Cookie cutters in a variety of seasonal shapes-such as candy canes, stockings, stars, and trees- can be the basis for many projects. Trace them on paper, adding 1/4-inch seam allowances. Pin a paper pattern to two layers of fabric and cut out the shape. With right sides facing, stitch them together, leaving an opening at the top for turning. Turn them right side out and stuff lightly with polyester fiberfill. Insert a ribbon loop for hanging and slipstitch the opening closed.
Another cookie-cutter idea involves nonedible dough. Combine 4 cups flour with 1 cup salt; using your hands, gradually mix in 11/2 cups water. Knead for a few minutes, then on a floured surface roll out the dough to 1/4 inch thick. Flour the cookie cutter rims and cut out shapes. Use a meat skewer to make make tiny holes at the tops for hanging. Bake the shapes on a cookie sheet at 300F for 40 minutes. Let them cool, then decorate with acrylic paints.
Cut out cookie-cutter shapes from heavy cardboard. Thinly coat both sides with white glue, then wrap the shapes with closely spaced multicolored or metallic yams.
Outline cookie-cutter shapes on scrap plywood and cut them out with a jigsaw. Drill hanging holes in the tops. Paint on faces, clothing, or other appropriate motifs. Spray with acrylic sealer or coat with clear shellac. Ideas with other familiar objects Trim assorted straw flowers or dried herbs so that the stems are about 1 inch long. Insert the stems in a styro
foam ball, covering it completely. Attach a ribbon loop with a straight pin.
Buy miniature handled baskets (sold in craft and hobby shops); fill them with dried herbs and tiny dried flowers, such as baby’s breath. Tie a ribbon bow on the handle.
Cut rounds, ovals, or diamonds from bright-colored illustration or mat board. Cut motifs from gift wrap or old greeting cards, and use white glue to attach them to the board. Punch a hole at the top for hanging. Spray both sides with acrylic sealer.
Start with two circles of muslin or other plain cotton. Using stencils and acrylic paints, apply color with a small piece of sponge or a stencil brush. Or color the stencil areas with fabric crayons and set the color with an iron. Stitch the circles together, leaving an opening; turn and stuff with polyester fiberfill. Tack on a loop for hanging. A fabric wreath might be decorated with purchased embroidered appliques for the look of hand stitched motifs. Stitch and finish as above.
Make a star of five clip-type clothespins: remove the springs; paint or stain the wood; rejoin the two clothespin parts with white glue. Position the five to form a star; glue them together; let dry thoroughly.
Clothespin halves back to back
To “marbleize” purchased glass ornaments, spray several colors of oil base paint onto part of the surface of cold water in a bucket. Slowly swirl the colors with a toothpick, leaving some water clear. Dip an ornament into the paint; remove it through the clear spot. Dry ornaments on a rack.
Use patchwork patterns from quilting books or magazines to create paper patchwork ornaments. Cut the patches from gift wraps. Glue them to cardboard; trim away excess backing. Punch small holes in tops; add a ribbon loop for hanging.