Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Dotted Initial Frame

Who doesn't like a party?  Sure the girls get parties at school, but during the Holiday Season one more party is just icing on the cake.  So I reserve December for celebrating the Winter Season.  Sometimes this includes decorating cookies with icing, glitter sugar and sprinkles!  You cannot have a Winter Party without Hot Chocolate!  If you have a microwave handy you can boil water and add the inexpensive packets, but next year look into buying a box of hot chocolate from your local donut or coffee shop.  Be sure to call around the prices can vary drastically.  I have bought a box of Hot Chocolate for as little as $12 that can serve 20 girls, cups included.  You can barely beat the price and it is so much easier!  Plus, my parent volunteers usually give me dirty looks by the time they have warmed up the 26th cup of water, added the hot chocolate to the already full cup of water and slurped it over the edges trying to mix it.  Boxed Hot Chocolate is definitely easier!

I have 2 large troops and find that my Holiday Parties run smoother when I break the girls up into stations.  This also gives the added advantage that I can have a parent man each station to assist with the projects.  I am typically rover and help where needed.

This year my troops were set up into 3 stations:

1. Write a Holiday note to a fellow troop - I supplied Holiday Cards from the dollar store (24 in a box)
2.  Make a Christmas Ornament
3.  Make a Holiday Gift for your parents

My girls love to make gifts for Mom and Dad.  I work hard to find gifts that parents can appreciate!  Pinterest has a wealth of ideas for very affordable, USEFUL gifts!  I love to see the girls faces after they have a made a little treasure for their parents.  It gives them a sense of pride that Mom and Dad will have something special to open.  In the past we have created decoupaged clip boards, decorated plate chargers, elastic beaded rings, bottle cap necklaces for Mom, large clothes pin frames, etc.  This year we created a Monogrammed Dot Frame.  Over the Summer I purchased 12 - one inch hole punchers from JoAnn's Fabrics when I had a great coupon.  I was able to purchase each hole puncher for about $3.  Items like these get added to my GS craft closet  and I always find uses for them in the future.  I had my daughters make the test frame and boy am I glad they did!  The original project which I found on Pinterest suggested that we use paint chips from Home Depot or Lowes.  I made a point to pick up 10-20 strips every time I visited for the past 6 months.  I loved the idea of using the free paint strips with literally thousand of color choices, unfortunately my daughters found the cardboard very difficult to paper punch.  So we used colored copy paper instead.  This paper is thin and easy to punch and comes in a multitude of color packs at your local craft store.  The girls punched out 80-100 one inch "dots" in any color scheme they liked and glued them onto a piece of card stock.  Next I printed out every girl's last name initial in a bold font.  I used the color grey and outlined the letter so it would be easier for them to cut out.  Finally they simply glued their initial in the center of the card stock.  I picked up 5x7 frames at the dollar store and the girls simply popped in their art work! Viola!  They had a neat, personalized frame that looks great on a coffee table, in a powder bath or on a shelf in the living room.

This year we simply wrapped and taped the frames in tissue paper.  I gave each girl a pretty Holiday bag from the dollar store.  They had lovely bags 2/$1!  The bags were good for transporting their goodies home as well.  Last year we concentrated on wrapping.  It was a great opportunity for the girls to learn how to wrap.  I incorporated the wrapping table as one of the stations.  I brought boxes of all sizes for the girls to wrap.  I offered them tips and patiently helped them wrap until they felt comfortable to wrap their special gift.  Wrapping is a learned skill.  While practice helps you perfect the art, every girl should be taught how to wrap.  Sadly it is slowly beaching a lost art with all the bags and decorated boxes that are now available.

My co-leader and I always like to give the girls a small gift for the Holidays.  Lat year we found elf hats 2/$1 at the dollar store.  This is our "Look there is Santa!" photo:

This year we found reindeer head bands (2/$1) and gave each girl a microwavable popcorn pouch labeled with a sticker that read:  "Hope you Holidays Pop!"

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