Apple to the Core

Fun & Easy Crafts

 

 All of these crafts are inexpensive and most can be done in less than one hour. So, if you have a free hour and don't want to spend it watching TV,  try one of these. They're fun! And for those who love to make their own Gift Baskets, take a few minutes to check out our Christmas Gift Baskets section, these work for any occasion!

And if you're looking for supplies check our Crafts Supplies.

 

 

Ivy Topiary

  • 2 small ivy plants

  • 6" terra cotta pot

  • potting soil

  • twine

  • heavy gauge wire

  • small pebbles

  • wire cutter

  • needle nose pliers

Cut a strand of wire about 3 feet long. Bend the wire into a circle and use pliers to twist the ends together. The end piece should be about 5 inches long, or long enough to reach the bottom of the pot. Shape the loop into a circle. Put pebbles into the bottom of the pot, fill pot halfway with potting soil and plant your ivies in the center of pot. Make sure the shoots are growing outward in opposite directions. Cover the plants with additional soil and tap the pot to settle the roots. Water generously, allowing excess water to drain. Place your wire topiary form in the the pot between the plants so it is firmly in the soil. Gently wrap the shoots around the twisted wire and onto both sides of the form. Temporarily tie the shoots in place with small pieces of twine. Then watch your topiary grow. This is a great gift for plant lovers!

 

 

 

Candied Flowers

Edible flowers such as roses, violets, pansies, and forget-me-nots look beautiful when crystallized in sugar. Select very fresh flowers and candy them immediately after you pick them. First cut the stem the stem off very short. Add some water to meringue powder (found in specialty bake shops) and brush all over the flower with a small artist's brush. Hold the blossom very gently by the stem with a pair of tweezers. With a shaker, sprinkle superfine white sugar all over the flower. Place on a sheet of wax paper and allow to set for at least 48 hours. Turn a few times so all sides dry evenly.

*If flowers are for decorative purposes only and not for consumption - you can use raw egg whites in place of the meringue powder.

 

 

 

Lavender Dryer/Drawer/Closet Sachet

  • A piece of cotton fabric

  • needle and thread

  • lavender buds

  • string

  • cotton ball

  • decorative ribbon

Cut the fabric into a rectangle, double heart or double circle. With the fabric wrong side up, fold the edges over 1/4: and iron the edges flat. Fold the fabric in half to form your basic shape. Stitch all the way around the shape, leaving a small opening for stuffing. Turn the bag right side out and fill with as many lavender buds as possible, packing tightly. Place the cotton ball inside last, next to the opening, so no buds can escape. (For extra scent, you can put a drop of lavender oil on the cotton ball) Stitch the opening shut..if you like, you can make a drawstring stitch so bad can be reopened. Make a bow with the ribbon and tie it to the sachet, sewing it on securely.

 

 

 

Delight the kids with this sweet Halloween Craft

  • A clean, glass bowl, one for each kid

  • A bunch of candy and gum wrappers

  • Clear water-resistant sealer, such as Thompson's Water Seal

  • water

  • sponge

  • glue

Spread a very thin layer of white craft glue on the outside of a clean, glass bowl. Cover with candy and gum wrappers face down so they can be seen through the inside of the bowl. Let Dry. Glue on a second layer of wrappers with the good side facing out. Let dry. Coat the outside with a clear, water-resistant sealer. To clean bowl, wipe lightly with a damp sponge. Do not Soak.

Fill the bowl with some Halloween treats and enjoy!

 

Jar Jack-O-Lanterns

 Here's a fun, easy way to make some outdoor decorations:

  1. Wash old food jars; let dry.

  2. Cut orange tissue paper into strips to form pumpkin wedges. Glue onto jars; let dry.

  3. Varnish; let dry.

  4. Glue green tissue paper around rim for stems

  5. Cut triangles for eyes and a crooked smile out of black tissue paper. Glue on features, let dry.

  6. Varnish again

  7. Twist floral wires tightly around the mouth of each jar, twisting ends around a pencil to form curled vines. Attach another wire to form handle.

