How to create a fund-raising Christmas tree

This time of year, charities look for ways to raise funds for needy families or community organizations. Creating a Christmas tree, decked out with handmade ornaments, is one way to do that—and get a group involved in crafting fun. Here's how we made the charity "tree" shown in photos here.

Each year, the Kreinik staff gathers around one of our big work tables in the silk department to make holiday ornaments. It's not just a holiday party (although cookies from a favorite local bakery are involved), and not just a way to play with Kreinik threads. We make ornaments and decorate a tree that will be auctioned off for charity by the local Easter Seals organization. While it's fun to make the project, it's even more exciting to see how much money is raised through the auction. Everyone wins.

This year's ornaments featured a few crafty techniques (look for full instructions on our 25 Days of Free Christmas Projects calendar on the Kreinik website this month). We covered foam balls with double-sided tape, wrapped Kreinik metallic threads around them, then covered the remaining areas with shiny beads. In another project, we wrapped metallic threads around pine cones. Metallics are such an easy way to dress up any craft item, and add that holiday sparkle. Look for Kreinik 1/8" Ribbon and Heavy #32 Braid, two of our thickest metallics, for the prettiest punch.

Our ornaments were set into metal trays, which we decorated with Kreinik Micro Ice Chenille (one of our fly fishing products). The design makes a lovely centerpiece for a table, foyer, or mantle. Doug Kreinik claims the concept heralds from the olden days."Yes, the Italian Pan Tree was a popular table decoration used towards the end of the 19th century. I think it came from the Trieste Region of  Italy," Doug recalls. "The Pan Tree was frequently created from discarded olive oil pails filled with boughs from the Alps, decorative balls, a tradition of eastern Italy and pine cones, the national fruit of Albania. The Pan Tree's small size enabled them to be placed on tables festooned with small gifts for children."

The whole project is a fun way to spend some time crafting, plus make something that benefits the local community. Great idea—take it and run with it to raise money in your own area.

Happy holidays to everyone.

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News direct from thread maker Kreinik Mfg. Co., Inc., located in Parkersburg, West Virginia. Visit our factory outlet store when you are in the area; call for hours 1-800-537-2166.

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