Thursday, 14 November 2013

Creating Christmas Hampers and gifts for teachers

I have been making Christmas Crafts for a teacher's hamper as part of a sponsored post for Collective Bias®

For me this is a key time for my children to learn the importance of giving and receiving gifts at Christmas. Creating gifts is a fantastic way for children to understand the effort that creating thoughtful gifts take, and will hopefully help their appreciation of those presents they are fortunate enough to receive.

The other great thing about creating gifts is that it helps manage the build up to Christmas, that different elements can be created until the hamper can finally be assembled.

I took lots of inspiration from Pinterest and then spent ages reducing my wish list to things that would go together and fit the hamper idea.

Of course a trip to Hobbycraft was pivotal to our concept. Between getting involved with the #GreatBloggersBakeOff and enjoying craft time with the children a trip to Hobbycraft is turning into a weekly visit as it does seem to have everything under one roof.
The added bonus was on changing from Hallowe'en to Christmas they are focus areas aligned to different crafts- including creating hampers.
Hobbycraft also do great masterclasses and regularly have demonstrations. This is fantastic when you do have children who can be distracted whilst you get to grips with everything you need to tick off the list.

I had decided our hampers would be a mix of edible and decorative gifts. Deciding to include a bar of chocolate as my sure thing as homemade might not be everyone's cup of tea.

We started with blackberry jam. The blackberries came from a recent foraging trip and had been frozen. For a bit of certainty I relied on jam sugar. Hobbycraft stock lots of jam making equipment including the fab little Tala jars and ribbons. The covers were created with gingham fabric.
This was a little more difficult for the children to get involved given the temperatures. They were obviously the pickers of the blackberries and they did a great job cleaning them in water, but the rest was left to mummy.

Next on the list was a decorative element, I loved the Christmas decorations using buttons and with the children's help it meant they were able to get involved in sorting the colours and sizes as well as threading them.
I think they do look absolutely gorgeous and were so simple to make.

The second decoration I wanted to make used pom-poms and cardboard. The great thing about this idea was for the boys, at nearly three, we used the ready made pom poms which Hobbycraft stock in packs of Christmas colours. For Squeaks, at four, we went for a 'from scratch' version, using Hobbycraft's value wool and some pom-pom makers.
For both age groups there was lots of enjoyment- the boys loved sorting colours and playing with the pom poms. Squeaks needed more support but loved the reward of the completed pom pom being set free.

Whilst the boys' take on candy canes wasn't quite there I think their play school teachers will appreciate their wreaths.
And I adored Squeak's pom pom wreath which we assembled with a glue gun, I think we may have one in our home as well as gifting to her teachers.
Next on the list was our staple Christmas gift- Snowman Soup. Created with a cellophane cone, hot chocolate, chocolate buttons and marshmallows, this is a really simple, fun, gift.

From here we went on to make Squeaks' favourite thing- gingerbread. She's spent her first term learning nursery rhymes, of which 'Pat-a-cake' and "Run, Run, as fast as you can" seem to be her favourite.
With gingerbread she can get involved in all aspects- making the dough, cutting the dough and decorating the biscuits.

I also had a lot of fun this time, having seen upturned gingerbread men being used to create Rudolph's which I thought looked fantastic.
We created Christmas tags, using Christmas cutters along with tags, string and pens picked up from Hobbycraft. I think I just need to practice my Christmas handwriting!

And then mummy had lots of fun trying to create Christmas cards after seeing another fab Pinterest inspired idea.
I was pleased for my first attempt.... although I definitely need practice!
I am pleased as anything with the final protype- having put them together in their baskets.
I hope the children's teachers will enjoy them as much as we are enjoying creating them!


  1. Wow, you have been super busy! Such a wonderful post of ideas! The kids look like they had a lot of fun with all the crafts, and the hampers look great - I bet their teachers are going to just love them.

    I made the button trees too when I got my craft on with Hobbycraft!

    Michelle xx

  2. Gosh your kids teachers will be exceptionally lucky. I just 'have' to go and do something similar now! Mich x

  3. What a fabulous way to say Merry Christmas and thank you to your children's teachers. So much thought and effort has gone into making these... gorgeous (Is mine in the post?)

  4. I wish I was your teacher!! I love the snowman soup - that's a really clever idea.

  5. what a clever idea with the upside down gingerbread men, have never noticed this before. What did you thread your trees with, this was one idea I was experimenting with but had tried it with cotton but I wasnt overly happy. Well done Squeaks on making your own pom poms, that is impressive

  6. Such great ideas here. I may be copying you for a gift for our childminder.

  7. Wow, your little ones have some very lucky teachers. What amazing hampers. I love the snowman soup and the reindeer. How clever!

  8. Wow- loads of crafts there! Looks like you all had fun!

  9. I adore those button tree decs. They're brilliant. We made some pom pom wreaths for our post too :). Looks like lots of fun x

  10. What a fabulous idea I'm sure your childrens' teachers will love them! I love those Christmas tree button decorations, I may have to pinch that idea!

  11. wow, you did loads! I love the button trees!

  12. The pom pom wreath looks great, and I really want to try the button Christmas trees with N.

  13. Christmas is a great event and whole world have to celebrate this event and gift ideas for girls. I love it. Thanks for share.

  14. There are really great gift ideas for women. I am supposed to find something for my mother for mother's day but I might have to get something for myself too. Thanks so much for sharing.

    centennial food gift


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