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 ISSUE 62   •   1  DECEMBER 2008  
   This issue: ornaments


1. Editorial – Christmas Craft giveaway, Hanukkah ideas
2. Easy pipecleaner wreaths
3. Rustic pastry ornaments

4. Simple foil garland
5. Scouring pad trees
6. Featured subscriber blog

1. Editorial – Christmas Craft giveaway, Hanukkah ideas

Have you got that December feeling? You know, the far out I haven't even put together the advent calender, let alone started Christmas shopping feeling. Man, I seriously have that feeling.

I'm reassuring myself that there's still time – a short advent is better than no advent, right? For those in the same boat you should check out the fabulous advent ideas going down here, here and here. So inspiring! So guilt-inducing!

Before we launch into ornament ideas I want you to know that
I'm currently giving away a heap of copies of Christmas Craft over at The Crafty Crow. If you want to try your luck for a free copy you should go and leave a comment.

Or (wait for the plug) you could just buy a copy for $5 – it has heaps of great crafting ideas for all of December. The lovely Blair from Wisecraft has given it such a lovely mention that I come over all warm and fuzzy just thinking about it!

When you buy a copy of Christmas Craft you get sent an email with a link so you can download the PDF and get crafting immediately. Occasionally this email gets lost or winds up in the spam folder – if this happens to you please write and let me know. I'm always happy to re-send the link if it is lost or expired!

A few more quick things. If you signed up for the handmade card swap remember to retrieve your addresses and send your cards. Thanks to those who have been so diligent and already have.

If your family celebrates Hanukkah don't forget to check out my Hanukkah craft ideas which were very well received when I put them together last year.

And last but not least, if you're having trouble getting motivated to do crafts with your kids you might enjoy this funny look at kids crafting from The Coffee Lady – a blog I am really enjoying at the moment!

Happy crafting and I'll see you next time!

Amber Carvan

2. Easy pipecleaner wreaths

This is an easy way to involve very young children in making christmas decorations. The tinsel style of piepcleaner works particularly well for this craft, but any old pipecleaner will do the trick.

You will need

• pipecleaners


1. Twist a loop in the centre of the pipecleaner.

2. Start threading beads on each side of the loop. When you have only a small amount of pipecleaner visible, join the two ends firmly together, being careful to conceal any sharp ends underneath the beads.

3. Rustic pastry ornaments

These pastry ornaments don't require any fancy baking skills or time consuming preparation. Simply purchase some frozen sheets of shortcrust pastry (ie, pie crust) and you're well on your way!

You will need

frozen shortcrust pastry (pie crust)
cookie cutters
a pen lid
nuts and seeds for decorating
egg yolk and pastry brush


1. Wait 15 minutes for the pastry to thaw. Then, cut out pastry shapes using cookie cutters.

2. Place shapes on a baking tray and use a pen lid to punch holes in the ornaments. Then brush with beaten egg yolk and decorate using nuts and seeds.

3. Bake for 10 minutes (or until lightly brown) at 180 degrees C (375 F). Leave ornaments on tray to cool. Then attach ribbon and string up.

4. Simple foil garland

This craft is impressively simple and extremely appealling to kids of all ages. If I were ever to compile a list of my all time favourite crafts this one would have to be high on the list. 

Note: I must insist that you use a proper wool needle (or a plastic needle) for this activity – when I tested this idea with a normal needle I drew blood on my first attempt. Ouch!

You will need

• aluminium foil
• strands of ribbon or wool
• a wool needle (ie. a large, thick needle with a blunt end)


1. Thread the needle with a piece of ribbon or wool. Then pull off a piece of foil and scrunch it loosely.

2. Thread the foil ball onto the ribbon, and repeat.

3. When you've finished threading, give the foil balls a little extra scrunch to keep them in place on the garland.

You can use the same technique and different materials to make all sorts of tree garlands. Try threading popcorn, pom poms or packing peanuts.

5. Scouring pad trees

I couldn't resist sharing this idea which is possibly my favourite new project from Christmas Craft. These simple trees are made made from thin green kitchen scouring pads. If you don't have any you'll be able to find them in the cleaning aisle of the supermarket.

You will need

• scouring pads
• scissors
• split pins/brads


1. Draw a christmas tree shape on a scouring pad.

2. Cut it out.

3. Decorate it with a selection of fancy split pins (brads). If your children are having trouble pushing the pins through, punch them some small holes with a hand hole punch.

4. To finish, punch a small hole at the top of the tree and thread through a ribbon so you can hang it up.

6. Featured subscriber blog

Wink Designs

To have your blog featured in this section just send in your web address and I'll add you to the list. But be warned, the waiting list is currently very long.


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