Winter Holiday Crafts

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You will need a 6-8" tall styrofoam tree, a couple of bags of red and green gumdrops, some u-shaped hairpins, toothpicks, and a miniature string of beads. Cut toothpicks in half. Insert a toothpick into the larger (bottom) side of the gumdrops. Starting at the bottom, stick the free end of the toothpick (with gumdrops already on) into the tree. Continue until the tree is covered. (Alternate method: glue gumdrops onto tree form.) Attach the beaded string in a "loose" fashion, fastening it to the styrofoam with the hairpins. Finally, hot glue a miniature star or angel to the top.


Cut red or white pipe cleaners in half. Alternately "string" red and white tri-beads (three-cornered beads with knobs on each corner and a hole in the center). Be sure the fold over the pipe cleaner at each end to be sure to catch and keep the beads on. Gently turn one end to form a candy cane shape. Hang on trees or use in place of a ribbon on a package duplicate checker


Cover a milkweed pod (pear-shaped) with foil. Glue a fluffed piece of cotton inside the bottom and add a miniature ornament (deer, sleigh, Santa) or a cut-out from a card. Hang with an ornament hanger.


For these very simple snowflakes, each child will need 6 toothpicks, 12 mini marshmallows, and one large marshmallow. Insert each toothpick through 2 mini marshmallows, leaving some space between the marshmallows. Then insert the six toothpicks evenly around the large marshmallow (like spokes on a wheel). Be sure the toothpicks are inserted far enough to stay. You can attach a thread loop if you want to hang these snowflakes!


Cut a piece of coiled jute rope about 12-24" long (1/2 - 1" diameter rope; the larger the diameter of the rope, the longer the rope can be). Tie ends together with thin, pliable wire. Add ribbon wrapped around rope (leaving much rope visible). Make a bow out of ribbon, and/or add small Christmas decorations glued to rope.


Cut out pictures of collector's plates found in many magazines. Glue these to the paper plate, cardboard, small light-weight wood circle, plastic/play plates cut to the size of the picture. Glue on a silver or gold looped string for a hanger.


Place glue on the ends of individual cone "leaves" and sprinkle glitter on. Or, you can use glitter-colored fabric paint glued directly to the ends of cone "leaves."


Cut two identical 5" high snowmen out of white felt. Make a horizontal cut on one snowman about "waist" high. Sew the two together, including a string hanger at the top. Using the "cut" snowman as the front, glue on orange felt carrot nose, a black felt hat, wiggly "eyes", and black felt buttons. Glue a yellow felt broom brush on the end of a "flat" lollipop and insert in the pouch. On Christmas, let kids eat lollipops!


Find a stick (1/2 - 1" diameter) that looks like a Y with an additional portion extending between the forks. The forks are Santa's arms, the center portion is Santa's head, and the base of the Y is Santa's legs. Paint it appropriately, using tempera paint. (Paint the light colors first - white fur, then flesh, then red suit.)


Glue a 3-4" diameter red satin ball ornament to a sugar cone. Add cotton around the juncture between cone and ball and on top of the ball. Use a hanger from a satin ball extending through cotton fluff on top to hang from the tree. (Can use a piece of yarn or ornamental string or ribbon for hanger also.)


#1: Use tongue depressors and/or ice cream sticks to build a plane. Add small Santa and/or toys as cargo. Use buttons or bingo chips for wheels, a black propeller bead for the propeller. Use silver or gold string for the hanger.

#2: Make a candy airplane using one stick of flat (Wrigley's) gum, one package of "Smarties", and two lifesavers. Place the gum (wings) perpendicular to the "Smarties" (plane body). Use a rubber band to loop through one lifesaver (wheel) over the gum, through another lifesaver (wheel), and under the "Smarties."


Use three clothespin pieces: two pointing down (4 legs); the third pointing up (ears). Add "eyes", a small red pom-pom nose, a ribbon on the neck, and a pom-pom tail.


#1: Wrap a 1/4 - 1/2" Christmas ribbon around the neck of a baby food jar. Optionally, paint holly berries/leaves on jar body (sparingly). Invert jar over a votive candle (candle can't burn), or insert candle with the neck open to top (candle can burn).

#2: Melt some paraffin inside a can placed in a pan of hot water (on the stove). Paint the melted paraffin over a sprig of evergreen onto a candle. Tie a festive ribbon around the base of the candle.



