Wednesday, October 31, 2007

A Christmas Craft & Goodie Exchange

You can get some great ideas at a Craft or Cookie exchange for the Holidays. Plan a ladies event that lets everyone bring their favorite idea to share for the Christmas Holidays. Here is what we've done. First, be sure to plan early enough to allow the attendees to get their ideas together. We made sure to stress that their contribution to the evening could be either a craft, goodie to make or a recipe to serve at a Christmas party or even Christmas dinner. We asked them to bring samples of their work, food, etc. We also made it clear that they did not have to bring anything at all...maybe just a friend! I also asked anyone with idea books to bring those too. I am a big Gooseberry Patch fan, so I brought the idea books I had. I set up a table to display all the crafts and books so that the ladies could exam everything close up. I also asked everyone to bring instructions or a recipe that could be photocopied. What a great time! I have done this several times and it's always a success. I have several favorites that are quit the hit at the exchange. Here are a few so you can have a better idea of what it's all about. Also I have included a few links for a cookie exchange. You are guaranteed to have a great ladies meeting.

Here are some of my favorite ideas to bring to a craft exchange.

Soapy Snowmen

These smell really good and look adorable!
2 cups Ivory Snow Ultra (you might need a little more)
1/2 cup water
Seed beads
Tempera paints
Egg carton
Pipe cleaners

1. Pour the Ivory Snow into a bowl, add the water and whip with an electric beater until doughy.
2. Shape the damp soap into three balls. Stack them by gently pushing a toothpick halfway into the center of the bottom ball. Then, push the middle ball down onto the toothpick until the two balls touch. Do the same for the snowman's head.

3. Add twig arms, clove eyes, shirt buttons and a felt scarf. To make a smiling mouth, press on a row of seed beads. For a mini carrot nose, color the tip of a short twig with orange paint. Top off the snowman with an eggcup hat or a set of pipe cleaner earmuffs.

As the soap dries (this can take a few hours), it will lose its grayish tinge and turn bright sure not to handle it too much!

I made these for all the teacher's at a Christian School...They not only are very cute...they smell wonderful!

Round Gum Ball Ornament
You will need:
Gum Balls
Wooden toothpicks cut in half
Styrofoam ball
1 12" piece of ribbon
1. Poke one end of a toothpick into a gum ball and the other end into the Styrofoam ball.

2. Repeat until the Styrofoam ball is completely covered with gum balls.

3. Tie the 12" piece of ribbon around the ball for hanging on the tree!

Note: You can also attach the gum balls with hot glue.

Snowflake Popcorn Recipe

1 bag (3-oz) microwave popcorn (try using non-butter)
1 jar (7-oz) marshmallow crème
Small red and green candy sprinkles


Heat oven to 325F. Spray large cookie sheet with cooking spray. Microwave bag of popcorn as directed on bag. Empty the jar of marshmallow crème into a medium microwaveable bowl. Microwave uncovered on High about 2 minutes, stirring after 1 minute, until melted.

Shake popcorn into marshmallow crème, being careful not to add unpopped kernels. Stir gently until coated.

Spread popcorn on cookie sheet. Sprinkle with candies. Bake about 10 minutes, stirring after 5 minutes, until marshmallow coating is dry. Cool completely on cookie sheet on wire rack; break up large pieces. You can put popcorn into a decorative cellophane bag and give as a gift.

Links for Cookie Exchange Ideas - this is the gooseberry patch website. You can purchase their books at other locations (usually Wal-mart has a few in their craft session, but take a look at their website..they are fabulous!)

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