Quick Holiday Crafts (and Treats) Anyone Can Do!

15 12 2012

This week I’ve been a little overloaded with holiday events at work – notably “Terrific Treats Tuesday” and project prep for a holiday “Art at the Bedside” session ( I volunteer at a hospital). I thought I’d share here, just in case you find yourself wanting something easy yet cool to do this season…

Finished pomegranate cupcakes with “holly berry” decorations

First, a yummy treat! These pomegranate cupcakes are super simple:

  • 1) Get a box of white cake mix. I did Pillsbury which also requires 1/3 cup vegatable oil and 3 eggs.
  • Mix the cake ingredients, but instead of 1 cup water, mix 1 1/4 cup Pom pomegranate juice. I added 3 drops of red food color also; otherwise the mix looks really brown.
  • Bake cupcakes for 20 minutes. It will make 24…I had to do it in 2 different batches. Once cooled, you can add icing.
  • To make icing: Mix 3 cups of powdered (aka confectioner’s) sugar with 1/4 cup Pom juice. This makes a naturally pink color.
  • Ice cupcakes..Now, if you want to add the holly berry decoration, you need an actual pomegranate and a small tube of green decorating gel.
  • Remove pomegranate seeds by cutting the fruit into quarters, submerging each into a bowl of water and peeling the seeds away from the rind. They come out better in water. I put 3 seeds on each cupcake.
  • Add 1 or 2 holly leaves next to the berries with the gel….Be sure to add the berries before the icing is fully dry so they stick.

pomegranatecupcakes2

Yum!  They last 2 – 3 days max unrefrigerated. Now, I also had to work up some simple craft ideas that could be done quickly, cheaply, easily, and with non-toxic and non-electric supplies.

Felt flower:

Felt flower ornament

To make this flower: buy a green and red sheet of felt from a craft store (29 cents each at Michaels), and also a 99 cent cardboard ornament if you want to make it into, well, an ornament. I cut out leaf and flower shapes and adhered them using just a glue stick.

The rose part is also easy:

  • Cut a circle out of the felt.
  • Then cut into the circle in a spiral pattern, working your way to the center. Leave just a little “circle” protruding in the center of the circle.
  • Cut the outside of the spiral all the way round into waves or curves.
  • Roll up starting with the outside. At the end, that circular portion you left in the center can be glued to the bottom, securing it all.

Easy peasy! Even easier is this cardstock reindeer:

This was, essentially, my template, so it’s a bit messy. But basically just draw a body, antlers, and a “U” shape for the legs. Cut out 2 of the legs and one of the body and antlers, then cut partway into the bottom of the antlers, the top of the head where the antlers intersect, the top of the legs, and bottom of the body where legs intersect. Voila! (I saw this idea online – if you do a search you can probably find a template instead of freehanding it.)

Another easy paper project that’s super cute: penguin ornament!

I freehand drew an oval shape with wings on black construction paper, folded it to cut out 2, and then drew a smaller oval on white paper with an inward cut for the head. Cut out a triangle nose and 2 feet out of orange paper. Glue the nose to the white, use a black Sharpie to draw eyes, and glue the white oval to the top black piece. On the inside of the bottom black piece, glue the feet so that they stick out, and tape a piece of string that you’ve doubled up to make a loop. Then glue the black ovals together. Bam!

You can decorate the penguin with a hair bow, bow tie, Santa hat, etc.

Lastly: a holiday dreamcatcher:

I think this would look better with less bling-y string, but this was the only string I had enough of. You can do this any time of year with different color schemes. Dreamcatchers are supposed to be hung by a bed to “catch” the negative, bad dreams before they get into your head.

To make it:

  • Take a paper or plastic plate and cut out the inside. Then use a hole punch to make evenly spaced holes (to put string through) and put 3 extra holes below that row on one end (for the hanging strings).
  • Tape or loop your string to get started – try to make a “hanger” first. Then string it hole to hole in whatever pattern you want. String some beads every now and then for decoration.
  • Tape or tie the string once done….then cut 3 smaller strings to be “hanging” and tie each around a punched hole. Hang a bead or feather on the bottom of each, with a knot on the strings’ ends to keep them from falling off.

There you go! I think that’s the most I’ve ever written here. 🙂

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