For many of us, knitting is relaxing. But when the yarn inevitably becomes tangled, it can feel more like an exercise in frustration. Here's one way to keep things from getting knotty. Gather empty cookie tins left over from the holidays, or purchase new ones. Apply a coat of oil-based enamel paint in any hue to outside of tin and lid; let dry overnight. Using a grommet kit (available at hardware stores), attach a grommet to the lid's center. Place ball of yarn inside, and thread an end through the grommet before securing lid.
More Bright Ideas
Crafty young gardeners know just how to make bare branches bloom in winter -- they just add tissue paper. Gather branches that have fallen outside; let dry, if necessary. Cut out 2-inch squares of pink tissue, pinch tightly in the middle to create blooms, and affix them to branches with white glue. Display in a tall container, such as a canning jar with the lid's center removed.
SourceMartha Stewart Kids, Volume 11 2004
Looking for an easy, inexpensive way to dress up a gift of flowers? Using scallop scissors, cut several inches off the top of a colored gift bag (available at crafts and party-supply stores). Arrange blooms (we used tulips) inside a low vase with just an inch or so of water in it, and carefully place the vessel inside the bag. (If the bottom of the bag seems flimsy, reinforce it with a piece of cardboard cut to fit.) Inscribe a gift tag with a message, and tie it around the bag with twine in a complementary color.
SourceMartha Stewart Living, January
Add extra charm to your holiday packaging with a little help from the great outdoors. Simply attach tiny pinecones -- pristine or spruced up with metallic floral spray -- to store-bought tags and cards using glue. The pattern can be anything from a mini wreath to a pretty cluster. For the pine-needle tree, use a fine paintbrush to coat the needles with craft glue; then place them carefully with tweezers.
Tags and mini envelopes, from Paper Presentation
Tamarack pinecones, from Winter Woods
SourceMartha Stewart Living, December 2009
The meaning of Thanksgiving can get lost in the whirlwind of holiday preparations. These paper leaves provide a fun way to acknowledge the things you're grateful for. To make them, fold card stock and cut out leaf shapes freehand, finishing edges with scallop scissors.
Two Ways to Use Them
Ask family and friends to write their name and one thing they appreciate on a leaf. Then read the sentiments aloud during dinner. Or keep the notes anonymous and have everyone try to guess who wrote each message.
SourceMartha Stewart Living, November 2009
Use a gold-colored metallic-paint pen to "gild" the borders of invitations, note cards, gift tags, envelopes, and place cards. Purchase the paint pen from a crafts or art-supply store. On a covered work surface, run the pen's felt tip flush along all edges of the paper; the paint will bleed slightly, creating a glimmering border.
SourceMartha Stewart Living, March 2008
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