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About Snowflakes, Scrap Boxes and ‘Dilli Haat’!

by Rashmie Jaaju on December 24, 2010 · 7 comments

in Art & Craft

Santa, Christmas Tree, Stocking – the universal craft themes for this month.

And, even though these ideas have been done to death; yet they evoke the same fun and thrill each time kids get on to making them.

At our home too, all that Pari wants to make these days is Christmas Trees!

I introduced some twist for her in this theme by asking her to decorate her scrap box in the Christmas
theme. I also had her use a unique eco-friendly raw material for this craft.

This eventually turned out to be a 3-day activity done in bits and pieces.

I like keeping scrap boxes…

…not just for Pari’s sake but for my own. When I find an interesting cutting from a newspaper or a magazine, any eccentric something or even scraps left over from handmade sheets of paper (I absolutely drool over handmade paper), I like to keep them in cardboard boxes (shoe box, sweet box etc) with some revamping.

So, now was the time to get my boxes – and her’s – decorated.

Using some green coloured Saw Dust that we bought from our all-time favourite hangout – Dilli Haat, she made a Christmas tree.

Talking about ‘Dilli Haat’…

I can’t carry on without indulging in a quick narrative about this mini-India. “Mini India”, I call this place as it embodies the essence of India’s art, craft, colours and flavours. ‘Dilli Haat’ is a permanent fair in Delhi where artists and artisans from across the country gather to sell their extremely handmade creations. And, these creations are no ordinary art, I must tell you. These artisans are the cream of the crop – recognized at National and International level for their skill; for being the torch bearer of that particular craft (often – a dying craft) and for preserving India’s handmade heritage.

Gorgeous Papier Mache Crafts from the Kashmir Stall in ‘Dilli Haat’

The bonus at Dilli Haat, for a foodie like my hubby and me, is the the eclectic array of cuisines that is on offer - exotic cuisines from the North Eastern states of India, unexplored and unknown flavours from the not-so-popular regions of the South; the quirky non-alcoholic fruit beers and ofcourse –  the ubiquitous Rajasthani thali, the Punjabi platter and the South Indian meal.

hmm…I realize I digressed big time! The holiday spirit makes me chatty…!

So, using that saw dust, Pari made a christmas Tree on the cover of the scrap box. This was an evening activity. We had to let it dry and then shake off the extra dust.

Next day, after school, she added some ornaments to the tree. I let her decide and do all this on her own without any interventions. She decided to make small balls from crepe paper. And, some twinkling stars in the backdrop from glitter glue.

This box kept lying for another day without any further embelishments. But, she knew that she had to do something more to it to make it look nicer.

In the meantime, I introduced her to the art of intricate paper cutting so we could make snow flakes. As a kid, my brother and I were fascinated with making ornaments by cutting paper folded into triangles and various shapes.

For 3 days in a row, Pari and I kept making snow flakes!

She was totally enamoured by this craft. I think it was the element of surprise that makes this activity so enticing. What intricate designs you are going to see, when you unfold the paper, makes your adrenalin gush! And, the fact that each time you get a new pattern will keep you hooked for hours!

The method to make a snow flake (with six pointed sides) is pretty simple.

  1. From any rectangular piece of paper, cut a square by first folding it into an isosceles triangle.

  2. In the second step, cut off the strip of long rectangle that remains after the folded triangle.

  3. Give one more fold to the triangle

  4. Imagine the triangle in three parts. Fold the first part upward. Fold the third part downward – in a way that these two overlap each other
  5. Chop off the top part

  6. Now is the time to give wings to your imagination. Give some intricate cuts on the folded side. You can give some small nips on the other sides as well. I try to cut into different pattern each time.

Some of these snow flakes made a perfect backdrop for the Christmas tree. Others went on a handmade textured paper as a collage to decorate a wall in Pari’s room!

Christmas is tomorrow! Between other things, we will have some fun making a few more Christmas-y crafts at home.

On this note, I would like to share some adorable Christmas related crafts on some of the Mommy blogs that I follow:

  1. Snow Globe
  2. Collection of Christmas Ornaments from across the net
  3. Homemade Christmas Gifts – Candy cane Playdough

  4. Gorgeous Christmas Ornaments
  5. Ideas for Gift Wrapping
  6. Snuggly Fleece Scarves

What are your kids making or will make for Christmas?

