Yule Napkin Rings

Part of kitchen wizardry is decorating the table, especially at holidays and sabbats. Napkin rings allow you to add a little extra flair to the table. Different types of greenery and spices make decorating for Yule a simple, fragrant task. You can make these with real greenery to use once, or make them to last with fake greenery. For a non-wasteful sabbat, use fake greenery and store the napkin rings carefully after the sabbat is over. If you celebrate Christmas as well, as we do in our home, you can use these twice each year.

You will need:

(Materials for each napkin ring.)

2 cinnamon sticks

holly with berries

glue sticks

glue gun

  1. Glue the holly leaves into a ring with a diameter between 1 and 1/2 inches. Be sure there are some berries on each ring.
  2. Glue 2 cinnamon sticks together under the greenery, so they form two straight sticks together or an X.
  3. OR place them over the greenery and glue the red berries to the center.

Tips

  • Try different types of greenery.
  • Tie a ribbon around the cinnamon sticks.
  • Let older children, who can handle a glue gun, help with this project.

Shannon

 

Mantle Decorations

Decorating the mantle at Yule is a big thing. It is at Christmas as well. Food and greenery can be used for this. I like to use reusable items as much as possible for sabbat and holiday decorating, but I also enjoy the scent of fruits, and spices like cinnamon. It’s possible to combine fake and real items when decorating, and the combination will make a beautiful mantle area. Try using fake greenery and fresh (dried) food items.

The Garland

Garland in the length you need (can be real or fake, but greenery is the proper choice) (Tipping is illegal in some areas.)

Hot glue gun

Glue sticks

String of holiday lights, white or colored

Cinnamon sticks tied into bunches

Red berries

1 or 2 lemons

1 or 2 limes

1 or 2 oranges

1 or 2 apples

Sharp knife

Thread or thin string

Sewing needle

  1. Before putting together the garland, you will have to dry the fruits. The drying process may take a few days. Begin by slicing the fruits. String these with a needle and string of choice, and hang from the ceiling or along a wall to dry. Spread them out so that the fruits are not touching each other. I would string them from their centers. Be careful not to let the string cut through the slices of fruit.
  2. Wrap the lights around the greenery, positioning the garland along the back of the mantle so the plug is near an outlet. Putting the garland in place now lets you see where you want to glue the fruit and other items to the garland.
  3. Glue the fruit, in bunches of 1 slice of each type, here and there along the garland, without getting glue on the lights or cord. Do not pile the fruit slices, but overlap them some in groups.
  4. Glue cinnamon sticks to the garland.
  5. Glue red berries to the garland.

Candles

Greenery, thinner than that used for the garland, to use as a wreath to go around the bottom of the candle sticks

Glue gun

Glue sticks

Red berries

Candle stick holders

Taper candles

  1. Place the candle sticks to the center of the mantle.
  2. Make a wreath that will wrap around the bottom of the candle stick, using the greenery and berries.
  3. Place taper candles in the candle sticks.

Fruit Baskets or Bowls

2 matching baskets with handles that will fit on the space available on the mantle

An assortment of fresh citrus fruits

Fabric wide enough to hang out over the sides of the baskets some, to use as a liner

Thin greenery strips

Red berries

Glue gun

Glue sticks

Cinnamon sticks

  1. Glue the greenery strips around the handle of each basket.
  2. Glue berries here and there along the greenery.
  3. Glue cinnamon sticks where the handles meet the baskets.
  4. Place the fabric liners in the baskets, so that the edges hang out over the baskets.
  5. Put the fruits in the baskets, and place one basket at either end of the mantle.

Potpourri

2 decorative plates or bowls, small to medium in size depending on how much space you have between the candles and the fruit baskets on the mantle.

Cinnamon sticks, broken into pieces

Whole cloves

Whole allspice

Dried lemon peel

Dried lime peel

Dried orange peel

  1. Place the bowls on the mantle, centered between the fruit baskets and the candle sticks on either side.
  2. Place the potpourri ingredients in the bowls.

How do you decorate your mantle using food items? Let us know in the comments for this post.

Shannon

Pumpkin and Marigold Centerpiece

This centerpiece is not difficult to make using a mid-size pumpkin, or even one a bit larger. It can be placed on the dinner table. A second can be made to be used as a mantle decoration.

Materials

1 pumpkin

sharp knife

flower-pot to fit inside the pumpkin

large spoon

organic potting soil

fresh Marigold plants, assorted colors if desired

  1. Cut the top off the pumpkin and discard. Scoop the insides of the pumpkin out, reserving the seeds for roasted pumpkin seeds.

