Decorate your house and send some e-cards

Decorate your house >

a chance to decorate without a ladder >

Deck the House

Christmas Crafts are delightful!

Rochdale business Craft Delights is kick starting the Countdown to Christmas on Thursday 4 October from 7pm – 9pm with a Christmas Craft Evening at the Urban Gallery, Meadowcroft Mill, Bury Road, Bamford, UK.

There will be craft materials on sale for card makers and scrapbookers as well as ceramic crafts to decorate and personalise as gifts.  There will be plenty of craft project ideas for stocking fillers and for children and for the not as creative, ready made gifts and cards.  All are welcome, entry is free and there will be refreshments. 

Anyone wanting to have a go at making their own cards for the first time is also encouraged to come along and will be sure of a warm welcome with plenty of tips of how to get started.

Craft Delights, run by Castleton based Ruth Percy, will also be celebrating its first birthday after a year of successful trading.  Ruth decided to set the business up after working in marketing for ten years.  She has a permanent display at the Urban Gallery and also sells on the internet.  As well as the business, she still works part-time for Sure Start in Rochdale. 

Ms Percy said: “On the day of the fair, it will be only 79 days to Christmas.  Card makers usually start around now to make enough cards for Christmas, so we are offering the opportunity to stock up on this year’s festive craft delights!  Christmas is my favourite time of the year, so I am looking forward to kick starting the season early with follow crafters.”

Repairing broken snow globes

Christmas Season is over. You enjoyed some great time having guests at home. However, it may be possible that you encountered some slight problems, such as one of your guests or their child, accidentally dropped your fave snow globe and it seems that it is broken. Is it possible to repair a cracked snow globe you may ask.

Well, a broken snow globe is not easy to mend, but if you have an antique or sentimentally valuable piece, it may be worthwhile to enlist the help of a professional who can fix it for you. A snow globe usually consists of figurines encapsulated in a glass or plastic sphere. This globe is filled with a mixture of distilled water and glycerin, which helps the glittery “snow” float, and attached to a base.

Since the late 19th century, when snow globes were first produced, the snow has been made of ground rice, bone, ceramic or porcelain, and the figures fashioned from bisque, stone or metal. These days, the snow is more likely to be composed of granular plastic pieces, which are textured to aid buoyancy, simple plastic glitter is used in inexpensive models. The majority of today’s figures are also plastic.

Most modern glass globes are as thin as eggshells and will probably shatter if dropped, says a snow-globe repair specialist. Vintage globes have slightly thicker glass and aren’t quite as fragile.

For about $15 to $50, professionals, search online to find one, can replace a glass globe, add new snow, refill liquid that has evaporated or become cloudy, and so on. However, have in mind that plastic globes cannot usually be repaired. More extensive fixes, such as repairing chipped figures, will be pricier.

A cookie sheet Advent calendar

Posted On December 15, 2006

Filed under Christmas Crafts

Comments Dropped 2 responses

An idea for the holidays > a cookie sheet Advent calendar

To make it, you will need these materials >

  • Large cookie sheet
  • 1 12-by-12 inch sheet of patterned paper
  • 1 12-by-12 inch sheet of green textured paper
  • 1 8-1/2 by 11-1/2 inch sheet of solid colored card stock
  • Ribbon
  • Drill with 1/4-inch bit
  • Scissors
  • White glue
  • 3/4-inch circular magnets
  • Hot glue gun
  • Hot glue stick
  • 24 mini Christmas ornaments

Directions >

1. Drill two holes centered in the top edge of the cookie sheet.

2. Trim the patterned paper to the width of the cookie sheet. Glue the piece to the back side (bottom) of the cookie sheet. It should cover approximately two-thirds of the cookie sheet.

3. Draw or use your computer to create an eight-by-three grid table. The finished sized of the table should be approximately 4-1/2 by 10 inches. The boxes in the table should be numbered from 1 through 24.

4. Glue the table directly under the patterned paper on the cookie sheet.

5. Cover the seam where the two papers meet with a length of ribbon.

6. Draw a tree pattern measuring 12 inches tall and 8 inches at its widest point. Once satisfied with the shape, transfer the pattern to the green textured paper and cut out.

7. Glue the tree shape to the cookie sheet. Add a yellow star shape on top.

8. Glue each mini ornament (available at local craft stores) to a 3/4-inch round magnet with your hot glue gun.

9. Cut a 10-inch length of ribbon. Thread it through the two holes at the top of the cookie sheet. Make a small bow, allowing a loop of ribbon to remain in the back of cookie sheet to act as a hanger.

