Christmas Cookie Recipe and Gift Idea: Santa’s Sleigh Cookies

There is still time to make this treat as a nice gift for any child. This year, I made some cookie sleighs! You can involve your little ones like I did, by giving them some cookie dough to make the cookies with cookie cutters or let them help with the festive decoration or fill the sleighs with goodies!

ready sleigh
All ready sleigh!

You will need:

  1. Your favorite sugar cookie or gingerbread recipe, or use mine
  2. Sleigh cookie cutters or a template. I will give the link to that at the end of the post.
  3. Your favorite icing, or use mine
  4. Candy canes
  5. Decorations such as colorful sprinkles
  6. Food coloring (optional)
  7. Little treats to put into the sleighs

Eggless cookie recipe:

I used my favorite cookie recipe which is egg-less:

–          370 g flour

–          165 g sugar which has been through the food processor or blender

–          ¼ teaspoon salt

–          2 teaspoons vanilla extract

–          225 g butter, cold

–          30 g cream cheese

In a large bowl, mix the first four ingredients. Now add little by little the butter and knead with your hand. It will be a crumbled mix first. When you have added all the butter, mix in the cream cheese. Now, part the dough into two and wrap in clear wrap foil. Chill the dough for about half an hour. Roll the dough out as thin or thick as you like and cut out your cookies either with cookie cutters or using the template for the sleigh (which you can find here)

Put the cookies on a backing paper lined baking tray. Bake in a preheated oven for about 180 degrees C for about 8-10 minutes, until their light brown. Let them cool completely before decorating the cookies or assembling the sleigh.

This recipe is quite healthy, just as I want my kids’ snacks to be!

For icing I used my recipe, but any icing you would like is fine. Even store-bought is great, as long as it is usable as “glue” for the cookies. My recipe is a little runny, so it was a little troublesome to assemble the sleigh. Maybe using some other recipe is better, but I like mine since it has no raw eggs.

My favorite icing recipe:

–          5-6 tablespoons of meringue powder (I buy meringues and powder it in the blender)

–          250 g confectioners sugar

–          About half a cup of water

Use your stand mixer to mix all the ingredients, but add the water little by little to see how much it will take to have a thick icing. Thickness is crucial for using as glue, while thinner icing is used for decorating. If it gets too thin, use more meringue powder or confectioners sugar.

I assembled first and then decorated the cookies. It may not be the best idea if you want to make some more fancy decorations. I am a simple girl, so my décor is simple, too J

Steps to assemble the christmas cookie santa sleighs:

Step 1: Let your pieces cool down completely

sleigh step 1
Everything ready to begin the assembly

Step 2: Put some icing on the bottom of the sides pieces and glue the to the bottom piece. Hold for as long as necessary until they stay in place. Let it dry for at least half an hour.

sleigh step 2
Glue first the two sides to the bottom piece
sleigh step 3
Let it dry until everything is secure

Step 3: Put some glue on the three sides of the last pieces and slide them to the front and the back of the sleigh. They should be glued with a slight angle, so there will be more space for the candy. Keep them in place for 1-2 minutes and add icing if needed to close any gaps. Let it dry for at least 1 hour.

sleigh step 4
Assemble the back and the front of the sleigh

Step 4: Turn the sleigh upside down and glue on the two candy canes which you will have unwrapped before. Let it dry for half an hour and turn it on the correct side. Let it dry a little longer to be sure. I recommend putting the sleigh on a piece of cardboard for secure transportation.

Step 5: Decorate in any way you want. Let it dry and put in some candy.

ready sleigh
All ready sleigh!

Step 6: If you want, wrap it up and ready is your gift!

sleighs ready
Gifts ready!

The template I found at Lila Loa, here. You will find also great step by step instruction to make their beautiful sleighs if you have the talent!

Here another photo with a cute idea:

sleigh with reindeers
Sleigh with reindeers (image source)

Have fun making these!!! I wish to each and every one of you a Merry Christmas! Enjoy these happy season to the fullest!

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Kids Christmas Craft With Carboard Paper Tubes

We have been busy the last days, since Christmas is on our doorstep! One of the craft we did was making some christmas people out of cardboard paper tubes! Those are so versatile, I did never thing about them that way.

