Christmas cookingartreadelfshophome
Christmas balls

Quick Easy Christmas Decorations and Gifts

candle holders - candles - potpourri - extras for the home
Be sure to check the Kid Craft page for other ideas.

Let your mind go wild, with ideas.

When I was a kid, the word 'recycle' was unheard of, and if you were 'green' you were sick. However the idea of crafts made from household items was very common.
Buying craft kits can be handy, if you are trying some thing new. However, it many times restricts your imagination, not to mention people all over the country are making the exact thing. Here are some basic ideas you can play with, the combinations are endless. A simple pattern and common items found in the home can make great decorations.

So if you are wanting to save some money, just have fun or both... kick back and start scrolling.
    Salt clay is still a favorite, cut around pattern, paint and seal.

    Construction paper an old time favorite, decorate with scrap paper, buttons, beads, ribbon, crayons, or paint. The following patterns will help you get started. You may use only construction paper, or a mixture of paper and other items (cloth scraps, different types of paper...)

    Large Angel (because of it's size it will require that you print all three files) Part 1 Part 2  Part 3
    Small Angel -- Angel -- Stocking

    Tissue Paper makes great light weight ornaments. The following patterns can be used with either tissue or construction paper. Place straight edge on the fold of the paper and cut. If using tissue paper make about a dozen,, construction about 6. Open and stack, staple along crease. Fan open. Remember to let you imagination go to work, don't stop with the few samples I offered!  Bell -- Tree & Star -- Ornaments

    Felt - Either done flat or two piece sewn together and stuffed. Decorate with scrap fabric, beads, lace, ribbon, or buttons

    Fake stain glass - make frame from construction paper cut white tissue paper to fit frame lay on plastic wrap or waxed paper cut designs from colored tissue paper glue colored tissue paper to white (white glue cut in half with water) let dry glue picture to frame

    Poster Board - another classic craft item

      Standing Christmas Tree - Draw two identical trees. Draw a line up the middle of the first tree. Cut a slit, approximately half way up the first tree. staring from the bottom Draw a line down the middle of the second treed but cut slit from the top, glue and decorate.

      Foot & hand Angel - Trace child's food on white poster board, both hands on yellow for wings. Use heal for head, glue wings on back, let child draw hair and face.

      Santa hand- Trace around hand (fingers closed, thumb out) turn upside down. Use the fingers for beard, thumb end of hat.

      Hand & Feet Reindeer - Trace child's foot on dark brown construction paper. trace both hands on light brown paper. Use foot for reindeer's face and hands for antlers. Color on facial features.

    Scrap wood - If you are handy in the wood working area, or know someone that is. Simply cut, paint and seal

    Old cans, jars, & boxes - make great and containers for baked gifts and odd shaped items. Also add a little
      Coffee cans are great for cookies, potpourri, odd shaped gifts, a small plant, or any thing that must be mailed it can offer a little extra protection.
      Tuna cans make great candle holders. They can be covered with Christmas fabric and trimmed with ribbon, or painted. If you would like to do one from the old days, glue macaroni on the outside, let dry and spray paint either gold or silver.

      Glass Jars like large peanut butter and pickle jars work great for cookies, medium sized for candies or bath salts, smaller for little candies, like chocolate covered coffee beans, or Jellybeans. You can decorate it in several different ways.  Use with stain glass paint, or T-shirt paint using the fake stain glass method, using tissue paper etch it - etching cream can be bought at hobby shop for less than $10.00. Paint lid (out-side only) to match jar.
      Plastic Jars can and decorated and used much like the glass ones. Warning they can not be etched and check the label of the stain glass paint.
      *TIP: If you have problems removing the gummy old glue from old labels on jars, rub peanut butter over it, let it sit for a minute and wash off.

    Candy Garland & Wreaths - I did this last year and was a BIG hit!

      For the garland you can use most any type of package ribbon, I used those longer scraps that you always end up with.  I suggest using pieces that are 4 to 6 foot long. Any type of wrapped individual holiday candy will do. Now for the hard part...... hot glue the end of the candy wrapper to the ribbon. Let cool and hang.

