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Asha Dornfest

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Asha Dornfest is the founder and editor of Parent Hacks, a blog that shares "forehead-smackingly smart parenting tips." She's also the coauthor of Minimalist Parenting: Enjoy Modern Family Life More by Doing Less, with Christine Koh. Asha lives in Portland, Oregon with her husband and two kids.

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Geeky holiday crafts [slideshow]

By Asha Dornfest |

This post is #4 in a four-part series sponsored by Dell. Leave a comment for a chance to win a Dell Inspiron One 2320 Touch computer! Details at the end of the post.

The giveaway has ended, and the winner will be notified by email. Thank you to all who entered!

Some of the earliest press coverage described Parent Hacks as “the perfect blog for geeky parents.” I took this to mean Parent Hacks appealed to an intelligent, practical, problem-solving crowd. Many of my readers at the time had tech backgrounds because blog-reading was still relatively unheard-of beyond devoted Internet-dwellers. Most parents didn’t even know what blogs were.

Well, here we are in late 2011. Blogs are almost as everyday as the newspaper, and all sorts of folks hang out in the comment section. But I’m as connected to my blog’s geeky roots as ever. And I’m married to a geek. And our second date was a Star Trek convention (it was tongue-in-cheek, but still). And I bought a LEGO Star Wars advent calendar even though we celebrate Hanukkah. And my husband and I were invited to a gaming conference to speak on a panel called “Geek Parenting.”

I guess that makes me a little geeky myself.

So, to celebrate the season, I’d like to share a few craft projects fellow geeks will appreciate. It doesn’t have to be all Santas and holly, after all.

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Geeky holiday crafts

Golden Snitch ornament

Charming craft for Potter-philes. But be careful: hang this ornament too low and a kid may try to grab it...toppling the whole tree. How to: Tiny Apartment Crafts (via Craft:)

* * *

Dell Inspiron 2320 Touch

You might win this.

The giveaway has ended, and the winner will be notified by email. Thank you to all who entered!

You don’t have to be a geek to appreciate a beautiful piece of technology, especially when it’s a giveaway!

Leave a comment on this post for a chance to win a Dell Inspiron One 2320 Touch computer! Your comment can be about anything you like, but if you’ve got a favorite geeky holiday craft to share (perhaps with a link?) that would be lovely.

GIVEAWAY RULES (read them, as you have more than one chance to enter the giveaway)

The giveaway will run until Friday, December 16, 2011, 11:59 p.m. EDT and is open to all U.S. residents. A winner will be chosen at random using from all eligible entries. Each reader has two chances to win by leaving a comment on this post (#4 in the series), and the previous post (#3 in the series). Readers can also leave comments on the #3 and #4 posts by other Babble Voices writers participating in the Dell Family Tech campaign. Note: Not all Dell Family Tech post comments are eligible for this giveaway — only comments on the third and fourth posts in each author’s November/December 2011 Dell series.

One comment per person per post, please. The chosen winner must respond within 48 hours of notification to claim their prize. Good luck!

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About Asha Dornfest


Asha Dornfest

Asha Dornfest is the founder and editor of Parent Hacks, a blog that shares "forehead-smackingly smart parenting tips." She's also the coauthor of Minimalist Parenting: Enjoy Modern Family Life More by Doing Less, with Christine Koh. Asha lives in Portland, Oregon with her husband and two kids. Read bio and latest posts → Read Asha's latest posts →

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147 thoughts on “Geeky holiday crafts [slideshow]

  1. Clarissa says:

    When I didn’t have much money during the holidays one year I turned to being crafty. I bought a tile from Lowes, some mod podge and a sponge. I made collages of pictures of me and whoever I was making the tile for, printed at Costco and glued it on the tile. It was PERFECT :]

  2. Briana says:

    This year I tracked down a street sign with my friends name on it. I took a picture, made it black and white, had Costco print it big, and then got a cheap frame at Target. I know that she’ll love it, and it was really economical!

  3. Cin_D says:

    I love doing fun, EASY, crafts with my daughter, and she loves giving them as gifts!

