Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Holiday Crafting, Part 3 - Wait, you need how many?

T-minus less than 10 weeks until Christmas. How are those holiday craft projects coming?

A few years ago I started a new job in late autumn. Two months later, I discovered that their holiday tradition was for everyone in the office to bring in a small gift for everyone else in the office. I discovered this about two days before we all left for Christmas break when coworkers 2 and 3 presented their gifts.

Seriously? I had thought coworker 1 was a fluke. So the pressure was suddenly on for the new girl to come up with something for the rest of the office.

The criteria were it had to be (a) fast and (2) cheap as I was running out of time and had pretty much already expended my Christmas budget.

The solution I came up with was holiday candle wraps. Should you find yourself with a mile-long gift list or in need of two dozen hostess gifts, you may want to whip a few of these up yourself. And should you work in an office where everyone gives everyone a Christmas present, please, somebody warn the new girl.

So, step one is to check your local craft store for some standard issue glass votive cups. I have seen boxes of these in with the wedding stuff - and this project would certainly be pretty easy to adapt for wedding or shower favors. It's also worth checking the clearance shelf in the candle aisle - which is where I found these. I think they were 3 for $1.

The only other ingredients you need are some fancy paper (I used red and gold vellum) and a few tea lights.

Cut the vellum into 2 inch x 6 inch rectangles and cut an occasion-appropriate shape in the middle. If you have a few extra bucks and are making a lot of these, you may want to pick up a fancy paper punch to speed things along. I bought a star punch since it seemed like a shape I could use again - but trees, presents, wreaths or anything from the clearance bin would work.

I used a bit of gold beading wire to secure the vellum around the votive cups. You could use leftover bits of fiber, ribbon, beads or whatever you have on hand to fancy it up. Or, you could could just use a bit of scotch tape along the back where no one will see - it's totally your call.

To illustrate the super budget version, I made a few Halloween-themed candle wraps the other day. These are just strips of orange paper taped around the back of the candle holder. I sketched a quick picture on the back of the paper and cut it out with an exacto knife.

Admittedly, the bat signal would have been cooler if I used black paper, but I didn't have any in the house. But even these basic versions look pretty cool when you light the candles and turn out the lights.

How fun would these be lined up on a window sill or on the vanity in the guest bath? A little festive flair for an otherwise neglected corner of the house.


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