Christmas Workshop


Clothespin Ornaments

To make an ornament to clip on your Christmas tree, you will need: a pencil, white paper, scissors, colored construction paper, markers, glue, and a spring-type wooden clothespin.

  1. 1.

    Trace one of the shapes on this page onto the white paper, and cut it out. Use the pattern to make two shapes from the colored construction paper, and cut them out.

  2. 2.

    Decorate them with markers, crayons, or in any other way you like. Then glue the two shapes on opposite sides of the clothespin (see illustration). After the glue has dried, attach your ornament to a branch of your Christmas tree.

Three-Dimensional Christmas Tree

To make a three-dimensional tree, you will need: a pencil, white paper, scissors, green construction paper, paper clips, a hole punch, various colors of paper, and glue.

  1. 1.

    Draw your own tree pattern similar to the one pictured on this page, making bottom line straight. Cut it out.

  2. 2.

    Fold a piece of green construction paper (twice as large as your pattern) in half. Place the straight side of the pattern along the fold, and hold it in place with paper clips.

  3. 3.

    Cut along the solid lines on the pattern. Move the paper clips as necessary, but make sure that the pattern doesn’t slip.

  4. 4.

    Fold the sides of the tree along the dashed line, then remove the pattern and open the green tree. Starting at the top, alternately bend the cut strips in and out (see illustration).

  5. 5.

    Use the hole punch and colored paper to make paper ornaments to glue on the tree. For variety, use star stickers or markers to decorate your tree. Stand it up and use it as a table decoration, or punch a hole in the top and tie some yarn or ribbon through the tree so that it can be hung up.

Holly Napkin Holder

To make napkin holders for your family’s holiday meals, you will need: a pencil, white paper, a 4″ x 10″ (10 cm x 25 cm) piece of green felt, scissors, glue, and 3 miniature red pom-poms.

  1. 1.

    Using the smaller pattern on this page as an example, draw a larger holly pattern on a piece of paper. Make it about 9″ (23 cm) long and 3″ (8 cm) wide at the widest part of the holly leaf.

  2. 2.

    Cut the paper pattern out and trace it onto the felt, then cut along the penciled outline. Near one end, cut a 3/4″ (1.9 cm) slit (see illustration).

  3. 3.

    Glue the pom-poms around the top of the slit. When the glue has dried, fold in half the end of the felt without the pom-poms and gently pull it through the slit. You then will have a ring to hold a rolled up napkin.

Sponge-Stenciled Wrap

To make Christmas wrapping paper, you will need: newspaper, about 2′ (60 cm) white or brown butcher paper, tempera paints, small bowls, scissors, and two or three sponges.

  1. 1.

    Spread the newspaper out on a flat surface, then place the butcher paper on it.

  2. 2.

    Follow the directions to mix the paints with water in small bowls.

  3. 3.

    Cut your sponges into simple shapes such as stars, bells, or holly. Gently dip a sponge into the paint, then lightly press the sponge onto the butcher paper. Have fun creating different designs and patterns with your shapes.

Button Bookmark

To make a bookmark that won’t slip between book pages, you will need: a 10″ (25 cm) strip of 1″ (3 cm) ribbon, scissors, glue, 2 large buttons, markers, and bits of fabric and other small decorations (optional).

  1. 1.

    Cut a small triangle from each end of the ribbon (see illustration), then glue the buttons near the cutout points. The buttons will keep the bookmark from slipping when it is between the pages of a book.

  2. 2.

    Use a marker to write the name of the person you are giving the bookmark to, and/or decorate the bookmark with sequins, smaller buttons, or bits of fabric.

Uncooked Fondant

1 egg white

1 tablespoon cold water

2 tablespoons condensed milk

1 teaspoon vanilla

5 cups (approximately) sifted confectioners sugar

cherries, nuts, raisins (optional)

  1. 1.

    Put the egg white into a large mixing bowl. Add the water, milk, and vanilla and beat with a fork until well mixed.

