[Holiday Survival Guide]

Crafty comforts: DIY holiday decor

Don’t even think about buying a painted pinecone when making them is so damn easy.
Dawn-Michelle Baude

The fragrance of cloves wafts from the entrance of the Michaels arts and crafts store at Decatur and Charleston. Holiday decorations billow from the bins, guiding a crowd of holidaymakers toward the decor of their dreams. Mini Christmas trees decorated with Swarovski crystals! Snowflake ornaments with glittery spray paint! Presents so pretty it’s against nature to unwrap them!

“Wreathes are going like hotcakes,” one Michaels employee tells me.

Traditional holiday motifs do well in the desert, but shiny red-and-white dice amid holly centerpieces and decorated chip ornaments for the tree add a distinctive local flair. Michaels Chief Marketing Officer Paula Puleo says neon colors are selling well in Vegas. Vivid pink and glowing purple, with electric green and fluorescent yellow, update the traditional holiday palette in a way that literally brings the Strip home for Christmas.

And the crafting instinct is at its annual height—no doubt about it. The urge for arts and crafts goes hand-in-hand with the winter nesting instinct. As days shrink to their shortest, the home grows in importance, with people spending more time indoors with family and friends. Naturally, we want to gussy the place up. And there’s still time to get your craft on with a few super-easy, last-minute projects:

Pine Cone Holiday Accents: Spread pinecones on newspaper. Spray with gold or silver paint. Let dry and glue a festive cloth bow on the top, if desired. Arrange as a table centerpiece or on a windowsill.

Spicy Wreath Make: six small cinnamon bouquets by tying a pretty ribbon around whole cinnamon sticks. Create a big bow at the top of a real or artificial wreath. Using a small glue-gun or strong liquid glue, attach the cinnamon bouquets to the wreath, spacing them evenly around the circle, and finish with a touch of a glitter-glue pen on the tips of the greenery.

Felt Mitten Ornaments: Cut small mitten shapes out of two pieces of red felt. Using white embroidery thread, stitch around the edges, leaving an opening to stuff with cotton or tissue paper. Stitch it shut, leaving a loop to hang it on the tree. Use sequins or fabric paint to decorate.


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