Christmas is a time for giving and sharing. But oftentimes, kids are at the receiving end of this festive season. So how do we encourage them to join in the spirit of giving? How about letting them create a gift out of their own time, love and effort? Having these thoughts in mind, I created this Christmas craft that kids can easily make: DIY Christmas Luminaries. It’s an easy enough craft for preschool – that yes, even 3-year-olds can make. But also exciting enough for even a 10-year-old to make for loved ones.
DIY Christmas Luminaries
What you need to make these DIY Christmas Luminaries:
- Mason jars
- Mod Podge
- Food coloring
- Foam brush
- Decor: anything from red maple leaves to sequins to Christmas craft supplies
How kids can make these DIY Christmas Luminaries plus some extra tips:
- Clean and dry the mason jars.
- Tip for removing mason jar labels: Mix oil and baking powder. Spread them on the labels (especially concentrating where the glue is). Leave on for a few minutes. Then scrub them off.
- Mix mod podge and drops of food coloring.
- For the blue jars, we mixed approximately 3 drops of blue food coloring and 2 T. of mod podge. I didn’t get to measure how much we used for the red and green jars. But play around with the colors until you get the color that appeals to you.
- Using a foam brush, spread the colored mod podge onto the mason jars. Then glue on the Christmas decor as you go.
- About Mod Podge: Mod podge acts as both a glue and a sealant. In this initial coating of colored mod podge, we are making it act as a glue. Encourage the kids to spread mod podge on one side of the jar, then decorate. If they apply mod podge on the entire jar, then decorate after, the mod podge might dry up when they are ready to stick their decor on.
- More Tips: For an even coating of color, encourage the kids to apply the colored mod podge using strokes going towards one direction. My 10-year-old did this without a problem. It was challenging for the 4 and 5-year-olds.
- And a note on the decor: The red maple leaves, white flower cut outs and narrow sequins (like the reindeer and snowflake shaped ones) worked well. The wider sequins like the Santa Claus, butterfly and ‘Merry Christmas’ ones were a challenge due to the curve of the mason jar. We had to hold these ‘wider’ sequins down for a few seconds until the glue of the mod podge took effect. In other words, use Christmas decor that is soft and pliable. Or if you use something as hard as sequins, make sure they are narrow enough that it doesn’t need to be bent around the jar.
- When kids are finished decorating, allow this to dry for approximately 10 minutes. Then using a clean foam brush, apply another layer of mod podge (without color) all over the decorated mason jar. This layer now acts as a sealant. This helps preserve the decor, especially the red maple leaves.
Put a tea light or votive candle in the middle of the mason jar. Tie some ribbon around the neck of the jar. And it makes a beautiful, kid-made Christmas gift. Create and gift a set of three to create a beautiful home decor accent. Or you can even decorate it in a set of 5 on a rectangular plate such as the one below….
Did you like these DIY Christmas Luminaries? We love sharing ideas that can help parents enjoy their kids through fun, simple, inexpensive yet creative activities. So be sure to visit our Crafts for Preschool page, to get more Christmas or all year round craft ideas. You can also follow Kidz Activities on Facebook, Pinterest and Instagram.
This post is part of the Kid Made Gift Series hosted by Teach-Me-Mommy.com. Click on the link to view awesome kid made gift ideas by 20+ other moms, just like this Festive Pen Holder kid made gift by Peakle Pie.