We do not have a fireplace at our home, so we needed to figure out a place to hang our stockings for Santa to fill. After a few months of stressing over what to do (although it had really been on my mind since we first moved into our house several years ago), I figured it out! We have a mini wine bar that was given to us as a wedding gift and it has been tucked away in a corner for the last 2 1/2 years. I hauled that puppy to our family room and rummaged the house for other supplies. I found 2 lanterns that I had bought several years ago from Gordman's as a decoration for our Halloween party, a pinecone wreath my mother-in-law gifted us a few years back and a personalized wooden sign my sister made as a wedding gift and I got to work organizing it all to look nice. I then picked out some stockings I liked at Kohl's and hung them with upside down hooks screwed to the inside of the drawers. The result was a festive-looking un-fireplace that got the job done and even looked nice.
Another special Christmas project I did this year was to create a personalized cookie plate for Santa! I wanted to do something unique and special to capture our tiny human's first Christmas, so I used his handprint to make a Santa on a ceramic plate. We painted a few more embellishments on the plate and baked it to set the paint. It turned out quite nice in my opinion. Look for instructions below.
Santa Handprint Plate Instructions:
1 ceramic plate (I found mine at Michael's)
Non toxic ceramic paint (I used Martha Stewart paints)
colors: red, white, tan, black, green
Q-tip, craft stick or paint brush
Paint child's thumb and the heal of their palm red for Santa's hat. Paint the rest of their palm white for his beard. (If you have an older, cooperative child, you can paint the tan on the middle of their palm for Santa's face, but my 6-month old would barely keep his hands open to keep two colors separate, so we had to paint the face on later. Place their open hand in the middle of the plate to transfer paint. Wash their hand off thoroughly.
Paint fingers green and allow them to finger paint the outside edge of the plate. If you want, you can do this step first on the entire plate, then do the Santa over the other colors (the white beard may show up better this way).
Allow the original Santa handprint and other finger painting to dry completely.
Using a paintbrush or Q-tip, paint Santa's face with tan paint. Allow that to dry completely.
Using a Q-tip, craft stick or paint brush, paint the eyes, mouth and rosy cheeks (I mixed the red and white paint for a pinky rosy cheek). Allow to dry for at least 24 hours. Label the back of the plate with a Sharpie marker with the child's name and the year (you could also do this on the front of the plate with paint if you'd prefer).
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit. Bake plate in the oven for 45 minutes, then turn the oven off and allow the plate to cool slowly in the oven.
Using your fingernail, scratch an inconspicuous area of the paint. If it scratches off, bake another 20-40 minutes in a 325 degree oven until completely dry. (should only have to repeat baking step if your paint is extra thick)
Ta-Da! You have a nice plate to serve Santa's cookies and a keepsake with your child's handprint!