Holiday Ideas, DIY, and Misc. Archives

Christmas Craft Ideas For The Whole Family

When it comes to the holiday season lot of people start looking for Christmas craft ideas. There is something about spending time making your own decorations, food or sewing holiday themed napkins that add to the excitement of the whole occasion.

It doesn’t matter whether you are an accomplished seamstress or someone who is new to the whole world of crafts, you can find projects to suit your talents. You may even develop creative talents you never knew you had. The holiday season can become quite stressful with people the world over putting themselves and their families under pressure to be perfect. The house must look fantastic, the presents and food have to be bought in time etc. This can take the enjoyment out of the festive season.

Taking some time out to concentrate on your Christmas crafts can achieve a couple of objectives. If you include your kids, it can force you to spend time with them which is what the holiday season should be about. It will also make you find time to sit down and relax for a while as you figure out what to do next or what stage you were at in a pattern. You may think that all this work is too much on top of everything else you have to do but most people find it therapeutic. It will also give you a real sense of achievement when you wake up on Christmas morning and are able to show off the fruits of your labor to your family and friends.

Finding Christmas crafts for adults

Christmas crafts for adults come in a variety of shapes and sizes. If you look at old pictures of American Christmases in the 19th century you will see pictures of trees decorated with Robins, cones full of candy, miniature stockings and often miniature furniture and musical instruments. You can find patterns to make all of these decorations if you would like to decorate your tree with an old fashioned theme. If the man of the house is handy at DIY, why not ask him to make some miniature wooden pieces for the tree while you work on ribbons and other decorations. To complete the look, you could even buy fairy lights that look like candles but are a lot safer.

If you like sewing you could make a number of miniatures Christmas stockings and fill them with holiday scented flowers or potpourri. These would make lovely novelty gifts for family and friends. If you are not yet an accomplished sewer but love the idea of making your own Christmas stockings, why not buy one of the many felt stocking kits on sale. The Bucilla Christmas stocking kits are always very popular and something that you and the kids could do together.

Other Christmas craft ideas for kids

There are loads of Christmas craft ideas for kids. If you are stuck for ideas, a trip to your local library would provide you with more information than you would ever need. For example, you could make your own Christmas crackers. All you would need is some colored tissue paper and some silver or gold colored thin ribbon. Kids love to glue things so would have a great time sticking on the paper and motifs. They could choose what small novelty items could go inside the crackers and what colors they should be decorated with. Add in some felt pens and glitter glue and you should be greeted with the sound of silence as they get tucked into their work.

Other Christmas crafts for children include getting them involved with decorating the cake. You can do the main part of the icing and have the younger children add on the extras. For example if you have a Christmas tree on your cake, they could add silver balls as the decoration. If you have a snowman, depending on their age they could draw on his hat, gloves and scarf using different colored icing.

You could make a traditional Christmas wreath together although it is best not to involve very young children. They have a habit of putting things in their mouth and the shiny red holly berries may prove too attractive. You will need to leave making the wreathe until as close to Christmas as you can as otherwise the Holly will die and lose its lush green color.

There are so many Christmas craft ideas, the problem isn’t finding the ones you want to do but finding the time to do them all may be a challenge.

Are you running short on ideas for a party set in the 70s? There are so many different TV series that are being shown on retro channels, so what it used to look like back then, may not be very hard for younger people to envision. You want some fresh and new things at your party, so we have thought up a few, which may be both inspirational, and surprise your guests as well.

We may have either lived through the 70s ourselves as young people, or be a student of that particular time period in history. It was an era of flower power, new and often radical ideas, and civil rights. Clothing from that time was often very individual as well as having a certain simple charm. For your costume ideas at your next hippie party, bell bottom pants are a must! Fringed vests were common, as well as plenty of peace beads and symbols. Headbands were often worn by women and men, and sometimes the clothing was made to look threadbare and well-loved.

