Christmas Workshop


Grab Bag of Scripture Stories

By Vivian Paulsen

Sew a drawstring bag out of colorful material. Put in bag several inexpensive prizes or small toys that could represent different scripture stories or teachings. Then during a family home evening or at other learning times, have each family member or friend draw an object from the bag and tell a story from the scriptures that the item reminds him of.

Paper-Bag Christmas

Paper-Bag Piñata

You will need: large grocery bag, candy, party favors, newspaper, string, poster paint, paintbrush, scissors, crepe paper or tissue paper, tape, rope, stick (or broom or pole), and blindfold.

  1. 1.

    Stuff bag with candy, party favors, and newspaper. Tie shut.

  2. 2.

    With paintbrush, drizzle paint over bag in colorful designs, or paint decorations.

  3. 3.

    Tape streamers cut from tissue paper or crepe paper around top of bag.

  4. 4.

    Use rope to hang piñata from pole or broom.

One person raises and lowers piñata while blindfolded player swings stick at it. Each person gets three swings at piñata until someone breaks it. Then everyone scrambles for treats!

Gift Bags

You will need: newspaper, paper bag, masking tape, spray paint (or poster paint and paintbrush), and yarn or lollipop.

  1. 1.

    Spread newspaper in working area.

  2. 2.

    With masking tape make designs such as pine trees, snowflakes, stripes, or someone’s name on paper bag.

  3. 3.

    Spray bag with paint, or use poster paint and paintbrush. When paint is dry, carefully remove masking tape. If more than one color of paint is used, let each color dry, then cover that colored area with cardboard, and spray next color.

  4. 4.

    Place gift inside bag and tie top closed with yarn, or fold and “fasten” with lollipop.

Rocking Reindeer

By Ellen Javernick

You will need: pencil, tracing paper, scissors, brown paper bag, black crayon, glue or tape, and yarn.

  1. 1.

    Draw reindeer and antlers on piece of paper and cut out.

  2. 2.

    Lay on paper bag, trace, and cut out.

  3. 3.

    Color eyes and nose.

  4. 4.

    Cut small slits on broken line between ears of reindeer. Insert antlers, and glue or tape in place.

  5. 5.

    Fold reindeer on broken lines. Glue or tape tab A to tab B, and tab C to tab D.

  6. 6.

    Tie piece of yarn around neck for reins.

Christmas Greeting Puzzle

By Chauncey Mobberly

You will need: paper bag, construction paper, poster paints, paintbrush, scissors, and felt-tip marker or crayon.

Paint a solid green Christmas tree on front of paper bag, and color trunk brown. After paint is dry, print numbers 1 through 13 on tree with marker or crayon in same order as shown in illustration. Print the following instructions on bag next to tree: Place ornaments inside this bag on corresponding numbers on tree, and read a Christmas greeting to you from me.

Cut 13 circles the size of a pop bottle top from construction paper. On each circle write a number and word as follows: 1—I, 2—AM, 3—WISHING, 4—YOU, 5—A, 6—VERY, 7—MERRY, 8—CHRISTMAS, 9—AND, 10—A, 11—HAPPY, 12—NEW, 13—YEAR!

Place completed circles inside bag, and the receiver of your greeting will have the fun of decorating a Christmas tree to discover your Christmas greeting.

Storage Book

By Julie Wardell

A storage book can be used for sewing supplies, fishing tackle, first-aid kit, cassette tapes, crayons and pencils, traveling gear, etc.

You will need: ruler, pencil, scissors, 10″ x 17″ (25 cm x 42.5 cm) piece of fabric, 7 3/4″ x 14″ (19.5 cm x 35 cm) piece of batting, glue, 7 3/4″ x 14″ (19.5 cm x 35 cm) and 7 1/4″ x 13 1/2″ (18 cm x 34 cm) pieces of lightweight cardboard, tape, twelve 7″ x 8″ (17.5 cm x 20 cm) self-sealing storage bags, 1 yard ribbon, sewing machine with zigzag stitch, needle, and thread.

  1. 1.

    Center batting on wrong side of fabric.

  2. 2.

    Place larger piece of cardboard on top of batting. Fold up edges of fabric, then glue to cardboard. Use tape to hold fabric in place until glue dries.

  3. 3.

