This was our second year to hold our Ornament Making for a Cause. This year we were raising money for an orphanage in India. To get the word out we made a facebook page event, handed out flyers and asked our friends to tell their friends. It relaly helped that we had a positive experience last year so there were a lot of repeat guests. I made this flyer and cut it up and handed it out to all our friends early in December and many moms I know made it part of their advent calendar. Here is the flyer I used ( ornmakingflyer) email me if you would like me to send you the word version. I also printed out these ornament sheets (ornamentpictures)  to give everyone an idea of the ornaments we were making. I also printed out and laminated the instructions for the harder ornaments… I won’t post that, but I will have email links to all the ornaments we made and how each worked.
All I did to prepare is :

  • have the whole day available. The flyer said 10-4 but the last fmaily left at 6pm.
  • get all the supplies for the ornaments. I have a huge crafting supply. Some from homeschooling some from my joy of crafting. I only probably spent about $10 on supplies. There were a couple of ornaments that required some ahead prep, but I did that over a month time with my daughters so it didn’t seem like too much.
  • prepare some easy food. Luckily I have awesome friends and they brought munchkins, cookies, popcorn and some other finger foods. I made hot chocolate, white chocolate trees (the easiest treat ever to make and it was a huge hit), and I bought some fruit at costco. I probably spent another $20 in food.whitechocolatetrees
  • prepare the stations. I have a hot glue station, a table in the basement with paint and the salt dough ornaments and some ribbon, and a table upstairs for the other ornaments. I then put out all the supplies in groups with a sample ornament.
  • put out a jar with the informaiton about the donation on it.
  • put on some holiday music.

Then people come. We had over 60 people come to our house but since it is an open house even the house didn’t get too too crowded at any one particular time. This year I had the salt dough painting down stairs which was different then the previous year and I think that helped make room.

Here are the links to the ornaments we make:
Felt ornaments – I just got the idea from this site. I cut out the ornament shape from felt and the kids glued sequins, beands and buttons on.
Sled Ornament – This was the big hit this year, but it requires hot glue so there needs to be parental guidance. We did have one hot glue burn – ouch. To prepare for this ornament I spray painted the small and large popsicle sticks red, cut some to the size for the underneath piece, cut up twine, and provided sandpaper.
sledornamentsetupSnowman Ornament – These are always a hit. Last year we did them on tongue depressers this year I changed it up and used this idea. I cut out the hats and my friend Kerin cut out scarves while our kids played and then I provided googly eyes and minibuttons. These are easy and can be done with hot glue or regular glue.
Snowflake Ballerinas – These were also a huge hit and easier to make then the sleds. My awesome friend Amy of the amazing ACPPA art center gave us the print outs to use. I just used coffee filters for the skirts instead of cutting card stock, it worked out well and you could layer 2 or three of the snowflake coffee filters to make a poofy tutu.
Reindeer Ornaments – These are adorable. They need hot glue to put together but then you can regular glue the nose and eyes. I even made a little holder with tiny red pompoms that says noses… it was cute. We made these in the big and small clothespin size… my friend kelly made one for everyone in her family.
reindeerornamentSnowflake Ornaments (felt) – I prepared everything to make these, they are really easy with the fabric cutter. But they require sewing so only Amy was brave enough to try one – and it was gorgeous! But definitely not for kids This would be great at a moms get together or something.
Snowflake (pipe cleaner) – These are easy for everyone, they all look different, and they don’t use glue! I just cut the pipe cleaners to size and premade the snowflakes and then left them with a whole bunch of beads for the kids to make them
Snowflakes (origami like) – These are actually my favorite Just cut up a whole bunch of 6in x 6 in scrap paper, glue and scissors. It is too hard for a kid under 7, but the older kids loved them. You can make them in all different sizes if you use different size squares and if you use hot glue they are done instantly.
Snowflake foam – These I just got at JoAnns a couple of days before the ornament making. They were on super sale so I got 30 for $1. The kids used them all – mostly with gems glued on.
snowflakefoamFelt Wreath – These adorable ornaments are not for the faint of heart. These ornaments take about 100 felt squares to make. We used florist wire to put through each of the squares. I had 4 brave souls attempt to make the wreaths and they came out terrific even if it did take them each about 20 minutes to make them.
Salt Dough Ornaments – This year I made 6 batches of salt dough there were over 100 ornaments to be painted. We only had 15 left so they were definitely a big hit. I cut out the dough into all sorts of different holiday shapes but I made a lot of the snowman faces like the link and lots of trees. The kids love to paint the trees because then they can paint on decorations. I also took special orders for letters. We have large letter cookie cutters so it is a great way for people to make specific ornaments for their friends and family.

We also put out little red tags that I cut on the cricut and also put out little strips of paper that said “This ornament helped build an orphanage in India.” I love this part because it helps the kids understand that gifts that give to others are even more special then just regular gifts that you buy. I also think that family members enjoy getting this kind of alternative gift.

Here are some more pictures from the day.
ornamentmakingMy kids love this day. They totally don’t mind all the cleaning and preparing it takes. They love crafts and they love that at any point in the day they can go apint some ornaments or play with their friends…. so many of their friends come in and out all day long that it is just such a fun different kind of experience.

I love that this is a way for us to host somethig during the holiday time. I’m not a great cook and often hosting makes me nervous, but somethign like this for a cause centering around crafts… it’s my jam.

We love the way the donation works. We just leave the jar out and people put in whenever they want. My favorite are the kids that have been saving up and bring in all their change. That is an awesome lesson.

I didn’t realize how much my kids would be into counting the money. Sassy Pants (my younger one) organized the bills into piles while Miss Thing counted all the change and then we counted the checks and bills together. We raised $274.15. I was in awe of the generosity of those that came that often paid $20 for 10 salt dough ornaments.
countingthemoney

The whole event was a blessing and a fun time. If you are looking for a way to volunteer with your kids during the holiday season and you like crafts this maybe the event for you. If you do something like this I’d love to hear about it and hear what ornaments work well.