Christmas Card Tree

Craft Ideas Craft of the Day

Don’t throw out your Christmas cards after the holiday season! Recycle them into this beautiful easy-to-make Christmas tree.

Materials

  • Recycled Christmas cards
  • Gold cardstock
  • Wooden dowel, 1/4”, 12” length
  • Plastic-foam disc, 3”

Tools

  • Hole punch, 1/4″
  • Thick craft glue

Basic Supplies

paper, pencil, scissors, ruler, stapler

Directions

STEP 1

Print and cut out patterns. (Note: The blue word “patterns” is a link. To access these patterns, select the link, then download and print.) Follow directions on patterns.

STEP 2

With right side facing up, fold each card where indicated by dashed line on pattern forming a pointed end; do not crease. Secure ends together with stapler. Punch hole where indicated by “O” on pattern.

STEP 3

Adhere one end of dowel to center of plastic-foam (base). Let dry. Beginning with extra-large cards and ending with small cards, thread cards onto dowel, working around base. Adhere wrong sides of star edges together, leaving bottom open. Let dry. Place open end of star onto top of dowel.

by the Craft Ideas Staff, formerly Crafts ‘n things (www.craftideas.com)

Swirl Cap Characters

Craft Ideas Craft of the Day

Add some festive flair to your Christmas packages with these quick-and-simple holiday gift tags.

Materials

  • Craft foam (for each): white, 6” square; red, 3”x4”
  • Flannel fabric, 1-1⁄2”x14” (snowman’s scarf)

Tools

  • Acrylic paints: white, ivory, hot pink, crimson, orange
  • Pinking shears
  • Black fine-tip permanent marker
  • Craft glue

Basic Supplies

ruler, tracing paper, pencil, paintbrush, newspaper (to cover work surface)

Directions

Size

7″ tall

Swirl Cap Characters

1. Print and cut out patterns. (Note: The blue word “patterns” is a link. To access these patterns, select the link, then download and print.) Trace hat outline only onto red foam, and remaining patterns onto white; cut out. Using long, smooth strokes, cut swirls in hats. Cut two 3⁄4”x3-1⁄4” hat bands from white using pinking shears.

2. Transfer faces. For Santa, basecoat face Ivory. While paint is still wet, drybrush cheeks Hot Pink. When dry, paint nose and mouth Crimson and eyebrows White.

3. Using pattern as guide, draw details with black fine-tip permanent marker.

4. For snowman, drybrush cheeks Hot Pink and paint nose Orange. Draw details with marker. Tie scarf around neck.

5. Adhere bottom edges of hats to tops of heads and hat bands to hats. To hang, separate swirl and place on package. Write recipient’s name on hat band.

Tip

  • Need a last-minute gift? Kids can easily create these gift tags as ornaments for Grandma and Grandpa.

by Barbara Matthiessen

Springy Celebration Ornament

Craft Ideas Craft of the Day

Add sparkle and fun to your tree this year. This clay ornament is quick and easy so you can create a batch in many color combos!

Materials

  • Polyform Premo! Sculpey Red Glitter Oven-Bake Clay
  • Green glass crystals

Tools

  • Polyform Sculpey: Clay Conditioning Machine, Clay Extruder (with half-circle extruding disc)
  • Copy paper
  • Parchment-lined baking sheet and oven
  • Tape

Basic Supplies

wax paper

Directions

STEP 1

Preheat oven to 275° F. Run clay through Clay Conditioning Machine on several passes on widest setting. Fold clay in half after each pass; insert folded side into rollers first.

STEP 2

Create cone with sheet of copy paper; tape in place.

STEP 3

Fill extruder completely with Red Glitter clay. Extrude completely.

STEP 4

Lay extruded piece of clay down on flat side. Using fingers, create point at one end. At other end, create loop and connect back to strip.

STEP 5

Press crystals firmly into clay in random pattern.

STEP 6

Starting with pointed end of strip and small point of paper cone, wrap clay around cone.

STEP 7

Bake clay on paper cone on parchment-lined baking sheet in oven. Let cool. Remove paper and hang ornament on tree.

Tip

  • For a different look, mix two colors of clay together to create marbleized look. Run marbleized clay through extruder and follow instructions to wrap around cone.

by Polyform Products (http://www.sculpey.com/)

Cloud Clay Embellished Christmas Tags

This time of the year, I am looking to get my presents made and wrapped and to do it all in a creative way and ahead of time. The holiday season is a great time to showcase your DIY talents but, let’s face it, anything that takes hours of work probably isn’t going to get done. Today I have a quick-and-easy Christmas-themed project that combines the drying convenience of AMACO Cloud Clay – a quick-drying air dry clay – recycled clothing tags, glitter, and paint. It hits all the sweet spots: it’s easy, it’s quick, it isn’t messy, it recycles, and it has glitter!