  8. Put a candle inside and have fun!

 

Fun Craft - Marshmallow Cupid - Recipe is for 1 Cupid

  • 2 Jet-Puffed Marshmallows

  • 1 tbl read to spread white frosting

  • 1 Ritz Cracker

  • 2 Jet-Puffed Miniature Marshmallows

  • 1 piece shoestring licorice (3 inches long)

  • decorator icing, small candies and colored sprinkles

Stack 2 large marshmallows, for "body", secure with a small amount of frosting in between marshmallows. Cut Ritz cracker carefully in half.   Use frosting to attach cracker halves to the back of marshmallow stack for wings. Place cut side up and with the wings at a 45 degree angle. Attach miniature marshmallows at the top of the bottom marshmallow for "arms".  Cut licorice crosswise into 2 equal pieces. Use small scissors to "feather" end of 1 piece for the feather end of the "arrow".  Attach small candy to other end for the tip of the arrow. Carefully cut down center of remaining licorice piece to 1/4 of opposite end, using small scissors. Bend 1 side down to for a "bow" for the arrow. Trim other side down to fit. Dampen end slightly; press firmly onto bended bow. Attach bow and arrow  to cupid with remaining frosting.  Use frosting to attach sprinkles on top of cupid for hair. Use 2 small candies for eyes. Cut a small piece from licorice to form a smile on the cupid. Outline the wings with decorator icing. 

 

Parasol Tree Centerpiece

What you'll need:

  • Paper parasols party favors

  • colored drinking straws

  • stiff florist's wire

  • a small, decorative bowl 

  • baby's breath

  • Styrofoam

Wedge Styrofoam into bowl. Cut straws and wires into various lengths. Set wire into foam and slip a straw over it. Pop the parasol on top. Arrange them as you like, fill in bare spaces with baby's breath. 

 

 

  Party Favor Place Settings

What you'll need:

  • clean plastic berry baskets

  • shredded paper 

  • colorful ribbon

  • name tags

  • several types of candy

  • small party favors

Weave a colorful ribbon through the baskets with enough ribbon to have enough to make a bow in the center of one side. Fill basket with colorful shredded paper and fill with small gifts and candy. Attach a name tag beneath the bow and use as place settings.

 

 

Make Natural Ornaments

What you'll need:

  • Towel

  • tacky glue or a low temperature glue gun

  • find naturals such as acorn caps, leaves, miniature rosebuds, flower petals, etc.

  • plastic foam ball

  • 6" pieces of coordinating cord

  • pencil

Use towel to hold the plastic-foam ball while you work.  Use glue to cover the ball with your naturals, use only one natural for each ball. Let dry completely. To form a loop, poke a hold in the ball with a pencil. Cut a 6" coordinating cord, loop it, then poke into the hole with a pencil. Glue securely in place and let dry. Use these balls to decorate a doorway, mantel or table. Place several different kinds in a bowl for a unique centerpiece. 

 

 

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Easy Bay Leaf Wreath

What you'll need:

  • Vine wreath 
  • bay leaf branches (or bay leaves if not possible to get branches)
  • hot glue gun
  • fabric to make small bows 
  • buttons (colors to match fabric of bows)

Hot glue foot long branches of bay leaves to the front. Cut strips 1/2 inch wide from fabric. Make small bows and hot glue buttons to the center. Hot glue the bows to the bay leaves.  Hang this pretty, fragrant wreath in your kitchen for a delightful decoration!

 

Easy Tack Boxes

What you'll need:

  • unfinished wood boxes, different sizes

  • paint, several colors

  • sand paper

  • pencil

  • furniture tacks

  • wire cutters and hammer

  • small nail

Paint an unfinished wood boxes and let dry. Gently sand the edges and wipe clean with a soft cloth. Lightly pencil on a design you wish to put your tacks to. Cut 1/4 inch off each furniture tack with wire cutters (to prevent point from penetrating too far). Hammer in a small nail to start each tack hole. Push in tacks with your finger and then hammer.

