Now that Christmas is finally over (we had our last celebration on January 7th), I can share the ornaments we made this year. I wanted to try something new, and perhaps challenging for the kids, so we made beaded snowflakes. I also suggested "wreaths" that could include jingle bells.
I made the snowflakes with the pipe cleaners and then let the kids put the beads on however they liked.
They loved it. First Daughter even asked to work on them a few extra times. They both, however, ran out of steam before we had the seven we needed for all the aunts and uncles and grandparents. I had to "finish" a few of them myself.
Here's an example of the final product. I wish I had taken the time to make little tags with a little picture and the year. I'm going to make more of an effort to mark them in the future so it's easier to remember as we're all putting them on our trees.
I tried to keep one I worked on for us so the others could have more "authentic" ones. You can find some online instructions here and here.
My sister and I were talking over Christmas about ornaments. She and her daughter made some paper ornaments that were just beautiful, but they didn't hold up to wrapping and travel very well. One of the nice things about making something new every year is that we don't have to be crushed if some of them don't survive or don't turn out very well. There are lots of years past and lots of years to come!
As a side note, these could be a very inexpensive project. I bought most of the supplies when the Christmas things were on sale at the local hobby shop. I had to pay full price for the pony beads, though, so I think the total ran close to $7. Of course, I have enough left over to make about 35 more of them. (Perhaps someone wants to make pipe cleaner beaded snowflakes next year and wants to pick up some supplies on the cheap...)