This post is part of the Random Crafts of Kindness Campaign sponsored by Consumer Crafts.
Earlier in the year my grandmother Hattie had a stroke. She already had dementia and Alzheimer’s, but a bad fall worsened the conditions and meant she needed around-the-clock care in a facility. It is as pleasant as one of those places can be under the circumstances, and though the staff do their best to make it fun and keep the residents entertained, you can sense the confusion and sadness of people who can’t remember why they are there and greatly miss their homes and families.
I bring my children in to visit their great grandmother often, and I wish everyone could see how much joy the sight of a child brings to them. The residents immediately perk up and smile. They stop me and tell me about their children and grandchildren (so many of them had children who look exactly like mine – so cute!), and for a moment they are happy and talkative and sharing fond memories. I wish they could feel like that all of the time.
So when ConsumerCrafts.com asked me to be a part of their Random Crafts of Kindness campaign, I knew exactly who I wanted to surprise. I wanted to do something special for them that involved children, and since most of them are wheelchair bound and unable to go outside, I also wanted to bring a bit of Winter Wonderland in. And not just for one day. I wanted several days of giving to help them feel special and remembered through the holidays.
Using some of my favorite craft supplies from ConsumerCrafts.com, I designed these 12 Days of Christmas Giving Gift Boxes for under $20. It makes a beautiful Winter display and can also be used as a countdown or an Advent Calendar. Each day holds handmade ornaments and notes from some special second graders who wanted to show some seniors a little love.
To make this you will need …
- Paper Mache boxes in various sizes (I chose three different sizes – 3″ round, 3×3″, and 4″ round)
- Sisal Trees in various sizes
- Aleene’s Glitter Snow
- Hot glue or tacky glue
- Paint brush
- xacto knife, skewer or paperclip (to punch small holes in the lids)
- Printable chalkboard numbers (free downloads below)
- white card stock or matte photo paper
- 2” craft punch (optional)
- Optional decorations: Jingle Bells, baker’s twine or ribbon, berries
Download the free printables, print on card stock or matte photo paper (best), and trim. If using the 2” circles, you can use a 2” craft punch to speed things up or cut by hand for a more rustic look. I used a mix of the circles and flags on the boxes.
Stack and arrange your paper mache boxes to determine which ones you would like to add trees, circles, flags, etc. to before you bring out the glue. Stack smaller boxes on larger, place them on their sides … there is no perfect arrangement here, so have fun with it.
Remove the wood or plastic base from each tree by twisting it away from the stem. You may need to trim some of the branches a bit.
Using an xacto knife, poke a small hole in the lids and insert the tree to make sure you like where it is at. They don’t need to be perfectly centered. If you need to move it around, no worries. You will be covering everything up with snow.
Using a paint brush, add Aleene’s Glitter Snow to the lids to form a snow bank until you reach your desired look. It is soft and fluffy and spreads like frosting. Be generous in applying. Repeat with remaining lids. You can also add snow to your trees if they need a bit extra.
Now you are ready to place your tree on the lids. If you have trouble finding the hole for the tree, this is where a paper clip comes in handy. You can poke the paperclip through the hole from the bottom to use as a guide.
Once your tree is placed, use a small dab of hot glue on the inside of the lid to secure the tree. Set aside and let the snow dry overnight.
Add twine, ribbon, jingle bells and other decorations at random to your paper mache boxes.
Add your chalkboard printable numbers. To use the flags, cut the flags in half and attach to the trees with a bit of tacky glue or hot glue. Circles can be tied on with twine or glued or taped to the boxes. I did a mix of both.
Fill with goodies and give to someone deserving!
I enlisted the help of my daughter’s classroom to write the residents letters and make them some ornaments for the nursing home’s tree. We all know how much grandparents love children’s artwork!
The kids created their ornaments from simple card stock circles and twine. The kids wrote sweet words such as “Feel better soon!”, “Get well!” and drew wreaths, Christmas trees and more. And, is it just me or does that Santa ornament above look a bit like a mad Leprechaun? Love kid art!
We’re also giving the residents letters from the kids about their favorite family traditions. The kids wrote about eating fudge, celebrating the birth of Jesus and, of course, opening presents.
Thank you to ConsumerCrafts.com for their help with this Random Craft of Kindness which will bring so much joy to some amazingly sweet seniors.
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Download your chalkboard numbers below. Save to your desktop and print on card stock or matte photo paper (my favorite!).
You can use these flags on trees, wrap around boxes, etc. Flags feature numbers 1-12 plus a few blank ones. Download the Flag Chalkboard Numbers.
You can hang these circles on boxes, tape to the lids, etc. Circles feature numbers 1-12. Download the Circle Chalkboard Numbers (1-12) .
Want to make your display larger or make an Advent calendar? These circles feature numbers 13-24. Download the Circle Chalkboard Numbers (13-24).
Other sweet Random Crafts of Kindness projects you may be interested in …
PLEASE NOTE: Three Little Monkeys Studio crafts and DIY tutorials are shared for you to enjoy for your own personal use. You may not use our tutorials or printables to create items which you intend to sell.