 

Easter Chick Nursery

What you'll need:

  • twelve 1" yellow pompoms
  • twelve 1" yellow pompoms
  • orange felt for beaks
  • 24 tiny black beads for eyes
  • twelve 3/4"-diameter plastic Easter eggs that open
  • Tacky glue
  • Toothpicks
  • Easter grass
  • Empty 12-egg carton

Glue a small pompom to large pompom to form chick's head and body (separate some fibers to attach them more easily). Cut diamond shape from felt small enough for the little chicks' beaks. Fold in half. Using a toothpick, run glue along the inside of the fold and press together to hold beak shape. Put glue on outside of beak fold and insert between fibers on heat. Glue  beads on, above the beak for eyes. Place small amount of glue in bottom of Easter egg half, place chick on glue with head up (as if cheeping). Note: Some kids like to take the chicks out of the eggs, so the glue is optional here. Arrange chick-filled Easter eggs on plastic grass in an egg carton.

Tip: For more fun, paint and decorate the egg carton in pastel colors.

 

Christmas Bells

What you'll need:

  • 2 clean, dry yogurt plastic yogurt containers or 8 ounce Styrofoam cups
  • Paper plate or palette
  • Acrylic craft paints - gold metallic and red
  • Crackle finish 
  • Small Flat paint brush
  • 3 red pipe cleaners (chenille stems)
  • six 1/2" jingle bells
  • white (tacky) glue
  • two 2 or 4 hole buttons
  • craft scissors or wire cutters
  • nylon thread

Place small amounts of paint on paper plate or palette as needed.  Apply additional coats as needed but allow complete drying between each coat.

Paint the entire surface, inside and out, of each container. Let dry. Paint buttons and bells metallic gold. Let dry. Apply crackle finish to the outside of one container, following the manufacturer's directions. Then apply red paint to the outside of the that same container. Let Dry.

Cut one pipe cleaner in half. Fold one length in half. Thread ends of pipe cleaner through a button from back to front. Then fold the ends towards the center making two loops to look like a bow. Twist the ends close to the button to secure the bow.  Repeat, using the other half of the pipe cleaner and the other button.

Invert each container and glue the flat side of the button centered onto the bottom of each container.  Thread three bell onto center of one remaining pipe cleaner. Gently fold pipe cleaner in half and twist ends together, making a 4" long loop. Repeat, using remaining pipe cleaner and bells. Glue ends of pipe cleaner to inside bottom of containers, allowing bells to extend about one inch below container. 

Finally, tie a loop of nylon thread to bow for hanger. Hang on tree and enjoy!

 

Herb Planter Gift 

What you'll need:

  • 3 small terra-cotta pots with drainage holes and a matching tray to hold all three
  • White acrylic paint
  • foam brush
  • 3 different Culinary herbs in 2" pots
  • Blue & White checked ribbon (or your choice of color)
  • Cellophane

Coat flowerpots and tray with white acrylic paint. Let dry completely. Water herbs deeply by allowing their pots to stand overnight in about 1/4" water. Drain completely. Gently remove plant from nursery pot; keep rootball intact. Place the rootball into painted flowerpot. Tamp the soil into the pot, being careful not to pack it too tightly. Wrap the ribbon around the pot. Tie the ribbon into a bow and trim the tails. Cut the ends of the ribbon into an inverted "V". Place the potted herbs in the tray. Wrap the cellophane around the three pots and tray and decorate with a large bow. Be sure to do this last step just before presenting the gift.

 

Edible Cookie Bowl

What you'll need:

  • 1 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa
  • 1/4 cup blanched, slivered almonds, finely ground
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 4 tbl (1/2 stick) margarine, softened
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • assorted cookies to fill edible bowl
  • loaf pan
  • 1" cookie cutter with scalloped edges

Cover the outside of a loaf pan with foil. Spray the foil with Pam or any other vegetable cooking spray. In a medium bowl, mix together flour, cocoa powder, ground almonds and salt. In a large bowl, using an electric mixer set on medium speed, beat together margarine, sugar, egg and vanilla until light and fluffy. Beat in flour mixture.

Shaping the Cookie Bowl: Preheat oven to 350. Roll dough out to 1/8" thickness. Using a 1" cookie cutter with scalloped edges, cut out as many shapes as possible. Cover the prepared loaf pan with cutouts, overlapping them slightly so there are no openings between the cookies. Bake cookie bowl until edges are firm, about 10 to 12 minutes. Transfer pan to a wire rack and cool completely. To remove the cookie bowl, carefully lift it off the foil-lined loaf pan. Remove foil.  Arrange cookies in the cookie bowl. Cover loosely with plastic wrap until ready to serve.

