Thursday, December 11, 2008

Simple Christmas Crafts

Gifts of time and love are surely the basic ingredients of a truly merry Christmas. ~Peg Bracken

Today I have more easy crafts to make for the holidays!

I made these ornaments years ago in my Kindergarten class and it was so successful. They make beautiful gingerbread men. ~Nani

You'll need:
2 cups flour
1 cups salt
1 cup water

Mix dry ingredients. Add the water a little at a time and knead until the dough is smooth. Roll out as you would any cookie on a floured surface. Cut out in your favorite shapes or mold like Play-Doh. Make a hole before baking if you plan to hang the ornament. Bake at 325 degrees F. for an hour to hour and one-half. Paint with acrylic paints and decorate. When they are very dry varnish to preserve and keep any dampness out.

A friend substituted coffee for the water in this recipe for her Gingerbread men and I intend to try it this year. I've wanted to do a very natural color and glue on buttons for trim. They would look darling on a wreath or just piled in a pretty basket on a table with greenery. You can add cinnamon and other spices for the aroma of Christmas.

Note from MaddeesMom: I made the gingerbread men ornaments with the recipe listed above, and I tried it with the coffee ... they turned out okay the first time, except they were kind of puffy in some places. So the next time I made them I laid parchment paper over them and put another cookie sheet on top with a heavy casserole dish on top of that ... they turned out really cute! The coffee
made a difference too. I liked the color!

Lina shared this two natural decorations:

Sugared-Cranberry Garland
To make sugared cranberries, roll fresh cranberries in lightly beaten egg whites and then in superfine granulated sugar. Place cranberries on waxed paper to dry. To make garland, thread a large needle, such as a darning needle,with cotton string or dental floss, (I use dental floss). Loop and knot end for hanger loop. String the cranberries until the garland is desired length; then loop and knot end for hanger loop...use on tree with birdseed ornaments.

Dried-fruit Wreaths
Thread a large needle, like a darning needle, with cotton string or dental floss. Make a knot 4 to 6" from 1 end. String dried fruit (I use apricots, papaya,raisins and cranberries) until you have enough to form a small wreath; know string together to secure circle. If desired, place paper twist or raffia bow on top and know string to secure. For hanger tie some kind string through wreath around bow if you have one, tie string next to bow
to secure and then tie a know of two strings on top...hang on tree with birdseed ornaments and sugared-cranberry garland.

On OFL: Give these easy to make coffee mixes for gifts!

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