10. Place each magnetized ornament on a numbered square. Take one ornament from the square each day and place it on the tree.

The 24 Days Of Christmas

Make Christmas Magical for the kids by building up to the big day with a month’s worth of fun activities.

1st > Make an advent calendar with a difference. Secure baby socks on to string with clothes pegs, add numbered luggage tags and fill with chocolates, sweets or baubles.

2nd > Put up the tree. Give each child a job such as being in charge of tinsel, or lights, or baubles to avoid squabbles. Then have a grand switching on ceremony with mulled wine for the adults and lemonade and biscuits for the kids.

3rd > Help them to write a wish list to Father Christmas, then “post” it to the North Pole. You could write a reply on Santa’s behalf because he’s very busy or receive a personalised letter from the man himself, Mini Marvellous 0044 845 458 7407.

4th > It’s time to book a panto it’s just not the same after Crimbo. So round up the kids and ring your local theatre for a festive treat.

5th > Put your kids in the festive picture with themed photo frames from the Early Learning Centre. Put a photograph into the snowman, star, tree or circle frames and decorate with the enclosed pom-poms and ribbons, ELC 0044 870 535 2352.

6th > It’s time to enter snow business. Buy a snow-making kit, create the flakes together, then sprinkle them around the kids’ windowsills or have snowball fights. Snow in a box, Great Little Trading Company 0044 870 850 6000.

7th > Make Christmas cards. Coloured card and cotton wool makes great fluffy snowmen. But if you want some helpful hints, The Usborne Big Book Of Christmas Things To Make And Do is very useful.

8th > Stroll in the park and collect fir cones and leaves for some artistic picture making. Or see who can spot the most robin redbreasts. Many parks offer guided Winter Wonderland walks: check noticeboards.

9th > Deck the halls with… bunting. Use a triangle template and crimping scissors to cut a dozen flags from old fabric and glue on to a long strip of gingham material or ribbon.

10th > Time to go sledding – pray for snow or find a dry slope near you. For a selection of sleds see or call 0044 870 112 6006.

11th > Teach them the true meaning of Christmas by digging out the tea-towels for Mary and Joseph costumes and staging a nativity play. Or set up a nativity scene. 16- piece wooden sets are on sale at Urchin.

12th > Make cookies. Use a simple cookie dough (mix 280g plain flour, pinch nutmeg, cinnamon and spice, 200g butter, 100g sugar, two egg yolks) then use festive cutters (Christmas cutters, Urchin 0044 870 112 6006). Make a hole for a hanging ribbon then bake at 2000C for 20 minutes.

13th > Sing-a-long-a-shopping when you go to the supermarket for the festive provisions with the Christmas Car-i-oke CD complete with lyrics and 17 modern takes on favourites like Jingle Bells including hip-hop versions! GLTC 0044 870 850 6000.

14th > Crackers are simple and fun to make. You’ll need two cardboard loo rolls (one for the body and one cut in half for the ends). Pop in a gift, favourite joke, and sweets and cover with crepe paper.

15th > Make a festive display. Spray twigs and branches with metallic paint (Plastikote 0044 1223 836400). Pop them in a vase or plant pot with soil and tie on small decorations or chocolates.

16th > Get wrapping. Colour photocopy favourite or silly photos on to A3 sheets or do potato prints on to brown paper. Presents look wonderful tied with string and a sprig of holly.

17th > Candlelit carol concerts are magical. Check your church for details. Everyone’s welcome.

18th > Festoon the kids’ rooms with homemade paper chains. Cut coloured card, old wallpaper or magazines into strips, loop and glue together.

19th > Go iceskating. Spin under the stars and imagine you’re Torvill and Dean. Visit to find an outdoor rink near you.

20th > Ride the Santa Express! Many steam railways run Santa Special days throughout December where little ones can meet him and his reindeer. Look online for your nearest, or visit one of the UK’s best services such as

21st > Create angel handprint pictures. Press both hands into white paint then lay them on to black card. Put a pink handprint between them, turn the picture upside down and you’ve got two wings and a dress. Paint on arms and a head and tinsel for a halo.

22nd > Truffles make a great gift. Heat 100g of chocolate drops and 25g butter over a pan of water, sift in 25g icing sugar and mix in 50g cake crumbs. Roll teaspoonfuls of the mixture into balls, dip in chocolate strands and serve in paper cases.

