A DIY Holiday 1

Two make-them-yourself gifts to cherish for years to come


Handprint Family Christmas Tree

Photo and instructions courtesy of Brooke Roe, owner of Pinspiration, a Valley-based DIY arts and crafts studio. Pinspiration.com

What you need:

A canvas

Acrylic paint

Sponge paintbrush


Use a sponge brush to paint your hand and place it on the canvas to create the tree. If using different size hands, use the bigger hands at the bottom and smaller ones at the top.

Draw the star and trunk lightly with a pencil and fill in with paint. For added fun, use your fingerprints to mimic ornaments and lights, or glitter and pom-poms for garland.

Add your family name at bottom with the year, or add each family member’s name by each handprint to make it into a family tree. This can be done with paint, permanent markers or calligraphy markers.

Cinnamon Clay Gingerbread Man Ornaments

Photos and instructions courtesy of Mandy Velasquez, blogger at Miss Mae’s Days. MissMaesDays.com

What You Need to Make the Clay:

1 cup baking soda

1/2 cup corn starch

3/4 cup water

1/4 tsp. cinnamon (or more if you’d like)

What You Need to Decorate the Gingerbread Men:


“Googly” eyes

A variety of small crafting supplies

A straw for poking a hole through the top to thread the ribbon

Ribbon for hanging your ornament

A gingerbread man cookie cutter and, highly suggested, “The Gingerbread Man” book

Directions for Clay:

Add baking soda and cornstarch to a small pot. Mix in water and bring to a boil. Remove from heat and stir vigorously to create a play dough like substance. Remove from heat and let cool completely.

Roll out the clay onto a clean, dry surface. Use a rolling pin to smooth out your clay. Sprinkle the front and backside of your clay with about 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon (more if you’d like). Fold the clay into a ball and work it in until it is spotted with cinnamon. Roll out the clay again, only this time to about 1/4 inch thickness. Using your gingerbread man cookie cutter, cut into shapes.

Time to be Creative:

Be sure to push the decorations down into the clay so that they don’t fall off when it dries, yet be careful to not poke all the way through your gingerbread man. Using a straw, poke a hole through the top of your gingerbread man for threading your ribbon once it’s dried.

How to Dry the Gingerbread Men:

Set oven on low (200 degrees F, for example). Place gingerbread men on a cookie sheet. Put creations in the oven on low heat for a couple of hours. You can also let them dry on the table for 24 hours. Once dried, use ribbon to hang the ornaments, or use them as gifts for family and friends.

More detailed instructions, with photos, can be found at