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Crafty Gals create unique Christmas decor through repurposing

By Wendy Sweeter

The Crafty Gals - Bev Winterboer, Sharon Bruns and Geri Benson - will have their pop up shoppe open on Main Street this weekend.


For the past 30 years, the Crafty Gals have gotten together to make crafts.


Sisters, Sharon Bruns and Bev Winterboer, and their friend, Geri Benson, started Crafty Gals with Bruns and Winterboer’s mother, Gladys Wiebers, when they had young children.


“I want to say it was when the kids were playing Barbies,” Winterboer said. “We started with Barbie clothes and baby stuff, then went into little dolls.”


Throughout the years, the crafts they have made have changed. They started with Barbie and baby doll clothes. Then then made little dolls with a bench. They made cross stitch aprons, angels made out of light globes, mop dolls, handkerchief dolls, bunnies and a large doll named Molly.


“We made a big doll named Molly and she had a big full dress on and her hair was a skein of yarn. They were pretty good sized,” Bruns said.


Today, they work on dress up clothes, playhouse tents, nativity scenes, Christmas decor and repurposed items.


The ladies would work at Wiebers’ home once a week after supper when they would get their young children situated at home and then work until midnight. Then when the kids got older, they would take supper over and go after they got off work to work on their crafts.


Now, with Benson and Winterboer retired, they do a little more crafting during the day together in their workshop in the old attorney office on Main Street. They also lease the old beauty shop on Main Street for the pop up shoppes.


In the beginning, they went to a lot of small town craft fairs. While they still go to a lot of craft fairs, they have been branching out to some two-day events and going as far as Faulkton, S.D., and Slayton, Minn.


When they aren’t at craft fairs, they will set up pop up shoppes in Lennox. Their pop ups were on Wiebers’ porch. Since she has passed away, they have been using the old beauty shop for their pop ups.


Their next pop up shoppes are Dec. 9-10 and Dec. 16-17. On Friday, they will be open noon to 6 p.m. and Saturday 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.


To work on their inventory, they do a lot of shopping trips to flea markets, antique stores and garage sales to look for items to repurpose. They have purchased doorknobs, instruments, gas cans, sleds, smoking stand and coffee pots and repurposed them into Christmas trees, wreaths, nativity scenes, snowmen and winter scenes.


“We always have nativity scenes in different things in trunks and boxes. When it started, we did them in baskets. People like that storage thing,” Winterboer said.


She just recently completed a nativity scene inside a wire mailbox.


All three of the gals have a 4-H background and have enjoyed making crafts.


“I think we started because we’ve always sewn and we’ve always crafted. We were making things for the kids and just started,” Winterboer said.


Today they enjoy getting together once a week to build things.


“It seems like we kind of feed off each other. We sit at a table and ask each other what they think. You have to take the criticism. I think we feed off each other,” Bruns said. “We all have certain things we like to do.”

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