All YPL locations will be closed Sunday, Feb. 12 & Monday, Feb. 13 in observance of Lincoln’s Birthday and Sunday, Feb. 19 & Monday, Feb. 20 in observance of Washington’s Birthday.

Homemade for the Holidays

“The NEW Sustainable YOU!” is a monthly virtual program presented by Crestwood staff member Jackie Leone and co-sponsored by the Friends of Crestwood Library and NNORC. The program promotes sustainable living practices and shares ideas on how to live more sustainably.

This month’s program shared some fun, family-friendly craft ideas for you to try this holiday season. 

Pine Cone Craft

Pine cones dyed red and decorated with glitter


  • 10 red pine cones
  • Red Food Dye
  • Green Food Dye
  • Water
  • Hemp String
  • Biodegradable sparkles (optional)


  1. Place the powder food coloring in 4 cups of water per 1-2 ounces of red or green food grade dye.
  2. Let the pine cones soak overnight and dry in the morning.
  3. Use non-toxic glue or no glue and sprinkle the biodegradable sparkles.

Caramel Dreidels

A dreidel made with a caramel square, a Hershey kiss and a pretzel stick


  • Napkin or plate as work surface
  • Caramel Cubes (shop around for a good, fat cube)
  • Chocolate Kisses
  • Thin pretzel sticks (Snyder’s “Sticks” are perfect and OU kosher)
  • Frosting (or fluff or Nutella or nut butter)
  • Toothpick
  • Edible-ink pen
  • Plastic plate upon which to practice spinning
  • Printable sheet with dreidel letters, names of letters, what they stand for and game rules


  1. Unwrap caramel. Flatten into a cube if it isn’t symmetrical already.
  2. With toothpick, poke a hole in the exact middle of the caramel
  3. Break pretzel stick to about 3/4 inch in length
  4. Poke pretzel stick midway into hole
  5. Add letters
  6. Dab frosting onto other end of caramel
  7. Push kiss onto frosting
  8. Play, Eat.

Kente Paper Weaving Craft

Kente Paper Weaving Craft with different geometric shapes


  • Items for demonstration (Kente strips and fabrics, caps and key rings, etc. using Kente symbolism, pictures, great resource website: Smithsonian Museum of African Art)
  • 18 x 4 inch strips of good quality white paper
  • Pencils
  • Rulers
  • Red, green, blue, black and yellow tempera paint
  • Paintbrushes
  • Water cups and paper towels


  1. Cut the strips of paper into different geometrical shapes.

  2. Make a pattern with the shape and glue onto a larger sheet of paper to give a woven look.

  3. Display “Kente: cloth to celebrate Kwanzaa.

Alternate directions:

  1. Cut black strips of paper and weave red, green, yellow, and blue strips into the black.

Each of the paper colors carries different symbolism. Red symbolizes life and blood. Blue represents innocence. Green is for Mother Africa and Mother Earth. Black stands for people and unity. Gold symbolizes strength and fortune.

We hope you try some of these fun holiday crafts this season. If you’re interested in learning more about the environment, sustainability and the climate crisis, check out some of these reads below. Next month’s “The NEW Sustainable YOU!” program is on Wednesday, January 11th at 1:00 PM on Zoom.

Alison Robles is a part-time clerk at the Crestwood Library. She is an avid reader with a passion for fantasy, history and science fiction. A Yonkers native, she graduated from Iona University in 2020 with a dual-degree in Marketing and Public Relations.