Traditional Christmas Ornament Crafts (1889) – The Little One’s Christmas Tree

This is an excerpt from an issue of The Cultivator & Country Gentleman (Source: Google Books). I especially like the suggestion for the walnut sailboat tree ornament.

A letter from “Lulu”—who says she is a very little girl and has very little money wants to know what she can do to help with a Christmas tree. There are many other little girls and boys in Lulu’s situation, and to them this article may be of some assistance. A Christmas tree to those living in the country costs nothing, and the choosing of it and bringing it home is always a day of frolic and pleasure to the little folks.

Among the pretty articles for decoration that can be made by very small children, and that are costless, are little sail-boats from English walnut shells. Halve them carefully with a penknife, scrape out the inside and varnish with shellac dissolved in alcohol. Glue in a slender mast on which paste a paper sail of gilt or silver paper. These sail very nicely, and have a very good effect suspended from the outermost boughs of the tree.

Beginning with the oldest members of the family, Lulu might make a sand-bag case for grandma. This is very useful In sickness or during a long drive in cold weather. Make of strong, unbleached muslin a bag a foot square. This is to be filled with sand, and can be heated in the oven when wanted. Make a slip-cover of bright colored red or merino, and if you have only a small piece it will do quite well if one-half for the bottom is of dark calico. Border with a ruffling of the same, and work in the dear old lady’s initials. Or the cover may be made of coarse canvas bagging and a border worked In scarlet and blue, which contrasts prettily with the fawn-color of the canvas.

A spectacle case is nice for grandpa. Cut a piece of paste-board a little longer than the spectacles are when shut, and with the top scolloped like a three-leafed clover. Cut a second piece an Inch shorter than the first, and one-third wider; at the lower end of this cut three silts, lap them, baste them firmly and trim off so as to fit the bottom of the back piece, which should be in the shape of a scollop. Cover these pieces with chamois leather, kid, velvet or silk, and ornament as well as you can with fl ass. 8sw the two pieces together at the sides and botto-n, and stitch a fine cord around. The front piece being a little wider than the back will stand out so as to allow the glasses to slip In and out easily.

Mamma will like a work case for her basket. Take a piece of Japanese canvas, yellow or gray, 12 Inches long and 7 broad; a bit of silk of the same size for lining. Work a border with worsted of any color or shade you may fancy down both sides of the canvas, a little way from the edge, and across one end. This border may be as simple or as elaborate as you please. When the border Is done baste on the lining, turn In the edges and overhand neatly. Turn the lower third of this lined strip up to form the bag, and sew the edges together firmly. The embroidered end folds over to form a flap like a pocket book, and must have two small buttons and loops to hold it down.

What can be nicer for papa’s desk than a baby-shoe pen-wiper? For this you will have to buy a pair of the smallest size baby shoes of soft red kid. They will cost 25 cents. Then cut four round pieces of black cloth three Inches in diameter, pink the edges, fold them In half and this again In half, and push the pointed ends into the top of the shoe, so that the pinked edges of the cloth may project Since you have two of these shoes you might make another pen-wiper for a favorite uncle.

For your big brother who is just beginning to shave nothing can be nicer than a shaving paper case. There are many pretty shapes for this, but one of the easiest is that of a small palm leaf fan. Cut out two shapes In pasteboard, and cover the outer one neatly with any bit of bright silk or merino that you may have. A pretty initial worked in the centre, or the words ” a clean shave ” worked across it in outline stitch will add to its beauty. Cut two dozen leaves of tissue paper of different colors the same shape and a little smaller, and stitch them tightly between the covers. Tie a bow of ribbon around the handle to hang it up by.

An ounce of sachet powder, violet or heliotrope will make a number of scent cases or bags for sitter’s handkerchiefs and laces. Cut two layers ol thin wadding three inches square, sprinkle powder between them and tack the edges together. Make a little bag of bright silk the same size one way and two inches longer push in the wadding smoothly; fringe the open end, and tie tightly with a narrow ribbon.

 

Old Fashioned Holidays – Christmas Indexes

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