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Ingredients for Gift Making

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Fabrics, Trims, and Sewing Aids

Seasonal Sense

Foam sheets can be used in craft projects to replace construction paper. They are made of a foam composite material that can be cut, glued, and stapled like paper. However, foam sheets are more versatile and more permanent than construction paper. You can buy these sheets with a sticky backing for covering projects. You can also buy bags of foam cut-outs at craft stores that include seasonal shapes, letters and numbers, and fun designs. These foam sheets and cut-outs are great for making wreaths, calendars, costumes, puppets, and so on.

  • Assorted colors of felt
  • Material remnants
  • Trims such as lace, rickrack, and ribbon
  • Yarn
  • Thread
  • Elastic
  • Cord
  • Embroidery thread
  • Needles
  • Fabric glue
  • Fusible webbing
  • Iron-on transfers
  • Cotton T-shirts, carryalls, aprons, and so on (to paint)
  • Feathers
  • Pom-poms
  • Buttons
  • Polyester fill
  • Sewing machine (optional)

Glues and Other Adhesives

  • Low-heat glue gun
  • Clear and colored glue sticks
  • White and/or clear glue
  • Tacky glue
  • Fabric glue
  • Mosaic adhesive
  • Spray mount

Construction Materials

Festive Facts

The early history of the sewing machine dates back to 1834, when Walter Hunt built a machine to sew a short seam. Elias Howe created a prototype in 1846 in Massachusetts, which was improved upon by Isaac Merritt Singer. Singer figured out how to mass-market the expensive invention by introducing the world to installment buying. Some experts argue that a Frenchman named Barthelemy Thimonnier created the first sewing machine, which he patented in 1930. This was a continuous-thread machine that was capable of replacing hand sewing.

Seasonal Sense

You can find craft sticks in bags in craft or discount stores. They are wooden sticks (colored or plain) that have notched edges for assembling them in projects. They also can be snapped apart at the notches to form smaller sticks. You can use these sticks in many projects including building toys, decorating frames, making ornaments, and so on.

  • Assorted wooden shapes
  • Wooden picture frames
  • Wooden plaques
  • Popsicle sticks
  • Craft sticks
  • Clothespins (spring-loaded and peg)
  • Wooden candleholders
  • Wooden bead heads
  • Wooden knobs
  • Wooden heads that fit over clothespins
  • Wooden and/or cardboard boxes
  • Chalkboards in wooden frames
  • Clay pots (assorted sizes)
  • Sculpting clay
  • Pipe cleaners
  • Beads/bead wire or cord
  • Ceramic objects (to paint on)
  • Glass objects (to paint on)
  • Plaster
  • Cement
  • Decorative glass pieces and/or marbles
  • Styrofoam balls and wreaths
  • Grapevine wreaths and forms

Decorative Items

  • Dried and/or silk flowers
  • Glitter
  • Stickers
  • Rub-on transfers
  • Flocking kits
  • Foil transfers
  • Spanish moss
  • Basket filler

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Excerpted from The Complete Idiot's Guide to Holiday Crafts © 2002 by Marilee LeBon. All rights reserved including the right of reproduction in whole or in part in any form. Used by arrangement with Alpha Books, a member of Penguin Group (USA) Inc.

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