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Best Holiday Craft Ideas From San Francisco Artists

If the holidays mean unpacking those lights and decorations stored in the garage, how about livening it up this year with some sparkle? Try easy and affordable decorations with inspiration from local artists. Fresh evergreens, berries and spices make your home smell as delicious as it looks. Custom wreaths, gift wrap, potpourri, corsages and ornaments will have others quite impressed.
Pepper berries and pomegranates add color to your custom wreaths and decorations.

Stephanie Foster, Rachel Pizzica and Brianna Foehr
Church Street Flowers
212 Church St.
San Francisco, CA 94114
(415) 553-7762

950 Battery St.
San Francisco, CA 94111
(415) 434-3427

These three San Francisco artists realized their dream of becoming floral designers with help from family talent and formal education. Stephanie Foster learned from her mother, an interior designer who was the only one in the coastal town they lived in to provide floral design services. Foster's mother designed for local bed and breakfasts and events as her daughter became her floral assistant at the age of 10. Rachel Pizzica earned a degree in environmental horticulture and then took floral design at City College of San Francisco. She's worked at flower shops around the country and started her own at 23, Flower Power. Speaking of Flower Power, Brianna Foehr, a Bay Area native, grew up helping her father and grandfather in the family landscaping business. Foehr's grandfather helped landscape part of Golden Gate Park. Imagine what this inspirational trio can do to help you create your own holiday decorations.

Related: Holiday Volunteer Opportunities for Families in the East Bay

Custom wreaths with purchased frames

Custom Wreaths

Wreaths cost little to make, even with fresh-cut evergreens. Use your Christmas tree trimmings or pine branches from Christmas tree lots that will be throwing these remains away. Any hearty evergreen makes a pungent wreath, such as eucalyptus, boxwood, bay leaves, moss or curly willow. Bunch the evergreens into tiny bouquets and tie with wire or twine, then attach to the wreath frame with wire. Continue around the frame. Crafters may purchase plain evergreen wreaths and then add decorations. The Flower Market on Brannon or any floral supply or craft store should have wreath frames, wire, ribbon, cheap ornaments and little teddy bears, berries or dried citrus.

Ornaments customize wreaths and wrapping

Festive Gift Wrap

Gift wrap can be its own art form. Plus the special wrapping looks great under the tree. Find festive wrapping paper and coordinate it with novelty ribbons to add shine and sparkle, from silver and gold animal prints to bubbly red and green polka dots. Wired ribbon holds whatever shape you bend it into. Adorn the bows with mini ornaments, trinkets, wrapped candy or long-lasting fresh flowers. Try foliage like holly and mistletoe.

Holiday Potpourri

The aromas of the holidays warm and welcome visitors with fresh evergreen scents and mint or the warm and sweet smell of cinnamon, cloves and orange. If you love the smell of the holidays, you will probably love making holiday potpourri. Toss sprigs of evergreens and eucalyptus pods with cinnamon sticks, cloves, star anise and dried orange peels. Add holly with berries for color. Place in a cute bowl or holiday dish and your home will smell delicious. Potpourri also makes a nice hostess gift. Crafters may use canning jars or purchase cellophane bags, ribbon and enclosure cards at a floral supply shop.

Novelty ribbon makes festive corsages and wrapping.

Mistletoe Corsages

The best accessory for a holiday dress is a corsage, but this one captures the playfulness of the season. Make one out of mistletoe for your holiday parties. When you see that cute boy across the room, just put down your egg nog, go over to him and throw your arm over his head. This method has been proven effective. While making a corsage can be complicated if you've never made one before, feel free to leave this one to the professionals or make a quick and easy version. This will last for at least a couple of hours. Simply attach some mistletoe to your wrist using cute holiday ribbon or even tie it to a bracelet.

Related: The South Bay's Best Ice-Skating Spots

Holiday Ornaments

Making holiday ornaments is a natural, fun activity to do with friends at a holiday party. Handmade and custom ornaments make great gifts for your friends and family. Anything becomes an ornament, from sticks in your garden to leftover lids from mason jars. Use a little bit of imagination and some basic items you find around your house. Items can include ribbons, glitter, sparkly wire, paper, pine cones or moss balls. Apply some hot glue and make glittered stars, miniature wreaths, tiny reindeer, snowflakes and any other festive ornament you dream up. Craft stores sell fillable clear glass globes to hang with ribbon. Fill them with colorful potpourri and little dried flowers such as mini-roses.

Cindy Warner is a freelance writer and a San Francisco Bay Area native. Cindy has covered SF theater and opera for via her bicycle since January 2009. Check out her work on

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