Holiday Craft How-Tos

Shell Treesshell-trees
by Connie Craven, Beads By the C

Materials:
Styrofoam cone in any size
Foam glue, at least one bottle
Small sea shells in the colors and sizes you like (the more varied, the more interesting your tree will be)
Starfish or shell topper
Clear acrylic spray, matte or glossy

Procedure:
1. To weight your tree so that it does not topple over, start by placing larger, heavier shells around the bottom of your tree. As the cone tapers, use smaller and smaller shells.

2. Apply shells to cone by squeezing a thin line of glue around the bottom of the shell on all surfaces that will touch the styrofoam. Work on one section at a time, either with the cone standing up or on its side, allowing the glue to dry for several hours before moving to the next section.

3. Use toothpicks or corsage pins to hold the shells in place until they dry. Think of your tree as a puzzle and fit shells together as closely as possible to cover all the styrofoam. Use tiny shells to fill gaps between your shells.

4. To set your topper, make a small hole in the top of the tree that fits one of your starfish legs, fill with glue and insert your starfish. Let dry overnight.

5. Spray entire tree with clear acrylic in a well ventilated area. Let dry completely. This protects the seashells and gives a finished look to your piece.

bag-wreathRetro Plastic Bag Wreath
by Onthejunk

Materials:
1 Wire Wreath Frame (this one is 18 in.)
Silver Spray Paint
Approximately 120 Clear Bags from Delivered Newspapers
10 Round Ornaments (Five 4 in. and Five 2.5 in.)
Steel Floral Wire (26 gauge)
Scissors
Pliers with Wire Cutters

Procedure:
1. Lay the wire wreath frame on top of newspaper or cardboard and spray it with silver paint. After it dries (check paint for dry time), flip the frame and spray the other side. Let dry completely (several hours or overnight)

2. Take about 5 plastic bags and lay them out flat on top of each other keeping the open ends on the same side. Fold over lengthwise (like a pleat) a couple of times and trim off the closed ends (quarter-inch or so). 

3. Fold the stack in half over one finger, so that the ends are all together and fairly even. Carefully cut through the fold across your finger, leaving you with two stacks of bags. Repeat this with the rest of the bags.

4. Holding the wire frame so that the slight arch faces upwards, take one bag segment and thread it between the two center rings with the ends coming up towards you. Tie the ends together in a simple crossover and pull tight. Take another bag and repeat the process bridging the two outer rings. Then tie another one bridging the two inner rings. Continue this process so that the pattern is one center tie, two outer ties, one center tie. Each wire segment should end up with 6 down the center, 6 on the outside ring and 6 on the inside ring. Repeat the pattern all the way around the frame.

5. When all the bags are tied onto the frame, lay it down and arrange your ornaments around the circle to get an idea of where each one should be anchored. Cut a piece of wire about 6 in. long and thread it through the top of an ornament. Twist the wire tightly a few times at the base. Stick the wires down between the bags through the frame, nestling your ornament where you want it to stay. Pull the wire in the back (fairly tightly) and separate the strands. Wrap each one out and around one of the wire rings and then bring back together. Twist the wires together several times and then trim the piece leaving only about an inch. Use pliers to grab the piece and tuck it into the  know of one of the center bags. Repeat the process with the rest of the ornaments, spacing them evenly around the wreath.

6. Fluff the bags up around the ornaments when you’re finished and hang on a wreath hanger with a pointed end that will fit in a gap between the rings.

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Christmas Chalk Ornamentschalk-orn
by Angie Ledyard, Feathers and Foil

Materials:
Clear glass ornaments (Or matte black ornaments for a quicker version)
Black chalkboard spray paint
Flat surface
Cardboard and paper towels to protect your surface from paint
A pencil
Permanent chalk marker or permanent metallic marker

Procedure:
1. Carefully remove the metal piece from the top of the ornament and place somewhere for safekeeping. Clean the ornament with a hand towel and glass cleaner.

2. Spray the entire ornament with chalkboard spray, holding the bottle far back enough to avoid drips of paint. To dry, place the ornament upside down (on the opening) on your flat drying surface. Allow plenty of time to dry. If a second coat is needed, repeat step two.

3. Choose your holiday greeting or lyric. Using the pencil first, draw out your design. After you’re happy with that, use the permanent marker to finish your beautiful new ornament.

4. Carefully place the metal piece back in the top of your chalk ornament and hang on your Christmas tree. Pour a glass of eggnog, put on your favorite holiday song and have a very Merry Christmas! These ornaments are also great as place cards for your holiday table or gifts for loved ones.