  4. Melanie says:

    I wish I had a geeky holiday craft to share. Truthfully, I never have time around the holidays to be too crafty! This is my first year in probably 7 years or more that I haven’t either JUST given birth (two December babies and currently mom to a 5 month old) or been doing finals for university (finally graduated). Hopefully in the coming years…

  5. Michelle says:

    I admire crafters…me, I expect perfection and can never achieve a perfect craft so I don’t try. My girl does, though. Six year olds love to paint wooden picture frames for grandparents. Gives me a few minutes to read blogs and she gets to give a handmade gift. All kinds of frames to choose from at craft stores.

  6. Andrea says:

    My daughter loves to do crafts and I am always running out of ideas. Thanks for some new ones.

  7. Amy says:

    the “droidl” just killed me;-)

  8. Jeremy says:

    You crafty people, you amaze me!

  9. Kirsten says:

    My favorite craft is making snowflakes to hang on our front windows.. I finally got smart this year, and laminated them, so I don’t have to re-make them each year!

  10. Kris says:

    I used to do cross-stitch for my grandma and great-aunts. Talk about coals to Newcastle.

  11. BKC says:

    I geek out for books, so that golden snitch ornament is right up my alley!

  12. Melissa@HomeBaked says:

    This year the only craft I’ve managed is a wreath and some swags made from the branches cut off the bottom of our Christmas tree. Saw instructions on someone’s blog on making a wreath form from a pool noodle. Worked great! I had a stash of floral wire from some long-ago project, with some leftover ribbon and ornaments, made a great fresh wreath! I like projects I can make with free stuff at home. :)

  13. Kirsten says:

    a couple years ago i mod-podged star trek ornaments for my dad. they’re kinda funny:
    And i love the william sonoma star wars cookie cutters. geeky holiday cookies for sure, but we love them.
    also, i don’t know if it’s ‘geeky’, ‘nerdy’, or just funny, but i love the ‘ninjabread men’ cookie cutters!

  14. evsmarie says:

    I am extremely non-crafty but appreciate those people who are! Some of my favorite gifts from friends are those that are handmade with love.

  15. NTE says:

    That golden snitch ornament is amazing! I’m trying to make my nephew a Shaun of the Dead ornament this year… we’ll see how that goes!

  16. Paul says:

    We love to sit and create a graphics heavy email to send to the family of all the toys my kid wants.

  17. Robbin B says:

    not a crafter at all. the most I have done is build a gingerbread house (w/a kit)

  18. Allyson Wendt says:

    I know some people who would love the social media ornaments.

    I’m not considering the idea of making my toddler a laptop out of felt for Christmas. He loves our laptops, and is very much into technology (the kid knows how to make an iPhone work, and he’s not even 2!). Hmmmmmm.

  19. hrm says:

    I love those sparkly lights. I will make them when my girls are old enough to help me. Right now, I’m trying to practice not taking on too much to do.

  20. Ali says:

    Love the Golden Snitch ornament!

  21. Judy says:

    It’s not really geeky, but I really liked these last year (with some minor modifications on my end to make them eaiser).

  22. inthefastlane says:

    Love the Dr. Who cookies! My 12yo is a huge huge fan and we might just be making them (and the star wars napkin rings too….).

  23. Laura says:

    I love to craft, but am seriously lacking in time, space and money at this stage of my life. My boysies and I are going to attempt ornaments made from popscicle sticks tonight, then maybe the cinnamon/applesauce ones too.

  24. Cara says:

    I don’t think I could ever come up with geeky crafts as cool as these!

  25. JM says:

    I’m not much of a crafter, but as a mom, I’m learning. Some of these are cute!

  26. Kristin says:

    I’m not very crafty nor am I a geek (though I did marry one). I usually make a gingerbread house and turn it over to my hubby to decorate. He comes up with some interesting ideas and is amazing at decorating them.

  27. Andi says:

    I might have to borrow some of those ideas, since I still haven’t started decorating!

  28. Caelan says:

    gasp! I LOVE the golden snitch ornament!!

  29. Holly says:

    Cool ideas!

