Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Making Yule gifts at home

1. For those who love making candles here is a recipe for hiomemade wicks

How to Make Your Own Wicks for Candles

Dissolve 2 tablespoons of table salt and 4 tablespoons of borax in 1 ½ cups of warm water.

Soak a 1-foot length of regular cotton kite string or twine in the solution for 15 minutes.

Hang each string with a clothespin for 5 days to be sure it is completely dry.

Use a paperclip to dip each string completely in melted wax 3 to 4 times, coating it completely. Hang it up to dry as before.

Store wicks rolled up in a newspaper.


Add a teaspoon of one of these chemicals for coloured flames: strontium chloride for a brilliant red flame, boric acid for a deep red flame, calcium for a red-orange flame, calcium chloride for a yellow-orange flame, table salt for a bright yellow flame, borax for a yellow-green flame, copper sulphate (blue vitrol/bluestone) for a green flame, calcium chloride for a blue flame, potassium sulphate or potassium nitrate (saltpeter) for a violet flame, or Epsom salts for a white flame.

Gods and Goddesses Candle
This is to make a sacred working candle for consecrating, contacting, spell
craft, meditation, etc.

This process needs:
- 1 candle, preferably your favorite color (tea candle are ok)
- Knife or name label sticker
- Frankincense or Lotus oil


1. Set the time, choose full or new moon, but I prefer new moon, because
this is the time for new beginnings

2. Stick the name of your deities on your candle or carve the name on the

3. Anoint the candle with the oil you choose

4. Under the moon,
"With the light on this candle, gods and goddesses within
The gods will protect with their hands, and goddesses will bless with their
hands. So mote it be!"

5. Leave the candle for one night on altar, outside or inside it's up to you


2. for the doll maker

In European folk magic dolls were used for many purposes. For
instance, dolls were used to represent a goddess, such as Bride,
during seasonal observances.

Dolls were also used in love magic to bring two people together and
for protection to bind people from doing harm. Less known are the
dolls that were used for healing.

Fever dolls act as scapegoats. They were made out of whatever material
was on hand, and kept overnight under the pillow of a feverish child.
In the morning, the fever doll was removed from the home and given a
mock burial. By doing this, the fever, which moved into the doll
overnight, would also be buried with the doll.

Making a Fever Doll

Items Needed

2"x2" piece of cardboard

White embroidery thread

Fever dolls can be made in the same way that yarn dolls are made. Wrap
the white embroidery thread around the cardboard about 20 times. Slip
the wound thread off the cardboard, cut a piece of thread that is 4"
long, and tie the wound thread. This bend will be where you form the
head of the doll. Next, cut the wound thread opposite of the head so
that you have strands instead of loops.

To form the doll, tie another thread around the neck area to form the
head. Separate equal strands of yarn, about 9 strands, on each side of
the body for the arms. Tie string around the wrist area of each arm.
If the doll is to represent a girl, you are now finished making the
doll. However, for a boy doll you will need to tie a strand of thread
around the doll's waist. Separate the remaining strands equally for
the legs and tie thread around the ankles.

These little fever dolls can be made beforehand and kept safely in a
drawer or in a box on your altar.

Using a Fever Doll

To use a fever doll, light a white votive candle and, standing before
the candle, hold the fever doll in the palm of your power hand. Say to
the doll:

* Burning fire,
* Burning fever,
* Take the heat within you.

Place the fever doll under the sick child's pillow. If you are doing
this for an infant or toddler, place the fever doll under the mattress
or someplace near the crib where the little one cannot reach it.
Return to the candle. Say:

* The flame burns down,
* The fever leaves [name of child].

Allow the candle to burn down and out.

The next day, remove the fever doll from under the child's pillow.
Take it outdoors and bury it. You can make this ritual a simple act of
digging a small hole and burying the doll within it, or you can wrap
the doll in a shroud and bury it with a blessing and a copper penny.

