Tag Archives: Christmas

Washi Nativity Scene

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I recently made Christmas cards featuring the Wise Men inspired by beautiful Japanese paper dolls, since I have created a whole Naivety scene.

You will need:

  • White, light-weight card
  • A selection of patterned/colourful paper (small scraps can be used)
  • Any embellishments you choose (I used beads, gold and silver pen, felt-tip pen, embroidery thread, coloured wire, sequins)
  • Glue stick or double sided tape
  • Blank card or paper
  • A picture frame

What to do:

    1. Print or trace the body template onto the white card.  Cut out as many as desired.
    2. To make the robe:
      1. Cut paper 4cm x 8.5cm.  Place so it is taller than it is wide.
      2. If desired, fold down the top of the paper a little to make a collar.
      3. Place the paper right side down and then place the body on the centre, so the head is above the top of the paper.
      4. Fold one side down over the shoulders and crease along the edge of the shoulders but no further.
      5. Fold the rest of this edge along the vertical side and ease the paper where the angle changes.  So that the fold is almost horizontal.  Carefully stick to the body.
      6. Repeat on the opposite side.
      7. Add any decorations you choose.
    3. To make a figure kneel:
      1. Before folding the robe, measure 3cm down the straight edge of the template and cut off the excess.
      2. Dress the doll exactly as above.
      3. Turn over and fold up the excess robe.
      4. Fold at an angle of 45° so the excess sticks out at a right angle to the body.  Fold in the opposite direction you wish it to be as this is the back.
    4. To make the headdress:
      1. Cut paper 2.5xm x 5.5cm.  Place so it is taller than it is wide.
      2. If the paper is single-sided, turn so that the white/plain side is showing.
      3. Fold the top edge down about 1.5cm down and turn over.
      4. Fold the top edge down about0.5cm and turn over.
      5. Fold the top corners down to create a angle of about 45°, turn over again.
      6. Carefully stick to the head.
    5. To make the turban:
      1. Cut paper to 7cm x 2.5cm.  Place so it is wider than it is tall.
      2. Fold the long sides in so that they almost meet in the middle.
      3. Fold in half length ways so you have a long thin strip.
      4. Place it behind the head.
      5. Fold one side up over the face at an angle about 45° and repeat with the other side.
      6. Fold the uppermost strip down behind the turban and tuck into the strip at the back of the head and repeat.
      7. Carefully stick to the head and decorate as you please.
    6. To make the obi (optional, it is the sash worn over a kimono and I’ve given Mary one as a nod to the inspiration ):
      1. Cut paper to 3.5cm x 2.5cm.  Place so it is wider than tall.
      2. If the paper is single-sided, turn so that the white/plain side is showing.
      3. Turn the top edge down about 0.5cm, repeat for the bottom edge.
      4. Turn over and fold around Mary with the ends to the back.
    7. To make the manger:
      1. Cut paper to 10cm x 2.8cm.  Place so it is wider than it is tall.
      2. If the paper is single-sided, turn so that the white/plain side is showing.
      3. Draw a horizontal line to mark the centre (1.4cm down) and a horizontal line 0.6cm above and below this line.
      4. Draw a vertical line 4cm in and a vertical line 6cm in.
      5. Fold along the central, horizontal line and then open out again.
      6. Cut along the vertical lines at the top, stopping at the first line to cross it.  Repeat at the bottom.
      7. Fold the top right section along the uppermost horizontal line, leave the middle section and fold the left section.  Repeat for the bottom section.
      8. Trim the edges of the folded in sections so they are no wider than 0.6cm.
      9. Fold in half along the central horizontal line and place with the folded edge to the top.
      10. Fold the ‘arms’ over so the cross in an ex shape.
      11. Turn over and trim any paper that sticks out and trim the ends of the ‘arms’ parallel to the top edge. Turn over.
      12. Cut out a circle of white card about 1cm in diameter and a circle of yellow/gold card or a sequin about 1.5cm in diameter.
      13. Stick the circles behind the manger to create the head and halo of the baby Jesus.
    8. To make the star:
      1.  Cut paper to 2cm x 2cm.
      2. Mark the central point and fold the corners in so they meet in the middle, creating a smaller square.
      3. Pull the corners out again and fold so that the points stick out.
      4. Turn over.
    9. To make a sheep:
      1. Cut paper to 2.2cm x 2.2cm.  Turn to create a diamond shape.
      2. Fold in half to create a triangle.  Turn so the fold is to the top.
      3. Fold the bottom point behind.
      4. Fold the right point down at a shallow angle to create an ear.  Fold a little bit of the ear to the back.  Repeat for the left point.
      5. Decorate as desired.
    10. Add any other decorations you desire.
    11. Arrange on card or paper and frame as desired.

