When we wanted some Christmas decorations that were crafty, big and bright, we knew just who to ask. Canadian designer Sherry Clark has her own special way of combining simple shapes into easy-to-duplicate designs. Her colourful craft-foam decorations can be hung on a tree, strung onto a garland or given as an inexpensive gift. Personalize one and tie it to a present as a tag -- next year the recipients can hang it on their tree -- or give one all on its own to a coworker, coach or music teacher. Use Sherry's designs as a starting point, then play with the shapes, the paints, the patterns and the colors. Scale the sizes up or down. And get your children involved -- it's a fun family activity for a winter afternoon.
Craft foam in assorted colors
Dimensional fabric paint in assorted colors
Scraps of yarn, narrow satin ribbon, beaded cord and other trims
Tacky glue, permanent fine-tip marker, scissors and hole punch
Lightweight cardboard, carbon paper and pencil (optional)
Note: Enlarge patterns photostatically to make grid of 2.5 cm (1-in) squares. Make 3 copies of each.
1. Referring to colour diagram as a guide, cut out patterns as follows: From 1 copy, cut out background patterns along black lines, then from second copy, cut out appliquÃ© shapes shown by pink and blue shaded areas. If you wish to make more durable pattern pieces, trace paper shapes onto cardboard and then cut them out.
2. Lay patterns on desired colour of foam, trace with marker and cut out just inside marker lines. If desired, punch holes in appliquÃ© shapes or along edges for a lacy look.
3. Glue first-layer appliquÃ© shapes (indicated by the red areas on pattern), then second-layer appliquÃ© shapes (indicated by the blue areas on pattern), in place on decoration front. Let dry.
4. Using desired colours of paint, draw dots, lines and details (indicated by green on pattern) freehand on decoration front. As an alternative to drawing freehand, transfer dots and details from remaining copy of pattern onto decoration front using carbon paper and pencil, then paint.
If desired, personalize front or back of decoration with name, brief greeting and/or date.
5. Glue yarn hair and beaded cord halo to front of angel's head, then glue on the trim as desired.
6. From yarn, cut 18 cm (7-in) length; fold in half to make hanging loop. At tip, or midpoint along the edge of decoration and approx 1 cm (3/8 in) down edge, glue yarn ends to decoration back or punch hole in decoration; thread ends through hole and tie together.