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Materials:

1 fully opened pine cone White acrylic craft paint

3-inch round paper or wooden box with lid

12 inches of miniature Christmas lights

Sharp scissors Paintbrush

Approx. 8 tiny wrapped gift boxes Glue gun

24 inches gold cord

Small multi-coloured metal stars One larger metal star Pencil

Directions:

Paint box and pine cone with white paint. Let dry completely. Snip the lights off the cord. Glue lights and stars under and on the branches before centring the tree on top of the box. Use hot glue to attach it. Add large star to top of tree. Arrange gift boxes under tree.

On the bottom of the box, use the pencil to lightly mark the sides in even sections. These marks are the down points for your gold cord. Tack the up and down swoops of the cord in place before securing the whole cord. This will make adjustments easier and leave less surface to touch up if any paint should come away from the box when resetting the cord. Centre stars in the up and down swoops or leave one swoop out and write the name of the recipient in that space.

Dana Ramstedt is a freelance writer and preschool teacher of 18 years.

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