Calling All Crafters...

comments (22) August 4th, 2008     

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lcampb Lilly Campbell, contributor
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Photo: Sloan Howard

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We are on the hunt for the best holiday crafting and entertaining tips to include in our "Holiday Makeover Ideas" issue of CraftStylish magazine coming out in October and would love to hear your ideas! If you have any tips about decorating, crafting, or entertaining during the holidays that you'd like to share with the rest of the crafting universe, please post them here.

We'll pick the best tips from those posted to feature in our holiday issue and we’ll pay for the tips we publish. Yup, you read correctly: we’ll pay you $25 for any tips we publish. If your tip is chosen, we’ll contact you for your information. Please post your tips by August 13th to be included in the issue.

Thanks! We look forward to seeing all your fantastic holiday ideas!!

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Comments (22)

Anasofia writes: THIS IS SO PRETTY!
Posted: 3:25 pm on December 7th
woolpets writes: I find it very helpful to have an easy project to work on during holiday gatherings. It can be a great way to connect and have fun, rather than sitting in front of the TV watching football and drinking lots of booze. Sometimes the kids need something to do, too.
Here's an easy craft project-Felted Ornaments.
You just need some styrofoam balls, wool roving and felting needles. You can also have ribbon, beads, etc. on hand for embellishing.
Felting is an easy, fun craft that just about everyone can do. Give everyone who wants to participate a 2" diameter styrofoam ball. Cover the ball with wool roving and needle felt the wool over the ball. Children can dip the foam covered ball into soapy warm water and felt the wool without using the needle. Add designs to the ball, thread some ribbon through the ball and hang on the tree!
Posted: 2:49 pm on August 15th
craft_luv26 writes: When some of your red,green christmas balls gets messed up don't throw away just fill an bowl full of water and a half cup of clorox and stir around. Then put your balls in the mixture so that the water goes into the balls. Let them set for 30 mins. or longer.When you go to pull them out you will have clear balls. THEN IF YOU NEED TO PUT some tore up paper towels inside the ball with some water mixture and shake around.Then rinse out and let dry with the opening resting on some paper towels. Then you can decorate to fit your style of the season. You have saved money and made something real nice to cheerish for years to comw or give as a gift
Posted: 3:45 pm on August 14th
gracie_girl writes: I prepare gifts all through out the year, and store them in a large decorative container and keep it handy for Christmas, and birthdays. I like to make scarves and other "one-size fits all" presents. That way, I can buy supplies on special, and give beautiful gifts for a fraction of the usual price. People always love to receive one of a kind, hand-made gifts, and I don't end up breaking the bank to give them something really special.
Posted: 11:34 pm on August 13th
kayecrafts writes: We put together a box of family "thoughts" for the season. This is a family friendly project for the holidays. Take a shoe box with a lid and cover it with wrapping paper that will match your holiday decorations. Decorate it with garland, ornaments, stickers or whatever your family enjoys. Cut a slit on top large enough to put slips of paper into the box. Have each member of your family put great thoughts about each other into the box. When friends or family stop by, invite them to add to the box. What you write on the notes can be as simple as an "I love you" or more specific such as "You make me proud when you ...". The ideas are limitless. Put together the box around Thanksgiving and put notes in throughout the holidays. We usually open our box on Christmas Eve and read all of our messages. It is a great family time and a reality check after the rush and stress of the holiday season.
Posted: 10:14 pm on August 12th
IggyJingles writes: *Always put the strings of lights on the tree first, before the garlands, then finish with the ornaments.

*I love decorative luminaires made of steel cans. Fill with water and freeze, then use one or more different sizes of a large nail and a hammer to punch holes in a pattern. Leave the cans silver or spray with metal primer and paint and put a votive candle in.

*My daughter collects Barbie dolls and many of them are beautifully dressed as sparkling angels and princesses. I made a garland from faux greenery, bunches of colored tree balls joined by zip ties, and a colored LED light string to which I add a gorgeous doll every couple of feet. The wire branches twist around their waists. I run the garland across the large archway between living and dining room and my daughter loves it. I also sit a bunch of pretty dolls across the pelmet of the windows behind the spot where we put our tree.

*I use big cookie cutters as pattern templates for cottage style soft tree decorations - hearts, bells, leaves, trees, boots, angels. I put wrong sides of seasonal fabrics together, cut out around the pattern and then use a contrasting thread to run around the shapes on my machine with a 1/4 inch allowance. I leave an inch on the bottom to lightly stuff the pillow and then hand sew on a small ribbon hanging loop and two buttons at that point. I have also used foam shapes as if they were buttons, and they work very well because they are so light weight.

*Every year I decorate the gift packages for my family and friends with unbreakable tree decorations, including the soft ones from the cookie templates. My friends get to hang the ornaments on their tree after they open their gifts.