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Template:

Body template

E-cards

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If like me you’ve not got around to sending some important cards (whoops) there’s always e-cards. So I didn’t feel so guilty about not getting around to it (or spending anything) I created my own e-card.  Find or create your own image or you could use mine.

You will need:

  • Windows Mail
  • An image, which has been uploaded onto the internet
  • The code

What to do:

  1. Open Windows Mail and click “Create Mail”.   In the “View” menu ensure that “Source Edit” is checked.
  2. Along the bottom of the window, open the “Source” tab and paste in the code.
  3. If you wish to change the image:
    1. Find an image (to get the URL of an image right-click and select “Copy image URL”)
    2. Follow the instruction in the comment (words contained in these symbols: <!–    –>) marked “1.”
  4. To change the message now open the “Edit” tab at the bottom and edit message, font and colour as you please.


Code

Copy the following:

<!DOCTYPE HTML PUBLIC “-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN”>

<HTML><HEAD>

<META content=”text/html; charset=iso-8859-1″ http-equiv=Content-Type>

<META name=GENERATOR content=”MSHTML 8.00.6001.19170″>

<STYLE></STYLE>

</HEAD>

<body>

<div align=”center”>

<!–1. If you wish to change the image: Paste the URL inbetween the quotation marks directly following the words img src. Now follow instructions in comment 2.–>

<img src=”https://craftywiththepennies.files.wordpress.com/2011/12/snowman.gif?w=779&#8243; width=”50%” height=”50%”/>

<p style=”font-family:’Comic Sans MS’, cursive; color:#0f0047;” >lots of love<br/>!!Your name!!</p>

<p style=”font-family:Verdana, Geneva, sans-serif; font-size:12px” >If you can’t see the image click

<!–2. Paste the URL inbetween the quotation marks directly following the words a href.–>

<a href=”https://craftywiththepennies.files.wordpress.com/2011/12/snowman.gif?w=779″>here</a&gt;.</p>

</div>

</body>

</html>

Salt Dough Decorations

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Its a classic!  Salt dough is so versatile, so cheap and you get so much out of one batch.  This is a fun way to bulk out your collection of tree decorations if you don’t have enough.You will need:

  • 1 cup of flour
  • 1/2 cup of salt
  • 2 tbsp of oil
  • 1/2 cup of  water
  • Biscuit cutters
  • Fine piping nozzle or a straw
  • Acrylic paint
  • Thread or ribbon
What to do:
  1. Measure out flour and salt and place in a mixing bowl.
  2. Add the oil and water and stir until all the ingredients come together.  If necessary add small amounts of water until the dough is soft and pliable.
  3. Roll out evenly and cut out shapes of your choice with the biscuit cutter (dip it in oil if the dough is sticking to much to the cutter).
  4. Use the piping nozzle or straw (or anything which will make a small hole) to create a hole to hang your decoration from.  Its best to place this somewhere near the top but not too close as to make in vulnerable.
  5. Bake them in the oven at 100°C until they are completely dried out.  I’ve found this takes at least three hours!
  6. Paint them as you please with acrylic paint (this will help prevent moisture get back into the salt dough).
  7. When the paint is dry add the thread/ribbon to hang them by.
I recently came across this idea to rubber stamp salt dough.  I gave it a go and for some reason the rubber stamps weren’t working well for me but I also have some wooden printing blocks which I had a go with and looked just wonderful.

 

 

Washi Wise Men Card

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Never throw away scrapes of patterned or colourful paper and you can make sweet little paper dolls.  I have been really inspired recently by washi ningyo, these are little Japanese paper dolls (washi means Japanese paper and ningyo means doll).  To me they seemed to lend themselves to making a nativity scene (coming soon) and I created this card using the wise men design.  This does not need to be done with washi, any patterned or colourful paper will work.

