Here are some great gifts and holiday decorations you can make yourself!

MINI WREATH ORNAMENT

What you'll need:
Two green pipe cleaners
Safety scissors
Plastic ring (you can get this from the neck of a soda or water bottle. If necessary, pry it off with a spoon)
Ribbon for a bow
Craft glue
Fishing line or thin ribbon

  1. Wrap one end of a pipe cleaner firmly around the bottle ring. Continue wrapping until the ring is completely covered. If necessary, add a second pipe cleaner.
  2. Trim any excess pipe cleaner.
  3. To decorate your wreath, tie on a red ribbon and make a bow. You can glue on small colorful beads, or even a small plastic reindeer, bell, or whatever you like. Let the glue dry.
  4. To hang the wreath, tie on a piece of fishing line or narrow ribbon.

 

NO-SEW PILLOW

What you'll need:
Safety scissors
Ruler
Chalk
Fleece
Fiberfill

  1. Cut two identical shapes out of the fleece. You can cut a heart, a circle, a square, or anything you want! You will want to allow for a four-inch fringe, so be sure to cut your shape eight inches larger than the size you want your finished pillow to be. For example: If you want an 18" x 14" pillow, cut your fleece to 26" x 22".
  2. On one piece of fleece, use a ruler and chalk to draw your shape four inches in from the edge of the fabric. Measure and draw fringe that's about one inch wide and four inches long.
  3. Stack the two pieces of fleece together so that the one with chalk lines is face up. Cut the fringe, through both layers of fleece.
  4. Start tying the fringe on the top piece to the fringe on the bottom piece by double-knotting them together, leaving an opening large enough to stuff in the fiberfill.
  5. Stuff the fleece with fiberfill. Tie the remaining fringes. Brush off any chalk.

 

POPSICLE STICK BIRD HOUSE

What you'll need:
30-40 Popsicle sticks
Glue
Safety scissors
Acrylic or poster paint
Birdseed
Fishing line

  1. Start by making the three sides of the house: Lay a row of six Popsicle sticks side by side so that the sticks touch each other. Next glue one stick across the row on the top and another stick across the bottom (these will hold the walls together). Let dry. Repeat this step until you have three sides completed.
  2. For the fourth side (the front of the birdhouse), you will need six Popsicle sticks. Cut or break one inch off the ends of two sticks. (Remember, sticks and scissors are sharp. Ask an adult to help you with this!). Lay a row of six Popsicle sticks side by side. Place the shorter sticks in the middle, making sure that the top of all six sticks line up. This will be the opening for the birdhouse. Now glue one stick across the top and one stick across the bottom of the fourth side, making sure not to cover up the opening. Glue the four walls together and let dry overnight.
  3. Now you're ready to build the roof!  It can be flat or pointed. For a flat roof, glue six Popsicle sticks together side by side. Let dry and glue the whole piece to the top of the house. For a pointed roof, glue three sticks together. Then glue three more sticks together. Let dry. Glue both pieces to the top of the house in the shape of a triangle or peak.
  4. When the glue is dry and the house feels sturdy, get out the paints and decorate your birdhouse. After the paint dries, fill the inside with birdseed and hang it from a tree branch with a piece of fishing line.

 

BOTTLE CAP MAGNET

What you'll need:
Bottle caps
Photographs, magazine pictures, comic book pictures, or drawings
White glue
Glitter, beads, ribbon, etc.
Round magnets
Clear glue

  1. Find an image that will fit inside the bottle cap. You can pick something from a magazine or comic book. You can even use an actual photo or draw a picture yourself!
  2. Place the bottle cap on the image and trace around the cap.
  3. Cut out the image and glue it to the inside of the cap, making sure the image is smooth and that there are no air-bubbles or wrinkles. Let dry.
  4. Cover the image with a layer of clear glue. Let dry.
  5. If you want, you can decorate the inside of the bottle cap by adding glitter or tiny beads directly on the image or to the inside edges of the bottle cap.
  6. Cover the image again with clear sealant and let dry.
  7. Glue the magnet to the back of the bottle cap. Let dry and you're done.

 

MINIATURE GINGERBREAD HOUSE
 
What you'll need:
7 graham crackers
Frosting (recipe below)
Assorted small candies for decorating
Ribbon
Pastry bag and tip or plastic lunch baggie and scissors

Frosting Recipe:
½ pound confectioner's sugar
3 tbs butter or margarine
½ tsp vanilla
1 ½-2 tbs milk

  1. First, make the frosting: Mix all ingredients together until smooth and easy to spread, but not runny. Add more sugar to thicken it, if needed.
  2. Place frosting in pastry bag and use a small tip. (You can also use a plastic bag. Just cut a small hole in one corner of the bag.)
  3. Place one graham cracker flat on the table, squeeze a little frosting around all four edges. You    may need an extra pair of hands, so invite a parent or friend to help!
  4. Place one cracker on each side standing up. It should look like a box without a top! Carefully squeeze more frosting on all outside corners from top to bottom and around the bottom of the "box." Let the crackers stand for a few minutes to allow the frosting to harden a bit.
  5. Squeeze frosting on two of the top edges of the box and place the last two graham crackers in a V shape on the roof. (From the side-view, it should now look like a triangle on a box, or a house!)
  6. Squeeze frosting along the top of the roof where the crackers join. Let stand until frosting   hardens a little.
  7. Here's the fun part! With leftover frosting, cover the roof to look like snow. Squeeze small amounts of frosting on candy and place candy all over the house to decorate. You can use the frosting to add things like doors and windows. Be as creative as you like!