10 Holiday Crafts You’ll Love

red and white pillows

 

Joyful Pillows

Upgrade store-bought throw pillows in a jiffy with simple appliqués. To make them, type JOY into a word-processing document, using a font you like. Enlarge each character to full letter-page size. Print, then cut out the letters and trace them onto white felt; cut out. Next, pin strips of fusible bonding web, such as Stitch Witchery ($2.99; joann.com), to the back of each felt letter. Center each one (with webbing underneath) on a pillowcase and carefully remove the pins. Iron on according to the package instructions. Once the letters have adhered, add decorative stitching with embroidery thread, if desired.

 
 
hannukah menorah craft

Hannukah Menorah Craft

Arrange a memorable menorah in minutes! Who knew plain old salt and pepper shakers could look so sophisticated? Simply unscrew the tops, fill each shaker with decorative blue sand, and place a menorah candle inside. Once the candles melt down, use tweezers to remove residual wax before reusing.
 
 
glass ornaments
 

Upgrade a Plain Glass Ornament

At around a dollar each, these empty orbs offer an affordable catalyst for creativity. Fill one with small wooden chips, another with a single stunning peacock feather (attached to the ornament’s top with hot glue). Or compose a more obvious Christmas scene by dropping a model fir tree into a globe dusted with artificial snow. You can also use tweezers to position branches inside and even hot-glue a tiny cardinal in place.

(Ornaments, starting at $4.99 for four, and cardinal, $1.99; michaels.com for stores. Peacock feathers, $2.99 for three, and artificial snow, $2.99; joann.com. Wood chips, $3 for 4.8 ounces; walmart.com for stores. Model tree, from $2.99; hobbylinc.com)

 

Christmas Tree Skirt

A literal take on the Christmas tree skirt, this resourceful project makes clever use of old duds gathering dust in your closet. All you need are two kilts (or other pleated skirts) in complementary colors and a little sewing know-how. For instructions, visit countryliving.com/tree-skirt.
 
 
 
 

Snow Globes

For a cooler-than-cool stocking stuffer, create a mini winter wonderland with a snow-globe kit ($13.95 for two; snowdomes.com). Here’s how to get the ball rolling:

Step 1: Decide what you’d like to put in your globe (we chose cupcake toppers from fancyflours.com), keeping in mind that plastic and ceramic work best underwater.

Step 2: If desired, cover your globe’s base. Since ours feature outdoor scenes, we used sheets of model-train “grass” ($2.49; modeltrainstuff.com), adhered with waterproof epoxy. Spray with Watco’s clear lacquer ($7.99; woodcraft.com); let dry.

Step 3: Position your figure on the base; affix with the epoxy.

Step 4: Once the epoxy has dried, attach the dome to the base and fill with distilled water and the included snow, following the kit’s instructions. To hide the seam where the base and dome meet, use glue dots to affix a decorative ribbon around the globe’s circumference. Looks like it’s a small world, after all.

 
w Thumbnails

Crafty Kits

Instead of a single present, treat loved ones to a customized kit packed with stuff they’re sure to use — buttons, thread, and needles for a friend who likes to sew; polishes, brushes, and buffing cloths for a well-dressed dad; or cookie cutters, sprinkles, and icing tubes for a friend who bakes. To re-create these kits, start by spraying a clean tin (we used old metal cookie containers) with Rust-Oleum Universal All-Surface paint in white; let dry. Next, download an image to match the tin’s contents at countryliving.com/dec-templates. Print the silhouette and cut out, then spray the back with adhesive. Using a pair of craft tweezers, pick up the graphic and place it, right side up, on the tin’s lid. Once it dries, coat the lid and base with a spray sealer (try Krylon’s Make It Last) and let dry. Use black card stock, cut to the tin’s dimensions, to create dividers, if desired. Then fill with your goodies
 
 

Enjoy some good clean fun with these easy-to-make soaps, shaped using animal-themed cookie cutters ($3.99 for six; ikea.com for stores). For your own menagerie, heat a medium-size chunk of melt-and-pour glycerin ($6 for two pounds; sweetcakes.com) over a double boiler or in the microwave. While it melts, place the cutters in a deep metal baking pan. Once the glycerin liquefies, tint it with food coloring, then pour it in the middle of each cutter so the glycerin fills it to the top (use only one soap color per pan, in case any spills over). Spray with rubbing alcohol and let sit until the glycerin hardens. Using a knife, cut around the inside of the cookie cutter, then gently press the soap through to release it. Wild!

 
 
 

A sweet alternative to store-bought cards, these greetings put your tree-decorating skills to work — on a small scale. Download our illustration at countryliving.com/dec-templates, and print in color onto 8 1/2- by 11-inch card stock. Fold the stock in half lengthwise, creasing with a bone folder. For the card at top left, attach small bugle beads and paillettes to the tree (use craft glue for all designs). To replicate the middle version, cut out ornaments (made by tracing a button), a tree base, and a star from patterned fabrics and adhere. Make the last card by zigzagging a length of ribbon across the tree. Fold the ends under and glue, then try other widths of ribbon to craft a base, star, and gift. Or use your imagination, and whatever supplies you have on hand, to make your own one-of-a-kind cards.

 
 
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