*Several years ago we were given a year of gourmet Fruit of the Month. The carboard boxes had internal dividers which turned out to be perfect for storing similarly sized breakable ornaments.

*All our ornaments go into small boxes, and soft stuff goes into ziploc bags. Then the small boxes and ziplocs go into ordinary cardboard office file boxes with lids, which I label with the contents. I now have 6 of these and they are easy to carry, find and store.

Posted: 8:40 pm on August 12th
designerdeb writes: The first Christmas following the death of a loved one can be especially difficult.
At our family gatherings we have found it helpful to light a candle (or for each person) in memory of our loved ones.
We gather at the holiday table before the meal and as I light each candle, I say:

"This candle is for _________ (I name the person). We love you, we miss you, we wish you were here. May the warmth of this candle send our love up to you."

This seems like such a simple act of remembrance...and yet, it give tremendous comfort to be able to "physically show one's honor and love" for the family members who can no longer be with us.
The candle lighting tradition also gives us the opportunity to perhaps shed a tear or share a loving memory of the deceased us the knowledge and comfort that "they are still truly with us" in our hearts.

Posted: 2:19 pm on August 12th
mykidstwo writes: Because the holidays get hectic around my house with school events and office parties time to bake all the goodys for christmas is hard so we start in mid-october with the things that can be frozen and get most of it done this way close to the holidays we take it out and fix the tins and one less thing we have to hustle around to do
Posted: 11:13 am on August 11th
drs522 writes: When putting your decorations away organize them by the room that they go into & the following year it will be so much easier to decorate. That way you can do one room a day if you need to & and if you have to remove everyday items to make room for the seasonal decorations you can put them in the now empty decoration boxes so when you put your Holiday items away you'll have the regular items all set to return to their rooms. It's not really any extra work to start this system & it makes the decorating so much simpler :)
Posted: 5:11 pm on August 10th
kahtlady writes: I make light weight wreathes by wrapping styrofoam wreath forms, all sizes, with that white, fluffy, curly hair-like stuff. I add small decorations and silk holly and flowers. They're so light, I can hang them on a pin. Another neat decoration is to spray nuts with gold paint and add them to your wreaths. I do easy bows by sewing a narrow rectangle, open at the bottom, encasing a length of matching ribbon anchored inside the rectangle at the top. Just pull the ribbon, and you have a "scrunch" bow.
Posted: 3:23 am on August 10th
megadeb writes: For New Year's I like to decorate in blue and silver. It is kind of like a frozen wonderland effect. It makes the bleak winter days of January here in the midwest more cheery. :)
Posted: 8:52 am on August 9th
mommacarr writes: I usually am in a pinch for money at christmas so i try to make alot of decorations myself.this idea is my girls favorite.minature christmas trees made of coathangers.i take 6 coathangers,hooking them together in twos,then to each other.then hook on a string of lights,the smallest string,about 35 to the string.then hook on any color of garland you like,usually a 100ft.strand.i have made these to sell and have given them as gifts.everyone i have ever give one to have made it part of their christmas decorations from that year on.
Posted: 3:51 am on August 9th
tiptoefairy writes: An inexpensive and easy to make office decoration is a candy wreath. Before I had children, I worked at the local hospital in administration and we always decorated for the holidays. One Sunday afternoon my mother-in-law, sister-in-law and I made big candy wreaths out of coat hangers, and I took mine to the office. My coworkers, and even my boss, just loved it. I would see them frequently cutting off pieces of candy.

I took a wire coat hanger and shaped it into a circle, then cut the hook off and added a fabric loop to hang it from. I cut strips of red christmas fabric with pinking shears and used peppermint and spearmint hard candies for the red and green look. I first tied strips of fabric to loosely cover the entire hanger, then I tied the candy on with the fabric strips by knotting the fabric around one end of the wrapper.

I like to make it very full and heavy with lots of candy. I also attach a pair of scissors hanging from ribbon on it to make it easier to cut off a piece of candy. You can use any kind of hard candy or even bubble gum or tootsie rolls as long as it has wrapper ends that can be tied with the fabric strips.

My office loved it so much, I've been sending one to my husband's office for years now. They have an informal "office door" decorating contest for all the big holidays and the candy wreath is definitely one of the big winners every year.
Posted: 5:29 pm on August 8th
tiptoefairy writes: When I was a child, my mom had us buy or make gifts ourselves for our grandparents. I wanted to start this same tradition with my children, so when I had my first child, we started early. She was only 3 months at Christmas, so I decided to make handmade footprint ornaments for her grandparents.

I used the Crayola brand Model Magic clay that air dries quickly and is very lightweight. You can find it in many colors - I chose pink. I rolled out a small piece clay and then pushed her foot into it. When it was dry, I punched a hole with a regular crafting hole puncher and added ribbon to hang from the tree, then I put her name and the year. I attached the ornaments to their christmas gifts as tags, and they all loved it. Since it was such a big hit, I made sure to do it with my second child a few years later.

