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Holiday Shoebox: Switchplates, Cigar Box Purse

Spruce up your light switches with holiday cheer with these tips. You can also make a holiday fashion statement with a Christmas tree cigar box purse.

The Shoebox call today was in response to a holiday suggestion sent in by Connie Odkie of Port Richey, Fla., who apparently has the Christmas spirit along with Christmas switch plates in every room of the house. Connie prefers using metal plates rather than the plastic ones because she feels that they are stronger. Also, she likes to cover the back of the plates...even though they won’t be seen...and thinks that the raised lines on the back of the plastic covers would put air bubbles in the clay. Spoken like a true crafter.

Connie went on to mention that the one thing it is important to remember is that the metal plates are covered with an almost invisible plastic cover. You may not be able to see it, but be sure to peel it off before applying any clay.

Generally Connie starts by covering the plate with what will be the background clay and bakes that according to manufacturer’s directions. When that has baked and cooled, then she goes to work adding the decorations--a decorated Christmas tree, a wreath, a gingerbread man, etc.--and then bakes the piece again. The one exception was the one with the snowman--that she did all at one time and baked it. With the others, she was able to sand the background and buff it to get the sheen she wanted before adding the extras and baking them.

Another add-on that Connie adds on is glitter. She sometimes uses clay with glitter in the clay itself, but in other cases she adds the glitter to the clay. A case in point was the Christmas tree to which she added green embossing glitter to give the tree extra sparkle. Very appropriate.

A moving Christmas tree is what Maureen Clifford of Frankfort, Ill., sent to us in the form of a decorated cigar box purse. Maureen first painted the cigar box a pretty glittery gold before adding a little wooden tree that she had purchased at the craft store and painted green before gluing it to the purse. Then she decorated it like crazy with all manner of glittery and shiny things, including old earrings and necklace parts. Miniature gift packages were glued underneath the tree nestled in a bed of sparkle-plenty seed beads, which were placed in great profusion along the bottom. It looked like it would not only be fun to carry during the holiday season but great to put on a shelf or end table for room décor in between times.

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