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November 1998 Issue
by Jenny Wojcik
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(A great project for the kids!)
  • Tee shirt (a light color works best)
  • Tee shirt form or cardboard
  • # 2 Pencil
  • Brown fabric paint
  • Black fabric paint or Permanent Black Marking Pen
  • Red fabric paint or Permanent Red Marking Pen
  • Small cellulose sponge (the kind from the grocery store)
  • Plaid ribbon
  • Gold or Silver Jingle Bell
  • Fabric glue or needle and thread
  • 2 Clean (preferably kids’) Hands
Insert the shirt form or cardboard and secure with tape or pins to give you a smooth working surface. Next, take the pencil and draw a large circle (this will be the reindeer face) in the center of the shirt’s front, leaving a clean working space at both the top and bottom of the shirt. (It doesn’t have to be perfect, but if you’re afraid to free-hand this, just use a dinner plate and outline it with the pencil!) Now paint the inside of the circle with brown fabric paint, and let that dry completely. Add two eyes and a mouth with the black fabric paint or pen. Using the red fabric paint or pen, add a red reindeer nose.

Have the kids spread their fingers and dip both hands into the brown paint. With fingers still opened, have them place their hands slightly above the brown circle to make the reindeer antlers! Clean up the kids while the shirt dries. To make the ears, take the small cellulose sponge and trim off the corners to end up with an oval shape. Dip this into the fabric paint and position it under the antlers, next to the face.

Add a plaid ribbon bow and a bell at the base of the antler face and voila - you’ve got a great handmade gift for parents, grandparents, teachers, aunts and uncles - the list goes on.

Lastly, have the child sign the shirt if he/she is old enough. If not, sign it for them. It will surely be a treasured gift.


  • Foam or Styrofoam ball shapes
  • Fabric
  • Low temperature hot glue or E6000
  • Ribbon or cording
  • Gold/Silver/Bronze/Copper Leaf
  • Leaf sizing
There are several ways to create your own ornaments. Some may prefer to cover the foam ball shapes with fabric and ribbon, some with metallic leaf, or perhaps you’d like to come up with a ‘recipe’ of your own. If you’ve made the topiary trees or the pinecone trees in gold and silver, you may want to continue that look with your ornaments. The basic technique follows.


Cut fabric into circles. Glue fabric to the Styrofoam balls with low-temperature hot glue or for a stronger hold you may use E6000. Tie a ribbon around the diameter of the ball, and then around the circumference of the ball, leaving enough ribbon to hang the ornament from. You may wish to t-pin the connection of the ribbon, or it can be glued into place as well.


Coat the surface of the ball form with leaf sizing and allow it to rest until it becomes tacky. Attach the leaf paper one sheet at a time, using a small brush to burnish it onto the ball form.

Once the metallic leaf is dry, you may want to use decorative cording to enhance it or as a method for hanging it on the tree. Cording can be added with low-temp hot glue or E6000.

You can achieve a great look by using gold leaf papers, silver leaf papers and overlapping bronze leaf papers. There’s no design to this one - it’s all a free form project.

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