(Editor's Note: This article was originally published on December 27, 2008. We hope you enjoy it as we count down to Christmas.)

ImageAren't we all like children, when it comes to Christmas presents ? My family loves chocolate first, especially the chocolate Santa. Then maybe I can add some gloves for my hubby, a cap and a muffler for the kids, or some pijamas. Not much, but they are folded with love and everyone is happy to find a gift under the tree!

Decorating the tree was always my task and a big pleasure for me. I love to surprise my family and see them happy, and Christmas has always been perfect for this. But the biggest surprise of all was the tree!

When I was a kid, my mom would decorate it with many little toys, most of them homemade. She was a great craft-maker. She always made little carton baskets, covered with colored corrugated paper; and little stars, made of chocolate-gilded covers or cellophane, and many other crafts her imagination would conceive! And it was a must that our livingroom to be decorated like a ball room, with garlands. Image

When I grew up, I began decorating the tree myself and made the crafts too. I enjoyed so much doing the chain made of colored craft paper which I learned to make in school. Of course, we couldn't find so many globes and tree toys back then; now the stores are full of all kinds of decorations, all so beautiful (yet, so expensive.) I still like to make decorations and try to do a different one every year.


There was a time when we couldn't even find a Christmas tree, just branches; those were hard communism years. One Christmas I took a big branch and made a little tree of it. It wasn't that easy, but I always have some wires and sticks in my house (one never knows what comes next.) I cut the little branches and applied it on their initial layer, tight up on a stick, to make it stronger. It was really looking like a Christmas tree. All this was done in secret, after the kids went to sleep. I had to come up with an excuse, so they would go to bed earlier. They were up at 4 a.m. to see what Santa brought!

This year I decided to make some carton baskets, like those my mom used to make. First, I searched for some cartons I've been saving from the calendars. I made the bottom of the basket by cutting a rectangle, than making it round at each end.


I made the basket's body with a carton strip, which I measured to be the rectangle's size. I used a stapler to stick the two ends together .


The body is sewed to the bottom.


It's starting to look like a basket, isn't it? Now I had to put a handle and staple it to the body of my basket.


The little basket is ready to be covered with corrugated paper... I chose orange.

First, I covered the handle with a narrow strip, like in the picture and stuck it with a bit of glue.


Next was a larger strip for the body, also stuck with glue.


The covering for this basket is made with another strip, folded, then carefully cut in small strips, like fringes. First fringes get stuck at the bottom and another one layer is added on top.


ImageMy basket is ready now and it almost looks like mom's!


Another idea just came to my mind: something to fill the basket. I used some small presents that I already had, and also my crafts.

If you want to learn how to make the presents, you might want to read the article I wrote last year about my crafts.

Many thanks to our DG friends, Marylyn_Tx and Victorgardener, for their beautiful pictures I used here.

Merry Christmas!