Stick It To Christmas – Easy Projects to Make


Twig Card Holder

Hey, what did you think I meant? I like all things Christmas and all things crafted by hand in natural materials you might find in your garden. I have three, easy to make twig projects in this post that might just get you on the hunt for an arm full of twigs.

That is a prop tree in the image though, not my actual Christmas tree which will not be cut down quite yet.  Also, my twig card holder has yet to receive Christmas cards, but will be filled in time. Just thought to get the project posted if anyone is so inclined to make their own twig card holder.


Twig Card Holder Up Close.

This project was not designed for Christmas, but Halloween. You can see it in the post, Halloween is Watching. I am sorry I did not take a better image of it in that post. The post is filled with crafts I made for the holiday.

It was a window display which determined its overall dimensions that you see here. It is made of simple materials of twine, twigs and holding it together securely, a staple gun. The twine also helps in keeping the twig project square.

Additionally, the way you weave the twigs helps keep them in place and add further support so less staples are needed.


Twig Card Holder Before the Card

The image above is just to show the form and how the twigs are placed. You can see that the thicker twigs were positioned first to structure the project, and they are the ones that were stapled. The smaller twigs are added after and are mostly free-floating. They are held in by tension and the weaving process.

The last step was spray painting the card holder black. You will need at least three coats to get into all the crevices. You can leave the twig card holder natural, but the paint hides the staples. If you used brads, that would be less of an issue, but I am not sure brads would hold the project intact.

I have had the twig card holder in the attic for three years now for storage, so you can see it held up over time.


Twig Tree Ornament With Decorative Stone Christmas Balls

Another fun project with twigs is making Christmas tree ornaments out of natural materials. Above, the tree is made from twigs, cut and glued with wood glue. You can also drill a small hole in each piece to run fishing line through as a holder, but that takes a lot of time and careful drilling to do each branch and trunk piece.

Plus a negative, or positive depending on how you use it, the parts move. It looks a lot less like a tree when the pieces are at differing angles and mobile. I only ran fishing line through the top pieces. It is not seen as it is attached to and hidden by the twine. Twine is too thick to feed through a small hole.

The tree ornaments are aquarium gravel. They too are glued to the twigs. The only thing you may not have that I used on this project is a Dremel tool to shape the pieces to have more gluing surface. Each piece has a convex and concave partner. I am not sure if this is really necessary, but I do know they hold together pretty well once the glue is completely dry.


Twig Santa Complete

Our last stick is actually a stick figure, none other than Santa. I got the idea from another blog that swiped the image from Pinterest, yet no credit was given with a workable link. Mine is a bit different as it is a hanging ornament and a bit more refined.

You start out with a twig ½ inch in diameter or larger. The height is up to you, but 7-8 inches works pretty well. Slice off both ends so they are 90° and allow Santa to stand tall.


Twig Santa Carved

Next, you get out your Swiss Army knife and start whittling the hat. Make sure the knife is sharp. You can start with a softer wood, like Poplar also. I used the Norway Maple cast offs in my neighborhood because I do like the bark on maple. I would have used my Dremel, but this project can be made with little more than a knife, twig, twine, paint, and a nail.

After Santa’s hat is close to pointed, stop. See in the images, the flat point? This is for driving in a small, flat-headed nail, which you can see embedded in the twine knot. The flat head grips the twine, but more importantly, the flat part of the hat can not be too thin or you will split your Santa. I would drill the hole first, but made Santa without a power tool. A spot of glue keeps the nail secure and the knot tight.

The knot forms the pom-pom on his hat, and if you want to, you can paint it white. I chose not. You will add the hanger last.

Next you make a few passes with a sharp knife to fashion the face. I cut a slice at the forehead first so as not to go past that point. He looks pretty good unpainted, but to really look like Santa…


Twig Santa Painted

He gets painted with acrylics – tempera is fine too. You only need your choice of red and white. My red was Cadmium Red Medium and the white, Titanium White. I used them straight from the tube, no watering down. You want to apply the paint thickly to give some dimension to the fur and beard.

If you want, paint in his eyes, nose, rosy cheeks (red and white paint mixed), and mustache, then you might add black paint to the supplies. I kept it simple like the example from Pinterest. It is up to you how you design Santa. I added Santa’s uni-brow, then decided not to paint the face features actually.

After he is all painted like above and below, pop in the nail and hang the little guy on the tree. I used a push-pin to make the hole to receive the nail.

You can also make a slew of Santas and string them together as a garland. You could just drill a hole through and perpendicular to his hat to run your ribbon, fishing line or colored string. It would be a lot of work, but so cute.