You can use whatever tubes you can find, from paper towel rolls to toilet paper rolls everything goes. We also used some googly eyes, but you can paint the eyes on. So, you’ll need, other than the tubes and colored paper, glue and scissors and maybe some items for decoration.

figures out of tubes
Figures out of tubes (image source)

When you’ve decided what you want to make, measure the paper and cut it the length of the tube. Then put some glue on the tube and wrap it with the paper. If you don’t have colored paper, just paint on some plain white paper. Or you can paint directly on the tube or even use it as it is.

The tubes can also be used to create wreaths or ornaments and some even use them as gift tags, napkin holders or treat or gift boxes; when they are beautiful crafted and decorated that is.

This beautiful wreath is easy to make. Who could imagine what you used for them?

Wreath out of tubes
Wreath out of tubes (image source)

If you take just one of those “flowers” and use some glitter, they can become ornaments for your tree!

tube ornaments
Tube ornaments (image source)

Here are some instructions on how to make little santas to use as gift tags or ornaments, even to hold some treat or gift themselves. You can see also a little gift package out of a plain tube tied beautifully with a ribbon. Aren’t they just adorable??? And they are so simple to make!!!

how to make some santa ornaments
How to make some santa ornaments (image source)

And finally!!! My son’s creations with a little help from me cutting the paper pieces.

My boy's tube creations
My boy’s tube creations

Try it and have some easy, inexpensive, creative fun making these or try making easy Christmas ornaments from dried fruits!!!

Beautiful Christmas Decorations And Ornaments Out Of Dried Fruits

Here I am again with my dried fruits! I already have written about dried fruits ornaments and flowers made out of citrus peels. What can I say, I just love the look of them and how easy they are to make! Did you know that you can use apples and pears as well as citrus fruits? And some people cover the slices after drying with clear craft varnish or decoupage glue, to keep them for a long time.

You can use the dried fruit for making a beautiful christmas wreaths and spiced, with cinnamon or cloves, ornaments. Those dried fruits are great additions to garlands and they smell beautifully! I really suggest to dry them on the radiators now that it is winter. That way you save money from burning your oven.

dried fruits
Dried citrus fruits, apples and pears (image source)

Wreaths

dried fruits wreaths
Dried fruits wreaths (image source)

Ornaments

citrus and spice ornament
Citrus and spice ornament (image source)

Ornaments, bells and favors

Dried fruit bells
Dried fruit bells (image source)

Garlands for your homes decoration

dried fruit and spices garland
Dried fruit and spices garland (image source)

And another idea

christmas garland and wreath
Christmas garland and wreath (image source)

Such beautiful ideas!!! Give it a try!

DIY Penguin Finger Puppets Craft for Kids

ready pinguins
DIY penguin finger puppets

This one was shared by a close friend of mine and her kids! They did a wonderful job, I can tell you that! Thank you so much for sharing!!! We can’t wait to make some craft together, soon!

So, it is quite simple to make the penguins and a lot of fun, too!!! You will need stuff that you will have probably already in your house:

–          Black cardboard or paper for the pinguin’s body

–          White cardboard or paper for the eyes and belly

–          Orange cardboard or paper for the nose

–          Other colors of cardboard or paper  and yarn if you’d like to add some more details

–          Paper glue

–          Scissors

–          A black or other color marker for the eyes

–          A pencil for tracing, if you need to

To get started, you’ll need to cut out of the black cardboard the pinguin’s body and cut out two holes for the fingers. The shape of the pinguin’s body is quite simple, you will not have any trouble with it, but if you want, first trace the shape of the body with a pencil and then cut it out Out of the white cardboard cut some oval eyes and the belly, like shown in the image. Also, cut a small triangle out of the orange cardboard.

Pinguin and items
All ready items to be glues on the penguin’s body

Now, you can glue all elements on the pinguin’s body. You can make him take on any expression you can think off.

pinguin2
One penguin
pinguin3
Second penguin

Now, take the marker and draw some details on the eyes to make your penguin alive, and ready you are to begin playing with them!!!

You could also add some other decorations to them, if you would like to. A scarf, a hat or funny hairs out of yarn, would be a funny addition, don’t you think?

Have fun!!!

