Now that you’ve decorated your Christmas tree to perfection, what are you going to put on top? Some families have tree toppers that they’ve used for generations; others love to start fresh every year. Here are some ideas to get you and your kids started on your own new traditions:
Christmas Star Tree Topper
Ages 3 to 10 Skill level: Easy
Materials needed: 6-inch Styrofoam ball, 24 plastic drinking straws (straight, not bent), newspaper, glitter spray paint, pipe cleaner or craft wire.
Cut 8 of the straws down to 6 inches, then cut 10 more straws down to 4 inches. Leave the remaining 6 straws at their current length. Take the six longest straws and press them gently into the ball at the center top, bottom, front, back, and each side of the ball. Then press the 6-inch straws into the diagonal points in between the long straws (front top right, front top left, front bottom right, front bottom left, and repeat for the back). Then press the 4-inch straws to fill in the spaces in between. Set the entire ball down on a large piece of newspaper and spray it with glitter paint. Gently rotate to make sure that all sides are covered. When the glitter paint is fully dry, attach the ball to the top of the tree by wiring it to the top-most branch.
Snowman Tree Topper
Ages 4 to 10 Skill level: Easy to medium
Materials needed: Empty 2-liter soda bottle, 4-inch Styrofoam ball, cotton balls, colored pom-poms, two short sticks, black felt, scissors, glue
Discard the wrapper and the cap from the soda bottle and use scissors to cut off the base of the bottle. With scissors, carefully cut a small hole at the bottom of the Styrofoam ball to fit the size of the mouth of the bottle. Fit the Stryofoam ball over the mouth of the bottle. Glue cotton balls over the surface of the bottle and the Styrofoam ball. Glue pom-poms on the head to make the snowman’s eyes, nose, and mouth. Glue the two short sticks to the side of the body for the arms. For the top hat: Cut a 4-inch circle of felt. Cut an 8-inch by 1-inch strip of felt, roll it into a circle, and carefully glue it, standing up, onto the circle of felt. Glue a 3-inch circle of felt on top to make the top-most portion of the hat. When all of the glue has dried, glue the hat to the top of the snowman’s head. To mount the snowman on the tree, slide the opening of the bottle over the top of the tree.
Angel Tree Topper
Ages 5 to 12 Skill level: Medium
Materials needed: 8-inch Styrofoam cone, 3-inch Styrofoam ball, white felt, gold craft jewels, glue, wide white lace ribbon, fancy gold push-pin, yellow or brown yarn for hair, two small beads for eyes, red felt for mouth, gold glittery pipe cleaner
Cut a 16-inch circle of white felt and drape it carefully over the Styrofoam cone, using thin lines of glue to hold down the felt in gentle folds. Glue the gold craft jewels in a scatter pattern around the white felt. Cut a small hole in the Styrofoam ball and slide it over the tip of the cone. Cut several 8-inch lengths of yarn and glue them to the top of the Styrofoam ball, draping them gently over the top to look like hair. Use glue to attach beads for the eyes and red felt for the lips. Make a large bow with the white lace ribbon and secure it to the back of the cone with the push-pin. Curl the pipe cleaner into a halo and glue it on top of the angel’s hair. Cut a small hole into the base of the cone to fit it on top of the tree.