Last-Minute Lovelies
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Last-Minute Lovelies

If time is running out on holiday shopping, the last thing you have time for is a handmade gift, right? Well, think again. These quick holiday projects will dazzle even the most finicky person on your list.

Cut Out Candles

Children will love making these easy candles -- and so will you.

What You Need:
Star Beeswax Candles
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Tiny candles make great gifts.

  • Cookie cutter, any shape
  • Candlewick
  • 2 sheets beeswax

Instructions:

1. Cut out shapes. Lay sheets of beeswax individually on cutting board. Cut out shapes with cookie cutter.

2. Stack. Place 2 layers of beeswax together, placing wick in between; press together.

3. To burn candles: Secure them on another small piece of beeswax or on a nonflammable surface so they won't tip over. Do not leave burning candles unattended.

Have a Ball

Old ornaments get a boost when teamed with sheer ribbon and a small bucket. This little tree makes the perfect sentimental --and stylish -- gift.

What You Need:
Ornament Tree
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This shiny tree is a sure holiday hit!

  • Plastic foam cone
  • Spray paint, green or as desired
  • Green and blue ornament balls, or as desired
  • U-shaped floral pins
  • Sheer ribbon
  • Glue
  • Small bucket or similar-sized container

Instructions:

1. Paint cone. Spray-paint plastic foam cone a color similar to your ornaments.

2. Secure cone inside bucket with a small dab of glue.

3. Attach ornaments to cone. Thread 2 or 3 ornaments onto a U-shaped floral pin. Starting at the bottom of the cone, press groups of ornaments onto the form until it is full. Point pins downward as you get closer to the tip of the cone.

4. Add ribbon. To top the tree, gather sheer ribbon into a bow, leaving the ends long enough to drape down the sides of the tree. Secure with U-shaped pin.

Memory Lane Card

Memories of holidays past come to life in this accordion-style card. Because the photos are copies, you can make one of these for each member of the family.

What You Need:

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Preserve family memories in
this creative card.

  • 4 to 8 family photos
  • Black art or construction paper
  • Spray mount
  • Colored pencils
  • Paper punch
  • Paper clip
  • Ribbon
  • Access to a copy machine

Instructions:

1. Gather and copy photos. We used 4, but you can fit 8 in our accordion fold. Copy them using the "photo" setting on a copy machine.

2. Cut and fold black paper. Cut black paper to 36 inches long by 5-3/4 inches wide. You may need to glue 2 pieces together to get the correct length. Fold the long piece every 5-3/4 inches to form an accordion look, as shown in photo. You should have about 1-1/2 inches left on the final piece; this will become the flap that closes the card.

3. Trim and attach images. Cut photocopies to desired size, leaving white edge around perimeter of photo. Secure the copies to card on the right face of each page (or on both sides, if you use 8 photos), either by cutting slits for each corner or by securing with spray mount.


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Bright ribbon adds the finishing touch.

4. Add color. Use colored pencils to color in parts of each photo copy, giving the pictures an old-fashioned quality. Embellish the card with your favorite holiday phrase or poem using a white pencil.

5. Add ribbon. For the final touch, use a paper punch to make two small holes on the left binding, through every layer of the card (6 in all). Using a paper clip, push each end of a sheer piece of ribbon through the holes from the back. Tie ribbon into a bow on front of card.

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