  2. Allow the pumpkin to dry over night.
  3. Fill the flower-pot 2/3 full with organic potting soil, placing the plants in the pot how you want them, and cover their roots with more soil if necessary.

  4. Place the pot into the pumpkin.
  5. Water lightly when needed.

Tips

  • Grow your own pumpkin and marigolds to save money.
  • To save even more, reuse an old flower-pot or pick one up at a yard sale. Be sure to disinfect the pot and allow to dry completely before using.

Shannon

 

Kitchen Craft: Herb and Fruit Slice Garland

Garlands are a great addition to autumn and winter decor, for the sabbats and holidays of the seasons. These garlands smell so good during the preparation stage, as well as for a while after they are created. Note that these fruits are not edible, but the herbs and cinnamon sticks can be removed later and used when cooking.

This craft takes about four days to complete.

Items Needed (amounts depend on size and number of garlands):

apples

oranges

lemons

limes

wax paper

cinnamon sticks

fresh herbs, or dried

garland

twine

craft wire

scissors

glue gun and sticks

Hammer and nails, or tacks

  1. Slice the fruit, do not peel first.
  2. Place the fruit slices on wax paper to dry for a few days before continuing.
  3. Turn each fruit slice twice a day.
  4. On the fourth day, or when the fruits are dried, prepare to decorate the garland.
  5. Lay the garland out.
  6. Tie two or three cinnamon sticks with twine to make bundles.
  7. Tie bundles of fresh herbs together with the twine. Feel free to mix and match types.
  8. Tie the cinnamon and herb bundles where desired  on the garland using craft wire.
  9. Glue the fruit slices where desired onto the garland, being sure not to get glue on the herbs and cinnamon sticks.
  10. Hang the garland where desired.

Variations:

  • Add small bells.
  • Add bows.
  • Make wreaths to match.
  • Make swags instead.

You could also:

  • Add herb/cinnamon bundles to your holiday tree.
  • Add fruit slice garland to the holiday tree.
  • Use the dried herbs in recipes when you take your decorations down.

Shannon

Pumpkin Fruit Bowl

Fruit bowls are not difficult to make using a mid-size pumpkin, or even one a bit bigger. These bowls, once dried some, will hold the fresh fruit for your Thanksgiving feast.

Materials

1 pumpkin

sharp knife

large spoon

fresh fruit, assorted varieties

wax/parchment paper, or a towel, or even a bowl if you have one that fits

  1. Cut the top off the pumpkin and discard. Scoop the insides of the pumpkin out, reserving the seeds for roasting.

  2. Scrape some of the flesh out to use in cooking, being sure to leave enough so the pumpkin is sturdy enough to hold fresh fruit.
  3. Allow to dry a few hours or over night.

  4. Place a bowl, wax or parchment paper, or even a towel, around the inside of the pumpkin so it covers the flesh.
  5. Put the pumpkin where it will be displayed, and place the fruit inside.

Tips

  • Grow your own pumpkins to save money.
  • When you’re done with the bowl, scrape more of the pumpkin out and place in a pot with boiling water to freshen the air.
  • Roast those pumpkin seeds!

Shannon

Kitchen Craft: Holiday Herb Garland or Swag

The scent of fresh herbs will be evident for a while once these are put together, adding a homey feel to any room in the house. These are easy to make, and will not take too much time. These make great decorations for autumn the autumn and winter sabbats and holidays.

Items Needed:

Grapevine or pine imitation garland or swag.

Twine

Scissors

Craft wire

Fresh herbs

Holiday bows

Nails and hammer or tacks

  1. Tie the fresh herbs together in bundles with twine.
  2. Attach the herb bundles to the garland or swag using craft wire, in whatever arrangement you would like.
  3. Attach a couple of holiday bows with the craft wire.
  4. Hang the garland or swag and enjoy the aroma while the herbs are drying.

Here are some tips:

  • Hang and allow to dry to give as gifts.
  • When giving as gifts, find boxes that these will fit nicely into.
  • The herbs can later be removed from the swag or garland and crumbled into canning jars to use when cooking.

Shannon

Make Pumpkin Bowls for Soups

Serving autumn soups in pumpkin bowls will add a nice element to an autumn feast, or a regular dinner or lunch. Great for Thanksgiving or any day.

