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Ask Amy: Craft tips and other advice from comedian Amy Sedaris

Thanksgiving’s approaching, and you’re asking yourself: How can I prepare for the holidays using only the useless junk I have lying around the house?

Ask Amy Sedaris!

The actress, comedian, crafter and hostess extraordinaire will be talking to Need to Know about her latest book, “Simple Times: Crafts for Poor People.” In her book, she illustrates, as only she can, how to make seasonal decorations and holiday keepsakes from seemingly worthless household items, like rocks or family photos.

Learn how to make your own sausage log cabin or rock rings in Amy's new book.

Amy is also a noted advice columnist, and her words of wisdom have changed peoples’ lives. Having trouble with your marriage? Thinking of going back to school? Wondering how to get back into the dating scene now that your imaginary boyfriend has been murdered under mysterious circumstances?

You can ask her anything!

We’ll be taking questions until Thursday, Nov. 4, when Sedaris will sit down with Need to Know host Alison Stewart. Post your queries in the comments section below. Answers to selected questions will appear online, and possibly on air, later this month.

So ask away! But please, no proposals: Amy has already moved on from the death of her imaginary boyfriend Ricky, and her new husband, Glenn, is very real.*

*Glenn may or may not be real.

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  • erinnyc

    Why aren’t you on Twitter? And, if you are, why can’t I find you?

  • Paulette

    How can I incorporate my dog into the holiday decorations? He looks like an overgrown rat, or a fruit bat.

  • Betsy

    Amy: I just know you’ll have an idea for me: although I drink wine nearly every night to calm my nerves, I have carefully collected and stored umpteen bottle corks. With the holidays approaching, what festive creation could be made from these corks?

  • Paulette

    How can I tell my kid’s teacher I do not want him teaching my younger child next year? The school places siblings into the same class as they move up grades. I want my younger child in a less namaste/yoga/ridiculous class but don’t know how to broach the subject.

  • Poo Bahr

    How has the internet affected your career in comedy, and where can I find a website that has poorly constructed fake nudes of you?

  • Stephanie

    I don’t like the smell of storebought potpourri, but I would like to perfume my home for the holidays. Ideas?

  • Paulette

    How can I tell my older brother to stop acting like my father? He seems to think I answer to him, and you owe him explanations, even though I’m 35 years old. He automatically puts me on the defensive because of the authoritative way he talks down to me. He nitpicks and treats me like a child. How do I get him to see that he is my equal– not my father!

  • Lana @ Make a House a Home

    We want to do something over the top this holiday season to the front of our house. Any suggestions? Here is a peek for inspiration: – BTW the more over-the-top the better, we are trying to loosen up our stuffy neighborhood, being the new kids on the block and all (literally)….

  • catmomma

    I’d love some swell ideas for crafts using cat hair. My 23lb orange and white tabby, Maurice, produces at least 3 ounces a day. I just hate for it to go to waste. It is a nice warm white color and very soft.

  • Paulette

    How can I incorporate the fact that my daughter is a leukemia survivor to get out of any and all holiday obligations, or any obligations really? She’s perfectly healthy now and no one knows unless I tell them. I want a get out of anything because you’re kid didn’t die from cancer card. Help!

  • Paulette

    Your. Not you’re. Where’s the edit button?!

  • Paulette

    Are there any crafts designed specifically for stoners to make?

  • Paulette

    Your, not you’re. Where’s the edit button?

  • Paulette

    What handmade gift can I give to my children to trick them into believing in Santa? My 8 year old is starting to get suspicious about the price tags left on her gifts.

  • “awesome”

    I am a cancer survivor. Is it unethical to get a medical marijuana card for recreational use?

  • Lotus53b

    Paulette: take it easy, girl. Trying for a monopoly?

  • Maya7080

    i’ve been sober for almost 4 years, but it’s pretty boring. fun factor waaay down. should i stick with it, keep it lite with wine coolers, or rediscover my talents for drinking and fighting?

  • Caroline Judd

    You should definitely stay sober! You’ve worked so hard obviously, why throw all that work away now? What about working on another talent… like comedy, you seem to be pretty witty!

  • Christine Cooke

    Exactly how many inches of tape does one need to make a good pig nose?

    *And will you be my sister-wife?

  • TitoBurrito

    What’s the best way to get rid of pet hair on your clothes if you don’t have a lint puller?

  • Tom Concannon

    How can I make the holidays gay for everyone at home?

  • Herbie_mae

    Bank of America is about to foreclose on my house. What should I do?

  • Paige

    I have 12,000 spools for craft projects and huffed all the glue I was going to use to create a replica of Santa’s REAL house, the one in Country Club Louisiana, using only my spools, the glue and my MacGyver spirit. Any advice for what to do now? Sign me, Glueless

  • James G. King

    What kind of crafts can I make with old pants that give you camel toe?

  • Glaseramy

    I’m into a guy but I don’t think he’s that into me. What fantastic tips do you have so that I can change his mind?

  • Ella Weez

    … or Moose Knuckle.

  • MrAndrew

    What’s your secret to having such lovely full manageable hair?

  • Wleevee

    No it’s not unethical! What is unethical is that a medicinal plant that grows naturally is illegal!

  • Sevengen

    i don’t understand how your pants give amy camel toe? is that euphamistic euphamism?

  • Bunky

    I made a nifty Santa beard out of drier lint (“whites” only) last season. Any ideas for my “colored” clothes lint?