Tip: To blanch whole almonds, place them in a bowl and cover with bowling water. Drain water, then slip off the skins by squeezing  the almonds between you index finger and thumb. Pat dry with paper towels. Spread the almonds on a baking sheet in single layer. Bake at 325 for about ten minutes.

If making as a gift, wrap cookie bowl in colorful plastic wrap like a fruit basket and tie with a big colorful bow.

Variations:

  • Make a round cookie bowl by overlapping the cookie disks over a round OVEN-PROOF bowl. Use different shaped bowls to make a varied selection of cookie bowls. 

  • Make a small cookie bowl and fill with M&M's or any other little chocolate candies.

  • Make tiny cookie bowls (a muffin pan works very well) and fill with ice cream for a fun dessert treat. 

 

Crafts for Kids

Handprinted T-Shirt

Get a bunch of fabric paint and however many new white t-shirts you need to have one for each child. Let them dip their hands into the fabric paint and and use their hands to make butterflies and birds on their t-shirts. Dip fingertips to make dots all around the shirt.

Placemats

Get at least 4 or 5 different colors of construction paper. Use one color for the mat itself. Make cutout forks, knives, spoons and a plate. Dot each cutout with glue so it will stay on the place mat for the following step. Cover front and back with clear adhesive vinyl and trim edges for a finished placemat. 

Sand Jars

Make your own sand jars from salt and small jars.  Tint salt by mixing in colored chalk (rub with sandpaper to make a chalk powder). Then layer into jars. Bend paper to use as a pourer, tamping down to make salt settle as you go. Use at least 4 different colors for the best effects. If the jar has a lid with writing on it, paint the lid with one of the colors of the sand. 

Foil Pictures

On construction paper, using string and glue, draw a picture. When satisfied with the picture, cover with crumpled aluminum foil and press until the string picture is showing up well through the foil. Paint the foil and let dry. These make cute pictures to frame.

Egg Carton Caterpillar

Cut a cardboard egg carton in half, and trim away everything but the egg cups themselves. Be sure to keep the egg cups connected to each other. Then brush on acrylic paint, a different color for each egg cup. Glue on fuzzy pipe cleaners for the legs and the antennae. Glue fuzzy dots on top of each egg cup, a color different from color of the egg cup. Draw a face with pen or cut out using construction paper. 

 

 

Cute Kitchen Magnets

What you'll need for Pie Slices Magnets:

  • Decorative clay in red, white, brown, beige and blue
  • Paring knife
  • flexible magnet strip
  • White glue

Form a "piecrust" in beige clay. This can be made as little or as big as you want. But the smaller the pie, the cuter the magnet. Cut the pie into slices. Create a different kind of pie in each slice as follows:

  • Cheesecake - white filling with blue or red berries on top

  • Chocolate - dark brown filling with white topping

  • Berry - fill with red or blue berries with beige pastry strips on top

After the pies are completely finished and you are satisfied with the product, join the elements together with glue. Cut small segments from the magnet strip and glue on the bottom of pie slice. 

What you'll need for Ice Cream Cone Magnets:

  • Decorative clay in red, white, brown, beige

  • Paring knife

  • Flexible magnet strip

  • white glue

From triangular "cones" and texture with a paring knife. Form ice cream "scoops" as follows: Roll clay into ball of various flavors (colors) Note: mix red and white clay to make strawberry.  Use 2 scoops of ice cream for each cone. Cut small segments from magnet strip and glue on back.

 

Hand Painted Christmas Ornaments

What you'll need:

  • Clear glass ornaments
  • Gold puff paint
  • Ultra-fine glitter
  • Dry brush
  • Gold metallic ribbon, 1" wide
  • Craft glue
  • Pearlescent ornaments
  • Sea sponge

Use puff paint to add dots, squiggly line and evenly spaced lines all over the ornament. Try dotted spirals and vertical lines too. While still damp, dust with glitter. Hang to dry. When glitter is dry, remove excess with a dry brush. Tie a gold metallic ribbon to the hanger. Vary the ribbon color to coordinate with the glitter hue, or add a contrasting ribbon for interesting effects. 