How to Make Pumpkin Bowls:

1 small-sized pumpkin per person

food scoop

sharp knife

  1. Wash the pumpkins and allow the outsides to dry thoroughly.
  2. Cut the top off each pumpkin, just like you were going to carve it. Take the pumpkin strands and seeds off.
  3. Reserve the top to use as a cover for the bowl.
  4. Reserve the seeds for roasted pumpkin seeds.
  5. Scoop some of the pumpkin out to use in soups, but leave enough so the bowl will be sturdy while the soup is in it. Leave the pumpkin outside intact with no areas that are too thin.

Tips

  • Grow your own pumpkins to save money.
  • Use your spoon to scoop pumpkin from the insides as you eat the soup. This is still edible.
  • Roast those pumpkin seeds!

Serving Suggestions

  • Soups are healthy, and adding a side salad will give more of a nutritional punch.

What types of soups can be put into these Pumpkin Bowls? Any type of vegetable based soup will do. Look around this blog and see what interests you.

Shannon

Apple Napkins

These napkins will add a decorative touch to any holiday table, as well as to every day settings, and will go with the Apple Placemats we made a last week. These can be made or decorated with minimal effort and time, and will add a certain charm to the decor. The napkins can be created with pre-made placemats, if desired, making it an even easier project.

Materials:

apple stencil

napkins, premade or homemade (Choose an off white color.)

parchment paper

fabric paints: red and/or green

2 paint brush

  1. Wash and dry the napkins. Iron if needed.
  2. Put paints on parchment paper squares.
  3. Use the stencil to paint the apple onto the napkins.
  4. Allow to dry thoroughly before using.

Tips:

  • It is okay to use more than 1 size apple stencil per napkin, to create a apple tree, basket of apples, or whatever you desire.
  • You could use different shades of the same color paints on the mats.
  • Get creative: Outline the napkins with another autumn color paint, create a grouping of mini apples placed to the side of a tree, etc.
  • Use these napkins for every day table settings, or for holidays like Halloween and Thanksgiving.
  • These can also be used for Samhain.
  • Use cotton fabric.
  • This craft is easy for children to help with.

Share your apple crafts with us in the comments.

Happy crafting!

Shannon

Apple Placemats

Placemats add a decorative touch to any holiday table, as well as to every day settings. They can be made or decorated with minimal effort and time, and will add a certain charm to the decor. These can be created with pre-made placemats, if desired, making it an even easier project.

Materials:

apple stencil

placemats, premade or homemade (Choose an off white color.)

parchment paper

fabric paints: red and/or green

2 paint brushes

  1. Wash and dry the placemats. Iron if needed.
  2. Put paints on parchment paper squares.
  3. Use the stencil to paint the apple onto the placemat.
  4. Allow to dry thoroughly before using.

Tips:

  • It is okay to use more than 1 size apple stencil per placemat, to create a apple tree, an apple grouping, or whatever you desire.
  • You could use different shades of the same base color paints on the mats.
  • Get creative: Outline the placemats with another autumn color paint, paint an apple basket, or a bushel of apples, etc.
  • Use these placemats for every day table settings, or for holidays like Halloween and Thanksgiving.
  • These can also be used for Samhain.
  • Use cotton fabric.
  • This craft is easy for children to help with.

Share your apple crafts with us in the comments.

Happy crafting!

Shannon

Apple Candle Holders

This project is a great accompaniment for autumn place settings, and can be placed on the dinner or picnic table with the place settings. They are affordable to make, as you can often find bags of tea light candles for a couple of dollars, and the apples can usually be purchased fairly cheap.

Materials:

apples

knife and spoon

tea light or votive candles, scented if desired

  1. Using the knife and the spoon, scoop out the center of the apple from the top. Discard the seeds. Cut down only far and wide enough for a candle to fit in snugly.
  2. Wipe the apple with a cloth.
  3. Insert the candle.

Tips:

  • Use apples from your own orchard to save money.
  • Look for candles at the dollar store for extra money savings.
  • Place these candle holders on the holiday table, or on stands as part of the overall decor.
  • These can be used for any autumn day, but are especially wonderful additions to Halloween and Thanksgiving settings.
  • These are also great for Samhain.
  • Create a centerpiece with these by placing them on a plate or in a baking dish. Strew autumn leaves, pine cones and acorns in the bottom of the dish, add the apple candle holders, and then place the arrangement on the table.

Enjoy the autumn holidays! Do you have any apple craft ideas? Please post them to the comments.

Shannon