Holiday Crafting - The Explorer: Family Living

Holiday Crafting

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Posted: Sunday, December 8, 2013 11:00 pm | Updated: 2:32 am, Mon Dec 9, 2013.

(Family Features) Bring the joy and celebration of holiday traditions from around the world to your home this season.

From the quaint custom of placing hand-painted luminaries in windows throughout Ireland to the beautiful embroidery folk art found in Scandinavia, Jo-Ann Fabric and Craft Stores has created craft projects inspired by traditions from around the world to share with your loved ones. For more crafting inspiration, project guides and supplies, visit www.joann.com.

Hand-Painted Holiday Luminaries

Skill Level: No experience necessary

Crafting Time: 1 to 2 hours

It's an Irish tradition to place lit candles in windows. Let this quaint holiday custom add warmth and joy to your home. Glass containers with hand-painted designs and flameless candles look welcoming in windows or on a table.

Supplies and Tools:

Black marker

White computer paper

Computer and printer

Provided templates

Scissors

Square and rectangular glass containers

Tape

Enamel paint: red, green and white

Flat brush

Detail brush

Flameless or wax candles

Create templates using a black marker to draw snowflakes and other decorative holiday motifs on paper. Visit www.joann.com/luminarytemplate to print out additional templates. Cut the templates to fit inside the desired glass containers.

Tape templates securely to the inside of glass container with design facing out. This will act as a guide when painting.

Using enamel paint colors, paint over template designs on glass surface. Create snowflakes, trees, words, deer, etc. It may take several coats of paint to attain desired coverage. Let paint dry between coats.

When finished, let the painted design dry completely. Remove templates from the inside of containers. Fill the container with flameless or wax candles to display. Note: If using wax candles, do not leave burning candles unattended.

Scandinavian Tree Skirt

Skill Level: Some experience necessary

Crafting Time: 3 to 5 hours

Artists from Scandinavia are famous for beautiful embroidery. Simple stitching and folk art patterns influence their style. A felt tree skirt showcasing these colorful Nordic designs offers a fresh look for your tree. It's simple to make since it requires minimal sewing.

Supplies and Tools:

1 1/3 yards 72-inch wide cranberry felt for skirt

Scissors

Glass or mug, 3 inches in diameter

Provided design patterns

1/4 yard each felt for designs: olive green, green, red, dark maroon, gold, black, white

Embroidery floss in the same colors as felt designs

Hand embroidery needles

Tacky glue

Three 1-inch buttons and thread

Fold cranberry felt into quarters and mark for the center tree circle, 23 inches from corner. Cut out circle.

Mark and cut 1 1/2 inch from corner for trunk.

Cut through only one fold from center to edge for opening.

With skirt folded in half, mark scallops 1 inch from edge using mug or glass as template.

Cut scallops.

Visit www.joann.com/treeskirttemplate to print pattern pieces. Enlarge pattern pieces to sizes indicated. Following pattern pieces, cut each design as pictured. Layer colors. Add as many design elements as desired around skirt edge.

Embroider the felt shapes with simple stitches: running, blanket, French knot, daisy.

Divide skirt into sections and lay out finished pieces as desired.

Glue in place. Let dry.

Overlap back edge 3 inches. Cut three 1-inch buttonholes and sew on buttons.

Bavarian Nutcracker Wreath

Skill Level: Some experience necessary

Crafting Time: Weekend project

From humble beginnings in Germany to worldwide fame today, the nutcracker is a beloved symbol of the holidays. Hand-painted miniature nutcrackers glisten with glitter on a wreath that's completely covered in nuts. Definitely a tradition with a twist.

Supplies and Tools:

Acrylic paint in various shades of white

Paintbrushes

2 to 3 pounds walnuts with shells

Approximately 1 pound hazelnuts with shells

3 to 5 wood nutcrackers, various sizes

Mod Podge decoupage glue

White glitter

1/2 yard off-white fabric

Straw wreath form

Glue gun and glue sticks

1 spool 1-inch wide organza ribbon

Paint all nuts different shades of white. Let dry. Apply another coat of paint if necessary.

Paint nutcrackers white. Let dry. Apply another coat of paint if necessary.

Apply a coat of Mod Podge to nutcrackers. Sprinkle with glitter. Let dry.

Cut white fabric into 2-inch strips and wrap around wreath form until completely covered. Glue in place.

Glue nuts on fabric-covered wreath, starting with walnuts and filling in with hazelnuts. Let dry.

Glue nutcrackers on top of nuts. Refer to photo for placement.

Glue loops of ribbon into the gaps between nuts along bottom portion of wreath.

Festive Poinsettia Piñata

Skill Level: No experience necessary

Crafting Time: Weekend project

On Christmas Day in Mexico, children commonly take turns hitting a star-shaped piñata to release the avalanche of toys and treats hidden inside. Your little ones and maybe even grown-ups will enjoy trying to break open this poinsettia-covered version.

Supplies and Tools:

Newspaper strips

Water and flour paper mache mix

Mylar balloon

Paintbrush

Mod Podge decoupage glue

Red tissue streamers

Hot glue gun and glue sticks

Variety of floral poinsettias

Scissors

Ribbon

Candy or toys

Dip newspaper strips into paper mache mix. Remove excess mix to allow for quicker drying. Place strips over inflated Mylar balloon until surface is completely covered. Let dry. Repeat process for three layers.

Paint a line of Mod Podge onto piñata and immediately adhere a strip of red tissue streamer over glued area. Repeat process until entire piñata is covered with tissue streamer. Let dry.

Add a top layer of Mod Podge over tissue streamer layer. Let dry.

Glue floral poinsettias onto piñata surface. Tightly overlap flowers for best coverage.

Let dry.

Cut ribbon to desired length for hanging. Glue end of each strip of ribbon to piñata. Note: Cut small opening in top of piñata and fill with candy or toys. Make sure the piñata opening is at the top so candy or toys don't fall out.

Fill piñata with candy or toys.

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