Maybe you were too late to snatch up "Frozen" ornaments at Hallmark or searched in vain for Sven-like reindeer stuffed animals to display around the home. Don't worry, you can still get your supply of Olaf-worthy "warm hugs" this holiday season. Why not hang handmade Elsa and Anna ornaments from the tree? Or spread a little cheer the moment someone knocks on the door decked with an Olaf wreath you make yourself?
If you're the least bit crafty -- or even if you aren't -- ornaments, wreaths and other ideas inspired by the Disney blockbuster film are as close as your DIYer fingertips.
"Doing crafts are my stress reliever," says Anne Caminiti, 29, of Centereach, who writes the Momee Friends of Long Island blog (momeefriendsli.com) and also has a website (momeefriends.com). She says elder daughter, Mia, 3, is obsessed with everything "Frozen." "I save everything: cardboard tubes, tissue boxes, everything," says Caminiti, who uses them to make "Frozen"-inspired items at home. "If she smiles and loves it, I know it is a successful craft."
Caminiti now is gearing up for the holidays by making a tree skirt and snow-measuring stick inspired by Olaf, the ever-optimistic snowman in the film. She is also crafting a statue, some ornaments and even place mats in Sven the reindeer's likeness.
"I'm always trying to figure out how to make things inexpensively, and things parents can do with their kids," says Caminiti, who adds that Mia works on all projects except those using a glue gun or sewing machine. "I try to make a lot of no-sew things 'cause a lot of people are scared of using a sewing machine."
SEW, SEW EASY
If you're new to crafting, then you may want to take one of the workshops offered by your local Jo-Ann Fabrics (joann.com/stores). Classes include everything from teaching children and adults how to sew to crafts like making a blanket, table runner, place mats and clothing. With Christmas just around the corner, staffers are turning their creative minds to making it a merry "Frozen" Christmas under the tree and around the house.
"We have both the official 'Frozen' fabrics and fabrics we feel go well with the 'Frozen' theme," says Phil Gorkin, 46, who is store manager of Jo-Ann Fabrics in Commack. His staff has put together a table runner, napkins and place mats that would delight any fan of the movie. "Even with my limited sewing skills, I could finish a table runner in an hour and a half," he says.
Gorkin adds that the place mat, which has more pieces, takes about two hours to complete.
"If you don't want to sew something, you could trim your wreath or use fabric strips to make a wreath," Gorkin says. "You could use little strips of fabric to tie the silverware together."
He says the projects also can be done with fabric glue or adhesive fabric tape "if you're good with an iron."
Try adorning your project with a popular, inspirational saying from the movie such as "It's funny how some distance makes everything seem small," or ". . . test the limits and break through."
Staffers can also offer assistance matching complementary fabrics.
GETTING A HEAD START
Stefanie Schwaner, 35, of Holtsville and elder son Robert, 4, started in May making fused glass Olaf ornaments at Paint a Piece Pottery in Commack (paintapiecepottery.com) as Christmas gifts for family.
"We made 16," Schwaner says of making two or three ornaments monthly. "He was so proud he has already told everyone what they're getting."
Schwaner, Robert and 2-year-old Ryan, a fellow "Frozen" fan, also used clear ornaments to paint pictures of Olaf and add such sayings as "Do you want to build a snowman?" and "Sending you warm hugs this holiday."
But if the whole household isn't into "Frozen," you might have to say "Let It Go" to the idea of turning your home into a tribute to the movie. Or you could try creating decor that whispers, rather than screams, "Frozen."
If you share a home with a "Frozen" fan but don't want your holiday decor overwhelmed, designer Wendy Lepkoff, owner of Wendy
Interiors in Baldwin Harbor, suggests touches that hint at the movie rather than shout it.
"When your inspiration for the room is something as recognizable as 'Frozen,' less is more," says Lepkoff, whose grandchildren actually keep a set of the dolls at her house awaiting their visits. "If you cram too much into the space, it ends up looking like a hodgepodge, giving the eye too much to look at."
Instead, Lepkoff suggests using the colors of the outfits -- green, black and pink for Anna, and turquoise, silver and white for Elsa. In a child's room, she would include an accent wall in one of the colors or paint the trim, door and molding one of the colors. In the common rooms, add a pillow or throw in complementary colors. Why all the effort? Because "some people are worth melting for," as Olaf tells Anna.
"Someone into 'Frozen' will recognize it immediately," Lepkoff explains. "Someone not into 'Frozen' will just see it as an interesting holiday touch."
IDEAS FOR MAKING YOUR OWN STUFF
Tackling "Frozen" decor is as easy as 1-2-3, with a little help and planning. Here are three ideas to add to your holiday decorations. Check Newsday's website for step-by-step instructions.
1. OLAF WREATH Using Styrofoam forms, strips of fabric, construction paper and twigs from the yard can turn a simple craft to something worthy of "warm hugs," as Olaf says.
2. TABLE RUNNER FROM JO-ANN FABRICS AND CRAFTS This reversible table runner does double duty with one side distinctly "Frozen" and the other silvery and elegant. Check your local Jo-Ann Fabrics for a schedule of sewing classes for the runner and matching napkin and place mat.
3. GIFT-DECORATING IDEAS Think out of the box on this one. Use inexpensive trinkets, to form garland into a ball, attach ornaments or decorate with strings of beaded garland. Check out such stores as Michaels, Target, HomeGoods and Party City for inexpensive alternatives.