What you’ll need:

  • Small Christmas Tree cookie cutter (mine is about 1-1/2” tall)
  • AMACO Green Cloud Clay
  • Recycled clothing tags (or hand-cut/die-cut tags)
  • Chalkboard paint or other acrylic paint
  • Ribbon
  • Your choice of decorations (I used glitter and white glue, glitter glue, and pale gold acrylic paint)

Start by pinching off a palm-sized piece of Cloud Clay and knead it to warm it up and soften it. Pull it and fold it until it is nice and supple. Roll a piece of the Cloud Clay into a long snake.

Bend the clay snake into a series of loops and push them together gently to make a lumpy rectangle of clay which is larger than the cookie cutter.

Press the cookie cutter into the clay.

Gently remove the clay shape from the cookie cutter (you can ease it out by pressing a small ball of Cloud Clay to the back of the shape – the clay will stick to itself so you can use the ball as a handle to pull the shape out of the cookie cutter.) Cut away the ball of clay with a pair of sharp scissors.

Set aside the shape to dry as you repeat the process to make more trees.

As the Christmas trees are drying, you can decorate them. Here are some ideas:

Using a tube of glitter glue, run lines of glitter along the dips in the clay.

Using white glue, dot the glue on the tree and then dredge with glitter. Wait until the glue is dry to brush off the excess glitter and return it to the tube.

Paint the tree with a generous coat of gold acrylic paint. Wait about 30 seconds then wipe the excess off using a paper towel – the paint will have settled into the depressions in the shape.

Draw on the tree – I use a Ranger Inkssentials white marker.

While your trees finish drying, coat the tags with a coat of paint – I used black chalkboard paint but you can use any color or type of paint. You may need a couple coats of paint to cover the tags.

Cut pieces of ribbon 10″ long and knot through the tags (you may need to punch larger holes in the tags to take wider ribbon).

Attach the Christmas Trees to the tags using glue or dimensional glue dots.

If you use chalkboard paint, you can write on the tags using chalk – other dark paints will take gel pens and lighter paints will take permanent markers.

by Helen Bradley for AMACO (www.amaco.com)

Christmas Garland

Crafts ’n things Craft of the Day

This simple but beautiful holiday-themed garland looks sophisticated, yet is easy enough for kids to make.

Materials

  • Bazzill White Cardstock
  • Echo Park Dots & Stripes Paper Collections: Metropolitan Ruby Red, Leaf; Candy Shoppe Raspberry
  • The Twinery Ocean Stripe Baker’s Twine

Tools

  • Xyron Adhesives: 3” Sticker Maker, 3/16” High Tack Adhesive Dots
  • Craft punches: circle, 2”; snowflake, 1-3/8”
  • Clearsnap Glitter: Winter Frost, Silver Lining

Basic Supplies

scissors, paper plates

Directions

STEP 1

Punch 12-20 circles from each color Echo Park paper. Sort into matching color pairs of main and back circles.

STEP 2

Punch 18-30 snowflakes from White cardstock.

STEP 3

Run snowflakes through Xyron 3” Sticker Maker. Rub very well, then peel.

STEP 4

Carefully remove snowflakes and lay with sticky side up on paper plate.

STEP 5

Sprinkle snowflakes with Winter Frost glitter, making sure to cover every snowflake completely, including the edges.

STEP 6

Run glittered snowflakes back through Xyron 3” Sticker Maker with glitter side up. Rub very well, then peel.

STEP 7

Adhere snowflakes to half of main circle centers, varying colors. Set pairs aside.

STEP 8

Press Xyron 3/16” High Tack Adhesive Dots on remaining main circles in random polka dot pattern.

STEP 9

Lay with sticky side up on paper plate; sprinkle with Silver Lining glitter. Tap off excess.

STEP 10

Run decorated circles through Xyron 3” Sticker Maker.

STEP 11

Lay several back circles 1” apart across work surface, in desired color pattern. Starting 6” from end, lay twine across center of back circles. Adhere decorated circle to matching color back circle and twine, pressing firmly. Repeat until all circles are adhered or desired length is achieved. Trim twine 6” beyond last circle. (Note: Increase starting and ending lengths of twine to 12” or more if intending to tie around column or post.)

Tips

  • Xyron makes it easy to add the glitter with very little mess, especially when crafting with children.
  • Make this garland as long or as short as desired by making more or less circles.

by Cristal “Pinky” Hobbs for Xyron Inc. (www.xyron.com)

Festive Holiday Frame

Crafts ’n things Craft of the Day

 

Capture your Christmas memories with a photo of your family on Christmas day and display in this Festive Holiday Frame. 