Twig Santa from the Side

You like making cool Christmas ornaments, see my post from 201o called Fabulous, Fishy Christmas Gifts to Make. Make colorfully painted fish ornaments from sand dollars.

About Garden Walk Garden Talk

I love to photograph, paint, draw, design, garden, travel the world, and pass on a few tips and ideas that I learned through experience as a Master Gardener and architect. I am highly trained in my field and enjoy my work each and every day. I garden in Niagara Falls, NY in zone 6-B. Find me at:
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49 Responses to Stick It To Christmas – Easy Projects to Make

  1. You are so creative – LOVE IT!!! Thanks for sharing & Have a Great One:)

  2. A.M.B. says:

    These are great! These are the times I wish I were better at crafts because I know my kids would love to do this (particularly collecting the twigs and making the ornaments). I think we’ll try it! Thanks!

  3. I see me doing these this week with items found on my walks with JT 🙂 Thanks

  4. Great ideas! I’m doing a post tomorrow with photos of crafts made of dried flowers and will link back to this post. People will be busy!

  5. You have so much more energy than I do. Faceless Santa is kind of spooky. I would like to see how you would do the face. I think I figured out why the keyboard sometimes freezes on the iPad in the middle of typing a comment (remember we both had a problem with that). It seems to happen when you resize the page with your fingers. Once you do that the keyboard freezes.

    • Huh! That is a good catch on the freezing issue. I never had it happen again though. I thought it was due to loss of wireless signal. The tree took about an hour, and Santa about twenty minutes, letting the paint dry in between.

      I can carve easily as I used to carve wooden ducks. I had done maybe thirty ducks and sold most. The only few I kept, my Akita chewed off their tails and beaks. I almost ended his days when I got home from work.

  6. Love your Santas, whittling a few might be kind of fun. I don’t have much wall space, though I think the card holder is a clever idea.
    Am reading through your prior posts… took a few days (ok a week or more) off of reading blogs, boy they pile up!!

  7. nicole says:

    I so like them all but my favorite is the twig card holder…super cool!

    • The card holder does not have to be that big either. You can hang cards too, maybe with s hooks or if you don’t want to punch a hole, try two paper clips. One bent as a hook of course. I bet others have hanging ideas to add too.

  8. Donna your talents just go on and on…These are definitely fun projects to make. I marvel at the creativity of folks.

  9. Brian Comeau says:

    These are so cool. I’ll have to show my kids in the morning. My son likes to carve and use a jack knife so he’ll really like Santa twigs. Thanks!

  10. You never cease to amaze me, Donna! So multi-talented! You can give Martha Stewart a run for her money! Thanks for the great ideas.

  11. Barbie says:

    Ahhh!! Love the twig tree ornament and the twig card holder – this is right up my alley, being all rustic and all.

    The sparkling stars moving across your post is also so cute – how did you do that?

  12. Good Morning
    I have a STAR for you!!!!
    Yes I have nominated you for The Blog of the Year 2012 Award!


  13. I too love decor made from natural elements. I like that you repurposed your Halloween decor for Christmas! The twig Santa is great. I like that it doesn’t have a face…simple yet festive! Looks a bit Scandinavian.

  14. Indie says:

    I love the Christmas card display holder! I am always looking for a good way to display all my cards. I love ideas for homemade decorations. Next year my side of the family is doing an all homemade Christmas with all homemade gifts and such. Should be interesting – I need to start collecting ideas now!

  15. Donna, There is no end to your talents! Love your twig crafts. We cut our tree this weekend, as the grandchildren were visiting, and they always help. P. x

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  17. I love the Christmas tree!! I’m going to try it!

  18. Love all of these ideas! I see Santa ornaments going on my Christmas gifts as name tags! Thx for the post.

  19. Carolyn says:

    LOVE the Santa ornament…. is there anything you can’t do?

  20. Hi Donna, I must admit that I am not normally a fan of the handcrafted Christmas ideas I come across, but I love the the twig card holder, such a great idea. The other two are great as well, but I think I would find them too fiddly, I am far from dextrous when it comes to fine motor control…

    • It is hard to make twig crafts look kitschy. They have such a woodsy appeal. My tree has a lot of handmade ornaments. It adds so much to the Christmas spirit I think. I mix and match them with dried flowers and store bought items too.

  21. Karen says:

    Really love the tree ornament and will have to try it. Didn’t know you were so crafty. And if the tree in the picture is a prop, I can’t wait to see what the real thing looks like.

    • I am not crafty at all, really. I view craft items like you might find in a craft swap, but I do stained glass too, so I guess you would call that a craft. I just have a need and kinda just fill it. I usually can come up with the how.

  22. That twig card holder is beautiful! Christmas berries would go well with it.

  23. These are lovely ideas and great when weather makes yo stay inside!

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