Paint paper and plate

Expert Advice

Festive Holiday Campground Crafts for Kids

From festive friendship bracelets to snowmen that will melt your heart, these jolly holiday crafts add a personalized touch to your RV’s seasonal décor.

Decorating for the holidays is one of my greatest pleasures. Unpacking preschool snowflake art and homemade tree ornaments brings back memories of Christmases past, and these homemade items hold a treasured place in my heart. Each year my collection grows as my family makes new seasonal crafts, which we add to our home and to our RV’s holiday décor.

Often the craft supplies come with me on my winter travels, and making new keepsakes has become part of my family’s camping routine. If you’re looking to create new RV traditions as well, here are some ideas for family-friendly crafts you can make in your rig this December.

5 Things to Think About When Planning RV Holiday Crafts

Crafting at the campground offers the same fun as creating at home. But while the process may look the same, bringing craft supplies with you on the road does require a few additional considerations.

  1. Keep Things Light: Packing up holiday décor to bring on an RV trip can quickly become cumbersome, taking up much-needed space and adding weight to your RV. When adding craft supplies to your packing list, skip the bulky Cricut and laminating machines and instead opt for lightweight items that won’t take up too much space.

  2. Contain It All: Avoid a glitter and sequin explosion by ensuring you have secure storage for all your craft items. Consider clear containers with locking lids to make everything easy to find and easy to seal.
  3. Practice Patience: Allow ample time to complete your crafts, taking into consideration that little hands often move slower (and more clumsily) than grown up ones. Don’t rush the process and let your kids be kids as they perfect their masterpieces.
  4. Paint Within the Lines: Keep cleanup in mind when setting up your craft space. Lay down disposable tablecloths or drop clothes to catch paint and other messes and focus on helping younger crafters work on their precision and fine motor skills to help keep clutter to a minimum.
  5. Focus on Form and Function: With so many cute seasonal crafts to choose from, think about which ones will fit best into your space. The best ideas will serve a practical purpose in your rig, as well as add a personal, festive flair.

RV Holiday Craft Ideas

When thinking of how you’ll celebrate the season in your RV, try tackling these campground holiday crafts that offer festive fun for all ages.

Gift Wrap Snowman

Use empty boxes or wrapped presents to create this easy-to-make snowman that can be created in any climate.

  • What you’ll need: Boxes of various sizes, wrapping paper with a white backing, construction paper, scissors, tape, markers, or pom pons (optional)
  • Instructions:
  1. Cut wrapping paper to size and wrap each box with the white side facing outwards. Secure paper in place with clear tape.
  2. Stack the boxes with the largest on the bottom and the smallest on top to create a snowman effect, then use colored construction paper to add details such as a hat and scarf.
  3. Finish the piece by adding facial features, buttons, and more using pom pons or markers.
  • Construction ideas: Consider including other items, such as colorful ribbons, or make arms using sticks collected from around your campsite, to add extra depth to your creation.

Pinecone Christmas Trees

Collect pinecones and transform them into snowy trees, making for the perfect, lightweight winter wonderland scene. 

  • What you’ll need: Pinecones, strong craft glue, paint brushes, salt, sparkles (optional), and parchment paper or another table covering

  • Instructions:
  1. Collect pinecones from around your campsite, choosing ones that are sturdy and likely to stand up vertically on their own.
  2. Cover the picnic table or work surface with parchment paper or other disposable covering.
  3. Use brushes to apply craft paint to the pinecones, then sprinkle liberally with salt to create a “snow-covered” effect.
  4. Finish your trees by adding more glue and affixing sparkles or other items to resemble tree ornaments.
  • Construction ideas: Paint, glitter, beads, and more can be added for an even more robust design.

Painted Paper Plate Pals

Using a little paint and colorful paper, you can repurpose disposable plates, turning them into cheerful seasonal décor.

  • What you’ll need: Paper plates, craft paint, paintbrushes, construction paper of varying colors, markers, glue or tape, pom pons or cotton balls (optional), disposable table covering
  • Instructions:
  1. Cover work surface in a disposable covering that will protect your table from paint.
  2. Use craft paint to add a base color to your paper plates. After the base dries, use additional paint and markers to add in details, such as facial features.
  3. Cut construction paper to create items such as a hat and beard for Santa. Consider incorporating your child’s handprint into your design, for example as reindeer antlers. Glue or tape these items into place.
  4. If desired, additional craft items, such as cotton balls or pom pons can be used to add texture to your pieces.
  • Construction ideas: With a little imagination you can also transform your plates into wreaths, elves, gingerbread people, and more.

Cheery Clothespin Characters 

This easy, relatively mess-free craft allows you to make cute characters that can be clipped onto virtually anything in your rig.

  • What you’ll need: Wooden clothespins, paint pens
  • Instructions:
  1. Set your imagination free as you color clothespins, turning them into holiday icons such as candy canes, gingerbread cookies, nutcrackers, snowmen, elves, and more.
  2. Ensure your base paint color is completely dry before adding facial expressions and other details.
  • Construction ideas: Clip these to your garland or tree to create fun personalized ornaments, or add magnets or command strips to the back to display elsewhere throughout your RV.

Clay Bead Friendship Bracelets

Friendship bracelets are all the rage and can be made in a variety of festive colors, making them the perfect all-ages craft that can be shared with new campground friends.

  • What you’ll need: Polymer clay in a variety of holiday colors, plastic knife, toothpick, parchment paper, baking sheet, oven or toaster oven, string, scissors
  • Instructions:
  1. Cover your work surface with parchment paper.
  2. Soften clay by rolling it out with your hands until it’s pliable, then use a plastic knife to cut off small pieces in clay in a variety of seasonal colors.
  3. Roll the clay pieces into small balls that will serve as the beads on your bracelet. Then, poke a hole through the center of each bead with a toothpick.
  4. Heat your RV oven or toaster oven to the temperature indicated on the polymer clay packaging, then bake the beads on a baking sheet covered in parchment paper until they are no longer soft.
  5. Once the beads have cooled, string them together. Cut string to length with scissors and tie the loose ends together to complete your bracelet.
  • Construction ideas: Adjust your colors and designs for each season of camping and incorporate this craft into your springtime, 4th of July, and Halloween camping traditions as well.

Adjust Based on Abilities

While all these crafts are a great option for creation makers of all ages, you’ll want to modify as needed to ensure that everyone can take part in the fun. Bring safety scissors for children and leave the more delicate cuts for the grownups.

With just a little preparation, making hand-crafted keepsakes at the campground can soon become part of your family’s holiday camping traditions.

Amanda Adler

Writer, RVer

Amanda Adler is a writer and RV enthusiast based in Orlando, Florida. She’s road tripped through 47 states thus far on her quest to explore national parks, theme parks, kid- and dog-friendly hiking trails, and quirky local haunts.