Hand Making the Holidays

Sofie Sharpe

Clothespin Dolls

It’s no wonder these cute little things are a holiday classic. While clothespin dolls can be a year round craft, they’re especially handy during the holidays, because they can be clipped to trees and wreaths, and even make a cute little stuffing stocker. Luckily, they’re easy to make. 


All you need is a clothespin (preferably a stationary one with a bulbous end), paint/markers, glue/tape, and anything to make their clothes with (I recommend felt and buttons, but I’ve seen people use paper, feathers, pom-poms, ribbon, and string). 


First, paint on their faces, and any markings on their skin that will be exposed. Get creative, maybe they have a little pearl necklace on? Maybe they’re in a Santa outfit? Don’t forget to paint on little shoes!


Once you’re done, grab your material for clothes. If you’re using fabric or paper, cut it in a rectangle, testing it around the clothespin first to make sure it fits. Take this rectangle, and wrap the clothes pin in it, below the neckline, and glue it on. It should look like a little shirt or dress. If you’d like to make pants, do another layer of fabric/paper, but cut it so it wraps below the waist. 


Now you can go crazy! Take a ribbon and make a belt, glue some buttons on! If you’re making a Mr. and Mrs. Claus, you can take some cotton balls and glue them to their face and hair. If you want to be really advanced, you can bend wire to fashion them glasses.


Congratulations, you’ve made a clothespin doll!


Glass Ball Ornament

Save for the tree, ornaments are the epitome of Christmas decorations. Making your own, especially with your loved ones, is a great way to make your tree feel more personalized. Luckily, it’s very easy! All you need is a glass ornament (usually sold in craft stores) or, if you’re feeling creative, just about anything glass and fairly light weight, and something to stuff them with. If it can fit, you can put it in. Don’t be afraid to think outside the box!


First, take your chalice of choice and remove the top. If you’re working with small, solid items, I recommend stuffing them in heaviest to lightest. If you’re using liquids, like glitter paint, the process is a bit tricker. Pour in your paint (don’t be afraid to be excessive), cover the top, and swirl and shake until all the sides of the glass are covered. Dry your creation upside down, letting the extra paint drip out. 


Popcorn is a favorite to stuff in ornaments, and luckily it lasts for years! To do this, take unused popcorn kernels, preferably not from microwaveable popcorn bags as those can get sticky. Put about thirty kernels into your ornament, leaving the top off until the very end. Place the ornament in a microwave safe dish, and then put that into a paper bag. Roll the top of the bag closed. Usually this will take a minute or so, stop the microwave when you hear five to ten seconds between pops. Wait to take out the ornament, it will be hot! Once it cools down, shake out the extra kernels, and pop the lid back on.


Once you’re done stuffing and painting your ornament, you will re-secure the top. Usually this is either a twist on or a pop on, either way experiment so that it can hold its weight. Take a ribbon or string and make a look through the top. If you’re using a jar or something without a built-in hook, you should be able to rest it in the branches of your tree, tying it down to secure it.


Woohoo! You have your own ornament!








DIY Felt Stocking

Stockings are a necessity for Christmas. They’re also super fun to make! All you need is felt of your choice, a thread and needle (or hot glue/fabric glue), a sturdy ribbon, and anything you’d like to slap on it!


To start, you’ll need to make two mirrored sides of a stocking. Below is a pattern you can print out. Try to make it fairly wide and long, about the thickness of your hand or larger. Cut them out, giving yourself a little extra on all the sides. If you’re going to put on toes, heels, or fridges, cut them out and sew them on to their respective sides.


Once the sides are all decorated, now you’ll attach the two sides! If you’re sewing them, place them together, wrong sides out. Sew them together with a blanket stitch, going from the top left edge all the way around to the top right edge. Do not sew the top together! A blanket stitch is simple, tie a knot in the thread and sew through the two pieces of fabric. Go around, and sew back through the hole as you did. Thread your needle through the loop you’ve just made and then make a new hole nearby, but with some space. When you pull through, go through the loop you’ve just made. Repeat until the end, and tie down a knot. If you’re gluing, simply glue the two sides together, right sides out.


Once your two sides are secured, take the ribbon you will use to make a hook. Cut a small length of it. Make a loop, and sew both ends to the inside back of the stocking. You can glue it too, just make sure it can bear the weight of what’s inside.


Glue or sew anything else you’d like to. Now you’ve finished your stocking!