Wednesday, 1 December 2010

Christmas Paper Chains

Every now and then I get on a craft mission and decide to make something with Darlek. Both of us love messing about with paper and glitter and she's just at an age where she can properly listen to instructions and have a good go at making stuff, without stabbing herself in the head with scissors or gluing all the craft equipment to the table. Darlek is a lot more containable than her brother. Painting and craft with him is like containing a tropical storm in a cupboard, pretty messy and potentially explosive! With this in mind, I ushered Sausage off to bed and this evening Darlek and I spent some quality time together watching X Factor and making glittery paperchains. I tried to dig out some nice coloured paper but I couldn't find a scrap anywhere. This is the drawback to being a hoarder, I have loads of stuff but I can never find what I'm looking for under the landslide of 'stuff' that we shove in cupboards.
Annoying though this was, no way was I willing to let my daughter down - I said we would make glittery paperchains, and we would. Come hell, high water or pretty paper famine! The best I could come up with was an old Asda magazine, but as it turns out they are the perfect length, cut sideways, for paper-chain links.
Darlek was a little disappointed, but I fobbed her off with the pot of beautiful sparkly glitter I'd found, and re-iterated the importance of re-cycling and re-using stuff. Sneaky, but it worked. Her enthusiasm was restored and she was off cutting bits of paper up quicker than I could say 'Mind yer fingers!'
After watching her gnaw on the cellotape and drool everywhere I had to take pity on her so I began biting off bits of cellotape and lining them up on the side of the table so she could stick the links together. We didn't bother drawing out regular widths for the pieces as I think it makes the paperchain look more interesting if it's uneven (and it saved spending ages measuring and drawing on lines). We searched for pages that had interesting colours on them and used the strips of paper from one page to make mini chains and then joined them up - so we had small swathes of colours here and there. In particular we looked for pages with red, gold, yellow or green on them, so the chain would feature some nice, festive Christmas colours.

After we finished we dolloped bits of glue onto it here and there and simply rolled the paper chain about in a pile of glitter. It led to a surprisingly effective sparkly effect on the paperchain and even more so on the carpet. I put newspaper down to catch the unused glitter, but glitter is as glitter does - ie it just went absolutely everywhere despite all my best efforts. Tomorrow will be a glittery hooverbag day methinks! Either that or I will have to make the best of it and just say I purposefully threw glitter all over the floor so that it would match the Christmas decs.
There was a brief altercation when Darlek tried to link two chains together in a completely random, illogical way and I tried to tell her not to, and how she should actually do it. This was met with a lot of,  'Mum, I know how to do it, I'm very good at paper chains, you don't need to tell me, I know how to do it already and No!!' which was very frustrating. My daughter and I are very alike in a lot of ways, one of which is that neither of us like being told what to do. I'm already dreading her teenage years. It'll be handbags at dawn I'm sure. I can hear her words now 'Mum, he's a nice guy, I know what I'm doing, we're going to move to Outer Mongolia, it will be lovely I promise, No you can't come!' etc, etc.
By the time we'd finished X Factor had become I'm a Celebrity Get Me Out of Here and Darlek was asking why Shaun Ryder had loads of his words replaced with beeps, so I decided it was definitely time for bed. If anyone would like to make this paper chain, I recommend putting the glitter on the paper before cutting it up and using glue stick instead of gloopy glue and sellotape. Having said that, the whole purpose of the exercise was to have fun together, rather than come up with some fabulous work of art, Xmas decoration. Mission achieved - although I'll have to keep a close eye on Darlek to ensure she doesn't start using some of the colourful language demonstrated by a sweary, duck collecting, Shaun Ryder. (If you didn't watch I'm a Celebrity, you missed a treat!)
Many thanks to Beckickles for allowing me to guest post for BECKICKLESIE and don't forget to come and visit the On The Brink of Bedlam blog too!

A brilliant idea for a crafty activity for Christmas. Give it a go with your children; Kidder loves playing with glitter so much - it just gets everywhere. 
Kay is a fellow Northerner, who has just moved her blog 'The Brink of Bedlam' over to Wordpress. She writes a fantastic family/general life blog in an intriguing diary style.

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