Yule Crafts
for Young Pagans

 

Make a Yule Log

The Yule Log is an ancient Pagan Tradition that goes back many 100s of years.

The Winter Solstice (Yule) it is the darkest time of the year.  Yet on this day, the Sun is “re-born” in the sky and begins to grow stronger and stay out longer and longer.  The Yule log represents the Light overcoming the Darkness.

Since the celebrating and parties would last for as long as the log burned, people would choose the biggest log they could find.  Sometimes the log would be so large that it required a team of horses to drag it home!  Then the families would decorate it, pour wine over it and sing songs around it.  The Yule log represents Good Luck in the coming year.

Decorating the log is so much fun and there are so many ways you can do it!

Tie pine and holly to it with a bright red ribbon.  Glue on Pine Cones, berries and even dried flowers.  Color and cut out little paper suns and glue them to ribbons that can dangle down.  Sprinkle the whole log with glitter from a craft store.  Each member of the family can even write little wishes for the coming year on bits of paper then roll the paper up like scrolls and tuck them under the ribbons.

If you don’t have a fireplace you can just "glue" a candle on the top of the log with a bit of melted wax!

 

Yule Tree Decorations to Make

 

Elsie has a special little pine tree that she brings in and decorates each Yule.  She likes to use all homemade and mostly natural ornaments.  Here are some of her favorites.  You might like to try them:

 

Cinnamon Stick Bundles - Bundle a few short cinnamon sticks together using a bit of slender ribbon and tie a bow and a loop at the top.  Then glue on little sprigs of holly, pine or dried flowers like rose buds, marigolds or baby’s breath, tucking the stems under the bow.

 Bay Balls - Take some Bay leaves.  Fresh is best but if all you have is dried, then soak them overnight in warm water to make them pliable (that means you can bend them more easily without breaking them).  The next morning, pat them dry.  Next, take a Styrofoam ball and use Tacky Glue to cover it with bay leaves.  Start at the bottom of the ball and work your way toward the top so they overlap a bit.  Some of the leaves you may have to hold in place while the glue dries so they don’t pop up. Cloves or rosebuds stuck through the leaves into the ball will help hold the leaves in place and look pretty besides.  A very pretty effect is to “dust” your finished ball with a light spray of gold paint.  Pin a pretty loop of ribbon or gold cording to the top to hang it by.

 

Pinecone Ornaments - If you have pine trees in your area, collect the fallen cones.  If not, you can buy the cones in a craft store.  Cover the very edges of the pinecone with glue and sprinkle glitter over the glue. It will look like the cones are tipped with frost – very pretty! You can also simply spray paint the cones gold or silver and then immediately sprinkle them all over with iridescent glitter.
Pinecones are light enough to just tuck into the tree’s branches or you can glue on a ribbon loop to hang it with or twist a loop of wire around the base.

Cinnamon Stick Pentagrams (this project uses hot glue, so parents might wish to help younger children) Soak 5 cinnamon sticks (each about the same length) overnight in warm water.  In the morning, pat them dry and form them into a pentagram. The soaking will make them pliable so that as you overlap them, they will bend more easily.  Hot glue the ends together and then wrap the ends also with twine or raffia and tie it off.  Use extra raffia to create a loop at the top for hanging.

Yule Sachets - Take about a 4 inch square of lace or fabric (if you’re going for a very “organic”, natural look for your tree, then burlap works well)  In the center, put a tablespoon of Yule sachet mixture,  bring the ends of the fabric up and tie ribbon or twine around the top making a little pouch with the herbal mixture inside.  Tuck a sprig of holly, mistletoe or little birch pinecones into the ribbon. If you can find a rubber stamp at the craft store with a sun, star or moon on it, you can stamp the outside of the fabric with a picture before adding your herbs.

Yule Sachet Mixture - 2 parts fragrant pine leaves, 1 part rosemary, 1 part cinnamon, 1 part cloves, 1 part dried orange peel broken into little pieces.   Add a bit of cinnamon oil; stir it up good and let it sit for a few days in a closed jar.

Pomanders - Tie a loop in a length of ribbon leaving the ends long enough to wrap around a small orange, lime or lemon.  Wrap it around the fruit and then tie it at the bottom.  If you want you can cut the ends off, let them dangle or even add a tassel.
Then, poke large cloves all over into the fruit.  You can use a nail, wooden skewer or even an old crochet hook to get the holes started if you want.  Completely cover the fruit with the cloves or create a pattern with some of the fruit showing through.

Gilded Acorns - Often, when you find acorns on the ground, their little caps have come off.  If that’s the case, then collect both caps and bases.  If not, then remove the caps yourself when you get home.  Paint both halves with spray paint or craft paint using either gold or silver.  Then cut a slender ribbon about 3 inches long and glue each end to the inside of the cap so that it forms a loop.  Then glue the cap back on to the base of the acorn. When it’s done, you can paint the cap with watered down white glue and dust it with glitter.

Cinnamon Ornaments Put about a cup of applesauce in a strainer and let it sit & drip for a few hours.  Then combine1 cup cinnamon with one tablespoon each of cloves and nutmeg.  Add 2 tablespoons of white glue and ¾ cup of drained applesauce. 
For a more intense fragrance, you can add about ¼ teaspoon of cinnamon and/or apple oil.  Mix it all up with your hands until its a smooth ball, all mixed up.   (be careful to wash your hands after handling the oils.  You don’t want to accidentally get any in your mouth or eyes)
Roll it out about ¼ inch thick and either cut shapes out with cookie cutters or use the templates below.  Use a straw to poke a hole in the top. Let them sit out to dry for a few days, turning them over once or twice a day so they don’t curl up. Then, poke a ribbon through the hole to hang them with.

 

 

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