Inexpensive Christmas Gifts

You can make your own inexpensive Christmas gifts by assembling holiday ornaments that take little time and little cash.

| December 1994/January 1995

  • 147-052-01i6
    These holiday ornaments are perfect for your Christmas tree because they weigh next to nothing and won't cause your tree to droop.
    NICO TOUTENHOOFD
  • 147-052-01i1
    These are all the materials that you will need to make your very own inexpensive Christmas gifts of holiday ornaments.
    PHOTO: NICO TOUTENHOOFD
  • Dip the ball
    Dip the Styrofoam ball into the hot, soapy water so that it will stick to the surface of the ball.
    NICO TOUTENHOOFD
  • Placing Strands on the Ball
    Place the 3-inch strands of wool onto the ball which has been dipped in the hot, soapy water to create your own holiday design.
    NICO TOUTENHOOFD
  • Stretching the Wool
    Pull off the wool in 3-inch strands, and make sure that it is coming off easily.
    NICO TOUTENHOOFD
  • Finishing the Holiday Ornaments
    Make sure that the wool on your ornament has fully dried before giving it as a gift.
    NICO TOUTENHOOFD

  • 147-052-01i6
  • 147-052-01i1
  • Dip the ball
  • Placing Strands on the Ball
  • Stretching the Wool
  • Finishing the Holiday Ornaments

The holidays are a time of love, family and joy. We all sit around, eat cookies, talk of times past and exchange gifts. Oh yeah. Then there's the annual sweating bullets because we just realized we can't afford gifts for Grandma, much less the new gift-toting neighbors.

That's where Anne Sneary comes in. She's the fiber specialist who showed me how to make these holiday ornaments. Originally she was to show me how to make glamorous Japanese temari balls. While they were truly exquisite, they required the learning ability, sewing talents and dexterity of a brain surgeon. I have neither, so I asked if we could perhaps modify the project. Anne, being the accommodating type she is, came up with the pleasing ornaments that I believe any 'ol person could make.

The whole thing was a piece of cake (easy enough for your kids to make while occupying them for long stretches of time). I also liked the fact that what you see is what you get; you don't have to worry about what it will look like when it dries. Mistakes are easily fixed, although it's pretty hard to make any in the first place.

Not only do these ornaments make low (almost no) cost gifts, but they'll spruce up your own tree without producing the drooping branch effect that weightier ornaments cause. No worries, and something for the neighbors. Although my family celebrates Hanukkah, not Christmas, I can assure you that Grandma Silver will definitely be receiving her share of ornament balls this holiday season.



Materials

2 1/2 inch to 3 inch Styrofoam balls (under $1) coned
Merino wool fiber (found at weaving and/or spinning supply shops for $2 an ounce; I figure you'll need 1/2 ounce per ball and a few, festive colors) Note: Merino is the finest form of sheep wool.
soap flakes (Ivory is a reliable brand)gold or silver metallic thread and needleglue and glitter (optional)  

Directions

1.Fill a Crockpot with hot water, add soap flakes and stir.






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