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Elana Safronsky, Managing Editor

Elana Safronsky, Managing Editor

Elana Safronsky is a lifestyle writer and managing editor of HGTV.ca

   

Top 5 Friday: Refreshing Holiday Craft Ideas

Posted by Elana Safronsky, Managing Editor Friday, December 18, 2009 2:07 PM EST

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I'm not a big crafter per se (though I love reincarnating furniture), but I do like gawking at other peoples' creations and entertaining the thought. One thing I can no longer process without a scowl, however, is the holly+poinsettia+candle centrepieces.  While they are traditional classics, I have a built-in style propeller that compels me to move on to something new.  So, in search of new ideas to craft up this season, I found some refreshing takes on homemade holiday cheer, some of which will incidentally bring you right back to childhood.

Good Ol' Paper

DesignSponge blog; paper ornament, paper garlands

Come back to white glue and craft paper.  Come back to sticky fingers and a simpler time -- dig deep and your elementary school memory will show you how.  These classroom classics look great and wholly contemporary when made of graphic wrapping paper and other designer papery.  I WILL make some.  That's a promise.  And I've lots of pretty paper scraps (I splurge on wrapping paper) which will be perfect for my crazy version of the above. 

 

A New Lease on Pipe Cleaners

DesignSponge blog; MrsHappyHouseWife's Flickr stream

Didn't think it was possible for pipe cleaners to have a part in anything elegant? Neither did I, but evidently it is. I know I said no poinsettias, but the DesignSponge garland (more like a screen than a garland) on the left there, which looks a lot like a poinsettia, is quite inventive.  I like it in white but in red and green it would be quite fetching and plenty Christmas-y.  I would even love to see it hung over a window instead of the (over it) snowflake.  The pipe cleaner trees from MrsHappyHouseWife's Flickr stream, with those spools for a base, are just plain adorable.  I see all kinds of fun colour combo possibilities...

Crafty Food: The One Time I Think Topiary Decorative Balls are OK

HGTV.ca, WomansDay.com, GoodHousekeeping.com

Again I must renege an earlier claim: topiary balls.  For most of the year I think they're useless but in holiday crafting, I think they have a place.  These fine pistachio balls (centre) are simple and elegant.  And besides, anything that lets me to show off an antique egg cup is definitely alright.  Other food stuffs that lend themselves to crafting are gum drops, as worn by the foam wreath on the far left (a craft I diligently churned out last year with my little sis and it was fun) and sugared fruits as demonstrated by the lovely holiday wreath on the far right. 

Felting The Spirit

Northsideunschoolers.org; Zakkalife blog

Must confess: I'm a closet felt fan.  I'm closeted because felting = hardcore crafting.  But I love it. I love the no-fray all-you-need-is-scissors possibilities it offers.  The flowers on the left are not exactly sporting a holiday colour scheme, but I love how easy they look to make, and I double love that little cross stitch holding the petals together that makes them look like buttons.  Heck, you don't even need to use felt to make those, but felt sure is nice.  The ornament from Zakkalife blog on the right, needs no encouragement to be appreciated --  just you try to resist making it! 

Yo-Yo Garlands
Photo by Heather Bailey via QuiltersBuzz.com; Hrtgmkr's Flickr stream

So pretty!  Yo-yo is actually the proper name for these particular fabric rosettes, that as far as we are concerned originated in quilting.  You've seen them before, but mostly sewn into the centre of a ginormous bedspread in a vintage shop, or if you're lucky, at your heritage homestead.  But of course, you don't have to sew them into a quilt. You could sew them together like in the examples above, and make a garland!  I really love these, especially because you can make them for any occasion.  All it takes is the appropriate colour scheme.  

What are your craft favourites? Send us some photos if you got 'em to stylesheetAThgtvDOTca.

Top 5 Friday appears every Friday on Stylesheet.

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Topics: DIY

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