Christmas Workshop


Rudy Walnut Ornament

To make this ornament, you will need: two 2″ (5 cm) pieces of thick black pipe cleaner, 6″ (15 cm) piece of thick black pipe cleaner, 7″ (18 cm) piece of yarn, walnut, strong glue, small red pom-pom, two plastic eyes, and desired trim.

  1. 1.

    Wrap a shorter piece of pipe cleaner around each end of longer piece, about 1″ (2.5 cm) from end.

  2. 2.

    Fold yarn in half, forming loop, and lay along seam of walnut.

  3. 3.

    At midpoint of nut and at right angle to nut seam, place strip of glue across string; then attach pipe cleaner along glue strip.

  4. 4.

    Glue on eyes and pom-pom nose. Add trim.

Ice-Skates Ornament

To make ice-skates ornament, you will need: red, white, and green felt scraps; two 2″ (5 cm) paper clips; 8″ (20 cm) piece of red or green yarn; craft glue; scissors; and hole punch.

  1. 1.

    Enlarge ice-skate pattern, trace onto red felt, and cut out.

  2. 2.

    Fold one piece of skate so that straight tops meet, tuck 1″ (2.5 cm) of yarn inside, then glue tops together, and let dry. Repeat for other skate.

  3. 3.

    Cut white felt to fit completely around top of each skate, then glue in place (see illustration).

  4. 4.

    Punch holly berries out of red felt. Cut holly leaves out of green felt.

  5. 5.

    Glue holly leaves and berries to white felt trim (see illustration).

  6. 6.

    Slip paper clip through open fold on bottom of skate.

Make Your Own Christmas Tree

To make a surprise present for someone special, you will need: newspaper, potato, pencil, small evergreen branches (the longest about 12″ [30 cm]), small knife, clippers, plastic lid, and decorations.

  1. 1.

    Spread newspapers on table before you start.

  2. 2.

    Cut potato in half lengthwise, and lay it cut-side-down on plastic lid.

  3. 3.

    With pencil, poke hole in top of potato, and stick longest branch in hole.

  4. 4.

    Poke hole on each side of potato, and place 6″ (15 cm) branches in holes to form triangle outline of tree (see illustration).

  5. 5.

    Add more branches, placing longer ones near center of tree and shorter ones around them.

  6. 6.

    When all pieces are in place, use clippers to trim branches that stick out too far.

  7. 7.

    Decorate tree with tiny ornaments and small bits of tinsel or with small candy canes and little red bows.

One of the good things about this Christmas tree is that you’ll never need to water it. The greens stay fresh for weeks because the potato acts like a water-filled sponge.

Bookworm Bookmark

To make this bookmark, you will need: tongue depressor, 2″ (5 cm) square piece of poster board (any color) or heavier cardboard, pencil, scissors, craft or poster paints, and paintbrush.

  1. 1.

    Paint tongue depressor white; let dry.

  2. 2.

    Draw apple on poster board, paint—add worm for good measure!—cut out.

  3. 3.

    Glue apple to end of tongue depressor.

  4. 4.

    Make heart variation for another friend.

Embossed Christmas Gift Tags or Cards

To make each tag or card, you will need: 4″ (10 cm) square piece of poster board (can be scaled to any size tag or card you want), tape, 4″ x 8″ (10 cm x 20 cm) piece of construction paper or other thick paper, pencil-size dowel sharpened to a dull point, and pencil.

  1. 1.

    On poster board, draw simple pattern.

  2. 2.

    Cut out pattern. (You may wish to cut into middle from edge and then tape cut edge.) Discard piece cut out.

  3. 3.

    Fold construction paper in half to form card.

  4. 4.

    Position pattern on front of card, and lightly tape into place.

  5. 5.

    Unfold card and lay on table with poster-board pattern on bottom. With sharpened dowel, carefully push construction paper into pattern below it.

  6. 6.

    Untape pattern. Your gift tag or card is ready to write in. Design variety of patterns. Each will make several cards before edges wear down.

Gingerbread Man Ornament

To make gingerbread man ornament for tree, you will need: brown and green felt scraps, 4″ (10 cm) piece of white rickrack, 8″ (20 cm) length of red or green yarn, craft glue, scissors, hole punch, two gingersnaps, and small, red cinnamon candies.

  1. 1.

    Draw gingerbread body on brown felt, and bow tie on green felt. Cut out, then punch hole where shown.

  2. 2.

    Glue gingersnap head and belly in place.

  3. 3.

    Cut pieces of rickrack, and glue in place (see illustration).

  4. 4.

    Glue bow tie to gingerbread man’s body, and cinnamon candies to gingersnaps (see illustration).

  5. 5.

    Thread yarn through hole, then knot it. Gingerbread man is ready for hanging.

[photos] Photos by Philip Shurtleff