Christmas Gifts


1 Christmas Tree Puppet

Cut two Christmas tree shapes from felt large enough for a hand to fit into (see illustration). Decorate one side of each tree. Put glue on edges of undecorated side of one tree except on bottom. Place trees together and glue in place.

2 Planter Bookends

Rectangular-shaped cans can easily be made into attractive bookend planters. After contents of cans have been used cut out top with can opener. Remove labels, clean cans, and paint any desired color. Two or three coats will be needed to completely cover any printing left on cans.

After the paint dries, put 2″ layer of gravel or very small rocks in bottom of can. If live plants are used, continue filling can with planter mix or rich soil until about 1″ from top. When artificial plants are used, put dry peat moss or dry planter mix on top of gravel, packing firmly before stems are inserted.

3 Gumdrop Wreath

Break toothpicks in half. Place small gumdrop on one end of toothpick and stick into styrofoam wreath base. You will need approximately 2 1/2 pounds of small gumdrops. Trim finished wreath with ribbon.

4 Candleholders

Clever candleholders can be made from funnels and different-shaped empty bottles. Use your imagination and decorate them with colored tape, macaroni, beans, stickers, cutouts, or pretty wrapping paper. You can also fill bottles with colored water, sand, beans, or bubble bath powder.

5 Patchwork Balls

Cut 1″ squares out of different kinds of material. Glue squares onto styrofoam balls in patchwork design. Decorate with ribbon or lace by quartering ball. Make a loop of ribbon to hang ornament on tree.

6 Handy Catchall

You will need: 11″ by 5 3/4″ board, eight 12-ounce cans, enamel paint, paintbrush, and glue.

Paint cans and board in bright colors. Arrange cans on board after paint is dry and glue in place.

7 Tissue Paper Ornaments

You will need: plain or colored tissue paper, white glue, heavy white string, and scissors.

1. Put some glue in cup, add a tiny bit of water, and mix thoroughly.

2. Cut string into several 1′ lengths. Soak pieces in glue. Squeeze out excess glue by pulling string between your fingers.

3. Place glue-soaked string in an interesting shape on a piece of tissue paper. (Stars, fish, angels, candles, and bells are just a few of the shapes you can form.) Carefully place another piece of tissue paper on top of design. Press down gently along string. The string will become very stiff when dry.

4. Tear tissue paper close to dried string and decorate with ornaments, paint, or glitter.

[illustrations] Illustrated by JaNeanne Webster