 Materials

  • Cardstock or construction paper: red, white
  • Cardboard or chipboard, 8-1/2” square, 3”x8-1/2” strip
  • Christmas day family photo

Tools

  • Craft glue

Basic Supplies

scissors, ruler

Directions

Size

8-1/2″ square

Frame

1. Measure and cut 8-1/2” white paper square. Cut out 3” square in center of frame (for photo opening).

2. Print and cut out patterns.

3. Measure and cut four 2-1/4” red paper squares. Fold squares diagonally in half. Cut star design from squares, placing line on fold, and cutting on dashed lines. Open up design and adhere on corners of white square, leaving 1/4” border on edges.

4. Measure and cut four 2”x3-1/4” red paper rectangles. Adhere rectangles between corner square designs.

5. Measure and cut 3”x9” white paper strip. Fold strip in half lengthwise. Cut four large heart shapes from folded strip, placing line on fold, and cutting on dashed lines. Open up designs and adhere on centers of red paper rectangles. See photo.

6. Measure and cut 2-1/2”x7” red paper strip. Fold strip in half lengthwise. Cut four medium heart shapes from folded strip, following directions above. Adhere medium heart shapes on center of white heart shapes. See photo

7. Measure and cut 2”x4” white paper strip. Fold strip in half lengthwise. Cut four small heart shapes from folded strip, following directions above. Adhere small heart shapes on center of medium heart shapes. See photo.

8. Tape photo inside opening on back of white paper square. Adhere white paper square to 8½” cardboard square.

9. To make easel for frame, cut 3”x8-1/2” cardboard strip. Bend strip 2” from end. Adhere 2” end, aligning top edges, to center back of frame.

Tip

Be sure to date your frame. Continue this as a Christmas tradition each year as you’ll love these precious mementos in year to come.

by Mary Ayres

Polar Bear Snowflake Ornament

Crafts ’n things Craft of the Day

 

Kids love Christmas but awaiting Santa’s arrival can be really difficult. Make the final hours until Santa arrives go by quickly with this fun family activity.

Materials

  • Polymer clay: white, black, assorted colors
  • Paper clip

Tools

  • Pink powdered blush
  • Toothpick
  • Clay-dedicated rolling pin or acrylic brayer
  • Craft knife
  • Oven and parchment-lined baking sheet

Basic Supplies

scissors, black marker, ruler, cotton swab

Directions

Size

4″ tall

Ornament

Adults, help kids when baking clay in oven.

1. On clean work surface, remove clay from packages. To condition, roll clay separately in hands until soft, bending and rolling until pliable. If clay cracks, keep conditioning.

2. Print and cut out pattern.

3. Roll 2” white clay ball. Flatten ball to 1/4” thickness. Use craft knife to cut snowflake from white clay.

4. For head, roll 1/2” white clay ball. For arms, roll two 1/2” clay balls. Press and shape head and arms on one point of snowflake.

5. For ears, roll two small white clay balls. Press ears on head. For nose, roll tiny black clay ball. Press nose on face. For eyes, roll two tiny black balls. Press eyes above nose.

6. For hat, roll 1/2” ball from colored clay of choice. Form ball into triangle shape. Press hat onto head. Roll skinny log and tiny ball from same-color clay. Press log along bottom edge and ball on top of hat.

7. Use toothpick to add paw lines and muzzle line. Add lines on hat. Use cotton swab to apply pink blush on cheeks.

8. For hanger, use scissors to cut paper clip in half. Insert cut ends into back of hat.

9. Position ornament on parchment-lined baking sheet. Bake ornament in oven at 225º F for 25 minutes. Let cool.

10. Use black marker to write name, year, or other message on center of snowflake.

by Lori Allberry

Christmas Friend Coasters

Crafts ’n things Craft of the Day

 

These adorable Christmas Friend Coasters are sure to spark some holiday spirit. Or, create them as a great last-minute gift idea.

Materials

  • Round cork coasters, 3-3/4”
  • Craft foam: white, black, red
  • Wooden shapes, assorted sizes: circles, teardrops, hearts, triangles
  • White felt, scraps
  • Ribbon, 6” lengths
  • Wiggle eyes, two

Tools

  • DecoArt Americana Acrylic Paints: Lamp Black, Snow White, Flesh Tone, Baby Pink, Primary Yellow, Jack-O’-Lantern Orange
  • Aleene’s Original Tacky Glue

Basic Supplies

scissors, ruler, paintbrushes, black marker, newspaper (to cover work surface)

Directions

STEP 1

Print and cut out patterns. Cut coaster from craft foam as follows: snowman and polar bear white, Santa red, penguin black.

STEP 2

On covered work surface, paint wooden shapes as follows: polar bear: two circles (ears) white, one circle (muzzle) black, two circles (inner ears) pink; Santa: one circle (face) tan, two teardrops (mustache) white, one circle (nose) pink; penguin: one heart (eyes) white, one triangle (beak) yellow; snowman: teardrop (nose) orange. Let dry.

