Holiday Crafts: Rubber Stamp Decorations
These are so simple, the kids can make them on their own. Cut a series of 2- to 3-inch squares from red and white card stock, and simple tree shapes from green card stock. Decorate both sides of the squares with snowflake stamps coated with red craft paint, and use the eraser end of a pencil or flat round sponge to dab dots of dark green paint on both sides of the trees. To create the shadow effect, apply white paint to a clean eraser or sponge and dab off-center over dried green dots. Once dry, cut slits halfway through the paper shapes (for half of the shapes, cut from the top; for the other half, cut from the bottom) and slide them together. Thread a loop of yarn through a pompom, then tie ends through ornament tops.
Roll out a welcome mat brightened with a lively wreath motif. Using chalk, trace the rims of a wastepaper basket and coffee can atop a tightly woven doormat to create a doughnut-shaped ring. Then use round sponges in two sizes to randomly dab paint dots within the ring (vary the intensity of the paint as you go, refreshing sponges with more paint as needed).
Whip up festive cushions in a flash by printing ready-made pillow covers with fresh holiday motifs. Make the large pillow, opposite, by applying fabric paint to the back of a sprig of lemon leaves with a sponge roller brush. Working on a hard surface, place the leafy sprig, paint-side down, on the face of the pillow cover, top with a paper towel and roll over the entire sprig with a clean roller brush to transfer the paint to the fabric. Carefully lift off the sprig and add berry motifs by dipping the eraser end of a pencil into red paint and dabbing in random bunches. To make the small pillow, apply two strips of painter's tape, 1/2 inch apart, down the center of the pillow cover. Use a sponge roller or brush to coat the area between the tape with red fabric paint. Let dry, remove the tape and use rubber stamps to add the leaf and bird motifs.
Put your own decorative stamp on ceramic pieces. Gather up a collection of white and red mismatched cups, saucers and dinner plates, and adorn them with a mix of motifs using rubber stamps and ceramic paint. Bake the dishes following manufacturer's instructions to make the patterns permanent. To hang your completed masterpieces on the wall, mount the plates on plate hooks or—if you want to avoid putting nail holes in the wall—twist a pipe cleaner into a loop and hot-glue it to the back of a plate, then mount the plate to the wall on removable 3M hooks. If you prefer to put them on shelves to bring eye-catching pattern and color to often-neglected places, simply display them using small easels.
Add a personal touch to plain red or white gift wraps with stamps and stickers. Tie a bow around a wrapped box with a strand of contrasting yarn, then fix it in place with small round stickers stamped with the recipient's name or initials. Use rubber stamps and paint to add holiday motifs to wraps or tags, and glue on buttons to create a bunch of berries off the tip of painted greenery.
Craft a contemporary Christmas stocking by cutting two pieces of felt into a stocking shape and stitching around all but the top edges. Fold a strip of cotton or linen in half lengthwise, right sides facing, and then in half again crosswise; stitch the raw edges together with a 1/2-inch seam to form the cuff. Turn right side out, pin and stitch the cuff around the top of the stocking and sew with a 1/2-inch seam. Turn the stocking right side out, fold the cuff over and decorate with fabric paint using round sponges or stamps in any motif you like. Once the paint dries, cure it with an iron to make the motifs permanent.
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