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Modern Christmas Crafts

Stylish takes on snowflakes, garlands and wreaths give your home a fresh, new look for the holidays.

Craft styling by Suzonne Stirling

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Christmas ornaments
Photography by Alexandra Grablewski
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Ornaments

A pretty ornament adds a seasonal accent to each place setting.

Directions: Remove the cap from a clear glass ball ornament and insert a sprig of greenery inside, using tweezers to arrange if necessary. Replace the ornament cap and tie on a length of ribbon.

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Take a Stand

Dress up the table with a display of your favorite holiday greeting cards.

Directions: Arrange evergreen sprigs, shiny ornaments and small packages with cards on a tiered stand. If you don't own a tiered stand, stack a small cake stand on top of a larger one for a similar effect and decorate as above.

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Season's Greenings

Transform a mirror into something special with a boxwood garland.

Directions: Cut twine 4 inches longer than desired length of garland and tie a knot at one end. Thread a 1-inch round glass bead onto the twine. Clip 4- to 5-inch-long sprigs of boxwood and push the ends into the hole of the bead to secure. Attach boxwood sprigs to twine using small pieces of green floral wire. Slide another bead onto twine and repeat the process with boxwood, securing stems into the hole of the bead and wiring with floral wire. Repeat process until the entire piece of twine is covered. Tie a knot to finish, then push sprigs of greenery into the first and last beads to create finished ends.

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Large Print

Graphic, glittery papier-mâché letters make a bold statement on the mantel.

Directions: For letters, using a flat paintbrush, paint the front of 12-inch papier-mâché letters with white acrylic craft paint. When dry, paint the sides and interior of letters with red paint. Add a second coat if needed. When fully dry, brush Mod Podge in matte finish on the front of each letter with a foam brush and sprinkle with coarse clear glitter, shaking off excess. Allow Mod Podge to dry fully before handling.

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Small Pleasures

Turn a glass vase into a miniature winter wonderland.

Directions: Arrange sheet moss in the bottom of a vase and top with bottle brush trees, holly and ornaments of your choice. Dust with fake snow.

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Sprucing Up

A cluster of decorative plates gives an empty wall woodsy flair.

Directions: Print downloadable botanical images onto decal paper and cover with acrylic clear coat spray. Set aside to dry, then cut around edges of design. Place decal paper in a shallow dish filled with water. After 2 to 3 minutes, the decal will start to curl away from its backing. Slide the image off and apply it face up on the plate, positioning as desired. (Decals are easier to work with when wet.) Using a wet paper towel, smooth the decal and gently press out any bubbles or ridges. Blot excess water. Let dry thoroughly, approximately 2 hours.

Tip: To create a red border, run a medium-tip red oil paint pen around edges of plates. Let dry before hanging.

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Wreath

Ring in the season with a graphic riff on the traditional wreath.

Directions: Hot-glue wooden beads onto the front of a wreath form in clusters, mixing sizes as you go—save the smallest ones to fill in empty spaces. Then glue beads onto the inside edge, finishing up with the outer edge. Adhere red felt balls to the front of the wreath as shown.

Quick Tip: For these projects use the lightest, thinnest wood veneer in the craft store's woodworking section. We chose Arc Crafts' BARC paper.

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Tabletop Trees

Classic shapes and bold colors dress up tabletop trees.

Directions

Tree with dots: Trace template (download below) onto medium-weight BARC paper and cut out shape. Follow template and punch circles as marked. Glue onto felt, trim edges and punch hole for hanging.

Scalloped tree: Trace tree template onto medium-weight BARC paper and cut out. Trace scallop templates onto medium-weight BARC paper and felt as labeled—two wood and three felt per ornament. Glue scallops onto tree as shown. Punch hole for hanging.

Disk ornaments: With decorative punches, create a design (like a snowflake) and a contrasting color circle from card stock. Glue design on top of circle, then adhere to a wooden disk. Using an awl or a thin nail, make a hole in top of wooden disk to fit a screw eye. Attach string for hanging.

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Mantel Decor: Reindeer

A woodsy Rudolph lends a jolly vibe to the mantel.

Directions

Reindeer: Trace templates (download below) onto the heaviest BARC white paper backing and cut out. Glue pieces together, paper sides facing in. Assemble as marked. To make the mount, apply Mod Podge to the back of a piece of decorative paper cut to size and cover the front of a wooden plaque. Smooth out any air bubbles with your fingers. Brush on one to two thin coats of Mod Podge over the surface; let dry thoroughly. Attach the reindeer head to the surface with glue.

Garland: Fold in half a 12-foot length of perle cotton thread and tie a knot at the end. Thread ends into a tapestry needle and insert through a red felt ball. Add two 3/4-inch wooden beads, followed by an orange ball, three wooden beads, another red ball and so on until the string is almost covered, ending with a felt ball. Pull the threaded needle back through the felt ball and tie a knot.

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Greeting Cards and Snowmen

Bring some handmade flair to the season with jaunty snowmen and cheerful cards.

Directions

Stitched cards: Cut pieces of medium-weight BARC paper to desired sizes. On a surface such as heavy-duty cardboard or a cutting mat, place template (download below) over paper and use a needle tool or long needle to make holes as indicated. Thread a needle with floss and stitch designs, taping the ends on the reverse side of the wood. When design is complete, adhere wood to a piece of colored card stock, trim edges and attach to a blank card.

Snowmen: Hot-glue two wooden balls together to create a body. To make a nose, twist a tiny strip of orange felt, secure with glue, then trim into a triangular shape. Adhere to face with glue. Use a small hole punch to make felt eyes and buttons. Tie on felt scraps as scarves. Create hats with an assortment of objects—from spools of thread glued to wooden disks to mini flower pots.

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