  30. Kathleen says:

    Thanks for introducing me to some new websites!! To be honest I didn’t get past the sparkleball decoration and then 2 hours later was still clicking away when I needed to remind myself why I started this journey … the contest …. I have three teenagers and we have been struggling for 4+ years since I became unemployed, never thought I would find myself searching for contests to give my kids a decent Christmas … but here I am …..very grateful for the free craft lessons and the great website introduction!

  31. Meliss says:

    We homeschool one of our 3 boys, and right in the middle of creating course projects (research papers and a movie), his faithful laptop hiccupped and went comatose. A new computer (of any kind!) would be magical!

  32. Kate says:

    It would make a very nice birthday gift – I’m celebrating 35 today! Actually, I have been looking at this model to buy once the tax check to arrive. I am homeschooling, and this computer just seems made for little hands!

  33. Kate says:

    A cool geek craft is squishy circuits! You use combinations of conductive and insulating playdough and LEDs to make cool projects AND learn about electricity :)

  34. Sparrow says:

    Oh these are brilliant! :D I’m proud to be raising geek princesses, and we will definitely be making Snitch ornaments, Dalek cookies and sparkleballs!

    Thanks for sharing, and flying the geek flag! This community is an “intelligent, practical, problem-solving crowd” for sure, and a wonderful resource.

  35. Amanda says:

    Love these ideas. Thanks!

  36. Emily says:

    While I don’t have a craft to share, I LOVE the golden snitch!

  37. Karen says:

    My little man loves Star Wars so these crafts are perfect!!!!

  38. Maria R says:

    My geeky hobby is genealogy, and looking at this post, I came up with a neat idea…I think I will print out all my old black and white photos and craft some kind of heritage wreath.

  39. jeff k says:

    love the snitch idea – so simple.

  40. Kim N. says:

    I tend to buy pre-made items for things such as this and make them my own. But one year, I did get super crafty and made all of my own gift tags. A little glitter glue, some colorful pens, nice ribbon, card stock and a hole punch… I even knitted some mini-stockings to tie on! And those mini candy canes are a great present topper, too.

  41. Erika says:

    Great ideas!

  42. Darcy says:

    We have leftover LEDs and coin batteries, so we are taping them together and popping them into plain transparent globe decorations and hanging them from the trees in the front yard for an easy & cordless way to decorate the house.

  43. Tiffany (As For My House) says:

    Oh, man, these are fun!! I don’t have one to share, sadly, but I do have some great ideas now to start from…. :)

  44. Bethany says:

    What great ideas! I have nothing to share, sadly, but am inspired by the photos and links! Thanks for the opportunity for the Dell! :-)

  45. Laura says:

    Don’t have any geeky ideas to share but I love the “droidl!”

  46. suburbancorrespondent says:

    I like that droidl!

  47. Justin says:

    Okay, gotta say that I love the Snitch ornament! I hope the Potter craze lasts long enough that my kids enjoy it as much as I do!

  48. Hortencia says:

    Those are all very crafty ideas….gave me some ideas to make :)

  49. adrienne says:

    Geek craft- not so holiday (unless someone wants to make on for me as a gift):;topicseen

    Two geek fetishes in one, maybe even three if you count cross-stitch.

  50. Homa says:

    I love the snitch, too! Such a cute idea! I saw a blog feature a birthday where they had a picture of Moaning Myrtle under the toilet lid & though not holiday themed, how awesome is that?

  51. Miranda says:

    We don’t craft much, but we bake a lot and geek out on math computations.

  52. Krista says:

    I knit, so have fallen back on that several times. I can barely remember all of the Hogwarts House scarves I’ve knit. I am extremely thankful no one has requested a Dr. Who scarf!

  53. joanne says:

    We aren’t crafty, but we are geeky. Will commence on star wars napkin holders immediately…

  54. Lisa says:

    Love the snitch! On my list for next year!

  55. Jessica says:

    We’re so geeky we visited college campuses (campi?) during our honeymoon many moons ago.

  56. Kate R. says:

    Not a crafter, but one year decided to let my preschoolers decorate wrapped presents (ordinary, solid color wrapping paper) using scraps of colorful holiday paper. They had to cut the pieces (triangles, squares, etc) and gluestick them on to the presents. Kept them busy for an entire afternoon!

