Looking to craft something special for the Christmas season but don't have that much time? Here, we offer up Christmas crafts that require only a few on-hand materials and take just minutes to make -- perfect for both you and the kids.
For a playful nod to the traditional Christmas pin, try these cheerful corsages. They're easy enough for a child to make but sophisticated enough for her mom to wear.
It's the kids who will be doing the nibbling when these sweet mice are around. A combination of two Christmas icons -- mice and candy canes -- these tiny fabric creatures, with their red-and-white-striped tails, make fitting favors at a holiday dinner or delightful gifts for children to give to friends and relatives.
Need a fun, easy-to-make project that will keep the kids busy? All you need to create these ornaments are wire cutters, needle-nose pliers (both for adults' use only), and pipe cleaners. They make great gifts for teachers, to adorn presents, or to hang from your tree.
Hanging old toys on the Christmas tree spreads joy: Mom will be pleased to have less clutter, and the toys will be happy to be rescued from their dusty corners. Ask the children to help pick which toys to transform.
To hang, use needle and embroidery thread to stitch through soft toys, insert screw eyes into wooden toys, or wind embroidery thread through an opening or around a narrow part of the toy.
The best material for stringing cranberry or popcorn garlands is inside your medicine cabinet. Waxed floss is strong and slick, so cranberries and popcorn will slide on easily. Knot one end of a piece of floss, and thread a needle onto the other; just pierce through the kernels and berries, and slip them on.
These gumdrop pops are an easy gift you can make and wrap or add to a stocking. To make these festive pops, stack gumdrops, dot them with sprinkles and other candies in creative ways, and watch the colorful confections come to life as snowmen, Santas, and other icons of the season.
These cookie-cutter ornaments make great, sentimental gifts; luckily they're faster to make than cookies are to bake.
Use inexpensive aluminum cutters and choose patterned papers or pictures photocopied onto card stock. Trace cutter on top; cut out. Dab white craft glue along cutter's edge. Press paper in place; let dry. Thread narrow ribbon through needle; poke between paper and cutter, and wrap ribbon around top of cutter. Slip a bead over ribbon's ends; knot.
Dress up the dinner table with napkin holders made from felt holly leaves and a jingle bell.
To make, photocopy our leaves template, and cut out. Trace onto felt; cut out shape. Fold each leaf in half lengthwise, then steam with an iron to create creases. Thread a jingle bell onto the middle of decorative cording. Tie cord around base of leaves, positioning leaves at bell; knot. Tie cord behind folded napkin.
This is a quick, easy craft that will keep your holiday cards organized and on display.
Save scraps of holiday gift wrap. Using a glue stick, coat one side of a clothespin; press firmly onto the paper. Cut around clothespin with a craft knife to trim excess paper. Repeat on other side.
To hang a series of clothespins, clip them to a length of ribbon, and hang along a banister or above a mantel or entryway. Pin cards along ribbon as they arrive.
Decorate a wall or an interior door by hanging a holiday-card wreath. Using wood glue, affix miniature wooden clothespins to a large (about 14-inch-diameter) embroidery hoop. Alternate clothespins to point outward and inward, spaced 1 1/2 inches apart. Suspend from a ribbon, and clip your cards in place as you receive them.
Create an idealized winter wonderland indoors using snowflake-like bouquet holders and a string of holiday lights. To make one of these garlands, slide a store-bought paper bouquet holder over each bulb. Hang the "snowflakes" inside a doorway or a window, and then plug in the lights.
Make beautiful, seasonal ornaments that add color to your tree. Cut four unpeeled oranges into rounds about 1/4-inch thick and bake on a greased cookie sheet at 175 degrees for 4 hours. To hang, poke a hole near one edge with a needle and thread doubled twine through to make a loop.
Who doesn't love tinsel? Here's another way to use it: Twist wired tinsel (available at specialty-craft stores) into six-pointed stars. Cut three pieces of tinsel, two of equal length and one a little longer. Twist equal pieces together at centers, and wrap third piece onto the two twisted pieces, forming a star. Bend end of longer piece into a hook, and attach the star from the ribbon on a gift or hang as an ornament on a tree.
Kids can make handmade envelopes from magazine pages or leftover wrapping paper.
Unfold a regular envelope to use as a template. Choose patterned paper larger than the envelope (or stick mismatched pieces together with glue). Trace the envelope onto the paper, cut out along lines, fold (using the envelope as a guide), and secure with glue stick. If mailing, add a label.
With a festive, no-sew apron, kids can cook without the mess on their clothing this winter.
Have young crafters attach designs made of washable felt and rickrack to kid-size canvas aprons with fabric glue. An ornament doubles as a pocket (glue bottom and sides), the perfect place to stash a cookie for on-the-job nibbling.
What could be sweeter or more simple? Cut out 3-inch ovals from colorful card stock. Using a hole punch, make a hole at each end, and then neatly write your guests' names on the ovals with black ink. Thread ribbon scraps, each about 6 inches long and 1 1/2 inches wide, through the backs of the place cards. Notch the ribbon ends, and set a card at each place setting.
With an icy tingle on the tongue and a pinwheel of Santa-red and snow-white stripes, peppermints are the coolest holiday sweets -- especially when transformed into edible hanging ornaments.
To make lay five or so peppermint candies in a circle to form a wreath; bond sides together with royal icing. Adorn front with cinnamon candies or more mints. Let dry two hours before hanging. Loop twine around ornament; knot.
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