STEP 3

Adhere cork coaster onto center of craft foam coaster. Using photo as guide, adhere wooden items on coasters.

STEP 4

For Santa, cut beard and freehand cut hair from white felt scrap; adhere onto face. For snowman and Santa, cut mittens from white craft foam. For penguin and polar bear, cut mittens from black craft foam. Adhere mittens on sides of body.

STEP 5

Use black marker to add details and eyes on faces and draw three buttons down center of coasters. Measure and cut 6” ribbon length for each coaster (except Santa). Tie ribbon bow; adhere below head.

Tip

For ease in painting wooden shapes, tape onto newspaper.

by Melony Bradley

 

Vegetable-Stamped Reindeer Towel & Mitts

Crafts ’n things Craft of the Day

 

Finally, it’s okay to play with your food! You don’t just have to eat your vegetables — use them to stamp cool designs! This set makes the perfect gift for the cook in the family!  

Materials

  • Kitchen towel set: dish towel, oven mitt, pot holder
  • Vegetables, one each: celery stalk; large potato; baby carrots, three
  • DecoArt Americana Acrylic Paints: Milk Chocolate, Mistletoe, True Red, Cool White, Lamp Black
  • Red/white checked ribbon, 3⁄4” wide, 13” lengths, three
  • Gold jingle bells, 5⁄8”, three

Tools

  • Sewing needle and white sewing thread
  • Sponge or paintbrush

Basic Supplies

scissors, toothpick, paper towels, knife, paper plate (palette), newspaper (to cover work surface)

Directions

How to Stamp with Vegetables

1. Use knife to cut vegetables as desired. Dab cut ends on paper towels to remove excess moisture.

2. Use sponge or paintbrush to dab cut vegetable ends with paint.

3. Press painted side of vegetable onto fabric, applying even pressure. Lift vegetable straight up.

4. Reapply paint as needed. Let dry.

Reindeer Design

1. Cut: potato in half (head); celery stalk into 1-1⁄4” and 3” pieces (antlers); one carrot in half widthwise (nose); one carrot in half lengthwise (ears). Adults, help kids when using knife.

2. Stamp head and ears Milk Chocolate.

3. Stamp antlers above head Mistletoe.

4. Stamp nose below head True Red.

5. Use end of uncut carrot to stamp eyes Lamp Black. Let dry.

6. Use toothpick to dot highlights in eyes and nose Cool White; let dry.

7. Tie ribbon length into bow. Use needle and thread to sew jingle bell to center of bow; secure with knot. Sew bow below reindeer; knot thread ends.

Tips

  • Wipe vegetables clean with a paper towel instead of washing with water. The less moisture in the stamp, the easier it is to absorb the paint.
  • Check out a dollar or discount store for inexpensive kitchen towel sets.
  • For younger kids, use heavy-duty tacky or fabric glue instead of needle and thread to secure bell to bow.

by Mary Ayres

Snowman Cocoa Hugger

Crafts ’n things Craft of the Day

 

This whimsical snowman can’t wait to wish someone a Merry Christmas with a scrumptious chocolate hug! After all, who doesn’t like a nice warm cup of hot cocoa on a cold winter’s night.

Materials

  • Glass pint jar with lid
  • Craft foam: white, one sheet; brown, green, orange, scraps
  • Fabric of choice, 2”x18”
  • Cocoa mix

Tools

  • EK Success Zig Memory System Millennium Markers: Pink, Blue, Green, Brown
  • Black fine-tip permanent marker
  • Small stencil brushes, four
  • Beacon Adhesives Kid’s Choice! Glue

Basic Supplies

scissors, pencil, ruler

Directions

Size

6-1⁄2” tall

Snowman

1. Cut out patterns. Cut craft foam as indicated. (Note: Use long, smooth strokes when cutting foam and turn foam instead of scissors as you cut.) Remove jar lid and trace onto white foam; cut out.

2. Use bullet tip of pens to shade edges of foam. While ink is still wet, use stencil brush to blend and shade toward center. Shade snowman with Blue, nose and trunk with Brown, and tree with Green. Drybrush cheeks with stencil brush and Pink pen.

3. Transfer details to face and lettering to foam circle. Use black marker to draw details. Fill in eyes, draw eyebrows, and outline foam pieces with wiggly lines. Trace over lettering as shown.

4. Adhere foam circle to lid. Adhere nose to snowman and trunk to back of tree. Place rubber band around jar. Position snowman’s arms under rubber band. Slide tree in between snowman’s hands. Spot glue hands to tree using rubber band to secure until glue dries.

5. Tie fabric around neck, knot, and cut fringe at ends. Remove rubber band and fill jar with cocoa mix

Other Options

Use brown craft foam to make a gingerbread jar hugger. Fill with gingerbread mix and a cookie cutter or mulling spices.

by Barbara Matthiessen