  57. KtCallista says:

    Nice crafts! We had a geeky tree when I was in junior high and high school. Since getting married I’ve gone for a more traditional symbolic look (with special ornaments for most years), but I do miss that little bit of geekery. We may have to try out some dalek cookies…. I wonder what my kids’ teachers would think if they got those on Three Kings Day (seriously, not stressing the cookies during the last week of classes and instead doing them with the kiddos over the break is such a relief and then the teachers don’t have yet another basket of candy/cookies to take home the last day before break), I’d like to think they appreciate that.

  58. Megan J. says:

    Love making crafts! Cute key chains and tile coasters.

  59. Jill in Atlanta says:

    Can’t say that we have geeky ornaments, just lots of musical instruments hanging on our tree. I love the alligator with the sax.

  60. Erin J says:

    Wow, that star wars advent calendar is pretty cool, might have to stock up for next year. We went geeky on the glitter this year – all the homemade ornaments are covered in heaps of glitter. My daughter is 2 and that is the part of the project she can do successfully – spoon mounds of glitter onto my glue marks.

  61. Erin B says:

    Love the snitch

  62. Jen says:

    I would love to win a laptop, as mine is dying, and it’s making my search for good holiday craft ideas difficult. I’m liking the R2D2 dreidel, i might have to try my hand at that.

  63. Sara T. says:

    Love the droidl! I wish I had a craft to share, but I’m just not crafty apparently. Geeky yes. Crafty no.

  64. Amy says:

    I didn’t make it myself, unfortunately, but I bought a friend a Death Star ornament. Love that golden snitch!

  65. Sarah says:

    The Golden Snitch ornament is brilliant!

  66. Kelly L says:

    These are good ideas for crafts to do with my son. Most crafts are geared towards girls, so I appreciate the post. Thanks!

  67. Erin says:

    All very awesome, but the snitch has to be my have (though the “droidl” is yet another in a long list of reasons I might have to convert to Judiasm one day – that and the great parties, stomping on glasses, etc).

  68. Marsha says:

    My favorite holiday craft is to paint acorns with gold or silver paint, and glue ribbon loops on their tops. They look great hung on our tree—and all over the house! They also make lovely gifts. And this project is very kid-friendly to do!

  69. Jen M says:

    Love the sparkle balls but may need to wait a couple of years until the tyke stops running and hiding from the power drill. :)

  70. chris says:

    No so much geeky but definitely cheapy. Through college and shortly after, my family gifts were always some version of preschool holiday crafts. They’re packed in dad’s collection still. It’s funny seeing the construction paper wreath I made in 1978 hanging alongside the construction paper wreath I made in 1998.

    Love the golden snitch, may have to make one of those too!

  71. Laura says:

    Holy cow, shrinky dinks! It’s been forever since I thought of those. Thanks for the nostalgia :)

  72. Lillian says:

    I’m seriously coveting that snitch. May have to make my own.

  73. Stephen says:

    The Dalek cookies are brilliant – well done!

  74. Alexandria says:

    Ohh my gosh! I need a snitch ornament, nooow! So neat

  75. Debbie in Memphis says:

    I’m so non-crafty that it’s embarrassing, but I can cook and bake. Cookies, candies and food for everyone. If I was crafty tho, my dream would be to quilt and I’d make quilts, quilts, quilts for us all!!

  76. julie says:

    Not necessarily geeky, but last Christmas my family gathered at the Outer Banks. We didn’t have a tree, so we cut a branch of live oak. We used glitter glue to decorate shells and hung them on the tree. It was really festive!

  77. Allie says:

    I love that golden snitch ornament!

  78. Kathy says:

    Absolutely love the sparkle balls. They would look great out doors!