      The wreath will cost a little more. I bought one of those cheap fake green wreaths ($2.00 at Wal-mart). Again just hot glue your choice of individual candies (by the end). Tie a simple bow on it and hang. By the way red candies give it a nice natural look of berries, while brightly colored ones give it a festive look.

      Visitors will pluck their treats as the walk by. If you luck is like mine, you may have to refill the wreath several times.

    • Melt wax as making a candle pour into candy mold (spray mold with pam)
    • Let harden
    • Trim edges with kitchen knife
    • Place in colored plastic wrap, tie with ribbon.

      Check with local florist about getting old flowers that can't be sold.
      1. To dry: place on paper towel, in microwave cook at high for 10 seconds at a time, until dry
      2. Let cool
      3. Place in bowl or other container, add scented oil
      Nicer flowers may be placed in a nice jar or small basket broken flowers in a little fabric bag to be simmered, or in a sachet.
      Fruit Skins
      1. Use any of the following: lemon, lime, or orange
      2. Using a vegetable peeler, feel fruit, removing only the peel
      3. Place on cookie sheet, lined with paper towels
      4. Place oven at lowest setting (150 F to 175 F)
      5. Let bake until dry (about an hour to a hour and half)
      Fruit Slices
      1. Oranges, lemons, limes, grapefruit, and apples, can be sliced (1/4 inch thick)
      2. Dip in "Fruit Fresh"
      3. Lay flat on a rack, and place in a dark warm place, like a closet.
      4. Should be dried, in about a week or so and ready to add to a flower or wood potpourri
      Whole Fruit
      Grab any of the following: lemon, lime, or orange. Press whole cloves into fruit. Hang with a ribbon.

      Holiday Spice (to be mixed with either fruit skins or fruit slices)

      1/2 cup  whole cloves
      1/2 cup  allspice
      10  cinnamon sticks, broken
      10  bay leaves, crumbled

      Store mixture in air tight containers, open container to use.
      Use by sprinkling a little in boiling water, for a quick release of fragrance

Make a candle holder
    Tin can
    • Peel label, remove any glue with nail polish remover
    • Wash & dry fill with water, freeze
    • Use nail and hammer to punch holes to make design
    • Let ice melt
    • Dry, paint outside
    • Place candle inside
    Brandy glass (or any glass or jar)
    • Stain with stain glass paint (crystal pattern) can be bought a many hobby stores
    • Let dry
    • Trim with glitter on edge, and ribbon around stem
    • Either pour your own candle, or place a ready made candle inside
    Fake stain glass (any plain smooth glass or jar)
    • Cut tissue paper into designs
    • Glue with half white glue, half water
    • Let dry
    • Cover one coat of glue to seal
    • Edge design with a metallic T-shirt paint
    • Let dry for a day or two
    • Place or pour candle inside
Make a candle
  • Basic rules of candle making.
  • Always under adult supervision!!!!!!
  • Use a double boiler, to melt.
  • After wax is melted color and scent may be added.
    • Crayons may be used but will not give the same quality as candle dye.
    • Scents should be commercial made, perfume and cooking flavoring does not mix well.
  • Wicking can be done two ways:
    • anchor wicking at bottom and suspend across top with pencil
    • pour candle over wick Bore hole with hot wire, (coat hangers do well) thread wicking through hole
  • Plastic decorations and ribbons should be removed before burning candle
  • NEVER burn a candle unsupervised, I've worked too many fires where people lost their entire home from just one candle.
  • Ice candle

    • Fill milk carton with small ice cubes
    • Pour wax
    • Let ice melt
    • Trim with ribbon or glitter

    Winter snow candle
    • Use heavy duty foil, spray with pam
    • Gently roll into ball, than open foil flat leaving wrinkles
    • Use bowl to support foil and shape foil as wished
    • Pour either uncolored or white wax let cool
    • Remove foil
    • Decorate with sparkle glitter, and small plastic decorations (Santa, polar bear, etc.)

