There are two words to remember as you are creasing those holiday cards and knitting that red and green striped scarf: have fun! I’m a firm believer that whatever energy you put into your project will stay there. If you’re singing along to Nat King Cole, great. If you’re crying over frayed ribbon, not great. To help you stay calm, focused and cheery, here are some Crafty Chica guidelines for holiday crafting.

GRAB ‘N GO GIFTS: Whip up some cards and gift bags, so when you need a spontaneous gift, you will have them ready to go. This is great for when you have a surprise gust, or you get invited to a party and need a quick gift. Make extra ornaments to give away.

MAKE A WORKSPACE: Choose an area in your house, set up a table, a task lamp and a comfortable chair. Plug in an outlet strip for multiple tools (dual glue guns, embossing gun, Dremel, etc.). Store your supplies clear plastic boxes or a plastic wall-shelving unit that you can take down after the holidays.

STOCK UP: Create a crafty toolbox: scissors (regular and mini), chopsticks (great for applying glue, crayons (for applying crystals) gems or poking out pointy seams), pencil, pen, tape, glue stick, pincushion, hot-glue sticks, ruler and anything else you use repeatedly.

GET INSPIRED: Visit web sites, book stores, craft stores for ideas. If in doubt, take a workshop at a local store. Load up your iPod with podcasts, and your DVR with holiday crafting shows!

PREPARE: Before you visit the craft store, make a shopping list so you don’t overspend. Buy all your favorite paint colors early because they will likely sell out quick. Check the newspaper for coupons and sales.

PACKAGING: Always keep gift bags, gift tags, cello wrap and ribbons on hand for quick gift wrapping and mailing.

GET SOCIAL: Make crafting a way to bond with friends. Invite guests over or visit a craft shop and take part in its open labs. You pay a small fee and use the shop’s supplies. Networking with others is a great way to share useful tips.

SIGN YOUR WORK: Everything you make is a work of art, so sign your name to it!

Love & light,


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