Make Your Own: Popcorn Balls, Knife Holder, Textured Paint

Short tidbits of DIY info, including edible Christmas ornaments, textured paint and a wooden knife holder.

| November/December 1976

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    Make a knife holder from old wooden spools.
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    Decorate your Christmas tree with popcorn balls.
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    It's easy to make textured paint with cornmeal.

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Here are a few more of THE MOTHER EARTH NEWS® syndicated features which have appeared in 100+ newspapers over the past three and a half years. 

Make Edible Christmas Ornaments

Christmas always seems more festive when you have a few handcrafted popcorn balls to hang on the tree . . . especially if a certain number of the candied delights contain a little "something extra" hidden away inside.

Pop a half-cup of kernels (they'll fill a big bowl or medium-size roaster after they've split open) and—while the fluffy corn is cooling—place one-half cup of light corn syrup, one-half cup sugar and one-half teaspoon salt in a saucepan.

Cook the mixture over medium heat until the sugar is thoroughly dissolved, then add a few drops of red (or any color you prefer) food coloring and one-half teaspoon of lemon extract. Stir until the flavoring and color are well-spread throughout the gooey concoction and then pour the sticky mixture over the bowlful of popcorn. Stir again, until every snowy piece of corn is coated.

Finally, with buttered hands, form the coated popcorn into "edible ornaments" . . . making sure that a few of the decorations contain a small surprise, wax-paper-wrapped toy or other favor.

Make a Wooden Spool Knife Holder

Years ago, some unknown backwoods farmer inserted a nail through an empty spool and then drove the spike into his outhouse door to make an improvised handle. Ever since, folks have been recycling these wooden castaways from the sewing basket into useful articles . . . and one of the slickest of all the use-'em-again ideas for spools is shown here.

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