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    Christmas ideas

    Happy Lighted Snowman

    Light up the yard and the holiday season with this sturdy snowman's everlasting smile. Strings of Christmas-tree lights brighten his outlook, and a coffee-can top hat and a hand-me-down scarf add a joyful personality.

    Measuring & Cutting

    What You Need:Happy Snowman Outdoor Decoration
    • 4x8-foot piece of 3/4-inch particleboard
    • Tape measure
    • Pencil
    • Jigsaw
    • 12-inch piece of 1-inch-diameter dowel
    • 5-inch piece of 1/2-inch-diameter dowel
    • Drill with 1/2- and 1-inch drill bits
    • Sharp knife
    • 39-ounce coffee can (6-3/4 inches tall with a 7-1/8-inch diameter)
    • White, black, and orange spray paints
    • 3 strings of white Christmas lights
    • Grapevine branches
    • Scarf
    • Artificial greens and berry stems
    • Construction adhesive
    • Caulk gun

    Instructions:

    1. Download the diagram for this project here. Downloading requires Adobe Acrobat software.

    Happy Lighted Snowman Pattern

    Download Adobe Acrobat


    2. Mark and measure snowman front/back piece. Measure 12-1/2 inches from edge on one 8-foot side of board; lightly draw a line the entire length of the particleboard, referring to the diagram. Beginning at the 4-foot side (the bottom edge) of the board, measure along the marked line at 10-1/2-, 29-1/2-, and 42-inch intervals, and mark each with a dot. Beginning at the bottom of the board and using the 10-1/2-inch mark as the center point, draw a 24-inch-diameter circle. Draw an 18- and 12-inch circle in the same manner using dots as center of the circles. Note: The circles will overlap.

    3. Draw slot-cutting lines. Measure and mark a dot along the center line 24 inches from the bottom of the board. Draw a parallel line 3/8 inch from the center line on each side of the line to create a 3/4-inch-wide slot.

    4. Measure snowman sides piece. Measure 34 inches from the opposite 8-foot edge of the particleboard and draw another center line the full length of the particleboard. Measure and draw 24-inch- and 18-inch-diameter circles in the same manner as directed above for the snowman shape. Measure and mark all the cutting lines for the slot as directed above.

    5. Measure additional pieces from particleboard. Draw two 2-1/2-inch-diameter eyes, three 3-1/2-inch-diameter buttons, and one 10-inch-diameter hat brim circle in an open area of particleboard.

    6. Cut out all of the pieces, including slots.

    7. Drill. For nose: Drill a 1-inch-diameter hole 3/4 inch deep along center line of snowman front/back, 6 inches from top of the head. For buttons: Mark and cut a 3/4-inch strip from center of each of the 3-1/2-inch-diameter button circles. Set aside half-circle shapes. For attaching hat: Drill a 1/2-inch-diameter hole, 1 inch deep, into top center of snowman's head and in center of hat brim. For inserting arms: Drill a 1/2 inch diameter hole in each side of snowman front/back, 6 inches from neck. For light sockets: Measure and drill 3/8-inch holes every 2 inches around perimeter of snowman front/back and side pieces. Drill a 1/2-inch hole in the neck to pass light string through to the front.

    8. Cut mouth pieces. Cut 7 disks, 3/8-inch thick, from 1-inch-diameter dowel.

    9. Whittle nose. Use a sharp knife to shave end of 1-inch dowel until it resembles a carrot.


    Assembly

    10. Assemble hat. Center the coffee-cancontainer on hat brim; adhere in place using construction adhesive. Push 1/2-inch dowel into hat brim, adhering in place with construction adhesive.

    11. Paint the pieces. Paint body pieces white. Paint eyes, buttons, hat brim, mouth pieces, and coffee can black. Paint nose orange.

    12. Assemble snowman. Slip front/back and side pieces together by matching slots. Cement eyes, nose, mouth, and button half-circles in place with adhesive.

    13. Add lights. Beginning at bottom of snowman front/back, insert lights into drilled openings around body. Repeat for snowman side, passing light string through the opening in neck to front.

    14. Add hat, arms, and scarf. Insert dowel on hat into the opening at the top of head. Insert grapevine arms into armholes. Tie scarf around snowman's neck.




    Giant Icicles

    These icicles, made with window screen and plastic wrap adorned with white lights and baubles, are as irregularly beautiful as the real thing.

    From the book, Christmas: 101 Wondrous Ideas

    Ice Cascades

    What You Need:
    • Window screen (available in rolls at hardware stores or home centers)
    • Scissors
    • Clear rhinestones, large silver sequins, and otherembellishments
    • Boxes of plastic wrap
    • Strings of miniature white lights
    • Thin aluminum wire
    • Needle-nose pliers
    • Gloves
    • Hot-glue gun and glue sticks
    • Hammer and nails or staple gun and staples

    Icicles

    Instructions:

    1. Cut screen into a long, narrow triangle. (Our icicles ranged from 15 to 36 inches long and about 8 to 14 inches across the top.) Scatter some embellishments on the screen.

    2. Bunch up a long, narrow cylinder of plastic wrap; place over the embellishments along center of screen triangle. (The plastic wrap will keep the trims secure.)

    3. Arrange white lights on plastic wrap, leaving both ends free at top of triangle (for stringing to other lights). Try to keeplightbulbs visible outside of plastic wrap and tuck wire within wrap.

    4. Bring long edges of the triangle together and secure with pieces of small twisted wire, leaving top open. When completely wired closed, scrunch and mold to create irregular icicle appearance. Wear gloves during this step, as the screen edges and wire ends are prickly.

    5. Hot-glue or wire some embellishmentsto outside of icicle. Hang from eaves or gutters either by wiring, nailing, or stapling. Hang one at a time, spacing as desired and connecting light strands when needed.









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