other ear is positioned on the other side of the head.

And you have your finished product, ready to add color:

Tips for kids:

1. Trace lightly in pencil.  Some lines will overlap, and you’ll want to erase the ones that you don’t want to keep.  For example, there is a helmet.  If you draw the helmet on, you will need to erase some of the face lines, since the helmet will cover them up.  It also helps if you make a mistake and need to erase, or change your mind of a set of features.

2.  Once the picture is traced, it’s fun to go over it with a felt tip marker and then add color.

3.  If you want to create your own body, just draw the basic outline for one of the bodies, and draw in your own clothes, shoes, accessories, etc….  You can also add your own things to the eyes, like eyelashes, ears – like earings, etc…

If you post this and give it to your kids, please comment.  I can’t try it out on my kids until Christmas, and I want to see if it’s as popular as it was when I was in school.

To print, download the PDF.  put together

2 Comments leave one →
  1. Tamera permalink
    November 8, 2012 10:47 pm

    This is soo cool! Thank you very much for sharing. I think my 9 year old daughter will love this. Hang in there with the job situation. We faced the same thing but the company decided to hire young guys right out of college with no experience (they’re cheaper). Plan for the worst and hope for the best. We lived off of saving for 6 months until he got a new job – which is so much better than the old one. It all worked out, we just had to wait on the Lord’s time.

    • November 9, 2012 6:32 am

      Thanks! We are definitely planning for the worst/hoping for the best. I’m glad you like the book.
      I’m hoping to post a new project this weekend.

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