How to make a paint chip Christmas garland

Do you ever find your family hanging out at your local mega chain hardware store of a weekend? You've made a charitable donation in return for a sausage sizzle, kids are clutching free balloons, getting faces painted, cavorting in the plastic indoor playground or filling mini trolleys with plants that will be taken home to die a slow and painful death. Well, next time you're there, after you've finished your sausage, take a stroll down the paint aisle and grab some paint chips for a delightfully simple Christmas craft that is cheap, cheerful, has no glitter/mess and can be made to your exact colour preferences!

You will need:

  • Paint chips – the type with three shades of colour on them. Grab as many green ones as you want to make trees, then choose the same amount in the colour you'd like the decorations to be. Make sure to grab an extra yellow one to cut out stars for the tops of your finished trees.
  • Scissors
  • Pencil
  • Glue Stick
  • Paper punch – we used a star shape and a snowflake
  • A small amount of recycled cardboard to make your tree shape template.
  • String or ribbon to hang them up
  • Sticky tape to attach them to the ribbon for hanging

Method:

Start by tracing a paint chip on your recycled cardboard and cut that out for your template. We used two shapes for our trees, a simple triangle which was easiest for my four-year-old to cut out by himself and a more traditional tree shape, so I cut out two paint chip shapes from our cardboard and drew the triangle on one and the tree on the other.

Once your templates are cut out you can assist your children as they trace around the shapes on the green paint chips. Depending on their level of skill they may be able to trace and cut out the shapes themselves, or require a little help. It doesn't have to be perfect! (But if it does, just tidy it up after they have finished cutting out the shapes!)

When the trees are cut out, it's time to punch out the shapes that will be the decorations on your tree. Punching through the cardboard might be difficult for smaller children so you might have to help them press down or hold the card still as they press.

Then it's glue time – I got my boys to glue all over the paint chip that we had chosen to show through for the decorations and then place the tree on top and press down and smooth to make sure it is stuck.

Trim around the tree to remove the excess paint chip.

Draw some stars on your yellow paint chip, cut them out and glue them to the top of your trees and they are finished!

Hot tip – if your trees are covered in glue and sticky finger prints a quick wipe over with a baby wipe will leave them nice and clean again.

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We attached our trees to some fabric string with a bit of sticky tape on the back of the tree and hey presto – a no fuss, no mess Christmas tree garland ready in a flash, cheap as (paint) chips and as colourful and cheery as you like!

You could also glue the finished product onto some colourful card for Christmas cards or even glue pairs of shapes together so they are double sided and hang them as mobile from a branch. 

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