Don’t forget the hair! Back then, hair was often large and very curly. For your decorations at the party, you can make up lots of signs on your computer such as groovy and peace, etc. If you have the time you could also make a few period-appropriate posters, inviting people to your political event or rally. This will lend an air of authenticity. Decorating your food area, could be easy with lots of flowers of course, and a few peace symbols here or there. Party favors can be easy, if you give out love bead necklaces for the adults, and perhaps the children, peace symbol and flower stickers or even little toy cars decorated as they had been, back in the day.

You can change up your living room easily, by putting some knitted afghans around on the couches and chairs, borrowing a couple of beanbag chairs and scattering them around the living room, and even renting some DVDs of old TV shows which could be playing softly in the background. If you can dig up a retro TV set, all the better! Music from that era could be playing in the background as well. If you do find yourself running out of time for all of this, then there are plenty of kits and accessories and costumes you can purchase inexpensively.

When you’re throwing a themed party, it can be a challenge to come up with a few new things that will set your party, apart from the rest. Don’t forget that invitations to a party can be themed, and then people will get the idea right away. With a little thought and a challenge to your creativity, your family and friends will be talking about your hippie party for weeks to come!

Jenny Jordan has been writing articles for over 2.5 years and is an expert in diet, exercise, insurance and Halloween Costumes. Check out her latest site on http://couplecostumes.com.au where she looks at Hippie Costumes from the 60′s and 70s and remember when everything was “Cool Man”.

Author: Jenny H Jordan
Article Source: EzineArticles.com
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Have you ever tried to make Beaded Ornaments?

Beaded ornaments can be made by stringing beads on wires, fishing line, pipe cleaners or pins. They can be made by cutting out patterns for Christmas ornaments from cardboard or box board and sticking the beads to the pattern. You can cut out a pattern of a snowflake, Santa Claus, Christmas tree, star, reindeer, etc…..anything related to the Christmas season, but be sure to glue beads to both sides of the cut out if it is a hanging ornament. You can incorporate beads in a wreath to give it that extra sparkle.

Beaded ornaments are not only for the Christmas season. You can make beaded covers for Easter eggs or beaded ornaments for Halloween, Thanksgiving, Valentine’s Day, and any other holiday or birthday. They make a great personalized gift for any occasion. When there isn’t a special occasion to make an ornament for you can make beaded sun catchers or dream catchers to hang in your window or around your house. On a sunny day when the sun shines on these they produce beautiful and colourful reflections in your home. You can also make beaded pins for any occasion.

As a fun get together you can arrange a beading party and invite family and friends to attend. This would be a great way to introduce them to the world of beading. If you had beaded ornaments already made up before hand you could display them at the party. It could be a great opportunity to sell some of your creations at the party, if you are looking to make some extra money, and also to spread the word about your creations. I’m sure when they see how beautiful the ornaments can be they will be hooked on beading.

If you are giving a beaded ornament as a gift for a special occasion or selling them, you have to make sure they have a finished polished look as many people will not appreciate any homemade gift or purchase them if they look like they have not had any real thought gone into them and has been just thrown together.

There are many free resources for finding ideas to make these ornaments. The internet is one of my favourites (what did we ever do without the internet LOL). My local library is another. Magazines, beading classes, creative friend’s ideas and browsing department stores are a few more (sometimes not free though). Make sure you pay attention to any copyrights of any ideas you come across.

You can find beaded craft kits, with all the supplies you need to make a beaded ornament, for sale on the internet or at your local craft store. You can also find simple Christmas beaded ornament patterns to involve your young children. A lot of the time these are free with instructions. Most of the materials used for these crafts are safe for a child to use such as pipe cleaners and glue as opposed to needles, wire or pins, but still should always be supervised by an adult as they would still be using small beads.

Have fun and Happy Beading!

