December 13, 2012

Holiday Crafts: Meg from borrowed heaven

Today, I'm really happy to be able to share some Christmas crafts with you.  Christmas crafts that I totally didn't make...which means they are even easier to share.  Meg put together tutorials (something I do not do) so my readers can get a taste of craftiness for once.  Thank you, Meg!  I'd love to give all 3 of these a whirl.

Hi everyone, my name is Meg and I blog over at borrowed heaven.
borrowed heaven
I really started blogging around last Christmas because I loved the idea of sharing holiday favorites [before I ever heard about pinterest].  I have loved Christmas my whole life, it was a really big deal in my small family when I was growing up.  We put up all of our decorations the day after Thanksgiving, and my dad and I always begged to keep everything up until Martin Luther King, Jr. Day.

I thought I would share with you three of my favorite parts of my family's Christmas - homemade Christmas: gifts, tree ornaments, and cookies.

Homemade Christmas Gift: Winter Evergreen Arrangements/ Centerpieces
My mom made one of these each year for our centerpiece.  When I was in high school [and didn't have a lot of money] I started making these for family members and family friends as presents.  They loved them and I have given them as gifts every year.

What you need: small festive basket/planter, oasis, evergreen branches [pine, spruce, fir, holly - anything you can find in your yard], small Christmas ornaments, wood floral picks, spray glitter, knife, and scissors

Here's what you do:
- Cut the oasis so that it fits snugly in the small planter.  It can stay its square shape.  It should stick up a few inches above the top of the planter so that you have room to arrange everything.
- Wet the oasis, but not to the point of soaking and put it in the planter.
- Cut your evergreen branches into a few small pieces.  It is best to stick each piece straight into the center of the oasis so that it can absorb the water.  Also, try not to stick in and take out the evergreen pieces too many times, the oasis permanently forms to each piece, and it's important to have a snug fit.
- Follow the photo pattern below: Start by arranging along the edge of the planter with different types of evergreen, then all around the top.  Make sure you look at the arrangement from different angles [top, bottom, all sides] to make sure you can't see any oasis.
- Use the wire on the wood picks to attach the ornaments to them.  Put these into the oasis last.  These work great to cover any large holes in the oasis and give color.
- If any of your evergreen pieces stick out too far, don't be afraid to trim them back.
- Finish will a little spray glitter.
- Don't forget to water it every few days to keep it green throughout the holiday season.  You can even take out the ornaments and add snowflakes or hearts to keep it through the whole winter!

Homemade Christmas Tree Ornament: Cinnamon Ornaments
Every Christmas when I was young, my mom and I made these for our Christmas tree.  They smell WONDERFUL.  My mom let me pick out 1 or 2 new cookie cutters each year, so you can imagine how many we have.  I haven't made them in probably 8 years, but I thought it would be fun to use them as gift tags this year, so I will be adding names to them after I bake them.

What you need: 1 cup applesauce, 5 oz ground cinnamon [and a little extra to keep dough from sticking], 2 tablespoons of Elmer's glue, cookie cutters, a rolling pin, wax paper, a straw

Here's what you do:
- Preheat the oven to 200 degrees.
- Combine applesauce, cinnamon, and glue in a large bowl.  Mix with a wooden spoon or your hands.  It should form a pretty solid dough ball.  
- Put a piece of wax paper down and spread a little bit of cinnamon on it to keep the dough from sticking [like with flour for baking].
- Put the dough ball on the wax paper and cover with more cinnamon and another sheet of wax paper
- Roll it out until it's about the thickness of a straw.
- Cut as many shapes out of it as possible.
- Keep rolling and cutting until all the dough is used up.
- Put the ornaments on a wax paper lined baking sheet.
- Use the straw to cut holes for string to hang the ornaments after they're done baking.
- Bake the ornaments on the wax paper for an hour, then remove the wax paper and bake for another hour and a half [all on the same side].
- You will know they're done when they are no longer dough-y on the bottom.

Homemade Christmas Cookie: Chocolate Covered Shortbread
My mom's "cookie tray" is world famous.  Each Christmas, she doesn't make any pies or cakes, but she makes over 10 types of cookies: chocolate chip, oatmeal, fig filled, italian, fudge, peanut butter squares, jelly, but her shortbread has always been my favorite.

What you need: 1/2 pound butter, 1/2 cup confectionary sugar, pinch of salt, 2 cups flour, few cups of chocolate chips, 1 tablespoon Crisco, sprinkles

Here's what you do:
- Combine flour, salt, sugar and butter in a large bowl.  Mix completely on medium.
- Roll into dough ball and then into individual sticks.
- Place cookies on cookie sheet and put in refrigerator for 2 hours until hardened.
-  Preheat oven to 325 degrees and bake for 12 to 15 minutes.
- Let cool completely.
- Melt 3 cups of chocolate chips and about a tablespoon of Crisco together in the microwave on medium until smooth.  Check it and stir every 30 or so seconds.
- Dip shortbread cookies halfway into chocolate and place back on cookie sheet.
- Decorate with festive sprinkles and refrigerate until chocolate is hard.

Thanks for checking out my Christmas favorites - please stop by my blog for more baking/diy/renovation/adventure ideas and posts!  Thank you so much to Kristin for allowing me to guest post!


  1. I think I'm going to need to make those cinnamon ornaments...!!!

  2. I bet those ornaments add a nice aroma to the house. Cute crafts!

  3. I really do love DIY gifts. Nice ideas- those cookies look divine. I'd totally take a cookie tray. :)


  4. I love these crafts! Super fun and easy. :)

  5. omg the chocolate shortbread cookies are taunting me lol I will be making these most definitely!
    Girlfriends Are Like Shoes


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