Knotted Cloth

Another piece of folk magic regarding the cure of fevers uses a
knotted cloth. A white cloth, or washcloth was knotted three times,
one knot was made in the upper half of the cloth for the head and two
corners were knotted for hands. What remained was the flowing gown
part that represented the body.

This knotted cloth was then rubbed over the feverish forehead to
absorb the fever. It was then placed in running water, such as under a
faucet, to cool the fever and wash it away.

Medicine and Folk Magic

The fever doll and knotted cloth are in no way meant to replace
medicine and the expert advice of a doctor. Instead, like meditation
and creative visualization, folk magic is meant to compliment modern
medicine. After all, we want to help our loved ones in every way that
we can.

3. Shoe bags for storing and traveling with shoes

Homemade Shoe Bags

Slip your shoes into something comfortable while protecting them from scuffs: Store them in homemade velvet shoe bags

Shoe Bag

1. Cut a 13-by-36-inch rectangle from thick, soft velvet.

cut 2 40-inch-long pieces of cord

Fold it in half widthwise, right sides facing, and sew up the

sides, leaving open a 1-inch gap on each side about 5 inches from the top

(below, left). Fold the top of the bag down beyond the gaps to create a 3

1/2-inch hem. Pin in place; carefully turn the bag right side out.

Create a drawstring casing: Stitch two seams around the
top edge of the bag, one just above and one just below the 1-inch gaps (don't
sew the bag shut). Remove pins from the inside of the bag. Starting at the
bottom of the bag, stitch (through both layers, this time) up the bag's center
to the bottom of the casing; this will divide the bag into two pockets,
preventing shoes from knocking into each other extended"true.
For drawstrings, cut two 40-inch-long pieces of cord;
attach safety pins to their ends, and run each cord (starting them in the same
direction on opposite faces of the bag) one and a half times through the casing.
When finished, knot together the two cord ends emerging from each side, fraying
them to create tassels.


4. For the writer or artist in the family

Making Herbal Paper and Ink

I can remember my grandmother making felt and paper. Tedious, messy,
sometimes Smelly, creative and loads of fun for little ones to help with. (Just keep
them Away from the simmering part because of the caustic soda).

The Chinese have been credited with the invention of paper making around
105 A.D. Using flax with tree bark. One needs the cellulose fibers of plants
in order to make paper. Some plants are better than others for this purpose.
The best ones are flax, straw, nettles and rush. Marijuana is quickly coming
into its own as a great fiber source. Various cultures have used bamboo,
butchers broom, chamomile, cow parsley, dandelion, dill, fennel, iris, mullein,
papas grass, sunflower, and most cereal grasses.

Herbal Paper
Equipment needed to prepare the pulp:
* 3 to 5 gallon bucket;
* wooden spoon;
* 12 quart steel pot (stainless or galvanized is preferred);
* pestle and mortar;
* metal sieve;
* rubber gloves;
* strong nylon net bag; I realize this is not period, but the finer the
the plant fibers are blended, the finer the paper. With that in mind, one may
want to utilize a blender.

Pulp Process:
1. Gather 3 gallons of herbs, cut or tear them into 1 or 2 inch pieces
2. Crush the pieces (this aids in the breakdown process) Caution!!!! When
using caustic soda, use rubber gloves and avoid inhaling the fumes!!! Wash off
any splashes with cold water.
3. Place 1 qt of cold water (well or distilled) into pan, add caustic
soda, using a wooden spoon, stir gently.
4. Add herbs, cover with warm water, stir gently until herbs are covered,
simmer for 1 1/2 to 2 hours (until fibers are soft).

