December is a time for festive holiday celebrations, most notably Hanukkah, Christmas and Kwanzaa. Libraries can make sure the crafters in their communities have a variety of creative, do-it-yourself ideas to help them decorate and celebrate throughout the holiday season.

Hobbies & Crafts Reference Center offers hundreds of projects to inspire quilters, needlecrafters, paper artists, jewelry makers and more. These projects come from a variety of popular hobby and craft magazines, including CardMaker, Creative Machine Embroidery and Fons & Porter’s Quick + Easy Quilts.

Each project includes a list of materials, patterns (if applicable), and step-by-step instructions. Printed copies can be placed on library makerspace tables or posted to bulletin boards. Libraries can also tell patrons about Hobbies & Crafts Reference Center using our Promotion Kit, which includes social media images and sample posts to share on your library’s Twitter and Facebook pages.

Here we’ve curated a few of our favorite holiday projects along with Accession Numbers to help librarians quickly locate them in the database.

Festive Table Runners

Quilters will enjoy assembling this “Very Merry” table runner of festive Christmas trees: AN 159852313. The project offers a great opportunity use up scraps of red, green and gold fabric. It also includes a lesson on fusible appliqué. For quilters looking to make a runner for their Hanukkah table, this “Feast for Hanukkah” project features a beautiful menorah and twinkling star prints: (AN 159852314)

Gingerbread Medallions

Embroiderers can add some sweetness to their holiday trees this season by creating gingerbread ornaments out of felt and cork fabric and metallic thread. These ornaments can also be strung together with ribbon to create a festive garland. (AN 158920981)

Emblem of Israel Quilt

Warm up for the Festival of Lights by sewing this beautiful square quilt, designed around the colors and traditions of the Hanukkah celebration. Featuring blues and golds, this quilt includes 25 10-inch blocks and ends up with a finished size of 58 by 58 inches. (AN 159852309)

Snowflake Greeting Cards

Paper artists might like to make their own holiday cards this season. This project requires white cardstock, patterned paper, stamps, silver string, glitter snowflake mini ornaments, and scrapbook adhesive. Sample messaging is also included. (AN 118198781)

Happy Holiday Earrings

Spice up the season’s festivities with a bit of sparkle. Homemade earrings make wonderful stocking stuffers and hostess gifts. This project for jewelry making beginners uses cone- and oval-shaped crystals to add visual interest to dangling earrings. (AN 15422899)

Snowfall Skirt

Do you have patrons who like to make their own clothes? Help them dress up their next holiday party with this adorable, two-color pleated skirt trimmed with shimmering snowflakes. (AN 158920983)

Santa Jingles Sweatshirt

Parents looking to adorn their children in festive clothes this Christmas might enjoy taking on this super-cute sewing project, which provides instructions for decorating a cotton sweatshirt with Santa faces, jingle bells and red satin ribbon. (AN 33233451)

Kwanzaa Mat

Finally, here is a children’s project that libraries can present during family arts and crafts time. Kwanzaa is an annual celebration of African American culture from December 26 to January 1, culminating in a communal feast called Karamu. The mkeka, a Kwanzaa mat, is one of seven celebratory symbols. It represents the foundation upon which all else rests. Traditionally, the mkeka is made of straw or textiles, but kids can make their own using brown paper bags.

Materials:

  • Brown paper bags
  • Scissors
  • Glue
  • Raffia or yarn
  • Hole punch

Steps:

  1. From a brown paper bag, cut a 9-inch-by-24-inch rectangle. Spread glue on the printed side and fold the bag in half. Let it dry.
  2. Cut one-inch strips, starting at the end opposite the fold and ending one inch from the fold.
  3. From another bag, cut nine 12-inch-by-1-inch strips.
  4. Weave the strips over and under the connected strips to create a mat. Spread glue under the end strips to hold them in place.
  5. Punch a hole at each corner of the mat. Tie raffia or yarn through the holes.
  6. Use scissors to fringe the ends of the paper strips.

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