5 {Mess-Free} Holiday Craft Ideas

Houston Moms Blog is excited to partner with The Pencil Grip, Inc. to share ideas and inspiration through this sponsored post. We hope you and your family love their new Kwik Stix as much as we do!

Let me paint you a picture… It’s a Wednesday morning, and rain is loudly pelting your windows again. Your little one is getting bored now that he has finished breakfast, so you sleepily pour yourself more cold coffee and ask, “What should we do today?” You can’t help but cringe just a little when he shouts, “Paint!” But since it has been raining now for what seems like FOREVER {okay, 4 days}, you give in and get out the paint, brushes, smock, drop cloth, paper, paper towels, and drying rack.  Your little one happily sits down and begins to paint you an adorable picture of a giraffe. At least he says it is a giraffe, and you aren’t going to argue with a 2-year-old on a rainy day. 

This is when you realize you might just have 5 free minutes to load the laundry into the washer before he tires of painting and moves on. You toss in the clothes and laundry detergent and start the cycle only to return to what looks like an explosion of paint all over your kitchen and living room. How did he get that much paint in his hair in less than 2 minutes!?!  Somehow even washable paint never quite fully washes out of the carpet … or the couch. “Momma, I painted my belly!” he excitedly exclaims. Sigh.  

I have some good news! There is another way to let your little one exhibit their creativity while keeping your house {and their belly} paint free. Let me introduce you to one of my new favorite products – Kwik Stix.  Kwik Stix are non-toxic, fast-drying, solid tempera paint sticks. You just pop off the top, twist if needed, and paint away. Plus, it dries in about 90 seconds which is amazing for moms of littles!  And the best part? Any paint that ends up somewhere unwelcome easily wipes right off with a baby wipe.

5 {Mess-Free} Holiday Craft Ideas | Houston Moms Blog

And for all of you mommas who love getting crafty and creative, but hate the painting messes… Here’s a few ideas of projects you can use your Kwik Stix for to get into the falling leaves and hot cocoa mood this holiday season!

>> 5 {Mess-Free} Holiday Craft Ideas <<

1} Painted Letters

Look, we all know that most stores put Christmas décor out before Halloween these days, but there is still something special about decorating for Fall and celebrating the crisper weather as it arrives {unless you live in Houston and have to wait patiently for a fall that may never come}.  Luckily, Hobby Lobby had these cute wooden letters on sale just waiting for my sweet toddler to paint all over them.  Want to make your own?  First, select the colors you want to use on your project; we chose red, orange, yellow, and gold.  I wanted orange to be the main color with pops of the others so I let James go crazy painting the front of the letters orange.  Since you will be layering colors on top it really doesn’t matter if they do a perfect job or not, and he had a blast scribbling and dotting all over.  Then, we simply added the remaining colors one at a time {starting with the darkest} dotting all over in layers.  Easy, peasy.

5 {Mess-Free} Holiday Craft Ideas | Houston Moms Blog

2} Wooden Décor

These two projects were another super simple craft that even my toddler could handle.  At least until it came time to peel off the letters and then Momma took over. I had some alphabet stickers left over from another project so I grabbed some wood blocks and a crate and added a few holiday phrases.  Then, my son just painted over the letters, and we peeled them off and added a simple leaf to the Fall sign for a few simple wooden accents for his room.  I can’t wait for Christmas to add some pine cones to the crate and cheer up his bookcase!

5 {Mess-Free} Holiday Craft Ideas | Houston Moms Blog

5 {Mess-Free} Holiday Craft Ideas | Houston Moms Blog

3} Taped Canvas

This precious project was actually created by my sweet niece.  I picked up some canvases from Michael’s because I love ALL the craft stores and couldn’t wait to turn them into something awesome. I simply added some masking tape in two different snowflake patterns and let my niece take the reins and paint however she wanted. {Of course, my type A sister and I would have made a few different color selections – but we are trying to let go of the small things and let the kids be kids.} Then, we peeled off the masking tape and had an instant winter masterpiece. This project is fun because you can modify it for almost any occasion, such as a large bunny sticker for Easter, a flag for 4th of July, or a jack-o-lantern face for Halloween. 

5 {Mess-Free} Holiday Craft Ideas | Houston Moms Blog

4} Subway Signs

For this craft, we used the same method as the Fall letters, waited until it was dry, and added some stickers to create a subway type sign.  This one was more fun than I expected and James had fun telling me which stickers to use next.  It is also another great craft to adapt to various occasions or let your little one pick out stickers and create a permanent addition to their room.

5 {Mess-Free} Holiday Craft Ideas | Houston Moms Blog

5} Holiday Cards

 I am constantly trying to teach James to be thankful and give to others when we can.  What better way to spread thanks and cheer than holiday cards? We used our Kwik Stix to make Holiday Cards to send to work with Papa at Texas Children’s Hospital this year as well as Christmas cards for family and Thank You cards for any holiday gifts received.  The Turkey fingerprint card was our favorite.  So simple and fun, and I love when an entertaining craft turns into a teachable moment!

5 {Mess-Free} Holiday Craft Ideas | Houston Moms Blog

>> Crafting Tips, Tricks, & Lessons Learned <<

As with all crafting adventures, there’s definitely a learning curve with these holiday crafts too.  Learn from my mistakes … and don’t forget to get creative with your ideas too!

  • There are a ton of cute toddler craft ideas that involve handprints and fingerprints. I found that while you can easily create the adorable fingerprint crafts with Kwik Stix, they do dry a bit too fast when attempting to transfer an entire hand print. The good news is fingerprints were easy to do {simply swipe across their finger and press on paper} and a breeze to wipe/wash off.
  • I always find it useful to have baby wipes handy as you paint in case of any accidents.  {I speak from experience as James decided to paint the windowsill while I wasn’t looking. Luckily, it wiped right off, and you would never even know he painted the whole thing brown. Just ew!}
  • I loved the way the paint glided onto our wood projects, but found out that painting over stickers or letters could be tricky. In order to keep the paint from pulling away as you peel off letters, you have to take it very slow and run your nail along the edge as you go. It is also helpful if you use the letters as a guide but try to avoid painting over them as much as possible.  
  • Think outside the lines. Since toddlers like to paint with all the colors and in crazy patterns, creating a shape with masking/painter’s tape gives them a chance to have a blast coloring an entire object any way they want while still creating a masterpiece.  All you have to do is peel off the tape!
  • One of the ways that these are different than markers is the way that you can layer the colors to create new ones {similar to normal paint}. It can get tricky though, and not all colors blend the way you hope. I found it helpful to try the combinations out on scrap paper first.

5 {Mess-Free} Holiday Craft Ideas | Houston Moms Blog

I can’t say that I will toss out all our old paints and brushes because sometimes every kid just needs to paint their belly.  However, now that Kwik Stix are in our lives, we paint a lot more than we used to, and Momma is more than okay with that!

Oh, one more thing I LOVE… Kwik Stix can now be conveniently found at your local Target! I know all us mommas will be making multiple trips to our Heaven on earth this holiday season, so don’t forget to throw a package or two into your basket. I also think they would make such a great stocking stuffer for kiddos this year!

Connect with Kwik Stix and Pencil Grip for more great ideas and resources…

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