I have to confess, that I wasn’t sure what to call these – they’re not quite sun-catchers, and not really snow-globes, so I decided on Confetti Shakers in the absence of any other ideas. These were born when I accidentally discovered, in one of those ‘Eureka’ moments that you have now and then, that the lid of a Pringles tube, fits exactly onto the lid of a tub of cottage cheese from Tesco (I think other products have the same lids too, mine just happened to be cottage cheese!) My mind of course ran riot with potential ideas of how I could use this discovery (you can see I lead a rather sheltered life), but I decided to create these shakers because I’ve always loved snowglobes, sun-catchers and glittery things in general. I decided I’d make a series of hanging decorations of a tree through 3 seasons – Spring, Autumn and Winter. The winter one could also be used as a Christmas Tree decoration, especially because the tissue paper backing means that light can also shine through it. Or you could attach a magnet to the back to place on the fridge, or even use the lid as a lid and decorate the original plastic pot.
This is an activity which you can make as simple or as complex as you like – you don’t have to use cut-out detail (which can be tricky for younger children), but instead just draw a picture, or even use a family photo, or cut-out an image from an old Christmas Card. Just draw round the Pringles lid to use it as a template for the image. Alternatively dispense with the picture altogether, and just place sequins or shreds of coloured sweet wrappers etc. inside instead – this would be particularly good for the youngest children.
The following instructions are for the seasonal shakers that I made, but can of course be adapted for your own project:
You will need
- 3 Tesco lids (mine was from cottage cheese, but I think they use these lids on a range of chilled products)
- 3 Pringles can lids
- Coloured Tissue Paper – I used pale blue, royal blue, pale pink, white, red, yellow and orange
- Black, white and brown paper
- Hole punch
- Gold and copper coloured foil (I used metal leaf, but foil sweet wrappers would also work, if cut into small pieces)
- Snow glitter (mine came from the ELC, and just consists of shredded clear cellophane)
- 3 small acrylic ‘jewels’
- Coloured ribbon
1. Make 2 small holes in the top of each Tesco lid for your handing ribbon. I did this by heating up a knitting needle over the gas flame on the hob for a few seconds, before pushing it through the lid.
2. Using your Pringles lid as a guide for size, draw and cut out 1 tree from each of the 3 sheets of coloured paper. I used a knife and cutting board for this, which obviously will not be suitable for young children, so you will need to do a simpler tree shape for them to cut out with scissors, or prepare the trees for them.
3. Again, using the Pringles lid as a template, cut out a circle from the orange, the pale blue and the royal blue tissue paper, and glue one into the recessed part of each Tesco lid. I used a light mist of repositionable spray glue for this to get an even coating, but you can use whatever glue you have as long as you’re careful not to rip the paper when applying it, and are sure you can get an even translucent coating.
4. Apply a few dabs of glue to the reverse of each tree, and apply it on top of the tissue paper which you glued in place, as follows:
Black tree on orange paper
White tree on royal blue paper
Brown tree on pale blue paper
5. At this point, I also added a small clear acrylic jewel to sparkle like an evening star, which I placed between the branches of each tree.
6. Create your confetti by punching holes in the red, orange and yellow tissue paper, and the pink and white tissue paper. This is something that children can have fun helping with.
7. Tear some small pieces of metal leaf in gold and copper (or cut a few small pieces of gold foil sweet wrappers) Again, get the kids to help here if you like.
8. Place a small pile of red, orange, yellow, copper and gold confetti on the black tree, and a small pile of the pink and white on the brown tree. For the winter scene, you can either use some snow glitter, or just punch some white dots out.
9. Before gluing in place, put the lids on and check that you have the right amount of confetti. Adjust if necessary, then once you are happy with it, run a little glue around the edge of the pringles lid, and place it in position over the top of your scene.
10. Wipe away any excess glue with a damp cloth or tissue.
11. Thread a length of ribbon through the holes you made at the top.
12. Hang up and admire.