  79. Heather says:

    My six-year old wanted that Star Wars advent calendar so badly! He had to make do with the 99-cent chocolate version from Trader Joe’s, I’m afraid. :)

  80. chandra says:

    don’t have a geeky christmas craft to share, but when i was younger and babysat a few lovely geeky little girls one of their favorites was when we heated big rocks in the oven and then colored them with crayons. the crayon melts all over and it’s pretty fun to do. :)

  81. Catherine says:

    Love the golden snitch ornaments! We’re going to make them for my son’s Harry Potter birthday party (there aren’t many advantages to having a birthday during the holidays, so I jumped on this one!).

  82. lisa says:

    my daughter is only 15 months, but next christmas i’m looking forward to gingerbread houses

  83. Deb says:

    Love this post! Geeky is the way to go!

  84. Megan says:

    Wow..what awesome ideas! We might have to try a few, since my daughter is really into Star Wars!!

  85. Kate says:

    Love the craft ideas. I recently saw an idea where you take baby’s feet, cover the soles in green finger paint, then the toes with red, and make little Christmas trees. (use the heels as the top of the tree.

  86. Noah says:

    Hung some old RAM on the tree last night as a decoration!

  87. Heidi S says:

    Every night we do a 3 year old inspired ornament for the tree. One night was just simple paper snowflakes and then it became paper airplanes and then we twisted pipecleaners to be candy canes… not exactly geeky, but great to help fill the dark hour after dinner and keep the season less materialistic.

  88. Beth A. says:

    We don’t really have a geeky tradition…but I’m sure as my geeky boys get older, the traditions will grow. The best tradition we have is spending time with family. :)

  89. Gilda says:

    We are definitely a geeky crowd over here and we love us some crafting… but never thought to put the two together… hmm… week before Christmas, there might be more crafting going on!

  90. Helen Jane says:

    In years past, we have hung a tree with old floppies. (Floppys? Flooopies?)
    The big ones.
    The floppy ones.

  91. Mike Carlson says:

    Craft time with the kids can be great. Wish we did it more…..

  92. SM says:

    Shrinky dink projects are such a flashback to childhood! Did you know that No.6 plastic can be substituted for commercially purchased shrinking plastic? I find it on the bakery clamshell-style packaging most often. In my house, those containers go to recycling with their flat top and bottom surfaces cut off and saved with my craft supplies. Cut and decorate, then bake them on a foil-lined pan at 350, watching as they curl and flatten.

  93. Sarah S says:

    These are cute – my son is just getting into Star Wars in a big way, so maybe an R2D2 dreidel might be just the thing this year!

  94. Mindy says:

    I am pretty crafty, but have only done a few traditional handmade gifts this year. I’ve knitted a few gifts for other people, and lashed together a few of the cut branches from our live tree to make a swag for our door. Once the kids are on Christmas break, we have big plans to design some clothes from repurposed thrift finds. My daughter asked if Santa could bring her some cowgirl clothes, and I suggested instead that we make them together. It will be time well spent!

  95. Sara says:

    Love the R2DS Dreidel – know alot of kids who would like this!

  96. Lisa says:

    Not really geeky, but my kids made some ornaments to give to grandparents. My husband is the geeky one – he would like Star Wars ornaments. And I like the golden snitch one!

  97. Alison says:

    I love making garlands out of paper loops. There are all sorts of geeky things you could use for source material.

  98. Chris says:

    Love the golden snitch. One timely craft I tried was an angel made from a dishwashing soap bottle with a ping-pong ball head.

  99. Don says:

    We’re making Angry Birds cookies and cake balls this year!

  100. Erika says:

    LOVE the social media ornaments. I saw cookies decorated like that somewhere and I think I even saved the instructions. Geeks rule!!

  101. Molly says:

    Oh man, I’m totally doing the snitch ornament!

  102. Matt says:

    I love all the crafts, especially the dalek cookies :D

  103. Lorena says:

    I love all these crafts, especially the sparkleball lights — it reminds me of my grandma’s parol, a Filipino light decoration hung in windows during Christmas. As far as geeky crafts go, I wish I had the time to make my own photo ornament Christmas cards or embroider some gifts a la the Ladynerds at Forever Young Adult.

  104. Michelle T says:

    That golden snitch is fabulous. Let’s see if I have time to make it.

  105. TL says:

    what a great idea! Thanks!