    Bee Wax sheets

    • work with wax in warm room, if too cool use hair dryer at low setting gently warm
    • roll gently, but tightly
    • press edge with fingernail to keep from unrolling
      Taper Spiral
      • cut large sheet diagonally
      • lay wicking on long edge
      • roll
      Plain Taper
      • use large sheet lay wicking on longer edge and roll
      Cylinders may be left plain for their simple beauty or decorated many ways
      • trim with glitter on edges
      • spray glitter for a light sparkle
      • tie a pretty ribbon around middle
      • cut patterns from a contrasting color of wax and glue on
      Large Cylinder - 3 large sheets
      • lay first sheet down
      • place wicking length wise
      • roll
      • press edge with fingernail
      • place edge of second sheet next to edge of first sheet
      • press with fingernail continue to roll candle do same with third sheet
      Medium Cylinder - 2 large sheets
      • lay first sheet on work table
      • place wicking on shorter edge
      • roll as you would for larger cylinder candle
      Small Cylinder - 1 large sheet
      • cut in half length wise
      • follow directions for medium cylinder


Tip: Herbs should be removed after the first two weeks unless stated other wise.

    Olive Oil Based
      Hot Pepper Oil - Cilantro, jalapeno peppers, cut length-wise, peppercorns, dried tomatoes, zest of 2 limes

      Provence Medley - Rosemary, basil, thyme, dried tomatoes, oregano, dill, peppercorns, garlic, clove

    1. Place herbs in a clean bottle
    2. Fill bottle with extra virgin olive oil
    3. Store in cool, dark place for two weeks.
    4. Make a nice tag, listing ingredients, and date it should be used by

    5. Shelf life 1 month if kept at room temperature, and  indefinitely if stored in refrigerator.
    Canola Oil Based
      Sage Oil - 1/2 cup fresh sage, chopped
      Rosemary Oil - 1/2 cup fresh rosemary, chopped
      Black Pepper Oil - 1/2 cup coarsely ground black pepper
    1. Place herbs in heavy sauce pan, add one cup oil.
    2. Warm over low heat, stirring occasionally for 20 minutes.
    3. Let cool over night
    4. Strain and pour into bottles
    5. Store in refrigerator, shelf life 2 weeks

      Ginger Oil - Heat 1 cup of oil, pour over 1/3 cup of fresh chopped ginger
      Chili Pepper Oil - Heat 1 cup of oil, pour over 2 dried, crumbled red chile peppers.


    Asian Style
      2 lemons
      1 large piece of fresh ginger, peeled and sliced
      2 green jalapenos, halved lengthwise and seeded
      2 red jalapenos, halved lengthwise and seeded
      4 teaspoons coriander seeds, toasted
      4 garlic cloves, halved
      8 large sprigs fresh cilantro
      5 cups white wine vinegar
      1. Peel lemons into long strips
      2. Divide ginger, lemon, peppers, coriander, garlic and cilantro into 4 12 oz bottles
      3. Fill bottles with vinegar
      4. Let stand overnight

      5. Shelf life 4 weeks
Extras for the Home

Pine cone Fire Starters
(for the fireplace)
  1. Melt a couple of pounds of wax in a double boiler. (try to keep at lowest melting point)
  2. Add dye and scent (pine or cinnamon). (same as used in candles above)
  3. Using tongs, dip pine cone into wax for a few seconds
  4. Gently lift allowing excess wax to drip off
  5. Place on wax paper, dip remaining cones
  6. Starting with first dipped cone re-dip
  7. Continue re-dipping until nice layer of wax has built up on cones
  8. Make a nice tag, reminding the receivers not to store too close to the fireplace. After all they are used to start fires.

Local hobby shops, and even Walmart carry 2 pound blocks of glycerin. Each box will make many of the miniature personal soaps. Pick out a couple of molds, a color or two, and one bottle of scent.
Take home, microwave chucks of the glycerin, pour into mold.
Let sit for 5 to 10 minutes
Place in freezer for an hour.
Pop out of molds
Let soaps dry out in a low humidity room for a couple days.
Cost: glycerin $5.99, molds $4.00, dye $1.19, scent $1.75  Approximate Total $13
Amount made will depend on size of molds, I made 40 personal soaps from one block.

Bath salts
Buy a carton of epson salts
Place salts into a container with lid
Place several drops of soap dye, and scent
Close container and shake well
When color and scent are will mixed
Pour into pretty jar, and seal
Cost: salts $2 a carton, use left over dye from soap
Amount: will fill two tall bottles.

Mission 88x31