The original inspiration came from here: http://www.mamakid.gr/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=1107:2010-11-11-21-05-39&catid=97:2011-02-24-21-29-16&Itemid=164

Great hand-made gift idea: DIY Heart-Shaped Mini Album

heart shaped mini album
Heart shaped mini album (image source)

This idea is just beautiful, especially as a gift for the grandparents. It has some work involved, though, but I guess it is worth the effort!
I guess you could make it somewhat more long-lasting, like covering it with some self-adhesive foil? I don’t really know.
Anyway, you will need some 12×12 kraft cardstock, glue, a scissor, patterned papers, photos and embellishments.
Fold the cardstock four ways and draw a half heart and then cut it out. This you will need to do two times, so in the end you will have 4 hearts. The next step is to make hearts out of the patterned papers, using the cardboard hearts as a base. Then, glue the cardboard hearts together, so you will have a 3D heart. Now you can glue the patterned papers onto the cardboard hearts. Finally, decorate your pages with photos, dried flowers, whatever you think would look nice and are worth being there or are telling a story. Now you could ( Note: this is just an idea that I thought of, I haven’t tried it or seen it!!!) use self-adhesive foil in order for the album to become longer lasting.

Step-by-step instructions
Step-by-step instructions (image source)

Is that a great gift for Christmas for your loved ones or what?
For the original post and detailed step-by-step instructions and images, click on this link:
http://americancrafts.typepad.com/studio/2011/03/heart-shaped-mini-album-tutorial-by-leslie.html

Perfect gift and craft idea: DIY snow globes

Diy snow globes
Hand-made snow globes (image source)

Here is such a great idea for handmade Christmas gifts!!! Make your own snow globe, even with a picture in it! Isn’t it the perfect gift for the grandparents or to put on your desk? I love this idea! The kids can help choosing the items to put inside and the colour of the glitter! I am sure going to make some of these! This will be fun!

All you need are some jars with lids that it seals good. You can use any jar you have in the house, any size, any width.

Then you will need some water-resistant items, like from plastic etc. that will fit easily in your jar.

You can even laminate a picture and put use that as decoration! Make sure you have a tied lamination, so they will not be penetrated by water.

Next you will need some water-resistant glue.

Glue the items on the jar lid, taking care to leave room, so that you can screw the lid easily.

Let the glue dry and check that everything sticks to its place. Next, fill the jar almost to the top with water.

You can add (optional) some glycerine or baby oil, too. Add glitter or artificial snow.

Now, screw the lid tightly on the jar. You can glue it or put some insulating tape around the lid, but keep in mind that you will not be able to open it if you want to make some corrections or change the water.

Now, decorate the jar – even paint on it – and you are ready!

step by step snow globes
Step by step instructions for diy snow globe (image source)

For step – to – step instructions and pictures of the laminated picture version, visit this link:
http://www.ourbestbites.com/2011/12/how-to-make-a-homemade-snow-globe/

Also, look at those super-ideas:

trees in globes
Trees in snow globes (image source)
Kids-in-snow-globes-on-window
Kids in snow globes (image source)

Amazing Dried Fruit Christmas Ornaments

dry ornaments
Dried citrus fruit ornaments (image source)

Making our own christmas ornaments with my kids is one of my favorite activities this time of year. One cheap but awesome and beautiful idea is to make some Dried Fruit Christmas Ornaments using citrus fruit peels! Sooooo nice!

You can use any citrus fruit you like; oranges, mandarins, limes, grapefruits or lemons. Then, you have two choices. Either cut the fruit carefully into thin slices or peel carefully the skin off the fruit.

If you choose to slice the fruits, arrange the slices on a lined baking tray and put the tray in a preheated oven at about 90-100°C. They should not touch each other. Bake them for about 2-3 hours, depending on how thick the slices are, while turning them on the other side every 30 minutes or so. You should check every slice separately and when one dries out, get it out of the oven and let the others dry some more. Let them cool down completely and then pierce a hole in them. Now you can use anything you like, some yarn, cord or a nice ribbon, depending on the use you are planning for them. Even paper clips or ornament hooks could do the trick.

If you choose to use the peel, take some nice cookie cutters, like for example a star-, moon-, tree- or heart cookie cutter and cut the shapes out. Now, do the same as above. Isn’t it easy? Here is another awesome use for citrus peels: making citrus peel roses!

You can use also some spices or essential oils for more aroma, and even decoration!

For more ideas and information, read our related articles.

 

dry ornaments2
Dried citrus fruit ornament with cinnamon decoration (image source)
dry ornaments3
Dried citrus fruit ornaments on hooks (image source)

Sock snowmen

sock snowmen
Cute Sock Snowmen (image source)

I had to share this, they are sooooooo adorable!!! I will definitely try to make some of them together with my kids (well, at least with the older one). When I do – and if they are somewhat presentable 🙂 – I’ll post the pictures. The link for the really easy instructions is http://www.darkroomanddearly.com/2011/12/10th-day-of-christmas-sock-snowmen.html