Back when the lights on Christmas trees were candle flames, bobeches formed protective collars to catch dripping wax. After electric bulbs replaced wicks and flames, the embellishments took on a purely ornamental role as pretty reflectors of light -- until they passed out of fashion in the seventies. You can re-create this old-fashioned sparkle by slipping homemade "poinsettia" bobeches over strings of lights.
- Heavy aluminum foil (Rolls of heavy aluminum foil in various colors are available at crafts stores.)
- Electrical or gaffer's tape
- Utility knife
- String of lights
Print and cut out the poinsettia template (you'll need two different sizes, so reproduce at 100 and 120 percent). Place cutouts over a sheet of foil, and trace with a pencil. Using sharp scissors, cut out the foil shapes. For each bobeche, make one foil cutout in each size -- either in matching colors or in complementary tones. Apply a square of tape to the center back of each cutout. With a utility knife, cut a small X at the center of each square of tape and through the foil as well.
Make sure lights are unplugged before proceeding. Poke a lightbulb through X slits in a pair of cutouts, starting from the bottom and pushing it through one poinsettia at a time. Adjust paired cutouts so all leaves are visible. Curl points upward slightly. Repeat these steps for the rest of the lightbulbs. String lights onto the tree; adjust bobeches before you plug in lights.