For the pearlescent ornament, coat craft glue light onto the surface with a sea sponge. Use a random pattern to achieve the most attractive effect. While still damp, dust with glitter. Discard glitter residue. Hang to dry. Put several of these in a clear glass bowl for a nice effect.

 

Sock Babies (for kids)

What you'll need:

  • some little girls' anklets with lace trim at the top
  • Fiberfill or cotton balls for stuffing
  • Thread
  • Thin silky ribbon
  • Fabric paint and paintbrush or needle and thread for face

Fill the sock halfway with stuffing. Tie the open end of the sock tightly using a long piece of the thread. (heavy thread works best). Fold cuff down to form a bonnet on top. Tie a ribbon around the neck of the doll. Use fabric paint and thin paint brush to add eyes, nose and mouth of doll. Or use needle and thread to cross stitch the features.

 

Small Potpourri Pillows

What you'll need:

  • Six inch square pieces of pretty fabric 
  • needle and thread
  • Polyester filling for stuffing
  • Handfuls of the following: juniper, pine needles, rose petals, chrysanthemums or fresh herbs

You will need to start this project two weeks before the final step. Place the flowers flat on newspapers and hang herbs to dry in a cool dark place for about two weeks. 

To make the pillow, put the "right side" out of the fabric pieces together and sew three sides closed, leaving a one half inch hem. Turn the pillow right side out.

Cut out a five-inch square of stuffing and mike it into a pocket for your flowers and herbs. Once you have stuffed and filled the pillow, fold the unfinished fabric edges under toward the pillow and sew them closed. As a finishing touch, you might want to sew on a few bits of ribbon, lace or yarn as decorations. 

Enjoy the lasting scent of summertime!

 

Basket for Easter Cookies

What you'll need:

  • Small wicker basket with handle (painted white preferably)
  • miniature canning jars
  • Cookies and cookie decorations
  • white and pink acrylic paints and small paintbrush
  • large bunny cookie cutter
  • hot glue gun
  • Pink excelsior and wire-edged ribbon
  • Bunny and bear cookie cutters
  • silk flowers

Add a pink dot to each square on the outside of the basket (or every other square looks nice too). Fill the canning jars with pastel sprinkles or colorful sugar crystals. Hot glue the large bunny cookie cutter onto the side of the basket. Fill the basket almost to the top with the pink excelsior. You can make your own excelsior by cutting tissue paper into thin strips. Add basket contents: cookies, frosting tubes, cookie cutters and jars of sprinkles or sugar crystals. Tie bows of wire edged ribbon onto the handles and hot glue silt flowers to the center of the bows.

Voila! A thoughtful Easter gift for a friend or coworker. 

 

Seashell Candles

What you'll need:

  • Seashells
  • sand or rice
  • tea lights
  • paraffin
  • knife
  • chopping block
  • potholder
  • double boiler or microwave oven and glass measuring cup

Wash the seashells. Dry thoroughly. To stabilize the shell while pouring was, sit them upright in a sand or rice-filled bowl or container. Remove tin casing from tea lights. Gently pull the metal core from the bottom of the tea light to remove the wick. Place the metal core with the wick standing upright in the center of the shell. Cut paraffin into 1-inch cubes, using a sharp knife on a chopping block. If using a double boiler, heat paraffin cubes over medium heat until wax melts (about 5 minutes). If you are using a microwave oven, put the cubes in a measuring cup and heat high for about six minutes of until melted. Remove melted wax very carefully from microwave; pour was slow into shell. If using a double boiler, follow same instructions. 

 

  Nature-Stamped Gift Boxes

What you'll need:

  • Gift boxes
  • white paper
  • scissors
  • green acrylic paint
  • sponge brush
  • leaf
  • scrap paper
  • scotch tape

Cut white paper to fit gift box. Using a sponge brush, coat the textured side of the leaf with green acrylic paint. Place paint-coated side of the leaf onto the white paper. Lay scrap paper on top of leaf, then press with fingers, being careful not to move leaf. Lift leaf: repeat each step until entire paper is imprinted with leaves in a random order. Neatly wrap the box using scotch tape to secure the edges. For a variety, experiment with different paint colors, ribbons, and types of paper.

Your friends and family will love and appreciate their one-of-a-kind wrapped gifts.

Make your own Gift Baskets

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