I would LOOOOVE to have pics of those activities from you. If I have a few pics from you all, I will love to include those in my next blog post. If you have those pics as a blog post or some where online, you can add the link in the comments section.
So, share away!

And, wish you and your family a very Merry Christmas!

{ 7 comments… read them below or add one }

Sahiba December 25, 2010 at 12:58 pm

Dear Rashmie,
Once again thank you for sharing this…me and kids too got inspired and managed to make a Christmas tree:)have posted the pic on FB.  U make all this look so simple and fun but when we sit to do all this it's so much hard work phewwww. Chalo koi gal nahi, tum ideas dete raho, hum churate rahenge…sorry inspiration lete rahenge:)

Reply

Rashmie Jaaju December 25, 2010 at 3:10 pm

Sahiba, dear, I am sooooo happy and humbled that you say you and your kids are inspired by these ideas. And, I must say, it’s the encouragement from friends and readers like you, that keep me inspired. About “making it look simple”, well, I want to say that it will turn out to be much fun eventually when the kids will do some art everyday and make it a part of their daily life. Then, it will become second nature and seem less hard work.
Also, just have them enjoy the ‘process’ of making something rather than worrying about if it will turn out beautiful or not. I do not want to sound “preachy” at all. But just want to share from experience that we just have to give them the raw material and a few clues and set the environment and they will be on their own. We don’t need to sit through and through with them during the process. In our well-intentioned act of ‘being there’ we tend to curb their imagination and creativity. If they are on their own, they will come up with something that suits their magical imaginary world. :)
Thanks for being here, Sahiba! You know how much it means to me… :)
And yes, I saw the Christmas Tree pic on FB. It IS beautiful indeed! I especially loved the colours and textures in the backdrop. It has to go into my next blog post! :)

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Sahiba December 25, 2010 at 3:35 pm

Dear you are not being "preachy" but helping me understand how to make these little minds more creative:)thank you for this info will remember this next time and give them more free hand to do what they wish to, rather than supervise and keep correcting them to make something beautiful..we did manage to decorate the simple Christmas tree and make it look  cheerful and happy  just like me:))

Reply

Shyamala April 17, 2011 at 3:49 am

Hi Rashmie – i got this wonderful opportunity to bump into your blog and i must say its just fabulous. really excited and happy to see yours and your lil one’s creativity. i can get lot of inspiration from your blog to engage my 8-year old daughter meaningfully during her summer vacation.
also, just thought of sharing this and getting some ideas from you. My daughter has to make a model of earth for her project. any creative idea of how i can do it from best out of waste. thanks :)
shyamala

Reply

Rashmie Jaaju April 26, 2011 at 6:41 am

Hi Shyamala,
Welcome to MommyLabs :)
Your comment was marked as ‘spam’ by the spam filter software on my blog and hence I didn’t see it until now. Am sorry that this reply is late for your daughter’s Earth Day project. But, you could use it anytime later.
Recently, Pari made this prehistoric Earth from handmade clay/dough. You could try this. You can also try a papier mache Earth for which I have shared a link in the same post, over here:

http://mommylabs.gorgeouskarma.com/art_craft_projects_kids/making-prehistoric-earth-with-shaving-cream-flour-playdough/

Do keep visiting. Participation from my readers motivate me no end!
Cheers!

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Kanchan April 27, 2011 at 11:25 am

Hi Rashmi,
Ur blog is really very nice.I was looking for something like this when i bumped across it.I am a completely non creative person so was looking for ideas to do with my 4 year old son and ur blog jus fits in so well.I jus loved the activities shown over here and even tried doing the leaves collage painting with him and we both thoroughly enjoyed.
do keep us updated about ur creative stuff.
thanks,
Kanchan Agarwal

Reply

Rashmie Jaaju April 27, 2011 at 11:58 am

Kanchan, Hi, and welcome to MommyLabs.
Thank you for such a nice comment. I am so glad you like the art and craft activities from my blog and tried the leaves crayon collage with your son.
Doesn’t matter if you think you are not so creative. Actually, we don’t have to be artists or highly creative people to foster a creative environment at home – for our kids. The trick is to do those simple artful and playful activities regularly (‘regularly’ is the key) and make them see how much fun learning can be. Thank you again for sharing your thoughts. You can subscribe to this blog and/or connect on the Facebook page to get regular updates. Here’s my FB page:

http://www.facebook.com/pages/Gorgeous-Karma/147235775024

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