4 Holiday Crafts Projects to Make Your Philly Home Merry and Bright
Want to add a little homemade holiday flair to your decor for Christmas or Hanukkah? Whether you’re a regular in crafting circles or haven’t picked up a pair of scissors in years, DIY decorations can make your home festive this season.
Decorating for the holiday season is serious business in Philly. Many people break out their winter holiday decorations the day after Thanksgiving, and some blocks go all out, creating an amazing light display for the month of December. If you want to add some holiday glitz to your Philly home, without investing in lots of lights or spending hours combing the aisles of decorations at your nearest big box store, try making some holiday crafts this year. Even if you can’t draw a straight line and haven’t visited the craft aisle in years, you can find something to make to add a bit of festive cheer to your home.
Next time you have two or three decently sized, intact pumpkins left from Halloween or Thanksgiving, no need to toss them out. Instead, you can repurpose them into one of the simplest holiday crafts imaginable: pumpkin snowmen! Spray paint each pumpkin white and let dry. Once the pumpkins are dry, stack one on top of the other and add glue to hold them in place. Decorate your snowman pumpkins however you’d like. You can glue buttons on for eyes, put a hat on top of its head or cut a piece of orange felt into a triangle for its nose. If you want to make a snowman you can use for many seasons to come, use fake pumpkins instead of real ones.
Decorate for Hanukkah this year by turning simple wooden dreidels into a garland. Martha Stewart recommends gluing a small pony bead to the handle of a dreidel, so you can thread it onto ribbon for a garland. After the glue has dried and the pony bead is securely in place, paint the dreidels blue and white using craft paint. You can also coat them with a layer of craft glue, then sprinkle glitter all over them. Let the dreidels dry, then thread onto a length of ribbon and hang along the wall.
You’ll need some craft skills to complete this next project, but the tiny, adorable Santa Clauses you make might be worth the effort. Loop, a yarn store on South Street in the Graduate Hospital neighborhood, sells Mochimochi Land kits that allow you to knit two one-inch-tall Santa figures. The kits contain the yarn, pattern, and stuffing. You’ll also need a set of size 1 double pointed needles. If you get stuck, you can stop by the store on Wednesdays or Thursdays for one of their project classes, and receive individual attention from an instructor.
Handmade rolled beeswax candles can help you decorate for either Christmas or Hanukkah. Make the candles small enough to fit in a menorah, or use a bigger sheet of wax to make a pillar that will fill a hurricane glass. To make the candles, you’ll need sheets of beeswax in whatever color you like, wicks, a box cutter or knife, and a hair dryer. Cut the wax sheets to the size you want, then place a length of wick along one edge of the wax. Roll the wax around the wick, as tightly as you can. Once the candle is rolled, point the hairdryer at it to gently melt the wax and seal it closed.
Along with sprucing up your home for the holidays, you can also give your homemade decorations as gifts. Or put a spin on the traditional cookie swap, and have your friends over for a holiday-themed craft night.
Image Source: Flickr/Marco Arment