During the holidays, you will likely encounter cranberries. This seasonal berry makes frequent appearances at holiday meals. While they are delicious in recipes, cranberries can also be used for creative pursuits-including homemade holiday decor.
Your kids will love to work with this unusual craft supply while also helping to set a festive mood for family celebrations.
Use a Bundt pan to create an unconventional holiday wreath as an outdoor decoration. Begin by filling the Bundt pan ²/³ full with cold water. Distribute 1 to 1½ cups of cranberries into the water. Add a small branch of holly leaves or other seasonal greenery as an optional decoration. Place the Bundt pan into the freezer on a level surface until the water is frozen solid (best to let it sit overnight).
Have all of your supplies ready before you remove the pan from the freezer because you will need to work quickly to get your wreath outside before it melts. Cut a length of ribbon to hang your wreath. Take the pan out of the freezer, turn it upside down and place your hand on top of the pan. Hold it above the sink and run warm water over the bottom of the pan. After about 10 seconds, carefully pry the frozen ice wreath from the pan. Loop the ribbon through the middle of the wreath so that it is even on both sides. Tie the ribbon around a tree branch and proudly display your cranberry ice wreath.
Note that this project will only work when the outside temperature is below freezing for a sustained period of time.
Cranberries can also be used to embellish table decorations such as poms (decorative balls) or trees. This project would be a great activity for kids to do at a holiday get-together while they wait for the meal to be ready. Begin with a foam shape purchased from the craft store. The best options are either a ball or a cone-shaped tree. In preparation for this project, an adult needs to cut several dozen toothpicks in half or cut larger wooden dowels or skewers into 1 ½-inch pieces.
Before you begin, remind kids to be careful when working with the pointy toothpicks. Carefully insert one end of the toothpick or wooden piece into a cranberry. Next, insert the other end of the toothpick into the foam shape. Press until secure. Place the cranberries as close together as possible. Repeat until the foam shape is covered with cranberries. Display on your holiday table.
Caitlin Murray Giles is a full-time mother of three and part-time freelance writer living in Wicker Park.
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