5. Rinse herbs to remove all traces of soda, then strain through a metal sieve.

6. Place pulp in net bag and rinse for several minutes, squeezing pulp repeatedly
7. If blending by hand, a mallet is helpful. If not, blend 2 and 1/2 half
tablespoons of fibers with 3 cups of water for 20 seconds. You now have
8. An old trick to size paper so that you can write on it is to mix 1/5
teaspoon of cold water laundry starch with some water and mix with the

Equipment for making the paper:
wooden frames: 8 1/2 by 11 or 8 1/2 by 14 with strong netting tacked or
stapled taut. You need to waterproof the joints using wax (or you can go modern
with caulking); one wooden frame of the same size without netting; large basin
(one the size of a kitty litter box works well); newspapers (some use old

Making Paper:
1. Fill the basin with the pulp mixture to just below the rim.
2. Place the 2 frames together(the empty one over the netted one).
3. Hold them together, dipping them vertically into the basin.
4. Once in the water, tilt the horizontally below the water, raise slowly
catching the mixture onto the netting.
5. Lift from basin, horizontally, place on cloth or newspapaers to dry.
6. Remove empty frame.
7. If decorating the paper, now is the time to sprinkle flattened flowers
or leaves onto the paper, leave to dry.
8. Slide a palette knife under the paper to loosen it.
9. Clean frame and reuse.

11th century Oak gall ink
8 oz of oak galls
2 and 1/2 quarts of boiling water
3 oz of sulfate of iron (ferrous sulfate)
A few drops of myrrh
A few drops of essential oils
1 1/2 oz gum Arabic

1. Steep galls in water for 24 hours, strain.
2. Add oils to myrrh then add gum Arabic.
3. Stir oils into the gall infusion along with the sulfate of iron
4. Bottle and label (Dark colored glass is preferrable)
The study of herbals is never ending. Maybe some of you will try your hand
at this ancient art.


5. A doggy stocking for your favorite pet

Cut your family's furriest friend in on the action -- this stocking's big enough to hold a bone that will last all day.


2 pieces of light tan faux fur, each 24 by 13 inches
2 piece of dark tan faux fur, each 24 by 13 inches
Sheet of dark brown felt, 9 by 12 inches
Long sewing pins
Large-eye sewing needle
Dark brown embroidery floss
Clear tape
9 inches of tan twist cord
The Basic Stocking:

Cut 1 paw shape from each piece of the light tan fur and 1 from each piece of the dark tan fur

Cut paw pads from the brown felt.

Pin the paw pads to the furry side of a dark tan paw and use the floss to whipstitch (see diagram and Tips) the pads in place.

Pin together the 4 paws with the dark tan paws on the outside, furry sides out, and the light tan paws on the inside, furry sides in.

Using the floss, whipstitch around the edges, sewing the paws together. Leave the top edges unsewn.

At the top, sew together the front 2 edges, then the back 2.

Fold down the top to make a cuff.

Tape the ends of the cord to keep them from fraying, then sew the cord to the stocking for hanging.

Thread your needle with a length of floss and knot one end. Begin sewing by pushing the needle up through the underside of the fabric and then out the top. Loop the needle back under the fabric and repeat the stitch.


6. Yule Goddess Doll

Unbleached muslin (1 yard)
Sisal rope
White glue
Florist wire
Small egg-shaped Styrofoam ball

Fold one section of newspaper in half and roll it lengthwise. Fold the
Roll in half, and twist a twist tie at the upper third of the folded
Roll to form the body and legs. It may be helpful to stuff the legs into
A large bottle while you work. Cut off a 20 inch section of florist wire
And twist the ends together. Twist the ends into a loop approximately 1
Inch long, and bend the wires close together. This will be the arms and
Hands. Stick two pieces of florist wire approximately 6 inches long into
The wide end of the Styrofoam ball and fold them around the ball,
Twisting them together to hold it securely. With the remaining wire,
Secure the ball to the loop of the newspaper -- this will be the head.
Thread the arms through the paper of the loop, not the loop itself, to
Help it remain secure.

