As time is about the slip right on past Thanksgiving weekend into the holiday and Christmas season, there are still remnants of the Halloween haul around our house, primarily more than our fair share of creepy-crawlies like those plastic spider rings and little rubber snakes.
To help bring the mood from haunting to holiday cheer, turn some of those Halloween leftovers into easy, sparkly ornaments for your tree or home—with little or no effort.
Christmas Spider Webs
Little spider web tree ornaments pop up occasionally at Christmas and winter bazaars, as a reference to an eastern European legend of the Christmas spiders. In the version I heard, a poor woman wanted to decorate the pine tree outside her home to surprise her children for Christmas, but had no money to do so by the time Christmas Eve rolled around. Christmas morning, she looked out the window to see the tree covered with elaborate spider webs. The first rays of Christmas sun shone on the tree, and the webs turned into silver and gold. The dewdrops became precious gems. The family was no longer poor, and a good Christmas was had by all.
Ergo, a spider web on the tree is a symbol of luck.
To make these, clip the back off of a plastic spider ring and spray the spider with some silver, gold, or another festive color. Add some little beads, jewels, rhinestones, or glitter to make it sparkly. Place it aside for later.
For the web, use wooden skewers (or toothpicks for a smaller web). Arrange three or four skewers on top of each other to look like a web, and use a glue gun to hold the shape.
Tie a piece of embroidery floss around the middle, and begin wrapping around the center of the web. Once done, tie the string a little way up one of the skewers (use a drop of glue to hold it in place as you go), and begin working your way around the skewers from the center out to form a web. Make a loop once you get to the outer end to use to hang the web. Spray or paint it silver or gold, and add glitter, small beads, or rhinestones to make dewdrops. Use toothpicks for smaller webs that can be hung from gifts.
Finally, glue the spider onto the web.
You don’t have to stick with silver, gold, or traditional Christmas colors. My kids couldn’t resist a shout out to a favorite character from the Spider-verse.
Snakes don’t always set of a holiday season vibe, although I have seen them on themed trees such as Jungle Book, Harry Potter, and Nightmare Before Christmas.
Dragons, however, are magical, no matter how or what you celebrate, and turning little rubber snakes into little flying dragons for Christmas or other holidays is simple.
To turn a snake into a simple dragon, fold a piece of cardstock or cardboard in half and draw a simple wing shape, cut it out and unfold it (like you would a valentine), and glue the wings along the crease on the snake, just below its head.
Use the same method to make the tail, and glue it on to the tip of the snake tail.
Paint the dragon the color(s) you want and add some sparkly adornments to make it festive, similar to the spider. Use little holly leaves, blue-and-silver stars, add some steampunk gears, or make him fit your favorite storybook or fantasy novel.
If you want to hang it from a tree or window, many of these snakes are soft enough for a screw eye to be screwed into the head at the end.
That jump from the Halloween to the Christmas or holiday season happens pretty fast, so why not give a little of the leftover frights a festive makeover?