  2. 2.

    Gradually stir in enough sugar to make the mixture thick and stiff enough to pick up.

  3. 3.

    With clean hands, squeeze the mixture through your fingers until its texture is smooth. Cover the bowl with a damp cloth and let set at room temperature for about an hour.

  4. 4.

    Shape into small balls. Roll each ball in additional sugar, and, if you wish, put a cherry, nut, or raisin in the center of each candy.

No-Egg Eggnog

1 package (3.5 ounces/99 g) French vanilla instant pudding

5 cups milk

1/4 teaspoon salt

2/3 cup sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla

1 cup whipping cream, whipped

1/2 teaspoon nutmeg (optional)

cinnamon sticks (optional)

  1. 1.

    In a blender, combine all ingredients except the whipped cream and nutmeg, or beat by hand for 2 minutes.

  2. 2.

    Blend the mixture into the whipped cream and chill thoroughly.

  3. 3.

    Shake the eggnog just before serving it. Sprinkle the top of each glass of eggnog with nutmeg and/or insert a cinnamon stick stirrer, if desired.

Candied Corn Pops

1 cup butter or margarine

1 cup sugar

3 tablespoons water

1 teaspoon vanilla

2 packages (5 ounces/142 g) puffed corn snacks

  1. 1.

    Combine the butter, sugar, and water and bring to a boil; boil 4 minutes, then remove from heat and stir in the vanilla.

  2. 2.

    Pour the mixture over the corn pops in a large mixing bowl. Mix gently until the pops are well coated; spread on a cookie sheet and let cool.

Rocky-Road Fudge

1/4 cup butter or margarine

1 2/3 cups sugar

2/3 cup canned milk

25 large marshmallows

1 cup chocolate chips

1 teaspoon vanilla

1 cup chopped nuts

25 miniature marshmallows

  1. 1.

    Melt the butter over medium heat, then add the sugar and milk, stirring constantly until the mixture comes to a boil. Boil for 3 minutes, then remove from heat.

  2. 2.

    Add the large marshmallows and the chocolate chips; mix well until the chips have melted. Stir in the vanilla and allow the mixture to cool to lukewarm.

  3. 3.

    Mix in the nuts and the small marshmallows. Pour into a greased 8″ x 8″ (20 cm x 20 cm) pan and refrigerate.

Holiday Gelatin

1 package (3 ounces/85 g) lime gelatin

1 package (3 ounces/85 g) cream cheese, softened

1 cup whipping cream, whipped

1 package (3 ounces/85 g) lemon gelatin

1 can (10.5 ounces/298 g) crushed pineapple, drained

1 package (3 ounces/85 g) cherry gelatin

Layer 1: Make lime gelatin according to package directions, pour into 9″ x 13″ (23 cm x 33 cm) pan, and refrigerate till firm.

Layer 2: Whip cream cheese, then fold in whipped cream. In separate bowl, dissolve lemon gelatin in 1 3/4 cups of water, then blend into cream cheese mixture. Stir in pineapple; pour on top of layer 1 and refrigerate till set.

Layer 3: Make cherry gelatin according to package directions, pour over layer 2, and refrigerate till firm.

Wafer Wreath

4 ounces (113 g) dipping chocolate

8 vanilla wafers

4 tiny animal-shaped graham crackers or cookies

8 red cinnamon candies

green or red ribbon

  1. 1.

    Melt the dipping chocolate over low heat; remove and pour into a small bowl.

  2. 2.

    Overlap the wafers in a circle on a paper plate (see illustration). Dip the top 4 wafers into the melted chocolate, being careful to coat only the flat side, then “chocolate-glue” them in place. Glue on the crackers and cinnamon candies in the same way (see illustration).

  3. 3.

    Refrigerate the wreath until the chocolate has set.

  4. 4.

    Use the ribbon to tie a bow at the top, and make a loop to hang the wreath.

[illustrations] Illustrated by Shauna M. Kawasaki