You’d BETTER Watch Out!

I never really thought about that song, but it’s kind of ominous.  I promise that we can’t see you when you’re sleeping and don’t care what you’re doing when you’re awake—we aren’t Elves on Shelves (another creepy idea!)  The fact that I associate all of that with this post should worry you.

Kathy came by with a coverless magazine full of craft ideas.  I assume the cover left of its own free will after seeing the crafts in the magazine; call it an executive decision to consciously uncouple.  All is not lost, though.  The title page proudly announces: Woman’s Day Christmas Ideas For Children No. 15 copyright 1972.  It’s important to remember that these are crafts for children; what kind of monsters put this together?

This craft project for your front door was the inspiration for the whole post:

You had better watch out for that angry reindeer; he is two seconds away from goring you for just thinking about ringing the doorbell.  If you’re a porch pirate, well, better pick another house, pal; you’re not going to steal any packages from MY porch!  He’s made from cardboard shapes connected with brass fasteners.  I think those angry soulless eyes may require an animal sacrifice, at the least.

Just in case the other reindeer wasn’t bad enough, here’s the head of Rudolph:

I imagine most small kids would have nightmares for years after seeing this version of their favorite reindeer.  The directions go into incredible detail on how to make the head; the body, well that’s up to you after you “… slip reindeer’s head onto a wooden dowel and shove dowel into flower pot”.  It’s basically Rudolph’s head on a pike.  Ghastly!

Baby octopus is less horrendous, but maybe more perplexing:

It’s a gift box, and the tentacles are made from ribbon.  So. Many. Questions.  Why an octopus for Christmas?  Is there really such a thing as a “delightful baby octopus”?  Does anyone really want their Christmas gifts coming in a box with tentacles?  What do you do with a really big gift—make something the size of UrsulaPoor Unfortunate Souls, indeed!

Okay, Grinch, your heart needs to grow three sizes, at least:

Who on earth would want felt, yarn and pipe cleaner lollipops?  I don’t care if they’re sachets, decorations, or Christmas cards—this idea is straight from the Bad Place because its only purpose is to torture.

Time for a deep cleansing breath: in … out … repeat as needed.

I want to know what is wrong with plain glass candlesticks nestled in a bed of greens?

Kids could do that, too.  Instead, we’re told to save bottles, crinkle (wad) up aluminum foil, mold it to fit, and here’s the topper, “… arrange in interesting fashion.”  They’re only children!  I think that a professional decorator or florist would have trouble arranging these in an attractive way.  That group of candles on the right of the page looks like ICBMs, probably loaded with nukes, ready to be launched.  I don’t think that a craft magazine, targeted for kids, could be written by someone taking LSD—even in the 1970s.  But, that is the most reasonable explanation.  Women’s Day must have been a surreal place to work back in the day.

I chose this craft because there a one or two that I think could be fun:


Santa, minus all the beard crinkles, is kind of fun.  If my kid made him for me, I would treasure it.  Same with the reindeer ready to fall over from its enormous rack.  Even the drunk angel with the sliding halo strikes me as a reasonable kid’s craft.  But, what’s with the candle that looks more like a talon with a fiery nail?  The poor shepherd seems to be repelled by his malformed flock—that sheep looks like a hyena!  Just say no to the Christmas tree; there are lots of better trees out there.  This same magazine shows how to make Christmas trees out of green rickrack—they look great.  I’m leaving the scary bird for last.  Is it Quetzalcoatl?  A dragon?  Some other mythic feathered serpent?  Who knows; all I’m sure of is that it isn’t a bird.

Have an extra bike wheel in the garage?  Need a Christmas craft for a kid?  Do I have an idea for you:

Actually, this could be okay done right.  Spokes come off and you could thread big green and red beads on them, or anything with a hole on each end.  You could wrap greens, or even tinsel around the edge and it would look more Christmasy.  Even winding lights around the spokes could be nice.  To be honest, just like this isn’t too bad, except for the grapes.  Turns out that bike wheels are kind of handy things.  I’ve seen them used, with some spokes removed, as tomato cages—a couple of wheels stacked and suspended by stakes.  They would last forever.  There is a slide show dedicated to reusing bike wheels; some are pretty hokey, and some are pretty good.

I just couldn’t subject you or me to any more Women’s Day ideas, so I scanned a couple of things from this pamphlet:

Who knew that Styrofoam decorations could be benign?  Silly little elves perched inside giant balls of plastic, carved and overdecorated look great, now, n’est-ce pas?  Actually I adore silly little elves and have tons of them around—both Christmas and nonholiday versions.

Okay, we’re veering off a cliff here.  Bad Christmas projects are more common that good, sadly:

That Empress Tree is just ungodly!  I’m so glad that I didn’t scan the directions; no one should ever make one of these again.  The stacked flower arrangement on the right is pretty strange, too.  Gold glitter would be a horrendous mess for the rest of the year when it abandoned ship—and you KNOW it would.  Glitter never stays where I want it to; it’s the craft supply with a mind of its own.  I’m not fond of the bell and wreaths at the top of the page, but who’s looking at them with these other two car wrecks?

Lastly, yay!!!:

These are mostly weird and kind of funny.  The fringe pine cone (middle right), angel accent (right below fringe pine cone), and pom pom fringe ball (bottom left) crack me up.  I would hang them up in my house and they would blend in with all the other wacky vintage stuff that has been dragged home over the years.  Keep those gold glitter bombs/bells the heck away.  I have tons of dog fur to vacuum up; let’s not add to the mess.  The pine bouquet (middle bottom) is funny in a ha ha way, but it would be easy to pass up.

Well, now you know what not to do with Christmas crafts.  If you come across some Christmas craft fails, whip out your phone and take a picture.  We would love to see what you see and we mean that in a totally noncreepy way!

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4 Responses to You’d BETTER Watch Out!

  1. romitazz says:

    Now we know where are the weirdness that you find in the thrift shops originated from! LoL

    • kathy & deb says:

      No kidding!!That was some of the strangest stuff, ever. Our editor (BH) who has seen a lot, was reading the post with his mouth wide open! Lol

  2. Stephanie Gazell says:

    Oh my goodness, it’s amazing what people thought was “decorative”! And that tree next to the Santa with the round hole in his belly…why is it sitting on a piece of watermelon? I’m so confused! *chuckle* Well, there are lots of questionable “decorations” in my collection of holiday stuff, so I shouldn’t throw ornaments! ;>) Fun post, girls! 12 days to go!

    • kathy & deb says:

      That’s funny that you thought it was a watermelon under the tree–I did too! That was a whole magazine full of weirdness! Keep on keeping on!

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