Mix the glue with an equal part of water to form A solution that the material will be dipped in and used to hold the Fabric to the doll and stiffen the fabric to desired shape. From the Muslin, rip several ¼- ½ inch strips of fabric, run them through the Glue solution. The material should be saturated, but not dripping.

Wrap The hands and arms wire with the material, covering the wire completely.
It may take several applications of material. Tuck the ends into the Material already wrapped. Repeating the same dipping process, cover the Head first with horizontal wraps and then with vertical.

Wrap the body Of the doll crossing over from the front to the back in an "X" shape.
Wrap the neck wire and secure the ends of the strips. For the skirt: Rip A 12 inch by 20 inch piece of material, sew the 12 inch ends together if Desired, and dip the material into the solution. Pull up over the legs, Gather the waist and secure to the paper using a ½ strip acting as a

Make the apron - rip a 2 inch wide strip that is wide enough to fit over
The top of the skirt, and cut the front bottom edge into a curve if
Desired. Secure the apron with a piece of trim. Rip a 1 inch piece of
Material approximately 8 inches long, dip, and drape around the neck.
Rip a 3 inch wide piece of material approximately 16 inches long and
Drape around back and over arms. Arrange the skirt into desired folds
And allow doll to dry.

After the doll has dried, cut the rope into 12 12-inch sections and fold in half -- this will be the part of the hair. Sew the ropes at the fold down the center of the head. Unravel the rope.

You can garnish the White Goddess with a wreath of dried flowers if you
Like -- take a vine and wrap it on itself until you have a wreath. Insert
Dried flowers into the wreath and place on the head. She can be left in
The bottle for year-round use or placed on top of the tree at Yule.

7. Yule Spell Ornament

As Yule approaches, the opportunities for spellwork are seemingly endless.
If you have a holiday tree this year, why not use ornaments as a way of
directing your magical energies? Make a spell ornament to bring prosperity,
love, health, or creativity into your life.

You'll need the following:

A.. Clear plastic fillable ornament
B.. Filler material associated with your purpose: herbs, small stones,
colored paper or glitter, etc.
C.. Colored ribbon
Fill the plastic halves of the ornament with items that are associated with
your purpose. Try a couple of the following, or come up with your own

A.. For a money spell, add shredded bits of play money, Bay leaf, basil,
chamomile, clover, cinquefoil, tonka bean, Buckeye, pennyroyal; stones such
as turquoise and amethyst; bits of green, silver or gold glitter.
B.. For love magic, use Allspice, apple blossom, bleeding heart, catnip,
lavender, periwinkle, peppermint, tulip, violet, daffodil; crystals such as
rose quartz or emerald, coral; small heart-shaped cutouts, bits of pink or
red glitter.
C.. For workings related to creativity and inspiration, add feathers, sage,
tobacco leaf, hazelwood or birch, symbols of artistry such as paintbrush
tips, crayons, or colored thread. Add diamonds, quartz crystals, also
consider colors like yellow and gold.
D.. If you're doing healing magic, use Apple blossom, lavender, barley,
comfrey, eucalyptus, fennel, chamomile, allspice, olive, rosemary, rue,
sandalwood, wintergreen, peppermint.
As you're filling your ornament, focus on your intent. Think about what your
purpose is in creating such a working. For some people, it helps to chant a
small incantation while they work - if you're one of those folks, you might
want to try something like this:

Magic shall come as I order today,
Bringing prosperity blessings my way.
Magic to hang on a green Yule tree;
As I will, so it shall be.

Once you've filled your ornament, place the two halves together. Tie a
colored ribbon around the center to keep the halves from separating (you may
need to add a dab of craft glue for stability) and then hang your ornament
in a place where you can see it during the Yule season.

Gift-giving tip: Make a whole box of these with different purposes, and share them with your friends at the holidays!


8. Cinnamon pot holders

When you place your HOT pot on top, the fragrance of cinnamon will come wafting through filling the air with a beautiful aroma.

