We’re headed to our first family holiday party today and I’m feeling like I could really use a little more time to prepare. I have yet to figure out how to freeze time, so I have to go with what I’ve got. I’m sure you know the feeling.
Today Abby, Amelia and I are sharing some of the last-minute projects we did this year during our 9 a.m. TV segment on “Take 5 & Co.” on WZZM Channel 13. I’m posting the links and directions below so you can whip up something great before the company arrives or, better yet, make something fun with your guests.
Ok, the first order of business is to make peppermint bark. I did not know how much merrier this treat can make the holidays until I finally tried this excellent recipe published over at Orangette. If you love mixing your chocolate with mint, you will LOVE this.
Holiday Party Favors
I was going to post a tutorial for making traditional Christmas crackers, those tubular holders of treats and goodies that pop when the ends are pulled in opposite directions. However, I quickly realized that the friction strips that make the crackers to pop are difficult to come by on deadline. So the girls and I decided to go with the silent night version of this project, and simply load treats into decorated tubes and skip the noise. Truth be told, we actually prefer the quiet version.
Here’s how to make your own party favors for Christmas or New Years. (Keep in mind that if you do this project for New Years, you can use recycled wrapping paper, tissue and the tubes the wrapping paper comes on.)
• Toilet paper or paper towel tubes (Cut the paper towel tubes in half.)
• Wrapping paper or other decorative paper or newsprint
• String or yarn to gather paper at tube ends
Step 1: Wrap the tube with tissue paper, leaving about 3″-4″ of tissue paper on each end of the tube to gather and tie. Tie one end of the tube closed.
Step 2: Tape a band of decorative paper, wrapping paper or newsprint around the outside of the tube. Add additional embellishments as you see fit.
Step 3: Fill the tube with holiday treats. For the Christmas favors, you can include candy and a small ornament.
For New Years, we recommend filling the tube with a mini 2012 calendar (printable version found here), Hershey’s Kisses, a mini-2012 banner, a favorite quote, joke or words of inspiration for the coming year. We’re including the pocket of printable monthly goal lists designed by Linda Tieu for CraftSanity Magazine Issue 5.
The PDF link is given in the print copy and part of the electronic file available for instant download on the left side of this page, too. Linda’s goal sheets modeled after library card card pockets are very cool, but feel free to write your own 2012 bucket list prompts, too. And check out this post, if you’re looking to share what’s on your to-do list for 2012.
Handmade Holiday Ornaments
Popsicle Stick Ornaments. If you’re looking to keep the kids occupied before dinner and the big gift exchange, get out some popsicle sticks and challenge them to make snowflakes or stars. We did the super-basic version of constructing what looks like little asterisks by gluing three sticks together at their midpoints and fanning them out. Paint white or encourage them to paint one turquoise like I did. : )
And if you think you’re too cool to glue popsicle sticks together, you may want to reconsider. While the project i just described is super simple and great for young children who know better than to splatter paint, older children and adults will probably enjoy this super-sized adult version of the project. In fact, I’ve been wanting to try out the tutorial for lovely grande snowflakes for a very long time. Maybe we’ll get to that during week 2 of winter break. If you try it, please let me know how it goes.
3-D Paper Reindeer Ornaments
This was a late edition to the TV craft line-up. I spotted one on my friend’s tree and she kindly made me a template to share with all of you. (Thanks, Cyd!) Print the template here. And then trace it onto heavy card stock paper. Cut out the pieces, attach the legs and antlers. Then punch a hole for the hanger, attach some yarn and you’re ready to hang the reindeer on the tree or stand up as a decoration on your holiday table.
To make my newsprint reindeer, I used Mod Podge to adhere newsprint to the front and back of the card stock. I attached the newsprint to one side of the card stock, then traced my template on the side without newsprint and cut out the pieces. Then I painted Mod Podge on the unfinished side and pressed it down on newsprint before cutting out the pieces one more time.
Note: You can make these out of double-sided scrapbook paper without decoupage medium, but they will not be as sturdy.
I planned to tell readers about my foray into German star making, too, but that project is too long for a 4-minute segment. If you missed that tutorial, you can find it here.
Alright, now I have to go whip up some more stuff for the party.
3D Paper Snowflakes These stars rank among my favorite to make. See the full tutorial here.