    Draw center line on smaller piece of cardboard. Line up top of storage bag with one end of cardboard. Bottom of bag should overlap center line. Line up remaining bags on alternate ends of cardboard. Secure bags in place with tape, then sew a machine zigzag stitch down marked center line. Remove tape.

  4. 4.

    Glue cardboard pieces together.

  5. 5.

    When glue has dried, mark middle of ribbon and sew to outside center of book. Bring ribbon around each side of book and tie in bow.

Tomahawk Back Scrubber

To make a tomahawk back scrubber, you will need: stick 8″ (10 cm) long and 1″ (2.5 cm) thick, rectangular sponge, thick cord, scissors.

Lay sponge on stick near one end. Slip cord under stick at bottom of sponge, cross ends of cord over sponge, bring ends back under stick, pull ends tightly on underside of stick, then tie knot. Cut off excess cord.

Hanging Pretzel Wreaths

To make a colorful new decoration for your tree, you will need: pretzels, waxed paper, glue, and ribbon.

  1. 1.

    Arrange pretzels in a circle on piece of waxed paper.

  2. 2.

    Glue sides of pretzels together where they touch each other.

  3. 3.

    When glue is dry, weave ribbon through pretzels.

  4. 4.

    Tie on piece of ribbon for hanging.

Racing Spools

A racing spool is simple to make. But if you want a racer that goes the fastest or the farthest or is the best looking, you will have to experiment by making more than one of them.

For each racing spool you will need: large spool, rubber band, toothpick, carpet tack, 5″ (12.5 cm) stick or pencil, flat washer.

Hammer carpet tack more than halfway into one end of spool. With toothpick, push one end of rubber band through hole in spool, and loop around tack. Other end of rubber band should stick out just beyond other end of spool. If rubber band is too long, double it up or tie a knot in it. Slip flat washer over free end of rubber band, then push about 1″ (2.5 cm) of stick through rubber band loop.

Hold racing spool in one hand, and wind up stick. When rubber band is wound tightly enough, carefully put racer on floor (still holding onto stick), take aim, and let go. If you’ve built a good racer, it will shoot straight across the floor.

Experiment by winding up rubber band a little less or a little more. Use fat rubber band, skinny rubber band, or maybe two or three rubber bands together. Try racing spool on smooth floor, rug, or grass. Paint racer with colored felt-tip pen, and give it a racing number. Try different kinds of spool races—long-distance, uphill, obstacle course. Make up your own rules.

Tabletop Christmas Tree

To make this Christmas tree for yourself or for a gift, you will need: pinecone, glitter or plastic snow, colored paper, tiny glass balls or beads, glue, scissors. NOTE: For easy cleanup and to avoid a mess, do this project over old newspaper.

  1. 1.

    Dab glue on petal tips of pinecone, doing one small section at a time.

  2. 2.

    Quickly sprinkle glitter or plastic snow on glued sections before glue dries. Shake off excess glitter or snow.

  3. 3.

    Glue glass balls or beads onto pinecone.

  4. 4.

    Cut out tiny shapes like stockings, bells, candy canes, and stars from colored paper, then glue them to tree.

Jolly Christmas Chap

By Jane K. Priewe

Here’s a Santa for your coat
To wish all Christmas greetings.
Wear it everywhere you go—
At home, to school, to meetings.
You’ll need red velvet ribbon
About a half inch wide.
Cut legs into ten-inch lengths,
And five-inch arms per side.
A one-inch Styrofoam ball
Will form old Santa’s head.
Fold the ribbon lengths in half.
You’ll have no need for thread.
Glue the legs beneath the ball
And an arm on either side.
With a glue-dipped pin stuck in each one,
They will be fortified.
Now cut a scarlet triangle,
With three-inch sides, from felt.
This becomes a pointed hat,
Glued ’round his head like a belt.
On folded ends of legs and arms
And on the felt hat’s tip,
Glue little cotton pom-poms.
Display your craftsmanship!
Now glue on cotton whiskers;
A hatband, fluffy white;
Felt eyes of blue; felt nose of red—
You’ve really done all right!
Go find yourself a safety pin
And an oblong red felt scrap.
Glue pin to hat with piece of felt.
You’ve finished the jolly chap!

[photos] Photos by Eldon K. Linschoten

[illustration] Illustrated by Shauna Mooney