We’ve got our big preschool party coming up and the theme is “enchanted forest”. Given my love of wee villages, gnomes and unicorns it was impossible for me not to volunteer to help with some crafty decorations. So today I diverge from our usual foodie topics to share some kid-friendly crafts which will whisk you away to fairy tale land. Most of these projects take advantage of recycled materials you probably already have around your house and none require advanced crafting skills. I guarantee that we’ll be scheduling some forest-y themed playdates and spring picnics so we can keep the magic going. For more ideas, wander over to my Enchanted Forest Party Pinterest Board and another good one compiled by a friend from our school.
All you need is some bright red felt for this one. If you don’t like to sew, I bet duct tape or staples would work out just fine. Some guidelines for making gnome hats can be found here.
A must for any fairy sprite, this flowery garland is easy to make with a few fabric scraps, fake flowers, a bit of elastic, ribbon and your trusty hot glue gun. I’ll create a separate post with the instructions, so stay tuned.
We made fairy wands using some cheap plastic chopsticks from our local Asian store (about a buck for 20 chopsticks), used manila folders, cheap ribbon, glitter and some hot glue. Those disposable wooden restaurant chopsticks would work too. Just cut out two stars the same size from your manilla folder. We secured a few ribbons to each chopstick with a dab of hot glue before sandwiching them between our stars. Apply a little hot glue (or regular old school glue) around edge of your stars and press it all together and let it dry. Then you’re ready to grab glitter, pens, paints or whatever magical decorations you wish.
Celebrate your inner unicorn! Just make some cone shapes out of old manila folders, securing the edge with tape, staples or glue… then get decorating. We used basic school glue to seal our edges shut and dried them flat under a stack of heavy books (make sure to protect your books by inserting a sheet of waxed paper between your unicorn horns and the books). We’ll be attaching a bit of elastic to these of course so that they will stay on our heads! If you happen to have some laying around, you could also use one of those cone shaped birthday party hats as your base. Open it up and flatten it, then cut the triangle in half. Glue tape or staple the the edges (you may need to trim the bottoms of the cones) to get two skinny and more unicorn-ish horns.
All the credit for this ingenious mini rainbow goes to my son. We cut a paper plate in half then cut off the edges (you’ll get two rainbows from each plate). We then cut 2 cloud shapes out of the middle part of the plate as our base. Just use a can to prop up your rainbow while the glue dries. Paint your rainbow up and glue on a little basket of gold for the leprechauns to find.
You can get pretty creative with a milk carton. Since detailed cutting will require an X-acto knife, invite young crafters to create the design using markers and leave the cutting to the adults. The waxy surface of the carton isn’t the best surface for markers or paint, but after a few coats of paint we ended up with a nice effect. We fashioned some shutters and windowboxes from a cereal box and used a piece of unpopped popcorn for our doorknob. A little moss glued to the roof gives it that rustic flair and the flickering LED tea light inside makes it easy to imagine a friendly gnome putting his feet up by the fire after a long day among the toadstools.
We made this mushroom house (see the picture at the top of this post for a better view) with a coffee cup and a paper plate. You could create a family of mushrooms by mixing it up with different sized paper bowls and plates and cups or adding in some paper towel or toilet paper rolls and cardboard coffee sleeves. My favorite part are the gills underneath the mushroom cap. Very mushroom-y!
For a touch of candy land in your enchanted forest, I am obsessed with these giant candy lights. The idea comes from a favorite blog, Oh Happy Day. You’ll want to check out their write up for the full details, but the materials include recycled clear plastic clamshell containers (the kind that fruit comes in), a string of Chistmas lights, cellophane in candy colors (available at most craft stores) and some cheap ribbon or floral wire.