2020 has been a strange year. But just because there’s a pandemic going on doesn’t mean you can’t adapt your holiday routines and traditions to be more COVID-19 friendly. In the spirit of social distancing, have a crafting session with friends and family over Zoom or FaceTime. 

I tried out three different holiday crafts and rated each one so you can choose which one to teach at your next virtual meetup. 

To be quite honest, I’ve never used Pinterest before. So I was a tad daunted by the prospect of sifting through hundreds of holiday pins in search of crafts. That’s why I reached out to my dear friend, University of Connecticut and WHUS Radio alum, Shira Tall for some help. 

“I love the overall atmosphere of the holiday season,” she said. “Spending time with family and friends, the lights, the music, peppermint-flavored everything, giving to others, even the snow. I love it all. I think the holidays have been really a time for me to give gratitude and be thankful for what I have.”

With a fixed and steady determination, we scoured Pinterest, Google and even consulted some friends and family for ideas. Ultimately, we found three fun crafts that’ll be perfect for your next video chat. They’re relatively easy to make and can be adapted to whichever holiday you’re celebrating. 

Shira and I FaceTimed one night to do the test run, and surprisingly it went very well! I’m not going to lie, I thought it might be a train wreck. I’m either a hit or miss when it comes to arts and crafts (ironic, huh?), but it was a blast. We rated each craft on a scale of 1-10 with 1 being clean and easy and 10 being messy and difficult.

Photo: Ally Urban

The first craft we tried out was this Christmas tree mason jar votive. Conveniently, I had a mason jar lying around, and Shira cleverly made do with an empty peanut tin. Once you have your jar, vase or candle holder of your choosing, pick your paint and design and have at it! 

I went with a red Christmas tree design and freestyled the tree outline, though I recommend using the included stencil (that’s totally what I should have done but I was stubborn – don’t be like me!). I used two coats of acrylic, and I suggest waiting 10-15 minutes between coats. 

Pro tip: if you mess up, apparently acrylic comes off of glass pretty neatly with a wet paper towel or Q-tip. 

Ally’s Review: It would have been easier to use the paper stencil, and I made a little bit of a mess with the paint. But if you actually prep your workstation and materials, it’ll be easier. 

Shira’s Review: I definitely should’ve listened to Ally and actually bought a jar which would’ve made it a lot easier. I ended up using a recycled nut can and cut a tree out from that and then painted it. I had a little difficulty with the Xacto knife but painting a jar is a lot easier. Overall though I really like how this one came out!

While waiting for the paint on the candle jars to dry, we moved onto paper snowflakes and pom pom holiday cards. The cards are great because they can easily be adapted for different holidays or just as a general winter greeting card. I decided on sticking with the Christmas tree vibe while Shira opted for a snowman. 

“I really enjoy making and sending cards,” she said. “It’s so simple and easy to do, and I love sending mail to others. It’s such an easy craft that you pretty much can’t mess up and you can get super creative with!” 

Ally’s Rating: A certified, Ally-approved craft! No mess, very easy to glue the pom poms on with a glue gun or glue stick and perfect for both kids and adults. I didn’t do much drawing, and assembling the pom poms into a tree shape was very easy.

Shira’s Rating: You can get really complicated for the drawings, but overall it’s super easy. I used a glue stick for my pom pom and it lasted! No clean up necessary since it was just drawing/coloring a card. 

As for the snowflakes, we modified the steps and just folded the paper into fourths and cut random shapes from there. If you want to make a more realistic looking snowflake, follow the steps outlined in the linked tutorial. It’s still very easy!

Ally’s Review: Don’t be fooled, paper snowflakes are harder than they look! My friend Alicia inspired me to include these as a craft because she made a paper snowflake for one of her work friends, who proceeded to laminate it and put it in her wallet. I thought it was very cute and wholesome so you can totally make snowflakes and give them to your friends and family!

Shira’s Review: Literally kids could do this with safety scissors it’s so easy and an instant classic. All you need to do is cut. 

Let us know how you liked these crafts in the comments! If you’re looking for more inspiration and things to do, Pinterest is a great place to find more holiday crafts and Michaels has a DIY Holidays YouTube playlist with DIY ornaments, t-shirts, wall decor and more.

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