Modern Christmas Crafts

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

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Warm Welcome


Give your front door the star treatment. Remove the hanging loop from star ornaments and spray with white primer. Coat with Mod Podge, cover with glitter and let dry. Use a needle to poke a hole in the stars, pull floral wire through the openings and attach each to an evergreen wreath.

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House of Cards


'Tis the season to branch out. Arrange holiday greetings from friends and family in the shape of a Christmas tree. Affix to the wall with painter's tape or Scotch removable adhesive squares.

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Take a Bough


Create a memorable mantel. Group different sizes and styles of vases, and fill with fresh foliage and berries. Twinkling mercury glass votives, silver figurines and a garland of felted pompoms up the ante.

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It's a Wrap


Special delivery from Santa: Yule-tied packages. Customize plain white paper packages with snowflake stamps, patterned ribbon and metallic twine. Embellish with jingle bells, tree cuttings and felt stars.

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Dressed for Dinner


Accent your table with our easiest-ever centerpiece. Place greenery on a cake stand and top with an array of glass ornaments in pinks, limes and blues.

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Grand Opening


Show your holiday spirit in the entry hall. Arrange fresh or silk poinsettias and evergreens in a vase, and fill bowls with old-fashioned peppermint candies. Set on top of a silver tray for extra sparkle, if desired.

Originally published in the December 2014 issue of Family Circle magazine.

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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.

Download stocking template here

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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.

Download plate designs template here

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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.


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.

Download tree template here

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Mantel Decor: Reindeer


A woodsy Rudolph lends a jolly vibe to the mantel.


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.

Get the reindeer template

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Greeting Cards and Snowmen


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


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.

Download card template here