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gb-wreathGingerbread Christmas Wreath
by Kristen Narve, KristenK Creations

Materials:
24 inch evergreen wreath
Hot glue gun
Wire cutters
Floral wire or tie wrap
Decorations (All can be found at Hobby Lobby depending on current stock of the store.)
One large black and white gingerbread hanging Merry Christmas sign (found in Christmas sign section of Hobby Lobby )
4 small plastic gingerbread men in the wreath pick section of store
4 candy canes forming an x with small red bows, shatter proof around 4 inches long, in ornament section of store. Or 8 single hanging candy canes
1 roll of 1-inch red bow (To tie bows in the middle of the candy canes, if using single candy canes ornaments)
3 large frosted candies with green, red and white small balls on a pick, found in wreath pick section of store
3 peppermint bright red candies, three on one pick, found in wreath picks
2 red and white multi balled wreath filler on pick, in wreath pick section.

Procedure:
1. Tie the top of gingerbread man to the top center of the wreath with floral wire or tie wrap.

2. Glue candy canes together in the form of an x if not already done. Take small red bow and glue in the center of the candy canes. Take candy canes and glue on all four quadrants of wreath. Pull an evergreen branch up the center of the candy canes and bend over the middle of the x on the candy canes for further stability. Glue a dot of glue behind the branch bending over and holding the candy canes in place.

3. Make sure to cut off part of the stems of the wreath picks with wire cutters, so they aren’t so long. Glue one frosted candy pick on the left of the bottom center candy canes and glue one bright red candy pick on the right. Wrap a branch or two of evergreen around the pick for stability. Make sure to do this after glue has dried and cooled so you don’t burn your finger.

4. Below the candy cane mid right, take two gingerbread men and space them evenly apart between the right candy cane and the lower candy cane and slightly angle to the right. Do the same with the left side.

5. On top of the candy canes on the right and left of wreath, glue peppermint sticks on top of the candy canes on each side of wreath. On the left side only, glue red and white balled pick filler by bright peppermints, so that it is diagonal with other pick on the bottom right of the wreath. Above the bright red peppermint picks, glue a frosted candy pick on each side, completing the wreath.

• • •

Creatively Custom Ornamentglass-orn
by Lian Kenney, An Eye For Design Studio

A simple, yet completely custom Holiday Ornament that can be given as a meaningful gift or hung each year as a treasured keepsake!

Materials:
Clear, acrylic ornament
Various holiday ribbon
Craft paper, glitter
Small holiday trinkets
Paint pen

Procedure:
1. Choose your favorite holiday saying, follow the instructions on the paint pen of your choice and write on your ornament.

2. Open the top of the ornament and get creative! Insert glitter, curled ribbon, fun craft paper, small trinkets or various holiday themed elements. The more creative and meaningful, the better!

3. Top off your ornament with fun and festive ribbon at the top and enjoy it year after year!

• • •

white-wreathDeco Mesh Holiday Wreath
by Holley Fussell, Adorn Me Wreath Boutique

Materials:
16” work wreath with tinsel attached
1 roll, 21” deco mesh
4 rolls, 2.5” wide ribbon, cut into six 10” strips of each ribbon style, for a total of 24 strips
Holiday sign
Holiday sprays
Hot glue gun
Wire cutters
Scissors

Procedure:
1. Straighten the tinsel on your wreath so that all the ends are pointing up.  This step will make fastening your deco mesh to the frame much easier. Next, unravel one of your mesh rolls a couple of feet.  Pinch the mesh between your fingers approximately 2-3” from the beginning of your roll to create your first “gathering” point.

2. Working from the outside of the wreath in, select a tinsel on the outer wire to secure the mesh to. Twist the tinsel tightly on top of the gathered mesh to hold it in place (2-3 twists should do the trick).

3. From your first gathering point, measure out approximately 10” of mesh and make another gathering point. Attach this gathering to the next tinsel in line by twisting tightly to secure it to the frame.  This step should form your first “poof.” Repeat steps 2 and 3 until you have worked around the entire outer wire, tightly securing the mesh at each tinsel.

4. For the inside of the wreath, follow steps 2 and 3 until you have worked around the entire inner wire. Cut your final tail after the last secured tinsel. Gently open each “poof” to create a full wreath appearance.

5. To create a v-shape end on the ribbon strips, fold the strip in half lengthwise. Cut across the ribbon at approximately a 45° angle, starting at the folded side and cutting upwards toward the outer edge.  Pair two of the ribbon strips together by placing one on top of the other (both ribbons facing up). Pinch the paired ribbon strips in the middle and place them on top of one of the tinsels. Twist tightly to secure the ribbon to the frame.  Once all of the ribbon is attached, gently separate the ribbon by creating an X shape.

6. Use your wire cutters to snip off the exposed remaining tinsel and neatly tuck the ends into the wreath.

7. Fire up your hot glue gun. Lay out the holiday sprays and sign on your wreath to your liking. Once you have everything in the desirable position, generously coat the stems of the sprays with hot glue and tuck them into the wreath.  Hold them in place for 5-10 seconds. Repeat to attach the remaining sprays and sign.