Joan McGriff with the Chilton County Extension Office assists Janis Wilson (left) on making decorative Christmas balls. The craft was part of a workshop sponsored by the extension titled, "Christmas on a Dime."
Joan McGriff with the Chilton County Extension Office assists Janis Wilson (left) on making decorative Christmas balls. The craft was part of a workshop sponsored by the extension titled, "Christmas on a Dime."

Archived Story

Thorsby decorator teaches tips for Christmas on a dime

Published 5:08pm Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Standing in a sea of red and green Christmas decorations on Tuesday, Thorsby resident and decorator Julie Rockett taught 20 women various tips on how to have “Christmas on a Dime.”

Rockett presented the first in a series of four holiday workshops titled “Catch the Holiday Spirit” sponsored by the Chilton County Extension Office.

Rockett shared different Christmas craft ideas, tips for unique gifts and allowed those in attendance to make two different crafts in preparation for the holiday season.

“I want everyone to get excited about Christmas,” Rockett said. “It is never too early to start thinking about decorating for the holidays.”

Part of Rockett’s workshop focused on different economical gift ideas including themed baskets filled with goodies and stocking stuffers.

Rockett stressed checking out the clearance section at different retail stores including Hobby Lobby, Home Accents and T.J. Maxx for Christmas ribbon or holiday themed pieces that could be used as gifts.

“Holiday ribbon that is leftover from the Christmas season is almost always on clearance,” Rockett said. “Stock up on the ribbon and use that to weave through a basket you can find for $1 at the Dollar Store. Fill that basket up with goodies and it makes a personalized gift for someone that you didn’t have to spend a lot of money on.”

With holiday themed parties, Rockett said she often takes a clear jar and fills up the jars with candy to bring color to a room or she will create a hot chocolate station when company comes to visit.

“You don’t have to spend a lot of money to have unique Christmas decorations in your home,” Rockett said. “You can take a paper towel holder, glue some Christmas ribbon to the outside of it, cut the paper towel holder to a particular size and you have some decorative napkin rings that didn’t cost a lot of money at all.

Rockett often helps people decorate their homes for the holidays and stressed on Tuesday that it is the “little things that make a difference.”

At the end of the workshop, Rockett showed the women how to make a decorative holiday ball using a piece of Styrofoam, five strands of Christmas ribbon and quilting pins.

The women pinned each strand of ribbon on the ball and made a decoration that Rockett said can be used anywhere in the home.

Rockett also helped the women decorate a plastic container divider dish to hold different holiday goodies.

“These containers can be purchased at Fred’s dollar store for $2.50 and are perfect when you need to take baked goods to a party,” Rockett said.

Rockett also shared a recipe with the women for an “easy” Christmas mix that she often makes when out of town guests visit.

Rockett’s Christmas mix recipe includes:

1 bag of Chex Mix any flavor

1 jar of dry roasted peanuts

1 bag of M&M’s

1 bag of butterscotch morsels

1 bag of Craisins

Rockett said all of the ingredients can be mixed together in a bowl and served in decorative Christmas bags for gifts or stored in a decorative Christmas cookie jar.

“Even if you do something small, choosing decorations for the holidays should make you happy,” Rockett said. “Christmas on a dime is easy and fun.”

The next workshop will be “Holiday Spending Tips” on Sept. 10 from 10 a.m.-noon.

For more information or register for one of the workshops, contact the extension office at (205) 280-6268.

Due to limited space, each class requires registration and a $5 charge.

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