Posted: 4:52 pm on August 8th
Studio62 writes: Save your cards each Christmas season. After the holidays, cut the front of the cards off and trim edges using scrapbook scissors or cut pretty pictures from the fronts with you shape cutting tools. Save the designs in you gift wrap box. Next year, you have your gift tags all ready! Simply put the to and from on the blank side and attach to gifts using string or tape! What a great way to re purpose and reuse!
Posted: 2:36 pm on August 8th
SistaSue writes: If you have collected too many ornaments for your Christmas tree over the years, you can still display them during the holiday season. After Christmas I purchase evergreen swag for little or nothing on the clearance rack. The next year after I trim the tree, I hang the swag over the windows (we have two bays) and hang the extra ornaments from those branches. The ornaments can be hung with hooks and the branches arranged at different levels for an attractive display or you can vary the height of each ornament with the use of fishing line. Wind a few tiny white lights through the swag before hanging the ornaments if you are close to an outlet and you have a festive room(s).
Posted: 5:10 pm on August 4th
ShiningStar writes: You finish your crafty to-do list only to realize that you haven't baked yet. Revise current recipes or select new recipes that have at least one ready made ingredent such as puff pastry or prepackaged crust.
Posted: 2:15 pm on August 4th
Kldlyn writes: As always, my home is the holiday meeting grounds. I have two adult children and a granddaughter. It doesn't seem to matter the age, kids and teens are always overtired and cranky. While creating a table center piece that is recognizable each and every year along with water fountains seems to calm everyone and I try to keep things peaceful. After more than 20 years, the water fountains on the table make such a different.

My centerpiece is the same every year, just with different colors in the background. I have a large angle that that is very glossy so it draws you in. At dinner, I add the tealight and liquid scent. On each side a have two ceremic cherubs. One has a pick bow which looks awesome if filled with a red potpourri and the blue cherub, I use tranqulity which is a blue potpouri. Finally the background immediately draws your attention right in. My daughter actually made this in first grade for me. A glass jar that is filled with layers of alternating potupourri and white Christmas tree lights and once its full, the red ribbon accents it very well.

I find consistancy each and every year adds to the day. All of my centerpieces and decorations begin with both of my children's school Christmas projects. My son is now 20 and my daughter 23 and my granddaughter is 4 and she already looks for these items. Just seeing their their works of art always makes them smile...

With right scents, the table centerpiece is an excellent distraction from the guests, the sounds of water gently flowing and the angels add a break from the stress of the day. On a final note...Removing any and all alcohol from my home has proved sucessful as Uncle or Aunt someone, it doesn't matter who it is, but preventing any relative from indulging too much is the best thng you could ever do for a very Merry Christmas...I keep coffee going and the fridge is always stock with ample non alcoholic beveridges.

Christmas is for kids...not capturing the most embarrassing moments of the year...
Posted: 2:09 am on August 3rd
joybucket writes: Go Green this year and make reusable gift wrap. There are many ways of doing this. Tutorials are abundant. Here are a couple I found from a quick Google search "reusable gift wrap tutorial":

Angry Chicken's furoshiki guide:

Sew Mama Sew has drawstring bag tutorial listings that can be used for wrap.

Oh, I have one too. It's easy. You can find it here:
Email me with the words "reduce an reuse" by August 31, 2008 and I'll send you the pdf for free.
Posted: 9:35 pm on July 29th
barbiesdoll writes: Decorate your Christmas tree with small framed photos of your friends and family. It brings back good memories for friends and family to revisit.
Posted: 9:13 am on July 29th
swelldesigner writes: – I love using the inexpensive and shiny colorful wire garland to dress up gifts. They usually come in 5 foot of more rolls for a dollar and they are a great alternative to expensive spools of ribbon...they add festive shimmer and shine to any present!

– A lot of stores sell tiny ornaments (like small mirrored balls or faux christmas light bulbs)for smaller trees. Turn these small ornaments into cute earrings by simply adding a ear wire or by dangling them from jewelry hoops. They also make fun, festive gifts for friends and family.

– For a great present on the cheap, personalize shiny ball ornaments with metallic paints or paint pens. Simply draw on a name or initial, add a pretty ribbon and you've got an instant gift! This is a great penny pinching idea if you have a lot of people to buy for! The giftee will also love the personal touch!
Posted: 8:38 pm on July 27th
trusk4u writes: If you are planning a party and will be serving drinks,limit yourself to one or two types. You mix them ahead(minus the alcohol),put into ziploc bags and freeze.(be sure to label the bag) When you are ready to serve,pull out of the freezer,put in blender with the alcohol, give a quick blend, and serve! No bottles and mixes all over and getting in the way. Generally plan on 2 drinks per person.
Posted: 4:33 pm on July 23rd
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