You will need:
• A bag of big juicing oranges
• A thimble
• A sharp vegetable knife
• Biro pen
Select your orange and find out which end it sits best on, without rolling. Then, at the opposite end, press your nightlight candle against the orange, and draw around it onto the peel with the biro pen. Next, cut around the circle with the vegetable knife, and scoop out a nightlight-sized hole in the top of the orange. This can be quite tricky, so do ask for an adult’s help.
Next, take a clove, and stick the sharp end into the orange skin (cushioning your finger with the rubber thimble). You can make any design you like, from snowflakes, to stripes and stars. Once your orange is decorated with cloves, stick a nightlight candle into the hole at the top.
Once the candle is lit, your holder will give off a lovely, Christmassy smell – perfect for that traditional festive mood.
Skill rating: 3/5
Make your own snow globe
You will need:
• 1 large jar with a well-sealing lid
• A blob of play clay (not play doh)
• A Christmas ornament that fits well inside the jar
• Some glitter – not too fine
• Pre-boiled water
• Silicone sealer (borrowed from dad)
• Tinsel, ribbon and paints to decorate
Press the plasticine or play clay into the inside of your jar lid. Shape it so that it sits well and makes a good base for your ornament. Then glue the blob of play clay in place, being very careful not to stick your fingers together at the same time. Ask for some help from mum or dad for this step. Next, stick your ornament into the play clay and glue it down too. Wait for them to set well.
Fill your jar to the brim with the cooled, boiled water and add a teaspoon of glycerin. This makes the snow and glitter flakes fall more slowly. Add your glitter to the water. Then take your decorated top, and screw it back onto the jar. Once this has been done, seal the jar lid with silicone sealer and wait for it to dry.
Finally, turn the jar upside down, using the lid as a base. You can now decorate the base with paints, tinsel and ribbon to make it really Christmassy.
Skill rating: 4/5
Easy gingerbread tree biscuits
You will need:
• 4 cups of plain flour
• 1 cup of golden syrup or molassas
• ½ cup of butter
• ½ cup of soft brown sugar
• ½ tsp ground cloves
• 3 tsp ginger
• 1 tsp cinnamon
• 1 tsp nutmeg
• 1 tsp mixed spice
• Baking parchment
• A skewer
• Cookie cutters
• Thin ribbon
In a bowl, combine all the flour and spices. Then in another bowl, mix the sugar, syrup and butter. Beat it well and then stir it into the flour mixture. Use your hands to mix it all up and draw it into a dough. It it’s too sticky, add some more flour and icing sugar until the consistency is firm.
Divide the dough into four balls, wrap them in cling film and put them into the fridge for a couple of hours. Mix icing sugar and a bit of flour and sprinkle it over the worktop. Then roll out the cookie dough on top of it, and cut out the cookie shapes. Move them to a baking tray covered in baking parchment, and make a small hole at the top of each decoration. This is where the ribbon will be tied. Bake them at 150°C until they are golden brown and firm to the touch.
When they are cool, thread the ribbon through them and hang them on your tree. The decorations will last for one to two weeks.
Skill rating: 2/5