Editor’s note: Voting is officially closed, but we will announce the winner on Thursday, Dec. 20th.

It’s voting time! After receiving 166 entries to this year’s Holiday Crafts Contest, we’ve narrowed it down to seven festive finalists.

The process wasn’t easy. We enlisted the help of Nicholas Bell, a curator at the Smithsonian American Art Museum’s Renwick Gallery and organizer of the museum’s “40 Under 40: Craft Futures” exhibition, and debated each craft. The entries came from across the region and leaned heavily on upcycling: Photo albums were made from recycled beer cases, used greeting cards were given new life as gift tags, Scrabble letters were turned into garland that spelled out spirited words such as “N-O-E-L” and “J-O-Y.”

The final seven balanced originality, creativity and skill. We admired the intricate detail of Pysanky ornaments that were crafted in the style of Ukranian Easter eggs. We delighted in the sentiment of an envelope book that stores children’s letters to Santa made from a Coptic stitch and rubber stamps. And we couldn’t help but fall in love with a trio of wreaths made from red, green and gold shotgun shells — points for catching the editors off-guard.

Which craft is your favorite? You can have a hand in choosing which crafter will win a $100 American Express gift card for readers’ choice. Go online and cast your vote, but act fast. Voting ends at 4 p.m. Friday. And check in with us next week for a profile on the judges’ grand prize winner, who will win a $500 gift card.

The Post’s Jura Koncius shows off some of the best reader submissions for Local Living’s annual holiday craft contest. (The Fold/The Washington Post)


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