Arlene is a lover of beaded ornaments. She is anxious to learn as much as she can about beads and beading and to pass on her knowledge to anyone that is interested. You can share her knowledge by visiting the links below.

http://www.beadedornaments.net/
http://www.beadedornaments.net/beaded-ornaments/beaded-ornaments-elegant-and-beautiful

Author: Arlene Ahmad
Article Source: EzineArticles.com
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I have always enjoyed making things from scratch. It feels good building something with your bare hands and maybe even saving a few bucks along the way. In this article, I will attempt to show you a simple way to make beads from scratch. It takes a little practice to get good at this, but after a few tries I am confident you will be a pro. Making beads from scratch can be done relatively easy. I am even going to show you how you can make them from newspaper! So lets begin by making a list of what is needed to accomplish this:

  1. Newspaper
  2. Glue
  3. A Pot
  4. Sandpaper
  5. A Drill
  6. Varnish
  7. Craft Paint

After you have gathered your supplies, you can begin the process of making beads from scratch. The first thing you will want to do is take the newspaper that you have gathered in step 1 and rip it into small pieces. Once you have many pieces of paper ripped into small pieces you will need to place them in a Pot. You want to get some boiling water and pour it into the Pot just enough to cover all the paper. After you have completed that, you are going to want to leave it sit for around an hour before continuing.

Next, after it has sat for around an hour, you are going to want to stir it up a bit to help break down the paper. Additionally, you are also going to want to drain as much water as you possible out of the paper. You are then going to want to add some glue to the paper. You want to add enough so that the paper can be molded into ball shape. You are free to use any glue that is clear after it has dried. I usually just use PVA glue, it has always worked just fine for me. After you have applied the glue, you can begin rolling the paper into ball shapes. You can make them any size that you would like. After you have done so, you are going to want to let them sit for a few days. During this time you can occasionally roll them to remove even more water.

After the waiting period is over, you will want to have your sand paper handy. You want to sand each individual bead down slightly, just to remove the rough edges. You can then drill a hole in each bead in order to make room for any material that you would like to string them with. You can apply whatever color paint that you want in order to add some aesthetic appeal. Finally, after you have painted them, you will want to add a coat of varnish to each bead to complete the process.

It is really that simple. You can imagine the infinite selection of beads that you could create using this method. I have accumulated a rather large collection of these homemade beads and I really think some of them are pretty neat. It took me a few times to get the hang of it, but it is really not such a difficult time at all.

Joseph Affner enjoys writing articles on a variety of subjects including, but not limited too, arts and crafts, gardening, and scrapbooking. Check out two recent articles by Joseph about finding the best places to purchase 3mm beads and Bicone Beads.

Author: Joseph Affner
Article Source: EzineArticles.com
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Have you always wanted to create your own beaded ornaments but have little experience with bead work? Provided in this article are some simple tips that will help you create stunning and beautiful hand made beaded Christmas ornaments that will make your home more festive this holiday season.

If you have never made bead Christmas ornaments, you will first need to select either a pattern or a kit. There are many kits available that typically include the beads, needle, thread, glue and any other materials required to begin making bead Christmas ornaments. The next step is to assemble the proper tools.

Tools Needed for Your Hand Made Christmas Ornaments

Pliers are the most important tool for getting started in making your hand made bead Christmas ornaments. Important pliers that are used with bead making include Flat Nose Pliers, Round Nose Pliers, Chain Nose Pliers, Crimp Nose Pliers, and Split Ring Pliers.

Another tool you will need is a good pair of wire cutters. If you are making wire bead Christmas ornaments, then wire cutters are absolutely essential. When selecting wire cutters it is important to select the appropriate strength wire cutter for the wire that you will be using. Wire cutters come in both lightweight and heavy-duty strengths. Light weigh cutters will suit your basic needs for the beading wire you will be using.

Lastly, when making hand made Christmas Bead ornaments purchase bead needles. These needles come in a variety of sizes. Choose needles applicable to the project you are making.

Different Types of Hand Made Christmas Bead Ornaments

A simple bead ornament recommended for a young child to make may consist of little more than stringing “pony beads” or other suitable bead onto pipe cleaners. Children can simply place the beads on the pipe cleaners then twist them into various shapes such as bells, stars, candy canes, and Christmas trees.

Here is another way that you can create sparkling and beautiful hand made Christmas bead ornaments no experience required. First gather your supplies. These will include fabric paints (or other dimensional paint), small glass beads (or seed beads) satin finished ornaments, a small tray, and a small cup. First, sketch a simple shape on the ornament with the fabric paint. Ideas for shapes typically include simple snowflakes, trees, and stars, but ultimately the choice is up to you. Create your pattern as simple or as elaborate as you like. After you have drawn your design on the satin ornament with the fabric paint, hold the ornament over a small tray, and sprinkle the tiny beads over the ornament using a small cup. This is similar to projects where you apply glue and then sprinkle glitter over the glue. After your ornament finishes drying, you can hang it with a beautiful cord or complimentary satin ribbon.

