Ball of Air

You will need: ball of colored crochet cotton or metallic string, liquid laundry starch, round balloon, large mixing bowl, pin, tweezers, and ribbon.

Blow up balloon to about the size of an apple for a tree decoration, larger for other uses. Tie off opening securely. Wind string around balloon in cobweb pattern, crisscrossing lines several times. Wind string around neck of balloon three times and tie it. Leave 12″ tail for hanger.

Pour liquid starch into bowl and dip string-covered balloon in it, soaking thoroughly. Use spoon if necessary. Hang up to dry for eight hours or more. Put something below balloon to catch excess starch that drips off.

When string feels stiff and dry, pop balloon and ornament will keep its globe shape. Use tweezers to remove any pieces of balloon. Tie ribbon around neck of ornament.

All-in-One Card and Envelope

From red construction paper, cut an envelope 6 1/4″ wide by 8 1/2″ long. Fold up 2 3/4″ from bottom, and fold down top 2 3/4″.

Open envelope, and on bottom section cut 1 1/4″ x 1 3/4″ oval opening. Glue tiny rickrack, white yarn, or braid around opening on outside.

Inside, under oval opening, glue a white paper snowman. Ink in features, and glue on black paper hat and gold foil tie.

Refold envelope and secure with Christmas seal or adhesive paper circle.

Seagull Ornaments

These fluttery birds seem to grow out of your hands. Cutouts of hands traced on paper make the feathery layers of these seagull ornaments. For different-size birds, use the hands of different family members.

To make two large birds you’ll need: 22″ x 28″ sheet of white bristol or poster board, glue, metallic thread for hanging, black felt-tip pen, and sharp-pointed scissors.

First, trace your hand twice, cut out, and fold along thumb as illustrated. Cut out double-hand pattern twice for two layers of underwings. Then score each from point B to point C, using scissor tip. Fold along scored lines as illustrated.

Seagull Ornaments

For bird’s two outer sides and head, place your hand on paper as before, spreading little finger and thumb. Trace hand and draw gull’s head extended from end of your thumb. Cut out and trace for other side.

Seagull Ornaments

Glue heads together where sketch indicates. Cut out four 3/4″ x 2 1/4″ rectangles of paper. Fold to make Zs. Glue a Z on each side of the two sets of underwings. Apply glue to other end of one set of Zs, then glue one underwing about an inch behind the other. Glue on outer sides of bird so they, too, overlap underwings.

Seagull Ornaments

To hang bird, poke two holes with scissor tip 2″ apart on scored line AB. Insert 16″ piece of thread through holes and knot on underside of wing. Make a black dot with felt-tip pen on each side of gull’s head for eyes.

Seagull Ornaments

Illustrated by Dwane Cudy

Illustrated by Shauna Mooney