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We go Christmas shopping

     so you don't have to! 

Christmas Gift Ideas

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Christmas Central - Crafts

Bright Red Cranberry Balls

you'll need:

  • 3 inch diameter plastic foam balls

  • red acrylic crafts paint

  • red ribbon

  • hot glue gun

  • fresh cranberries or red wooden beads (for longer lasting ornament)

Paint the foam balls with the red acrylic paint. Glue a loop of ribbon to each ball for a hanger. Use a hot-glue gun to attach cranberries or wooden beads, covering the foam ball completely.

Snow-Dipped Ornaments

you'll need:

  • White crafts paint or latex interior paint

  • waxed paper or paper plate

  • sea sponge

  • scrap paper

  • red glass-ball ornaments

  • jute string

Pour a small amount of white paint onto a piece of waxed paper or a paper plate. Dip a dampened sea sponge into the paint, then pat it on a piece of scrap paper to remove the excess paint. Pat the sponge onto an ornament, being careful not to cover the ball entirely. Tie a length of jute between two supports and hang the ball to dry.

For a solid snow effect, submerge the bottom half of an ornament in the paint, holding the ball at an angle. Let the excess paint drip back into the can.  Hang the ornament to dry.

Handprint Coasters for Kids

you'll need:

  • Green and red tempera paint
  • paper plates
  • foam brush
  • heavy craft paper
  • clear contact paper
  • small gift tags

Pour enough red paint onto a paper plate to over a hand and a foot of a small child. Repeat this step for the green paint. Taking your foam brush, lightly paint one child's hands with paint. After covered, place hand onto heavy craft paper for a hand print. Alternating colors, repeat this step for remaining hand and both feet. When paint is dry, write child's name and date on them. Cover with clear contact paper and trim them in a circular shape around prints. On a small gift tag, attach the following poem:

"I know my hands are little and sometimes make a mess,

So I've made for your some coasters to give your drinks a rest.

Now Merry Christmas, Mom and Dad (or whomever),

It's kind of funny, can't you see?

Now I'll be helping you, by putting the mess on me!"


Pine Cone Angels

you'll need:

  • 6 Acorns 

  • 6 Pinecones

  • 6 golf tees

  • glue

  • milkweed pods or construction paper to make wings

  • gold spray paint

  • pipe cleaners

  • ornament hangers

Use a pine cone for the body, an acorn for the head, milkweed pods for the wings. Or if you can't get milkweed pods, cut some wings out of construction paper or and thick paper like cardboard. Add pipe cleaners for arms and a golf tee for a trumpet. Use tack glue to glue the various parts together. Glue a hanger on the back and spray paint the whole angel gold. 

Life Savers Tree Trimmers

you'll need:

  • Heavy metal cookie cutters

  • vegetable spray

  • 2 bad life savers candies

  • Cookie sheet

  • chopstick or straw

  • ribbon

Preheat oven to 350º. Line cookie sheet with vegetable cooking spray. Fill inside of cookie cutters with a single layer of Life Savers, using as many as will fit. Fill edges and points with crushed Life Savers. Bake 5 minutes, until candies have melted. Remove from oven and allow to cool about 2 minutes. Push cookie cutter down hard to cut off candy that leaked outside of cutter. Make a hole in each ornament with a chopstick or straw. Continue cooling until cutters can be handled. Gently pull cutters away from ornaments. Thread with ribbon and hang. 

Kids love this tasty edible ornament. 2 bags of five flavor Life Saver candies will become 10-12 ornaments. 


Hand Painted Christmas Ornaments

you'll need:

  • Clear glass ornaments
  • Gold puff paint
  • Ultra-fine glitter
  • Dry brush
  • Gold metallic ribbon, 1" wide
  • Craft glue
  • Pearlescent ornaments
  • Sea sponge

Use puff paint to add dots, squiggly line and evenly spaced lines all over the ornament. Try dotted spirals and vertical lines too. While still damp, dust with glitter. Hang to dry. When glitter is dry, remove excess with a dry brush. Tie a gold metallic ribbon to the hanger. Vary the ribbon color to coordinate with the glitter hue, or add a contrasting ribbon for interesting effects. 

For the pearlescent ornament, coat craft glue light onto the surface with a sea sponge. Use a random pattern to achieve the most attractive effect. While still damp, dust with glitter. Discard glitter residue. Hang to dry. Put several of these in a clear glass bowl for a nice effect.  

Christmas Bells

you'll need:

  • 2 clean, dry yogurt plastic yogurt containers or 8 ounce Styrofoam cups
  • Paper plate or palette
  • Acrylic craft paints - gold metallic and red
  • Crackle finish 
  • Small Flat paint brush
  • 3 red pipe cleaners (chenille stems)
  • six 1/2" jingle bells
  • white (tacky) glue
  • two 2 or 4 hole buttons
  • craft scissors or wire cutters
  • nylon thread

Place small amounts of paint on paper plate or palette as needed.  Apply additional coats as needed but allow complete drying between each coat.

Paint the entire surface, inside and out, of each container. Let dry. Paint buttons and bells metallic gold. Let dry. Apply crackle finish to the outside of one container, following the manufacturer's directions. Then apply red paint to the outside of the that same container. Let Dry.

Cut one pipe cleaner in half. Fold one length in half. Thread ends of pipe cleaner through a button from back to front. Then fold the ends towards the center making two loops to look like a bow. Twist the ends close to the button to secure the bow.  Repeat, using the other half of the pipe cleaner and the other button.

Invert each container and glue the flat side of the button centered onto the bottom of each container.  Thread three bell onto center of one remaining pipe cleaner. Gently fold pipe cleaner in half and twist ends together, making a 4" long loop. Repeat, using remaining pipe cleaner and bells. Glue ends of pipe cleaner to inside bottom of containers, allowing bells to extend about one inch below container. 

Finally, tie a loop of nylon thread to bow for hanger. Hang on tree and enjoy!

Make Natural Ornaments

you'll need:

  • Towel

  • tacky glue or a low temperature glue gun

  • find naturals such as acorn caps, leaves, miniature rosebuds, flower petals, etc.

  • plastic foam ball

  • 6" pieces of coordinating cord

  • pencil

Use towel to hold the plastic-foam ball while you work.  Use glue to cover the ball with your naturals, use only one natural for each ball. Let dry completely. To form a loop, poke a hold in the ball with a pencil. Cut a 6" coordinating cord, loop it, then poke into the hole with a pencil. Glue securely in place and let dry. Use these balls to decorate a doorway, mantel or table. Place several different kinds in a bowl for a unique centerpiece. 

Quick & Fun

Look for miniature pails in crafts stores. Tuck in kumquats and a sprig of red berries for a quick handmade ornament.

Holiday ornaments in rich jewel tones become one-of-a-kind originals when touched with gold. To create gilded designs, use a permanent metallic gold marking pen to make swirls, squiggles or other decorative marks. Use a thin, gold ribbon as a hanger to set off the gold decor.

For a nice decoration or centerpiece. Get 8 fresh or artificial pears. Use spray paint or metal leaf (from a crafts store) to gild pears. For a softer gold, brush the gilded pear with brown acrylic paint, quickly wiping off most of the paint to tone down the color but not cover it.  Put in a bowl and enjoy! (Fresh pairs are not suitable for eating after they've been gilded)

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