It’s as easy at that! So go ahead and gather your supplies and get started making your own personalized hand made Christmas ornaments for the holidays!

Rob Buenaventura invites you to Christmas Ornaments 4 U, a website focused on your Christmas Ornament needs. Find out how thousands of people have made their house more festive this holiday season with the perfect Christmas Ornament! For additional tips and ideas for homemade ornaments ideas, go to http://www.christmas-ornaments-4-u.com/homemade-christmas-ornaments.html

Author: Rob Buenaventura
Article Source: EzineArticles.com
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Want a really nice craft for your older kids to do or for yourself? Paper beads are a great way to make stunning and unique gifts for their friends or themselves with very little money involved. (We all love that!).

All you need are some old colorful magazines, or even newspaper works if you like that black and white look.

Tear out the page you want to use, and mark off one inch strips, or you can approximate.

Draw a line from the top corner of one of the one inch strips to the other corner and cut it out, you will have two very long triangles.

Cover your paper in white glue on the wrong side, and then take a round tooth pick and begin to roll your paper very tightly make sure it is pressing right into the glue. (This part will be a bit messy).

Then stick the tooth pick into the top of an egg carton or piece of cardboard to dry. You can dip your paper beads into varathane or glaze to harden them and protect them, and these paper beads will look shiny and just like porcelain beads.

Once you have all your beads, you can start threading them to make necklaces, bracelets, earrings and more. You can get all the jewelry making supplies quite cheap online or in your local discount store. Each paper bead will be unique and different. You could also have themes, like using newspaper, or the same type of color pages.

This is a good way to get rid of some old magazines, and have fun at the same time.

http://www.make-crafts-for-cash.com/paperbeads.html click here for a free video on how to make paper beads and have fun and make some unique jewelry. Article and website by Diane Palmer

Author: Diane Palmer
Article Source: EzineArticles.com
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Clay beads are very versatile. You can make almost anything with the clay. You can mold it into any shape you would like. You can use clay tools or even a simple toothpick to enhance your design or add a little texture. Dress your design up with other types of beads. You can even use glass beads, metal beads, or wood beads.

Here are some clay bead making ideas; however, the possibilities are endless. You can make beads to reflect different holidays or seasons. Try your favorite sports teams or colors. Do your school mascot or school colors. Reflect the colors you see in the mountains or the beach. You could even do ones to reflect your wedding colors and give them to all your bridesmaids as gifts. Use these beads to reflect your personality and who you are.

You could just do a basic solid color beads to reflect the colors of the rainbow. Then you could take those colors and swirl them up to create a whole new look. It is amazing how you can just change a beads appearance just by changing the shape or mixing the colors around. It can be lots of fun to create your own jewelry.

You can use these beads to make a necklace, bracelet, pin, key chain, earrings, backpack charm, bag charm, or paper weight.

Try to make your first clay bead and see what design you come up with. I guarantee that you will start coming up with endless ideas.

Come up with your own clay bead designs everyday. If you would like to see more designs or get more information please check out my clay bead site.

http://www.claybead.net

http://claybead.net/clay-bead/clay-bead-design-idea

Author: Theresa Light
Article Source: EzineArticles.com
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For those who have started to enjoy jewellery design, the next step is to create some of your own beads. To do this you will need a few tools to get started as well as a bit of flair to be creative! If you already design your own jewellery then the chances are you have an idea of the kind of beads you want and already have the creative part down. The tools are not that difficult to come by, especially if you are just planning to make beads on a small scale.

When you begin making beads, it is probably a good idea to start off with the least expensive tools you can find. You may eventually find that you do not enjoy making beads anymore or you may find it to be too difficult. If you don’t make a huge investment, you can give it a try without worrying about the financial outlay.

