Saturday, December 03, 2011

Countdown to Christmas: Girl Scout Christmas Crafts circa 1971


Nice memories from the elementary school years this time!

Me Christmas of '71 (the date on the photo is wrong--it took my Mom YEARS to get film developed!). That was my favorite dress that year, too!

Illustration credit: http://www.girlscouts.org/who_we_are/history/exhibit/


Much of December was spent making "stuff" for Christmas gifts when I was a kid. There were the good projects--the felt Christmas Stockings Mrs. Englehart patiently taught us to hand sew, the bad, (too many to mention) and the ugly--popsicle stick manger anyone? But Christmas gift crafts were raised to a special level of "art" by those frustrated executives in green--the early 1970's Girl Scout Leaders! All were named "Mrs." All drove station wagons. And none tolerated shirking your crafting duties at Christmas.

Image copyright 1963 Girl Scouts of American


I was an enthusiastic girl scout in my youth! I was a brownie and then a Junior and would have enjoyed going further, but that's as far as it went at my school. Anyway, about that time band took over my life and I enjoyed that thoroughly, too. Later I enjoyed leading B's American Heritage Girl's group for a few years. Sadly, as in so many things, she did not share my passion for earning badges!!

Daypack for camp


Among the many crafts we Girl Scouts made in the Presbyterian Church Fellowship Hall in the early 70's were these two classic Christmas decorations.

First the Reader's Digest Santa! You bought a plastic Santa or Mrs. Santa head at the Ben Franklin and then devised construction paper arms with mittened hands to make them more "human" looking. Spray paint, something ALL kids long to use, was allowed with an adult RIGHT. THERE. ready to seize the can if you dared aim at another scout of at anything belonging to the Church! Our mother's sewing box or button jar provided other goodies to "dress" the Santas with. I believe mine became a gift to my Grandfather and his new wife that year. Whatever did happen to it, I did at least have fun making it.
Photo Credit: http://www.allfreecrafts.com/christmas/paperback-Santa.shtml

Then there were the IBM PUNCH CARD WREATHS!! These were awesome! Staples AND spray paint! Too cool, right? Mine was spray painted gold and went to live in Roger's Park, in Chicago, on my Great Aunt's door. She came home from work one night to find it stolen. She remarked on that every Christmas till she died in the early 90s.


Photo Credit: http://minneapolis.craigslist.org/ank/clt/2663216773.html

2 comments:

Susan said...

Okay, how did I never get to make either of those lovely crafts? I have seen angels made, similar to the Santa, out of hymnals ... I, too, was in brownies and juniors, and that's as far as I went either. I still have my brownie beanie in the bedroom :) Such good memories - thanks!

Hopewell said...

I don't know if Mrs. leader would "hold" with making something out of a sacred hymnal. We were Presbyterians after all!