  106. Neil says:

    First year with my DS being old enough to actually getting the idea of Christmas. Should be fun!

  107. Tamara says:

    I love crafts, and this site will be bookmarked as one of my favorites.

  108. Dean M says:

    Loving the geeky crafts and would be proud to hang any and all crafts my family creates on my tree and in my office.

  109. Josh says:

    Love the golden snitch.

  110. Zuwi says:

    I love the social media ornaments. Since FB is such a big part of my day, I might need one to commemorate it on my tree.

  111. Luke says:


  112. gee_mom_05 says:

    Geeky or not, I think I’m making the snitch!

  113. Carol says:

    Love the snitch!!

  114. Suzie F says:

    I love the snitch ornament! My son is playing quidditch in college(!) and I must make him one!

  115. Carrie says:

    Cute ornament!

  116. Paul says:

    Super cute!

  117. Carmen says:

    A couple of years ago I made my husband a shadow box of Harry Potter stuff – an old pair of glasses (looked like Harry’s), a box of every-flavor beans, a homemade snitch (polymer clay), a wand, etc. I also made him a scarf in Gryffindor colors.

  118. Daniel says:

    the gingerbread robots are cool!

  119. hochoch says:

    you can never go wrong w/ gingerbread men. my wife is making some w/ our almost 2 y/o right now!

  120. Vanessa Willis says:

    We always try our best to make a gingerbread house, but it inevitably falls apart… and we end up eating the walls and candy. It’s a glorious mess.

  121. James says:

    Today I made a two-sided ornament with my girls. We’re working on letters, so the ornament is two-sided with their initials on each side. We just cut out letters and glued them to cardboard, nothing too hard. But it was grand fun!

  122. Bill Vinson says:

    There are some great ideas shown here I may pick up to do with my boys…

  123. Caroline says:

    What great ideas! My favorite holiday “craft” is baking!

  124. Cathy C. says:

    Our Chrismas tree is becoming weighed down with handmade ornaments my kids have been making…but I love it!

  125. Janet says:

    i saw these starwars snowflakes– cut out like darth and others…. so cute!

  126. Holly says:

    The star wars snowflakes and the Dr. Who cookies are going to rock my husband’s world this year!!!

  127. Monera says:

    I will say my fave geeky gift is an Instructables membership!

  128. Pat says:

    I think Jabba the Hutt on my napkin ring would keep me from eating so much.

  129. NatalieW says:

    Love it!

  130. Kimberly/Foodie City Mom says:

    My son made a cute snowman craft for an elderly friend…

  131. Debbie says:

    I don’t have a craft, but I do like putting together a picture calendar every year during the holidays with pictures of the kids.

  132. FreePlay Kids says:

    I am an ambivalent crafter. Sometimes I am really into it and sometimes I can’t be bothered. Lately, I just follow my 3 year old’s lead. If he’s into it, then we do it… and if not we move onto something else.

  133. nicole says:

    I’m too traditional for geeky! But i DO love the r2d2 dreidl- priceless!

    Thanks for the giveaway!

  134. daffiney says:

    I’m totally going to go make a snitch right now. (Will have to ponder how realistic the sparkeball would be, though …)

  135. amanda c says:

    OMG. That snitch is a GREAT idea. I’m sure it’s old news for some, but I’d never seen it (or thought of it). :)

  136. Jen (yup, another one) says:

    The precision of the shrinky-dink charm is fabulous! :)

  137. NP says:

    the golden snitch ornament is amazeballs!

  138. Serena says:

    Love the snitch, and the Daleks! Oh, the cookies one could create….

  139. Eliza says:


  140. AmyB says:

    Santa would love to deliver this to my house!

  141. Bryn says:

    No great ideas myself, but saw this on a friend’s page and thought it was brilliant:

  142. rajee says:

    Cute ornament!

  143. Vusala says:

    I don’t know how geeky this is, but I love making families of various animals out of pipe cleaners and felt with my kids.

  144. Alexis M. says:

    That golden snitch ornament is so adorable!!!! I love the Harry Potter books and movies and I would so make those and put them on my tree for Christmas!!!! :)

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