Clean and dry empty soup cans. Punch two holes opposite each other, about 1/2" from the open edge. "Corkscrew" one half of an 18" piece of wire (wrap it around a pencil). Insert the ends of the wire into the punched holes. Spray paint the cans red or green. When dry, use Elmer's glue to glue on a Christmas image cut out from the fabric. Fill with small toys and candy.



Cut paper towel tube into widths to match the width of the Christmas ribbon. Wrap ribbon (or felt) around the tube and glue in place. Add smaller ribbon trim (strung sequins or 1/4" solid ribbon) to outside edges, or a Christmas card cutout to the center of the felt.



Fold a 4-6" length of 1 1/2" Christmas ribbon and staple at the top with a tree hanger or silver or gold ornament string. Inside the ribbon loop, insert a piece of colorful tinsel. Glue a small figure over staple (with more tinsel).



Glitter "paint" three small pinecones. Use a small sire to wire them together. Center the pinecones on a 4-6" diameter paper doily, scrunch the doily so it "waves" as a background to the pinecones, and pinch out a portion of the center of the doily. Add scotch tape to build a longer 1-2" extension to the pinched doily, so it can be pinned on a blouse or coat. More colorful decoration can be added behind the pinecones (ribbon, tinsel).



Place about 2 ounces of chopped dark, semisweet, milk, or white chocolate or candy coating in a microwave-safe bowl. Microwave on high for 1-2 minutes, stirring once or twice until melted. Dip the "bowl" end of colored plastic spoons into the melted chocolate, then quickly sprinkle with multi-colored "sprinkles" candies. Place on wax paper until set. Two ounces makes about 8-10 spoons. Wrap single or sets of spoons in cellophane paper and tie off with a ribbon. (Spoons placed in hot drinks make a sumptuous treat, or tape the spoon on a gift instead of a ribbon!)



Use corks of different sizes dipped in white paint to applique snowman figures on unpatterned gift wrap. When dried, use black and orange marker pens to add features: eyes, hat, carrot nose, coal buttons, stick arms, etc.



First, cut a piece of unpatterned gift paper to size for a gift. Then cut out snowflakes from construction paper. Lay the snowflakes on the gift paper. Use a sponge to apply paint over the snowflakes. When dry, lift the snowflakes off and the snowflake patterns remain - unpainted!



Spray paint some 2-3" diameter pinecones in a variety of colors and let them dry. Collect wooden beads, wooden ornaments, and other colorful items. String these on a narrow ribbon (1/8" wide). Wrap the ribbon around the pinecone several times and include several in the garland.



Collect cardboard tubes, cutting them into 4-6" lengths. Paint them or cover them in colorful/holiday gift wrap. Cut several heart and star shapes from construction paper and punch a small hole in the center of each. String all these with wooden beads on a length of bright ribbon. Be sure to place stars or hearts on each side of the cardboard tubes.



Take a length of narrow (2-4" wide) paper (i.e. calculator tape). Fold the paper, accordion-style, into 2" wide widths. Draw an angel pattern on the top, making sure the wings extend to both edges of the paper. Cut out the pattern and open it. Use glitter, paint, markers to add details to each angel. Tape multiple lengths together if desired.



Wrap a sparkly pipe cleaner around a pencil. When done, pull it off the pencil, bend one end into a hook and hang it on the tree!



Cut a 12" piece of green lace that is 1/2" wide. Thread some florist wire through the straight edge and form into a circle. Tie the wire ends and cut any sharp edges off. Tie small bells to the ends of a piece of red ribbon. Tie ribbon into a bow and glue to the top of the lace wreath. Add a safety pin to the backside.



Using a nail, punch rows of holes around the orange (about 1/4" apart). Push one clove into each hole. Roll clove-studded orange in spice mix (1 small can ground cloves, 1 small can cinnamon, 1/2 cup cornstarch). Wrap orange in fabric softener sheet and place in a cool, dry area for at least one week to dry. After drying, discard the softener sheet and tie orange with 1 yard of ribbon around its center both horizontally and vertically. Leave a loop of ribbon at the top for hanging.




Get pipe cleaners and assorted little bells and holiday ornaments with loops that fit a pipe cleaner. Start by wrapping the 3 pipe cleaners together at one end, like this |/. Then thread the decorations onto the pipe cleaners. Then twist them together, so the doodads hang down. Twist the ends together and use a small piece of pipe cleaner to wrap the juncture and serve as a hook.