The first thing that you should consider is the type of beads that you are interested in making. You may want to start off with clay beads to get some design ideas. With clay you are able to combine colors and make some really unique beads for your jewellery. There are clays that are available for purchase in a huge variety of colors and that will be able to harden and dry right in your home oven. Make sure that the pans and materials you use are specific to your bead making only. Many people also use a food processor or pasta maker for combining colors and you should make sure that you only use these pieces of equipment for working with the clay.

If you are going to be making glass beads, the most important piece of equipment you will need is a kiln. However, it is not requisite to you buy a kiln initially. You can melt glass by using a special torch that will focus the heat directly on the piece of glass you are melting. There is a large range of safety equipment required for making glass beads. The temperatures that are used would require you to be very careful whilst making the glass beads. An injury from these kinds of temperatures could be very serious.

Once you have worked with your beading equipment for a while and have got used to it, you may be interested in purchasing some of the more expensive equipment, such as a kiln. These can range in price from a few hundred pounds for a small one to thousands for the larger varieties. Cost will obviously depend on the size and the temperature range of the kiln. Choose one that you will find the easiest to use and has all of the safety features that you need.

Making your own beads is a great way to further your own jewellery making efforts. You will also find that if your beads are unique and beautiful, other jewellery designers may be interested in purchasing them from you. Glass making is an art form and you might find that you have a flair for making these tiny works of art.

About the Author

To find out if you are a guru at jewellery making, see a wide range of beads at this wonderful website – http://www.e-beads.co.uk. There is enough selection on the site for even the most avid of jewellery makers to have lots of fun!

Author: Frank William
Article Source: EzineArticles.com
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When is a christmas tree more than a christmas tree and more akin to a piece of art? After reading the following christmas tree ideas you will realize that there is a very fine line between just a tree and a piece of original sculpture. If you have a passion for unusual christmas trees maybe you will find some of the following ideas inspirational. Keep in mind that most of the christmas tree ideas below work best as miniature tabletop trees or holiday table centerpieces.

The Bead Tree

Bead trees are simply a cone of paper that is circled by a long strand of beads that are glued to it. These beads coil repeated around the cone until they resemble a christmas tree. These unusual christmas trees can be made out of any material that you like – pearls, glass beads and novelty beads. You can also twine fine foil braid or ribbon around the beads to give your tree special holiday flair.

The Candy Cane Christmas Tree

This little tree looks nice using candy canes that are either red or green striped. Once again you will need some kind of conical armature. If you make a really small one you don’t need an armature at all. The idea is to make a teepee frame using long candy canes. Then take smaller ones (or chop of the length of the longer ones) and place them symmetrically around the tree frame with the hooks of the candy canes u upside down and sticking up like branches. If you are really ambitious you can also glue candies to the tipped up edges with butter cream frosting to resemble Christmas decorations.

The Lollipop Christmas Tree

This is one of the simplest of do it yourself unusual christmas trees. All that is required is a Styrofoam armature and red and green lollipops. You can also roll up a piece of stiff paper that is green in color into a cone and poke the stems of the lollipops through the tree so that only the candy part is showing. This is done so that the lollipops are facing downwards to look like tree boughs. You can use a brightly colored yellow lollipop stuck with the stem straight down through the top of the cone to be the tree-topper. This is one of the more unusual christmas tree ideas.

The Marshmallow and Gum Drop Tree

This is inspired by one of Martha Stewart’s unusual christmas tree ideas. All you need to create this is a conical Styrofoam shape in the size you desire (to use as an armature) and some mint green and white marshmallows. You spear the marshmallows on a toothpick or pin and then affix them to the sides of the Styrofoam cone so that it simulates an evergreen with snow-laden boughs. You can also decorate this tree with edible gold or silver cake decorations. A Christmas star made out of shortbread covered with glitter makes a great tree topper for these types of unusual christmas trees.

The Pine Cone Tree

To make this tree all you need is several very healthy looking pine cones. Glue them together in a conical shape until you have a shape that resembles a christmas tree. Glue acorns and holly berries on the sides to mimic christmas decorations and glue a large one on top of the tree to create a christmas tree topper.

