• MJ

Christmas Challenge 2019!

Updated: Apr 8, 2020

Did you know? You can subscribe to our updates here.


It's time for our first Artistic Challenge. You're going to make Christmas cards!

Here's how it works.

*Each parent/child team creates 3 cards, each using the same method/media, with different designs for each card of course. See down below for our examples. You can use fingerprints, paint, collages, origami or whatever you like!

*You can ONLY use materials/bits and bobs that you've got at home, (old newspapers or magazines, bathroom rolls, egg or cereal cartons, old wrinkly ribbons, broken crayons, sweets/chocolate wrappings, leftover buttons, etc.... No purchase of new materials!

*Email photos of your cards to us at that.little.bag.of.tricks@gmail.com along with your names, the titles of your creations and a few words about what inspired you in your choices.

*We will post some of the card designs on our next blog just before Christmas for all participants and (any friends you invited) to vote. The winner will be invited to feature on a later post to write about how they came about the idea. If you win you also get a travel-sized stationery pack like the one below and a one time free consultation on one of our services (a DIY bedroom makeover, or your next DIY birthday party preparation maybe?).

*The deadline for this challenge is Saturday, 15 December 2019 (still time to crack on then!)

*Get thinking now :)

Travel Size DIY Stationery Giveaway; Smiggle's mini scented gel pens, mini coloured pencils, a notebook, a bookmark, a pencil, all in a homemade drawstring bag with wooden beads


With Halloween and Thanksgiving behind us, we're now gearing up for Christmas. Preparation starts early in our household. I've to start thinking about our annual Christmas gathering and all the prep. Christmas cards, advent calendar, this year's tree and all the party favours for the little guests etc... etc... I haven't done any of that for this year of course ... yet. I am using previous years' work for this post while trying to come up with something new this year!

The advent calendar is always first on the list of course. I always like to think of 'double using' things I made so they don't end up in the bin (or stuffed in a cupboard) afterwards. I collect toilet rolls cardboard tubes...lots of them...I really, really love them. I think they are the most useful things I can keep lying around in the house. I had more than 24, enough to make an advent calendar, plus some spares in case I need extra.

We host our annual Christmas party with friends before the school breaks up, usually mid December. More than half of the advent calendar will be opened by then. I keep each day's treats from the calendar for the kids' party favours. Last year's theme was choir singer bathroom rolls. Here's a photo below of the first four I made.

Toilet roll cardboard tubes covered in wrapping papers. We used scrap/leftover felt and or fabric for the scarves and old socks for the hats ( I later used other leftover fabrics as I didn't have enough socks!). They looked like this in the end:

Last year's advent calendar props doubled as goody bags for our annual Christmas gathering

Might be worth mentioning that I forgot to make the sheets for the songs they are supposed to perform. They could be just a strip of copy paper folded in two and stuck on their chest to make it look like they were holding them.

Then we made a box for table goodies. It was a good idea to make one at the time until we realised that Mr H has got a very sweet tooth and the box was empty most of the time.

We had a blast doing this one, though. It was made it out of an egg carton, an empty box of tea, paints and craft papers.

Our 'Santa and his Reindeers' box of goodies

Christmas cards were next to think about. We do have a theme every year. It started when Miss E was 3 by doing finger print designs. Some came out well some did not, but well...as long as the little one enjoyed doing them ...

The next three below were the ones we did last year. Miss E wanted to paint landscapes, so we tried these easy multi media painting designs that actually came out rather nice...

Wintry Pine Trees for Uncle Si

Then there's the Christmas tree to think about. Miss E's angel has made it to the top of our tree for the fifth year in a row, along with some of the crafts she did over the years at school.

We'll try something new this year, something non-traditional. We volunteered to clean up a nearby beach few weeks ago and collected some driftwood. I am thinking of somehow using them. My little Miss E and I are planning on making it our weekend project.

There have been several programmes at school this year to raise awareness in saving energy, the environment and the idea of recycling. We thought that we'll go with that idea, too.

So, do take up our Artistic Challenge and hope you see your creative ideas and display them to share with others!

Sharing a work in progress below, part of a school project I volunteered at, I will share the rest with you next time!

Cheers, MJ

P.S. Don't forget. To stay informed, you can subscribe to our newsletter here.