Start by working out what size pot holder you want. Approx. 30cm X 30cm is suitable. Cut your fabric into the size you require allowing for 1/2 inch hems. Sew 3 sides of your fabric closed and slip in the sheet wadding through the last opening. You will need to either begin hand sewing or machine sewing this end closed.

Just before you complete the closure Sprinkle about a teaspoon of cinnamon powder into the Project or sprinkle your drops of oil onto the wadding prior to placing it inside. You can finish it off by sewing some diagonals along the top to keep the wadding in place. The quilting also makes it look very decorative.

You can also do thses by simply putting cinnimon sticks in and sewing the holder shut.


9. Hot pad bags

take 2  (6x6) pieces of material sew three sides and fill 2/3 of the way with rice and sew shut. To use simply put in the microwave for 1 minute and use anywhere a hot pad is needed.


10. a yule tree ornament (kids craft)

Create the perfect little ornament that your kids can make in a jiffy.
  • Craft knife
  • Craft stick
  • Glue
  • Paint
  • Cord

1. For each mini sled, you'll need 6 colored craft sticks.

  1. Classic Sled - Step 2 To fashion the steerer, use a craft knife to make an angled cut at each end of 1 stick, leaving a 2 1/2-inch piece (A). Save 1 end (B) and discard the other. Lay 2 whole sticks side by side and hot-glue piece A across them, near the top.
11. sented pine cones
If you, or a friend, have an open fire, a lovely touch is to throw scented
cones into the flames.
an old tin can
essential oils
food coloring if desired
Melt some beeswax (or old candle stubs) in a washed can placed in a pan of water. Using a can inside the pan means you can simply throw it away and are not left with a waxy pan to try to clean. Add a few drops of scented oil. Leave to cool and thicken very slightly and drop cones in. Remove the cones with tongs and leave them to drain and dry on aluminum foil. Don't waste expensive essential oils on this--cheaper oils are just fine. Keep a big basket full of these by the fire.


12. Pine Cone Bird Feeders (kids craft)

Give each child a pine cone, a piece of string, and a spreader. (Plastic knives
make ideal spreaders.) Place a jar of health-food store peanut butter (no added
sugar or preservatives) and a tray of bird seed at each table.

Ask children to tie their strings around the small ends of the pine cone. (Young
children may need help.) Show them how to spread peanut butter along the surface
of the pine cone, filling in the spaces along the lower two-thirds.

After cones are coated in peanut butter, roll them in bird seed. Finally, let
each child take his or her feeder home and hang it up, or scatter the feeders in
trees around the school. Enjoy watching the birds feast on a tasty treat!

A Step Further: Buy peanuts from a health food store. Slowly pour peanuts into a
blender to make peanut butter as students watch. You may need to add a little
peanut oil to improve consistency of the peanut butter. Let students sample the
freshly-made peanut butter before sharing it with the birds.

13. and my last is from a well know wiccan Barbara Morris

Portable Altar/ Spell Box
I practice magic on my roof top & in the wild some times
and I found I needed a portable/collapsible altar,
That could clean up fast & easy.
Here is what I came up with.
Find an old shoe box (from boots is great) big as you can find.
Cover it in fabric and stuff with magickal or astrological herbs,
glue fabric to cover top and bottom of box,(they must remain separate).
Or, you can paint your box, adding magical symbols etc.
Next take 4 cloths pins and paint "Runes" or magical symbols on them.
Fill box with "tools", and cover.
To set up the "Altar, simply take the cover off the box
and place the four clothespins in each corner of the box top and flip over.
You should now have a standing "Altar" and the bottom of the box
Holds your "tools", you can easily work out o
F it. Clean up is fast and you can hide your "Magic" box anywhere .
It is also said that when you work from the same box
Over and over it gains powerful personal energy..
You can also buy a "magic" box AKA "Spell box",
But its more powerful if you make it your self..

Orignally Written & created by 1997 -2007 Barbara Morris

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