The Tribune - Spectrum

Sunday, December 15, 2002

Sunday Activity

Craft nifty gifts for festive season
Chetna Banerjee

Adorn strips of old greeting cards with beads to make bookmarks
Adorn strips of old greeting cards with beads to make bookmarks

ONCE again, it's that time of the year when the holiday season is upon us and the New year is a breath away, when the mood is to soak in the balmy winter sun and bask in the warm company of our loved ones. It is a time to reaffirm our feelings for friends and family, to wish for renewed strength of existing bonds and to hope of forging sweeter and more meaningful ties in this forward-rotating cycle of living.

And what can be more endearing and heart-warming than a gift or token for kith and kin made with one's own hands, entwined with the thread of care and sealed with our love for them! As they say, it is the thought that counts. It is best to pour your caring thoughts into creating tokens of love and gratitude out of everyday, household objects, thus turning them into treasured memorabilia. Such knick-knacks will indeed be dear to those whom you gift them without costing a fortune!

Bookmarks from old cards: Cut coloured chart paper or old greeting cards into the size of a bookmark. Then reach out for any broken bead necklaces or bracelets you may have stored. Thread the funky coloured beads together with golden skeins and stitch them on to one edge of the bookmark. You can also stick glitter on to the bookmarks to add a touch of festive brightness. Parts of old cards with pictures of flowers can be recycled into bookmarks by embellishing them with satin ribbons or by sticking stars and metallic beads on them. Else, you can cut the craft paper into zany shapes of cartoon characters or in the shape of a pillar candle, a Christmas tree or star. To lend a Yuletide touch to it top it with a sprig of artificial holly leaves or little metallic stars.

Convert pillow covers into sacks for Father Christmas
Convert pillow covers into sacks for Father Christmas

Christmas sack from old pillow cover: Lend your creative touch to turn an old pillow cover into a brand new Santa sack. All you need are a couple of satin ribbons, fancy coloured lace, a needle and thread and some fabric paints (optional). Hem a bright, frilly red lace on the edges of a white pillow cover. Dip into your fabric paints and make big jingling bells or a Santa face in the centre. Fold the open side of the cover about one inch inwards and hem it . Inserting a thick satin ribbon into it to close the sack. Append two-three tiny bells to the edge of the ribbons and embellish the sack with decorations that symbolise the X-mas or the New Year sentiments.


Zany candleholders: This is the season for candles. Making candleholders of common household items would thus be an ideal gift for near and dear ones. Tiny glass jars or wine goblets can be bedecked with junk jewellery, beads, etc, and be gifted as candleholders. String together a number of multi-coloured beads into a thin wire and wrap it around a small glass jar to cover it completely. Viola! You have an interesting holder for pillar candles. Or tie an oxidised silver necklace or a bead bracelet around the rim of a wine goblet, stick on a dash of glitter and this goblet-turned-candleholder will sparkle like a gem on the table you set up for the New Year feast.

Shell-embossed photo frame: Take a standard size tile. Place a family photo or a picnic photo with family friends in the centre and mark its outline with a pen. The size of the picture should be such that a one-inch border is left empty on all four sides. Remove the picture and apply fevicol on the border and stick sea shells on it. Let them set and dry. Now stick the picture in the centre. If you wan t to be truly innovative, you can substitute macaroni for the shells and apply a coat of paint on it to get a very unique phote frame!

Key holder from curtain rings: Take a couple of metallic curtain hooks. Cut out two pieces of satin into rounds to match the round part of the curtain hook. Place the round pieces on either side of the hook. Insert a round piece of thin foam of the same size in between the satin pieces and sew the edges with silken thread. Make a tiny loop with a dori or string on the upper side of the hook that will be hung on a nail. Use buttons and beads to make eyes, a mouth and a nose to give it the appearance of a smiling face. Or make it like the face of Santa by topping it with a red cap and sticking some cotton in place of the snowy beard. That's an unusual key holder ready to be gifted for the festive season!

X-mas socks from quilted cushion covers: Odd pairs of quilted cushion covers that may no longer be in use can be cut into the shape of mega-sized socks, the upper and lower parts sewn together, leaving the mouth of the sock open. Cut strips of satin ribbons of different hues into varying lengths. Trim their edges into zigzag patterns to give an irregular, frayed look. Tack them on to the mouth of the sock in such a way that they hang out. You can also add strings with little hearts or tie tiny bells or stars at the end.

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