Christmas crafting is in the air

Even though it barely feels like winter yet here, I’ve definitely been feeling the crafty Christmas spirit. Every year I have the best of intentions for a large variety of crafts I’d like to accomplish before the holidays. And most years, almost none of them get completed. That’s certainly true this year, so I’m already plotting things I’d like to do for next year… maybe I’ll actually get them done that way!

Fortunately I have managed to squeeze out a few small crafts, so I thought I’d share what I’ve been up to. These are projects I decided I wanted to do and then went on the hunt for tutorials where I needed help filling in the gaps. Most involved supplies around the house that I already had. The only thing I purchased was the drinking straws for the last project. How about that?

Hopefully my projects and those projects that inspired me will help inspire you this holiday season!

Craft one: quilted coasters and matching runner

I love a good novelty print fabric, and I love gnomes. When my friend Elisa gave me a piece of fabric featuring mini gnomes, I knew it would have to become something fun for Christmas. My first idea was a small table runner for a side table, but then I thought why stop there?

Supplies I used

  • less than 1/3 yard of cotton fabric
  • matching thread
  • scraps of quilt batting (if you don’t have any, you can always use 2 or 3 layers of muslin or other cotton)
  • sewing machine

How I did it

  1. I followed this tutorial for how to make quilted coasters. Mine are about 4.25″ x 4.25″. It really was simple, even the most beginning sewist could tackle these. I know nothing about quilting and was able to figure it out.
  2. I quilted each coaster, sewing concentric squares starting at the outer edge and working my way in. When I got towards the middle I was bored with squares, so I finished them off with an X.
  3. I made more. Four total, to be exact.
  4. I went a little crazy with one of them and used this tutorial for making mini pom poms with a fork, sewing little pom poms onto each end.
  5. I used this tutorial for how to make a mitered corner hem and made a small table runner with the rest of the fabric. (If you’d prefer, you could make cocktail napkins!)
  6. I walked around the house until I found a place for the runner. It fit our vintage Cosco bar cart perfectly!

Tutorials used to help me make these crafts:

Craft two: pom pom garlands and hair pins

I have always loved garlands of all kinds. Being a knitter there’s no shortage of yarn in my house, so I grabbed up some reds, greens and sparkly white yarn and got to work. While I was at it I cooked up the idea to make pom poms for my hair, too. My initial idea was to make a bunch to put out during our Christmas party with a cute note telling people to feel free to take one to adorn themselves, too, though that never happened. (Feel free to steal my idea!)

Supplies I used

  • yarn (I used fingering weight)
  • scrap cardboard or pom pom maker
  • wide-eyed needle
  • scissors
  • bobby pins

How I did it

  1. I gathered up some holiday-colored yarns. You really don’t need a lot of yarn. I used fingering weight, but heavier yarn will produce more full pom poms.
  2. I didn’t have a pom pom maker so I used two pieces of scrap cardboard to make my own, using this tutorial.
  3. I cut a length of yarn and using a wide-eyed needle, strung up several pom poms through the center. If you knot each end of the strand of yarn, you can hook them over a nail, a mini command hook (thanks to my SIL for introducing me to these) or push pin.
  4. I adorned our doorways!
  5. As well as a few other things that looked like they needed pom poms, such as this vintage ornament. Because… well, just because.
  6. I wanted to adorn myself as well. So before cutting off the tying strands of yarn, I knotted them around the end of a bobby pin.

Tutorial used to help me make these crafts:

Craft three: drinking straw and cheese flags

My mom always makes cheese flags for parties. I knew that I’d be doing that for our Christmas party, but I wanted to take it a step further and make flags for straws, too. I’ve seen this done a hundred times online, but I like my twist on it. It lets you remove the flags in case they don’t get used (so you can create new ones next time!), and leaves a blank space for your guests to write their name. Like wine charms for cocktails.

Supplies I used

  • heavy paper
  • color printer and editing software (or you could always draw them by hand!)
  • scissors or X-acto knife
  • drinking straws (Gray Goose is one place to order heavy duty paper straws like I used)
  • cocktail toothpicks
  • glue stick

How I did it

  1. I decided what size I wanted my flag. After trial and error I settled on 5.5″ by 0.75″, and set it up in Photoshop, with a space big enough to write a name. When I was happy with it, I repeated it several times on the same sheet of paper and printed 2 sheets. I cut out each flag with an X-acto knife.
  2. I folded each flag in half around a straw, creasing it slightly along the edge where the arrow is pointing. This makes a little tube that you can slide the straw into later. (I wanted the flags removable.)
  3. I glued both sides together with a glue stick, leaving the tube open.
  4. I placed the flags (with tube sticking out) under a few heavy books to let the glue cure for a bit. (Otherwise it’ll want to open back up.)
  5. When the glue was dry, I snipped out the ends.
  6. Of course I wanted cheese flags too, so I wrapped a few around cocktail toothpicks. (I did the writing on the computer.)
  7. And poked the flags into my cheese.
  8. I put some of the straw flags on straws, but left others in a dish with markers nearby for guests to write their name in the blank spot.
  9. It was fun seeing the straws in action!

Hope you enjoyed seeing some of my Christmas crafting. Stay tuned for a few pictures of our Kitschmas cocktail party soon. What holiday crafts have YOU been up to?

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