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Christmas crafting with your kids? Make Christmas tree stamps out of clothespins!

By Evelyn Tan-Rogers

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This year, my kids and I are going to do something that I haven't done in yearscollect addresses for mailing out Christmas cards. My daughter's old enough to design her own cards (she's 9), but my 4-year-old's been wanting to get involved in card making too, so we had to come up with a way for him to help out. Here's our easy Christmas tree stamping idea:

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Supplies needed:

* Card stock, construction paper, or other suitable paper for making cards

* Wooden clothespins

* Popsicle sticks

* Paint (we tried acrylic and watercolour paints)

* Stickers or other embellishments for decorating your tree (optional)

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To design your Christmas tree, arrange your clothespins on popsicle sticks--you'll be using these as stamps.

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Together with your kids, come up with as many different designs as you please.

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When you have a shape that you like, you're ready to start stamping. Paint on one side of your clothespin stamps, and press it down on your paper. Results will vary according to the consistency of the paint, the paper you've chosen, and your work surface, so you can run a few test rounds to see what works best. Alternatively, if there are spots where the paint hasn't stuck, you can leave them as is, or use a single clothespin to stamp over the area again.

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For a more recognisable clothespin print, remove the spring from your clothespins and use the narrower edge for stamping.

Once you're done making your Christmas cards, you can save your painted clothespins for a Christmas wreath (google "clothespin wreaths"). Happy crafting!

This post was contributed by Evelyn, who blogs about life and parenthood at thebottomsupblog.com; the post was first published here.