23rd > Snuggle up on the sofa and watch Christmas DVDs together. Miracle On 34th Street and The Muppet Christmas Carol are always guaranteed to warm those cockles.

24th > All good boys and girls go to bed early if they want a visit from Father Christmas. Bake mince pies and leave one out with a glass of sherry, and a carrot for Rudolph. Then hang out the stockings and wait for the Big Day.

How to make your own Christmas cards

How to do embossing > Use store-bought cards, or make your own from card stock.

1. Press a rubber stamp onto an embossing pad. Position the stamp over the card, and apply firm, even pressure to transfer the design. Clean the stamp with a paper towel, then a stamp-cleaning pad.

2. Place the card on a paper plate, then sprinkle embossing powder over the stamped design. Tap the card to remove excess powder, and reapply as needed to coat design. If there is stray powder on the card, very gently spray compressed air from a can fitted with an extension wand.

3. Working in sections, hold a heat gun 2 inches from the design and move the nozzle in a circular motion. The powder-covered areas will melt, creating a glossy finish. Continue until the entire design has melted.

Gently wave the card 3 or 4 times to set the design. If the paper begins to curl, heat the back of the card, and fan it again. Then place the card under a heavy book for 5 to 10 minutes (this will not smudge the design).

Photo cards > You can make a border using a frame-shaped stamp or “photo corners” using a triangular stamp.

1. Emboss your design on a folded card by following the instructions above.

2. Using a utility knife, cut an opening into the card that is slightly smaller than the photograph.

3. Center photo over a piece of card stock (cut to the size of the card) and secure with double-sided tape.

4. Tape the card stock and photo to the inside of the frame.

Sparkling cards > Landscapes and architecture are ideal subjects for cards, and they look great with a dusting of glitter. Many computer programs offer antiquing functions that “age” a photo in seconds. 

1. Working in sections, use a fine-tip brush to apply white glue to an area of the card. If there is snow in your picture, you might glitter those areas. If not, you could glitter spots where snow might fall, such as tree branches.

2. Place on a paper plate and sprinkle with glitter. Shake to remove excess glitter. Let dry.

Making a deckle edge > This gives paper a charming, handmade look.

1. Place a sheet of card stock face down on a flat surface. Align a ruler parallel to one side, about an inch in.

2. Pressing firmly on the ruler, rip the edge of the paper along the length of the ruler. Repeat on the remaining three sides to create desired size.

> use your hands! + lips, tongue and mouth!

editor’s choices > use your hands! + lips, tongue and mouth!

Berries-and-Ivy Wreath > Fashion a wreath of silk ivy and sugar plums to welcome guests and to ring in the New Year.

What you will need >

  • Scissors
  • 2 6-foot coils of artificial ivy garland
  • Pencil
  • 1 16-inch green foam wreath
  • Hot-glue gun and hotmelt adhesive
  • Artificial sugared berries in assorted sizes and colors
  • Wire-edge ribbons (metallic gold and burgundy brocade)
  • Floral wire

Instructions >

1. Snip the ivy leaves from each coil, leaving about 1/4 inch of stem. Separate the leaves into small, medium, and large sizes.

2. Draw a continuous centered line all around the front of the wreath ring. Hot-glue the large leaves to the ring one at a time. Glue the first leaf just to the left of the center line. Glue the second leaf to the right of the line, overlapping half of the first leaf.

3. Continue adding pairs of large leaves, working from side to side and overlapping the stem half of the first leaf pair with the tip half of the second pair. Continue overlapping the layers to cover the front of the ring.

4. Cover the outer edge of the ring with medium-size leaves. Place each leaf next to a large leaf. To conceal any bare areas that might show when the wreath is hung, glue one leaf on top of another, overlapping the stem half of the first leaf with the tip half of the next leaf.

5. Hot-glue the small leaves on the inner side of the ring as directed for the medium-size leaves in Step 3.

6. Hot-glue berries just under the tips of the ivy leaves.

7. Fashion a bow with streamers from the two ribbons. Glue berries to some ribbon loops; then glue the bow to the wreath. Attach a wire hanging loop.

More Ideas >

  • Coordinate an ivy garland with the wreath, adding sugared berries and ribbon bows.
  • Decorate wired silk ivy with sugared berries to wrap around tall glass candleholders.
Next Page »