  • HopelessImaginaryRomantic

    I have often envied your relationship with your imaginary boyfriend, Ricky. I too, would love to find a great imaginary guy, but haven’t run into him yet. I guess I must not be hanging out in the right places. Do you have any tips on increasing my odds of finding the imaginary “one”?

  • Lizzardbitch

    At LEAST one of my six sisters should probably meet an earlier-than-expected demise. Any way I can combine this with a festive holiday decoration?
    Thinking Green, of course.

  • Cindy Jo

    Hi Amy. My 4-year-old makes really “delightful” play-doh sculptures, some of them replete with cat hair texture–a bonus as far as I’m concerned because it makes them more structurally sound. They come in every color under the KMart toy section rainbow and some in unique color blends created by my daughter. Are these suitable for holiday gift giving? Thanks!

  • Anadelleramirez

    I come from a divorced family. It was bad enough to have to choose mom OR dad for the holidays. Now that I have a child and a baby’s daddy things are more complicated than ever. The “in-laws” have had us each Thanksgiving and Christmas since the baby was born 4 years ago! I feel so torn apart and guilty. What should I do Amy?

  • Laura Danger

    I try to make chewy chocolate chip cookies, but they always turn out too crispy at the edges. Please help.

  • Jaliso

    I have a 21 year old cat that has begun to pee and poop on the floor – onto which I have now had to put “puppy pads.” The vet says he’s in perfectly good health. I say my husband needs to wack him over the head with a shovel. Do you think it’s OK to lie to our daughter and say he died “naturally?”

  • Cmisas

    Any ideas on how to have a big family holiday get-together…without the family????

  • Jessica L.

    I really like to crochet scarves/pot holders for my friends and family, mostly because it’s fun and I can zone out whilst doing it, but also because it’s cheap, made with love, and they can’t possibly return it- meaning they are stuck with my token of love forever and ever. As a result, however, I have tons of scraps of yarn in varying colors, lengths, and textures, which I’m having a hard time letting go of because you never know when you need a 6-inch length of green sparkliness. MY question is, what’s a good way to utilize my scraps, preferably to make a new present to gift to a friend or family member so that they can add it to the other tokens of my love that they’re forced to keep for the rest of their lives?

  • Redfish

    Dear Amy,
    My psychiatrists have changed my medications over the years or from month to month, depending on who I see, and I seem to always have bottles of unused prozac, zoloft, ativan, or god knows what- floating around my purse and in my drawers. Are there any nice holiday crafts that I could make with the left over pills so that I wouldn’t have to throw them into the drinking water or a landfill? I am really concerned about the environment. I was thinking something cute for my grandchildren with maybe some glitter,glue, and construction paper but I just can’t seem to think straight enough to get a theme going. Can you give me one of your terrific ideas to get me on the right path?

  • 2manyjennifers

    Dear Amy, I like to keep those large yellow plastic buckets that the cat litter comes in, because once you use up the litter, the empty buckets are super handy. I clean them out and use them for everything: dog food and supplies, crafting supplies, diaper pails, etc. Problem is, I have half a dozen of these buckets sitting around, just looking bright yellow and advertising “Tidy Cats” in every room. It does not coordinate with my color schemes and it’s annoying to look at. Any advice on how to pretty up these buckets? I’ve tried contact paper but it’s really unmanageable.

  • Ynez

    Now that CD’s are obsolete, what can I do with the stacks and stacks of discs and cases that are crowding my bookcase?

  • Delfmand

    Hello Amy.

    What is a craft project used which outcome is a present that a man would appreciate? A craft project that is very inexpensive in cost. Thanks!

  • TA Friendly Amy

    I love making stuff for all my friends and family. It’s not so much because I’m dead-broke but I know that they’ll really appreciate something that’s had a little more thought and time invested into it. Most of my friends are fun and light-hearted. But after a few years of crafting for them, I’m entering a dry spell when it comes to inspiration. You’re totally awesome. What kind of handmade gift does an outrageous girl like yourself hope to receive? Just so you know, my skills are almost at the “expert” level. So if you can dream it, then most likely, I can make it.

  • amy sly

    Hi Amy, Amy here. I have a habit of buying supplies and then jumping from project to project, rarely finishing what I started. This adds up in materials costs and in bins of randomness in my tiny Brooklyn closet. Do you have any advice for stopping the cycle of starting shiny new projects before finishing old ones?

    Much obliged!

  • Katherineesther

    Hi Amy! I’m on a budget this year. How can I get out of giving presents but still receive them.

  • Paige ODoxy

    Howdy Amy! What humdinger objects around the house can I make into Dachshund shaped gifts for family, friends and unsuspecting neighbors?

  • Toddmarian5

    Amy, my humidifer looks so blah and humdrum when I pull it out every winter. Do you have any suggestions for what I might make to jazz it up? I’d love instructions for a humdifier cozy, or a bedazzled humidifier jacket, or maybe another animal to match the bunny cover than my mother in law gave me for my vaccuum. Please help!

  • John

    Amy, I just found out I am working Christmas Eve until 6, but I want to host a tree trimming party for the 25th, Since I’m not going to have the prep time, what is the best way to throw a quick hassle free Xmas gathering?

    Thanks, I love “Hospitality under the Influence”, I plan to make your cheese ball recipe :)

  • Janis302000

    Did you actually say “Poor People Steal” So steal my book? Or did I mishear that?