I know that Christmas can only be just around the corner for two reasons; firstly I have been putting off writing my Christmas cards for weeks like I do every year and secondly we are in the middle of a craft frenzy. Yes our house just wouldn't feel festive were it not festooned with our best home made efforts, and this year we have been most prolific with this Klutz window art set which I bought from Amazon for £6.50 a few months ago - at time of writing it is still available at that price, making it a good buy in my opinion.
The set consists of a book and all the paints you will need to make your window stickers. There are about 35 pages of different designs to make of varying sizes and complexity, as you would expect all of the designs have a Christmas theme, though you can, of course, make your own designs. To make a sticker you place one of the two detachable plastic pockets over the picture of the design you want to make, and draw with the paints straight onto the plastic. Once dried you can detach the sticker and stick onto any glass surface.
I like the fact that the book is ring bound and the pages themselves are thick and glossy. I've found that two children can work on a double spread at once if you can persuade them to want to do the same designs, but I've also scanned a few pages so that they can work independently. To make the sticker you have to start by doing the outline with the black paint. Cleverly this is of a different consistency than the other paints so it provides the foundation for the sticker. I've found my eight year old is able to do the outline herself as the paint flows well out of the bottle with just a small amount of pressure, like the book says it really is just as easy as squeezing a tube of toothpaste. Each bottle has a pointed nib that makes it easy to do quite narrow lines. I tend to do the lines for my five year old and she fills the colours in. There is only 40 ml of black paint and 22 ml of the other festive colours you can see above but a little paint goes quite a long way. We have found the colours ample to produce lots of different designs, the different colours (but not the black) can also be mixed. As you can imagine care needs to be taken around clothing as the paint will stain.
The style of the designs provided is very varied from cutesy characters through to more grown up festive scenes. Some of the stickers are quite small, and only a couple of centimetres across and so quick to do whilst others are of A5 size. We have made about 20 stickers so far and still have plenty of paint. Spare bottles can be bought from amazon, although it may be just as cheap to buy a new set, and Klutz also make a non festive set. Amongst the templates there are plenty of tips of how to make the best stickers; some of the things we have tried include adding glitter to our designs and adding little beads of paint directly onto the window to finish off a display. My daughters are most proud of the festive cat they have made and they also have made a lovely string of sticker bulbs. I like the fact that the book is not too prescriptive and allows you to be creative whilst giving you enough support if you aren't the best at drawing Father Christmas. The finished product really looks surprisingly good on the windows and certainly shows the world that we are embracing the Christmas season.
Once made the stickers are best removed after twenty four hours and normally are quite easy to detach. You have to be careful not to let them bend back on themselves or they clump together. They can, apparently, be stored in zip lock bags for use next year, according to the instructions. I can't really fault the book or the directions given, though you should be aware that this being a Klutz product there is an American slant - so candy canes and "Happy Holiday" feature on the pages and the language used is American English. Ultimately though, like many of the Klutz range this is a well designed product that works well and produces good results. I'd say the suggested age range of 8 and up is probably a little flexible - certainly a crafty four or five year old should be able to manage to make stickers with some assistance. If you enjoy craft and fancy making some original decorations I'd certainly have no qualms recommending this product, it's great fun, easy and the end results are good.