Tag Archive: Christmas

nailed it

twisterfishcrafts nailed it (6)

My ten year old wanted to make his big sister a special Christmas gift. A few weeks before the holiday they were both saying “nailed it” over and over and over to each other. Together we decided to get a piece of wood at the craft store, spray paint it, then hammer nails to form the words ‘nailed it’. He chose the font, and I did the nailing, because it was a lot harder than I thought it would be to nail those little things into the wood and he just couldn’t manage the hammer. This project took a few days and many sore fingers, but it was well worth it! His sister loved the present and it’s now displayed in her college apartment for all to see.

twisterfishcrafts nailed it (1)

twisterfishcrafts nailed it (2)


twisterfishcrafts nailed it (4)

twisterfishcrafts nailed it (5)

Christmas Holiday Fabric Chain

twisterfishcrafts fabric chain (1)

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I made this fabric chain last year. I love it! I plan to shop for more fun Christmas fabrics and add to the chain this year.

My original intent was to have 24 links in the chain, and to use it as an advent calendar, but I like it so much as is, that I decided not to do that. (You can see what kind of advent calendars I did make in this post.)

This project would be easy for teens who know how to use a sewing machine (or who can learn to sew straight lines with a sewing machine).


I purchased fabric quarters at a craft store for only $1 each. I think I got ten of them in total, in six different patterns. (This also gave me enough fabric to make pillow covers.)

I cut them into strips about 8.5 inches long and 3 inches wide (this allowed me to use most of the fabric with very little waste).

Next I ironed on a strip of lightweight fusible interfacing (8.5 inches by 1.5 inches) to each one.

After folding the strip lengthwise, I used a zig-zag stitch to sew it on all four sides.

Using a straight stitch, I then sewed the small pieces of velcro, one of each side of the strip.

Linked them together, and it was done.

Easy. Fun. Cute!

Advent Calendars

twisterfishcrafts advent calendar bags (1)



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After years of Lego advent calendars, it was time to do something different.

I decided to make an advent calendar so I did a little online searching for ideas — I liked the ones that had an activity to do each day.

Using blank business cards I had leftover from another craft, I printed an idea for each day. I used a large font and printed them in red.

At a big box store I found packs of colorful paper goodie bags in the clearance section. Some of the packs were only 90 cents each while a few were almost $2. I purchased a few different colors and patterns. All totaled less than $10, and there are enough left over to do another set for next year.

With my star and snowflake paper punches I took scraps of paper in white, green, and gold, and punched out a bunch of these shapes.

Using scrapbook paper with numbers on them, along with a few number stickers, I was able to find enough numbers from 1 to 24.

Assembly was easy: I put a card in a paper bag and sewed it closed using my sewing machine, sewing the number and some of the snowflakes and stars along with it.

I was careful to put easier activities (such as “make a card for your grandparents”) on days I knew we’d be busy with school and piano practice and other obligations, and more complex activities (such as “make a bird feeder for the winter birds”) for the weekend days when we’d have more time.

Tied the stack of these bags up with a ribbon, and now they’re ready for December 1st!


But …

My almost 9 year old told me that advent calendars must have chocolate. I don’t know where he got this idea since the advent calendars he’s had in recent years (Lego) didn’t have chocolate, but he was insistent.

So I made a second advent calendar using a 24 mini muffin baking tin. We put 2 chocolate kisses in each of the 24 spots. Then we numbering circles I punched from card stock and used glue dots to adhere them to larger circle tags. I put ribbons on those tags, and two small pieces of sticky-back magnets on the back of each one, to keep the chocolates in and the numbers in place.

Ta-da! Advent calendar #2. With chocolate.

twisterfishcrafts advent calendar tin

felt Christmas tree ornaments

The first felt Christmas tree ornament I made was back when my oldest son was in preschool. He is now in college. The ornament was not as polished as these more recent ones are. Instead it was big and bulky and I apologize to whomever I gave it to as a gift. They must have thought I didn’t like them. Sorry about that.