Candle centerpiece


Fill a tuna can with colorful dried beans. Then put a candle in the center and fill the can with white glue. Let it set about 24 hours. Finish it with a red ribbon tied around the can.

Paper Chains


Cut multiple strips of colored construction paper. Optionally, you can decorate them with stickers, markers, glitter, etc. Loop them and glue or staple the ends together, looping each new strip in the last loop.

Candy Cane Ornaments


Alternate red and white tri-beads on a 4" length of pipe cleaner. Bend the last bit of pipe cleaner into a tiny loop to secure the beads. Bend it into a candy cane shape.

Fuse Beads Ornaments


Make ornaments out of fast fuse beads. Arrange the little beads on the plastic board. Tie a decorative string through the "top" bead. Then have an adult press it with a hot iron.

Christmas Card Window


Glue four craft sticks together to form a square. Then take two more sticks and glue them across the middle, one going horizontally and one going vertically so it looks like a window. Cut out an outdoor scene from an old Christmas card and glue it onto the window so that the picture is face down on the sticks. Turn it over and glue a strip of lace ribbon across the top stick. It looks like you're looking out of a window with a lace valance.

Drink Container Snowman


Use a Kool-Aid or other powder drink container that is already shaped like a snowman. Tie a scarf around the dent, add wiggly eyes, a carrot nose, buttons, and twig arms. Then fill it with candy.

Triangle Reindeer


Glue three regular popsicle sticks together to make a triangle. With the point facing down, the top stick should be placed lower to make antlers. Glue a red pom pom on the point for a nose, and glue the eyes on the sticks about halfway up from the point. You can embellish the antlers with twisted brown pipe cleaners too.



You will need one 5-pack of gum, a roll of lifesavers, a rollo, a caramel, a Hershey's kiss, and four red/white peppermint candies. Glue the lifesavers onto the pack of gum (the flat side). Then glue the rollo on the front of the lifesavers. Glue a Hershey's kiss on top of the lifesavers - in the front and a caramel on top of lifesavers in the back. On both sides of the train glue two peppermint wheels. This makes one candy train - great for ornaments.



Get a sheet of Fun Foam, a package of Christmas stickers, and a strip of the self-adhesive magnet. Cut the Fun Foam in squares bigger than the sticker, and the magnet is about 1/2" pieces. Give each child a piece of foam, a sticker, and a magnet. Put the sticker on the foam, trim around it as desired (leave some color from the foam showing as a border), and stick the magnet on the back. These are great for any holiday/occasion. Or instead, hot-glue a pin back to it!



You will need: a light-colored cloth napkin (any size, dowel rod, red and green yearn, green and red paint, and glue. Fold the top of the napkin over 1/2 inch, insert the dowel, then glue the napkin edge down. Place a child's hand in the green paint, and press it several times on the napkin to form a wreath. Add red thumbprints for holly berries. Tie the yarn onto the ends of the dowel and hang!



Trace a simple star or another design on paper. Insert the paper inside a sandwich-sized bag. Use white glue or fabric paint to trace the outline of the design on the outside of the bag. Then sprinkle the wet glue/paint with glitter. Dry it overnight and then peel it from the bag. "Stick" it to a window or add a ribbon and hang it on the tree.



You'll need pipe cleaners and tri-colored beads. Thread the beads onto a pipe cleaner so the beads nest together. Bend the pipe cleaner into a simple shape: star, Christmas stocking, tree, etc. For older kids, you can have them weave ribbon with holes in it through the pipe cleaner and between each bead.



Gather pine cones and spray paint them gold, or silver, or with a clear sealer. While they're still wet, sprinkle glitter on liberally, then spray again with a clear sealer. This should be done in a well-ventilated space. You could also have the kids paint the pine cones by hand with gold or silver paint, or dabbing glue on the cones and sprinkle with glitter. When the cones are dry, tie a beautiful ribbon around the top.



Thread red and white tri-beads onto a red or white pipe-cleaner. You can do one of a color, two of color or mixed patterns to make a candy cane "stripe." When you like the length bend the pipe cleaner to hold the beads, then cut off the excess pipe cleaner. Bend it to make a candy cane and use it as a gift topper or a tree ornament.




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