Charlotte Mason advised that children should create items through the art of a Handicraft. Regular paper crafts seem to later end up in a keep sake box or if your like us and have countless “crafts” then they may eventually end up in the garbage (just being honest). On the other hand, handicrafts seem to artistically yet constructively serve a purpose. These are the points that Charlotte Mason made about handicrafts:
- They should not be employed in making utilities such as pea and stick work, paper maps, and the like.
- They should be taught slowly and carefully what they are to do.
- That slipshod work should not be allowed.
- The children’s work should be kept well within their compass.
–Home Education By Charlotte Mason pg. 315
Furthermore, I have been contemplating the differences between “crafts” and “handicrafts,” changing my perspective and determining how to implement this change into our homeschool. For change to stick, I know I need to add it in slowly, so I began seeking out family members and friends that have handicraft hobbies.
On a sentimental note, I tend to be a kindred spirit of those that are much older than I. People that really get to know me, refer to me as an old soul. Which is why I have begun gravitating to the elders I know for some instruction in handicrafts. The older generation offers time-less wisdom, slow steady hands, and an assertive expectation for greatness. These are qualitys I want my children to observe, appreciate, and eventually take on as their own.
As a hobby, my husband’s aunt beautifully handcrafts cards for holidays and celebrations. She is quite passionate about it and even has a craft room dedicated to it. She was generous enough to share with my family on how to hand make elegant cards.
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We started with white card stock and folded it in half. To add dimension, we taped printed card stock on the front.
She had countless die cutters to choose from, my children favored the mistletoe and the Christmas tree, and I picked a manger scene.
The die cutter is then placed over the white card stock on top of a cutting pad.
It is then propelled through a cutting machine.
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My oldest picked out a Christmas tree and both my children used green and blue glitter brush pens to color their cut outs.
Below is the double sided adhesive tape we used to adhere the printed card to the white card stock.
The writing on the inside of the card are completed by using varies kinds of stamps. I’m not sure if you can make it out but my oldest wrote in hers, “Jesus loves you all the time.”
Initially, I had no intentions of purchasing all the supplies necessary to hand make cards. However, my whole family enjoyed this so much, that I need to reconsider it. It is a practical handicraft, I end up purchasing countless cards for birthdays, holidays, weddings, baby showers and graduations through out the year anyway. If we started hand crafting our own cards then my children would benefit so much more. This could be a wonderful family Christmas gift.
Surprisingly, this experience was a blessing. I noticed a similarity between the concept of authors who write living books and those who hand make items as a hobby. The creator is passionate about the craft and like living books, this really makes the handicraft come alive. This particular handicraft was the perfect demonstration for my children. What about you, would you enjoy hand making cards with your children like this?