Decorating for Christmas does not have to be expensive or complex. If you are even the slightest bit crafty, you can pull off these simple decorations and gifts to make some great memories with the family. Have the kids pitch in and create a holiday season you won’t forget. Most of the crafts below can be made with supplies you likely have around the house. What you don’t have can be picked up at a local craft shop or big box store.
WOOD BLOCK SNOWMAN
Who doesn’t have random scraps of wood in their garage? You might need them one day, you told yourself. Well, that day has come! Grab those scraps and construct this easy wood block snowman. Have even more wood scraps? Construct a whole snow family. Do-it-yourselfer, woodworker, and blogger Anika Ghandi offers a tutorial on her blog “Anika’s DIY Life” at anikasdiylife.com/diy-wood-block-snowman.
- 4×4 wood blocks of varying lengths
- Black paint or stain
- White paint (acrylic, craft, or leftover latex wall paint)
- Colorful buttons
- Small Santa hat or top hat
- Christmas ribbon
- Orange and black permanent markers
- Hot glue gun
- Miter saw*
(*If you do not have a miter saw or a sander, you can still make this with a hand saw, sandpaper, and a bit of elbow grease.)
Cut a 4×4 board into three pieces or find three pieces of varying sizes and cut them accordingly. You will need two short pieces (one for the head and one for the torso) and one longer piece for the base. There is no need for exact measurements. Be sure to sand the wood blocks to make sure there are no splinters. Stain and paint it. Start by coating blocks with a dark base color (stain or black paint).
Once the stain dries, paint the blocks with white paint on all sides and tops. Distress the blocks with a finish sander, sanding block, or sandpaper. Let dry. Decorate your snowman**. Add buttons to one of the smaller blocks (the middle part of the body) with hot glue. Add the hat to its head. Tie on a ribbon scarf. Draw a carrot nose and eyes onto the dried white paint. Stack the blocks on top of each other in the desired location. If you wish, you may use wood glue or nails to connect the pieces or leave them separate for easy storage.
(**Make your snowman your own. Perhaps you want to give him (or her!) button or coal eyes or use another object for the nose. Add a tiny coat or arms. Your imagination and time are your only limitations.)
PINECONE CHRISTMAS TREES
This is a kid-friendly classic you can make with craft supplies you likely have lying around the house.
- Large pinecones that can stand upright
- Elmer’s or craft glue
- Glitter (red, green, silver, gold)
- Small beads and/or rhinestones
Dust off the pinecones. Add glue to the leaves of the pinecones and dust with glitter. Let dry, then shake off any excess glitter. Glue small beads, rhinestones, or other objects to the pinecones to decorate them like Christmas trees.
Tip: Add a small star or another bead to the top for added effect.
Let your toddler’s imagination run wild with this kid-friendly activity that is great for the little ones who are learning to walk and use their motor skills. This project
allows for continual customization. You could also do it as a Christmas tree with ornaments, or customize for any holiday.
- Self-laminating paper
- Brown poster board and card stock in various colors
- Scissors and pencil
- Wooden fruit and vegetables (you can use different colored poster boards to create custom items if you cannot find wooden ornaments at local craft stores.)
- Non-toxic paint and stickers
- Magnetic tape (wider is better as you will be adhering it to the back of the wooden pieces and need them to be strong enough to stay on the surface.)
Draw and cut out a large cornucopia to fit on a space on the refrigerator or other metal surface. Add as much detailing as your artistic ability will allow. Laminate the cornucopia front and back with the lamination paper and trim the edges to fit the shape of the cornucopia. Attach several pieces of magnetic tape to the back of it.
Decorate wooden or poster board fruits and vegetables with paints and stickers. Once dry, attach at least one piece of magnetic tape to each piece. Hang the cornucopia on the refrigerator, dishwasher, or any other magnetic-friendly surface and let your kids fill the cornucopia with their favorite Thanksgiving goodies.
HANGING HOLIDAY LANTERNS
The reward of simplicity is great with this easy and versatile craft. This can be modified for any holiday during the year. There are practically endless possibilities.
- Mason jars (any size)
- LED string lights or LED tea lights
- Any combination of sparkly beads, tiny figurines (such as a snowman or Santa Claus), faux greenery (pine bough, mistletoe, holly, or poinsettia), spray snow, plastic snowflakes, garland, or spray paint to make designs on the outside
- String, yarn, or ribbon
Use the supplies and your imagination to create a scene inside each jar. Add a light to turn it aglow. (Tip: You may want to insert the light(s) first so you do not disturb your carefully placed items.) Tie string, yarn, or ribbon around the lip of the jar and attach the ends of a longer piece of string to either side of the lid to create a hook for hanging the lantern.
This one is so easy! These supplies are merely suggestions. You can use a variety of herbs and spices to make these DIY gifts or to spice up your own home during the holidays. Use three or four ingredients per jar so as not to overwhelm the senses. If you are gifting the jars right away, you may use certain fresh ingredients. If you plan to store them for a while, use dried as they keep for longer. Another modification, if you want a specific scent to be stronger, is to put three
or four drops of a matching essential oil such as lavender, sandalwood, or cedar
onto the ingredients inside the jar.
Supplies and possible ingredients
- Jars (perhaps you could use some leftover Mason jars from your lanterns.)
- Cinnamon sticks
- Fresh or dried cranberries
- Fresh or dried rosemary
- Dried citrus (orange, lime, or lemon)
- Dried bay leaves
- Printable labels
Arrange a small amount of each ingredient to fill the inside of each jar. Create a label with a catchy name and the list of ingredients and instructions for cooking on the stovetop or better yet, in the crockpot. (Ingredients should be brought to a boil on the stovetop and then simmered on low to release fragrance or cooked on high in the crockpot with the lid on until heated, then open the lid and cook on low to spread the aroma.) Gift to your friends and family!
COOKIE CUTTER WREATH
This easy do-it-yourself gift is also open for modifications, but you can find a tutorial of one version on Inspired by Charm at inspiredbycharm.com/diy-cookie-cutter-wreath. Perhaps you will get a return gift of cookies. Here’s hoping!
- Cookie cutters in various sizes (two packs). You can use stars, bells, Christmas trees, or snowmen cutters, or any mixed variety you would like.
- Hot glue gun and glue sticks
- Ribbon or twine of your choosing
- Faux greenery (pine bough, holly, etc.) or other decorations
Lay out the cookie cutters in a circle, with each touching the next in at least one spot. Glue the pieces together and allow time to dry. Tie a piece of ribbon to each area you glued to cover the connected areas, and trim the ribbon to the desired length. You can make bows or have a rough tie — get creative. Attach ribbon or twine to the top to create a hanger. Trim with pine bough or other decorations.
Story and photography by Tracy Loe | Additional photograph courtesy
Originally published in Neighbors magazine.This article was posted by Olivia