Tuscan KitchenCreated by Leslie M. Brown
Materials and Tools:
glass ornament ball
Mod Podge and applicator
white or light color tissue paper
dark color or patterned tissue papers
coordinating handmade papers
glitter, seed beads or rhinestones
permanent stamping ink
metallic colored pencils
small paper cup
gift box and tags
1. Stamp images randomly onto white or light color tissue paper with permanent ink. Allow to dry.
2. Tear stamped images out of tissue paper and color with metallic colored pencils. Avoid watercolor pencils, they may smear.
3. Tear random-sized pieces of coordinating tissue and handmade papers.
4. Glue bits of paper to ornament, overlapping them so that none of the clear ball below shows through. The edges of the papers may look frayed or frizzy, but don’t worry as they will later be sealed flat with the Mod Podge.
5. After completely covering ornament with papers, embellish with glitter, seed beads or any other small light weight decorative elements. Allow ornament to dry by placing it upside down in a paper cup.
6. Once dry, apply a light coat of Mod Podge to the entire papered surface. The Mod Podge will seal all of the paper's edges and give the finished ornament a light sheen. Place it once again in the paper cup to allow it to thoroughly dry.
7. While ornament dries, decorate gift box and tag with coordinating stamps. Color with pencils and add any desired embellishments. Add tag with organdy ribbon and place dry ornament in box surrounded by colorful tissue paper or small candies. Your handmade ornament is ready for giving.
Grinchy Lampwork BraceletCreated by Megan Ballarini
Megan makes handmade glass beads called lampwork. Last Christmas, she made herself a bracelet inspired by Dr. Seuss' How the Grinch Stole Christmas. To complete the theme, she handmade Grinch and Max beads along with some other whimsical Seussian-inspired beads.
This is a fairly advanced project for a crafter who is experienced with glassmaking; it requires beadmaking materials, such as a torch, mandrels, bead release, soft glass in assorted colors and shaping tools. Once Megan had created her colorful Grinchy beads, she strung them onto beading wire with pearls, gemstone briolettes, crystals and sterling silver beads. Megan recommends that before stringing your bracelet together you first arrange the beads on a flat surface or bead board to ensure that you will be happy with the finished order.
Baby's First Christmas ScrapbookCreated by Danielle Flanders
Danielle created this beautiful scrapbook page to preserve the memory of her daughter Kati's first Christmas. At the time Kati was only six months old, but according to Danielle she thoroughly enjoyed the day and was particularly interested in the presents.
Materials and Tools:
snowflake patterned scrapbook paper
photo editing software, such as Photoshop
scalloped card stock
permanent black ink pen for journaling
white craft paint
assorted colors ribbon
1. Danielle began by editing Kati's photo on her computer. She removed the color from everything in the photo except for Kati's face, hands and hat. Next, she added the word "joy" and stars in the image's corners.
2. Choose the location and angle of the scalloped paper on the snowflake background. Trim any excess scalloped paper and stitch around scallops with red thread on sewing machine.
3. Attach the photo to the scalloped paper with photo-safe glue. Draw lines under photo with black pen for journaling. Write your memories of baby's first Christmas.
4. Add assorted ribbons to snowflake paper to the left of baby's photo. Don't worry about hiding the ends, these will be covered by the scalloped paper.
5. Attach scalloped paper with baby's photo in your predetermined location, making sure to cover ends of ribbon.
6. Print or handwrite the phrase, "You Bring Us" onto colored paper and cut out each word. Attach to the top of page.
7. To create the chipboard snowflake, first create a snowflake pattern on paper, then trace it onto chipboard, cut out and glue down. Embellish the snowflake with a red button painted with white dots. Finally, add assorted buttons around baby's photo.
Seasonal SparklersCreated by Tammy Lofgreen
These holiday sparklers will really turn heads. Tammy created this set of jewelry using basic jewelry making techniques and Swarovski crystals. She says that creating this set requires patience, but all of the necessary materials can be found at your local jewelry or craft store and the complete set is fairly simple to make.
Materials and Tools:
round nose pliers
chain nose pliers
24 siam (red) 4mm Swarovski crystal bicones (you should have extras left over)
24 emerald (green) 4mm Swarovski crystal bicones (you should have extras left over)
24 sterling silver or silver-plated 6mm round beads (you should have extras left over)
1 loop of stainless steel necklace memory wire
1 loop of stainless steel bracelet memory wire
4 sterling silver or silver-plated memory wire end beads
2 three-inch sterling silver or silver-plated head pins
2 sterling silver or silver-plated earwires
2 twenty-gauge 4mm sterling silver or silver-plated jump rings
Bracelet and Necklace Steps:
1. Decide how long you would like the necklace or bracelet to be and cut the memory wire accordingly. Be sure to leave a bit of extra wire to work with, you can always trim away any excess later.
2. Glue the first end bead onto the memory wire by inserting a small amount of jewelers epoxy into the hole of the end bead and inserting one end of the wire. Allow the epoxy to thoroughly dry.
3. Add the beads, alternating in this order: silver- red- green- red- silver. For visual interest, switch the sequence so the next set alternates: green- red -green- silver, then back to red- green- red- silver. Essentially you are switching the order of the red and green crystals between each silver bead. The necklace features just three sets of the sequence (add more if you wish) so once you have added this last silver bead, the design is completed. The bracelet, however, features beads covering all of the memory wire. As you continue to add beads, frequently check your bracelet's length so you can plan on finishing the bracelet with a silver bead.
4. Glue the last silver bead in place with the jeweler's epoxy. Lay flat and allow to thoroughly dry before adding clasps.
Steps for creating earrings:
1. Follow the alternating bead pattern as above to complete three sequences. Place beads onto each head pin, ending with at least 1/2-inch of bare wire. If you prefer shorter earrings, do only one or two sequences.
2. If there is more than 1/2-inch of bare wire remaining on your headpins, cut off the excess so that it is only 1/2-inch. Using the round nose pliers, make a loop from the 1/2-inch of wire by curling the end around one side of the pliers. Repeat with the other head pin.
3. Open each 4mm jump ring with your chain nose pliers and use it to attach each headpin to each earwire and then close. Your earrings are finished.
Congratulations. You now have a lovely set of jewelry for holiday parties or worthy of Christmas gift-giving.
Snowflake Gift Bag and VotiveCreated by Leslie M. Brown
Materials and Tools:
plain glass votive candle holder
white votive candle
wet baby wipes
stamp set of choice (small, simple images work best)
glitter, rhinestones or other small embellishments
glue, Crystal Effects or other clear-drying adhesive
medium-size cello gusset bag
colorful shredded paper (also called Excelsior) to fill gift bag
small foil-wrapped holiday chocolates (if desired)
1. Clean votive holder with soap and water and allow to dry.
2. Holding votive tightly to prevent smearing, randomly stamp images onto glass. It is best to push glass into inked stamp, while gently moving stamp around curves of votive holder. Wipe away any wet mistakes with baby wipes and allow time for the ink to dry completely.
3. Attach rhinestones to centers of stamped images with clear adhesive, tweezers work great for this. Allow adhesive to thoroughly dry.
4. While the votive dries, stamp and embellish the cello bag. To make stamping the bag easy, place a piece of paper in the bag, lay the bag flat, and stamp one side at a time, allowing the first side to dry before beginning the second.
5. Insert votive holder into bag and surround with shredded paper and foil-wrapped chocolates. Attach gift tag and ribbon. Your gift is now ready to brighten someone's holiday.