Washi Wise Men

You will need:

  • White, light-weight card
  • A selection of patterned/colourful paper (small scraps can be used)
  • Any embellishments you choose (I used beads, gold and silver pen, felt-tip pen and embroidery thread)
  • Glue stick or double sided tape
  • Blank card

What to do:

    1. Print or trace the body template onto the white card.  Cut out as many as desired.
    2. To make the robe:
      1. Cut paper 4cm x 8.5cm.  Place so it is taller than it is wide.
      2. If desired, fold down the top of the paper a little to make a collar.
      3. Place the paper right side down and then place the body on the centre, so the head is above the top of the paper.
      4. Fold one side down over the shoulders and crease along the edge of the shoulders but no further.
      5. Fold the rest of this edge along the vertical side and ease the paper where the angle changes.  So that the fold is almost horizontal.  Carefully stick to the body.
      6. Repeat on the opposite side.
      7. Add any decorations you choose.
    3. To make the turban:
      1. Cut paper to 7cm x 2.5cm.  Place so it is wider than it is tall.
      1. Fold the long sides in so that they almost meet in the middle.
      2. Fold in half length ways so you have a long thin strip.
      3. Place it behind the head.
      4. Fold one side up over the face at an angle about 45° and repeat with the other side.
      5. Fold the uppermost strip down behind the turban and tuck into the strip at the back of the head and repeat.
      6. Carefully stick to the head and decorate as you please.
    1. To make the star:
      1.  Cut paper to 2cm x 2cm.
      2. Mark the central point and fold the corners in so they meet in the middle, creating a smaller square.
      3. Pull the corners out again and fold so that the points stick out.
      4. Turn over.
    1. Arrange on the blank card and carefully stick down.
    2. Add any other decorations you desire.

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Template:

Body template

Cranberry and Orange Vodka

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This year I have made some of this wonderful sounding flavoured vodka, admittedly it isn’t the most economical idea but it still makes a gift that appears worth more than the cost of the components.  Further money could be saved by reusing bottles rather than buying them.  Unfortunetly it does take six weeks to make but four weeks are spent in the bottle, so could be made to give as a present this year with instructions to leave it for the required amount of time.

I have yet to try mine but it promises to be good!

So as to waste nothing I used the cranberries and orange zest strained from the vodka to make mincemeat, which is delicious!

Gifts in Jars

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I have recently developed an (possibly unnatural) obsession with putting things in jars! Notably mincemeat, chutney and flavoured vodka (OK, that was a bottle but it makes little difference).  But I also love the idea of putting dry ingredients of different recipes in a jar and I came across loads when searching for homemade gift ideas.  Just search for “gifts in a jar” for almost infinite ideas.  Below are a selection of ideas I came across which I’ll be trying soon, but this is my idea:

Pepparkakor Popcorn

 

(Pepparkakor is Swedish gingerbread and alliterates with popcorn)

You will need:

  • 2 tsp icing sugar
  • 1/4 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • Cellophane (or baking parchment)
  • Gift ribbon
  • Small jar
  • 100g popcorn
  • Fabric or paper (cut into a circle a few centimetres wider than the lid of the jar)
  • Label

What to do:

  1. Mix together the icing sugar, ginger, nutmeg and cinnamon.
  2. Make a small sachet with the cellophane, place the spice mix in and secure with the ribbon.  To ensure the cellophane and ribbon are clean you can wash them by hand just as you would the dishes (although I have a feeling putting them in the dishwasher would not do them any good!).
  3. Weigh 100g of popcorn into the jar, place the sachet on top and place the lid on the jar.
  4. Tie the paper or fabric circle to the top of the jar with some more ribbon and attach a label with the following instructions:

1. Heat a teaspoon of oil in a saucepan with a lid.

2. Remove the cellophane sachet from the jar.

3. When the oil is hot, tip in the popcorn and place the lid on.

4. When the popping begins to slow remove from the heat.

5. When the popping has stopped completely transfer to a bowl.

6. Add the contents of the cellophane sachet and mix well.

More ideas

Cowboy Cookie Mix in a Jar

Gingerbread Mix in a Jar  (I’ve seen these in shops which have a gingerbread man cutter tied on with the label and I love the idea)

Hot Chocolate Mix in a Jar

Curried Lentil Soup in a Jar