If this look is too naturalistic for you can always spray paint the tree silver and paint the acorns a gold color.

The Pipe Cleaner Christmas Tree

This is one of the classic christmas tree ideas that is fun to do with the kids. All you need is lengths of green pipe cleaner cut into equal shapes and beads with holes large enough to slip over the pipe cleaners.

Your next step is to create a trunk out of a single pipe cleaner or two. Simply find a wine cork and jab the end of the pipe cleaner into the cork to create a base for the tree. The limbs of the tree can then be constructed from pipe cleaners that are twisted outward from the trunk to resemble branches. The beads can then be slipped over the pipe cleaner branches as decorations. A star shaped bead can be used as the tree topper.

The Puff Pastry Christmas Tree

You have probably seen those wedding cakes that are made of puff pastry filled with cream and then stacked in a pyramid shape. Usually these are drizzled with chocolate icing. These actually look like Christmas Trees.

You can make the same recipe and stack the christmas puffs in a conical shape. Then instead of chocolate drizzle try drizzling them with a white icing to mimic snow. Edible gold and red glitter can mimic the effect of christmas decorations and a pastry pipe filled with red or green decorating gel be spiraled around the cake to achieve the effect of christmas garlands. You can also dispense with all of that fuss and just wrap it with spiral of pretty ribbon.

Of course this kind of cake will need some kind of topper. Instead of a bride and groom, why not top it with a battery run blinking snowflake or star?

The Sequined Christmas Tree

This novelty miniature tree is one of the prettiest of unusual christmas ideas but it takes a lot of patience to realize it perfectly. To make one all you need is a lot of hatpins with pearl tips (preferably in christmas colors such as white, green and red) and bags of sequins in the colors of your choice. The idea is that these sequins will be threaded onto the hatpins and painstakingly tucked into a conical Styrofoam shape until no white space is left. Tiny plastic crystals can also be suspended by pins to serve as xmas decorations.

The Tropical Fruit Christmas Tree

If you like christmas tree ideas that are made of food then you will like this exotic centerpiece. This centerpiece is made of pomegranates of different sizes (to mimic the look of a red christmas tree.) Larger pomegranates are placed in a circle on the bottom and the smaller ones are stacked on top until a tree shape is achieved. You can then tuck lychee nuts (still in their natural gauzy white wrapping) in between the pomegranates to simulate gold and white xmas decorations. The tree topper can be made from a slice of star fruit that has been dipped in candied sugar.

For more information on Christmas trees, visit http://www.o-christmas-tree.com – a year-round resource for all your christmas tree and decoration needs.

Author: Enid Edginton
Article Source: EzineArticles.com
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If you’re looking for fun Christmas beading ideas to add to the festive look to your home this December 25, then keep reading and we’ll outline five Christmas projects you can try!

1 – Candy Canes – Simple and attractive, you don’t need much in the way of supplies to make these, and the designs are kid-friendly to boot! They make great decorations for your Christmas tree!

2 – Christmas Trees – Little miniature trees can be made quickly and easily, with or without “decorations” (you could use multi-colored glass beads sewn around the tree design in different locations for a beautiful effect!). Another kid-friendly design!

3 – Wreaths – Similar to the tree design, above, but a bit more complex. Buy several shades of green seed beads to create shadow and texture in your pieces, and highlight with red bits of holly.

4 – Angels – A moderately more difficult piece, the easiest patterns to work with display angels in profile. Buy different shades of white, silver, and gray to create a dimensional effect in your pieces. These look great on the tree!

5 – Snowflakes – Of all the beading ideas mentioned here, the snowflake pattern is the hardest one to get right. This is definitely not a pattern that small children could help with, as these can get quite complex. They make among the most beautiful and striking decorations on the tree, however, and if you’ve got the skill level and patience for it, you will be well rewarded for your efforts!

As you can see from just the five ideas above, there are all kinds of fun holiday beading ideas you can sink your teeth into, and this list just barely scratches the surface!

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To get more beading ideas, visit us on our website at beadcraftideas.com

Author: Chris Hartpence
Article Source: EzineArticles.com
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