Shortly after that first one I got in the groove of making these so that they come out nicely each time. Each tree ornament is slightly different from the next, and that’s one of the reasons I love them so. Lately I’ve enjoyed making them more narrow and pointy, rather than fat and rounded. Sometimes I put a star at the top (either a star button or a star made out of a yellow craft foam sheet). I like to add a couple jingle bells to each ornament so that when they are touched, they give off a lovely holiday sound.

As for the buttons, I’ve used regular buttons that I had around the house (you know, those extra buttons that come with shirts and other clothing items) and have also purchased colorful buttons for this project. In past years I’ve also purchased star and heart shaped buttons, and this year I got colorful mini buttons from the craft store, in both round and star shapes.

These felt tree ornaments are nice to hang on your Christmas tree, of course, and also make nice gift toppers. Wrap a gift then use rick rack to tie on the felt ornament. Very festive and adds a homemade touch to the gift.


Supplies and some tree ornaments from previous years:




STEP #1: Fold a 9×12 piece of green felt lengthwise.

fold felt in half

STEP #2: Use a permanent marker to draw a tree shape.

I used an ornament from a previous year as a guide.

I wanted it shorter than that tree, so only traced the top 2/3 of the ornament.

using a finished ornament to trace the tree shape

trace the tree shape

STEP #3: Cut it out.

cut out

STEP #4: Flip the remaining felt to make more trees.

Doing it this way produces very little wasted felt.

Continue this and you should get 4 trees out of the one piece of felt.

flip for another tree

cut out four trees

An easy way to make each tree symmetrical is to fold it in half and cut it using the left side as a guide.

fold to cut

four trees from one piece of felt

STEP #5: Cut a strip of brown felt, about 1-inch wide.

To make tree trunks, cut this strip into 2-inch sections, and fold each piece in half.

brown felt for tree trunk

about 2 inches of brown felt per tree

ready to decorate

STEP #6: Using colorful embroidery floss (split into 3 strands), sew on the buttons and jingle bells to one side of each piece of tree-shaped felt.

start sewing on ornaments

one side done

the back

STEP #7: Place the two pieces of green felt together, buttons on the outside, and sew them together using more of the embroidery floss (use any color you prefer).

I start and finish at the tree trunk.

Attach the rick rack to the top also using embroidery floss.

Add a star button, if desired.

on tree

plastic painted ornaments

Last month I found adorable plastic ornaments at the craft store. They are shaped like Christmas light bulbs, and were less than a dollar each. I had the idea to paint the inside with paint that had a stained glass look, and that I had leftover from another project. I squeezed some of the paint into the ornament and swirled it around, covering most of the inside.

Well, that didn’t turn out well. The paint was too thick and didn’t give the stained glass look I wanted. So before it was completely dry, I swabbed the inside with a cotton q-tip, using a circular motion, around and around the inside. This left a nice design.

But it wasn’t enough. It still needed something. So I took glitter that I had and poured some in, then shook it to attach to the still wet paint.

Ta da! A beautiful homemade ornament, for less than a dollar.

painted plastic ornament

painted plastic ornament on tree

For these lights I used 24 gauge wire, which is flimsy, so in order to hold the light bulb I needed to manipulate the wire. I wrapped it around a pen, then twisted it together to form a loop. I needed to wrap the wire tightly around the bulb, and found that twisting the wire around itself worked to secure it to the bulb.


step 1 wire on pen

step 2 curly wire

step 3 curl end of wire

step 4 wire with tool

step 5 curly wire ornament

step 6 on tree

We have a large selection of Christmas lights that don’t work. My favorite ones were a string of once colorful old-fashioned looking globe lights. With so many useless cute bulbs I started wondering what I could make out of them. A necklace? No. Earrings. Maybe … no. My daughter suggested making ornaments out of them. So I got out my supply of craft wire and started making simple ornaments from some of the bulbs. It was a fun project and easy to do.


I used craft wire — either 16 or 18 gauge — about 8 inches, and twirled each end.

1 wire and bulb

Then I placed the smaller twirl on the bulb, and wrapped the wire around the screw section, curling the remainder as a hook.

2 orange ornament off tree

The top curl is how it attaches to the tree branch.

3 orange ornament on tree

With the blue one I used longer wire (about 10 inches). I like the longer wire better … more curl!

4 blue ornament