Sunday, December 14, 2014



Today was nice weather to go on an adventure.  We learned how to make Christmas toys from the Past at Sugar Lands Great Smoky Mountain National Park.  The volunteers offered a hands on experience on  how to make Christmas presents like they did long ago.  Some of the examples;  walking stick, apple doll, and fabric wreath of long ago were my favorite.

How to make a wooden a walking stick.

When you pick out a walking stick it should have three qualities

1.       Choose a strong and durable base for the stick, it must be sturdy.

2.        John the wood carver says, pick your walking stick as tall as eye level. Why?  You need the length for walking down the mountain. Not only do you need your walking stick to help you hiking.  You need your walking stick long enough to hiking back down the mountain. 

3.        Pick out light weight wood.  John made a twisted walking stick that was made from a honey suckle vine, it was the lightest out of all his stick

4.       Search for a stick with no branches, so when you carve it’s easier to remove  bark.  Remove bark with a tool called draw knife.  I took a picture of John using his, easiest to debark on green wood.


How to make Dried Apple Dolls    

1.       Begin by taking any size or brand of apple, then peel the skin.
2.       Make a face on one side of the apple
       How to carve face.  Using a kitchen knife,  carve eyes, nose, and mouth.
3.       Soak the apple in lemon juice and a pinch of salt for 30 minutes.
4.       Next, poke a wire through the apple then hang it up in a well ventilated area and let it dry.
        Drying time is different depends on where you live.  In the mountains drying takes a week.
5.       Nature decides if it turns out to be a boy or girl.  Heads can be made in to ornaments. The Bodies can be made using wire poked inside bottles, and any available materials for clothing.

How to make a Fabric Wreath.

What you will need:

-3  solid or pattern  Scraps of Fabric 
-Yarn any color
                                          For this wreath we used three different color fabrics.

                                Cut strip of fabric. Fabric can be any length but must be ½ inch in width and have a short piece of string ready to finish the project
                      A.Begin by taking the three strips of fabric and making them even at the top. Then tie the yarn around the three pieces of fabric at the top leaving some fabric.

B. Brade the three pieces to the end leave some fabric  
                              C. Pinch the end and bring the end up to the tied end making  a circle, now take the yarn and tie the ends together.
                                         D. Almost done, even-up the extra fabric by trimming off the bottom to look like a bow. (See picture below)

                                                Christmas Wreath from the Past