Making homemade decorations and gifts is a great way to add a personal touch to Christmas. You can use up some of the things you were about to throw away, or don’t use anymore. Or personalise gifts for each person. This also helps with reducing waste, contributing to the action against climate change. All of these would make great Christmas gifts and decorations, but I have separated them into gifts or decorations.
Remove the wood from the metal, and discard. Paint each pin in alternate colours (e.g. gold and silver, white and blue, green and red). Glue two parts of the same colour back to back until all pins are used. Thread a piece of yarn or string through one of the holes created, and hang up.
Homemade gift pouches.
If you’ve got some old clothes or curtains that you don’t want to use, why not make them into gift pouches? Cut various sized squares out of the fabric. Lay flat on the floor, and place glue the edges down, by folding in by a half inch. Place any gifts or filler inside, and gather the edges together. Spin around, and tie with a piece of ribbon. This can be used as a gift or decoration on the tree
Upcycle old ornaments.
If you have any old baubles lying around, why not give them a facelift? Spray paint old ones to give them a new colour, paper mache some different colour crepe paper on, or even just dip in some glitter. If there are any that are clear, fill them with something new. No need to buy new ones when you can change the look of the old ones!
Dried Citrus Fruit ornaments
Dried fruit always has a rustic feel to it, when we see it in potpourri or in decorations. Make your own by slicing some citrus fruit (lemons, limes, oranges or even grapefruit.) Pat either side with a towel and line on a baking tray. Preheat the oven to 110C or 250F or Gas Mark 2, place the tray in the oven for up to 4 hours. Turn about halfway to ensure even drying. When finished, remove. Pierce with a skewer or needle, thread some twine through, and they’re ready to be hung up.
This is another one that can be used as a gift or decoration. Who doesn’t love some scented ornaments? An easy one to make is out of cinnamon sticks, herbs and cloves. Tie some cinnamon sticks together, or glue. Glue on some fresh herbs, or alternatively. Dry out the herbs a bit, the same way as the citrus, but for only 1.5 hours. Glue on in the shape of a tree (works best with thyme or rosemary). Add some cloves if you want and hang up in the kitchen. Your house will smell of cinnamon for the holidays!
What arts and crafts section wouldn’t be complete without a lollipop craft? This one is a quick sled, and you’ll need 8 lollipops for it.
First, stagger four lollipops side by side. They can be staggered any way you want, but make sure they are mostly in line. Glue them together so they make a board shape. Turn two lollipops sticks on their sides to make the sled legs, and glue to the bottom of the board. Next glue another lollipop stick to the front of the sled, on its side. When that is dry, place another flat on top of it, for the curved part of the sled.
There has been a new trend going around the past couple of years where people are presenting homemade gifts. This is a lovely gesture, and a lot of people view it as more personal than buying a gift from a shop.
If you can, make personal baubles. One of the easiest ways to do this is with clear, fillable baubles. You can fill the baubles with the person’s name, and mini cut outs of stuff they like, or a picturesque Christmas scene, pictures of family, virtually anything. This could be a gift or decoration for yourself.
For the textile crafty, knitting something or sewing a name onto something is always a good way to go. Make personalised Christmas stockings, knit a jumper Weasley style with the person’s initial. Or, if you’re feeling ambitious, why not try a big blanket?
One of the new handmade gifts you can do are baking jars. These are jars that are filled with baking ingredients, such as flour, sugar, cocoa powder etc. You can attach a handwritten recipe to it, and personalise it to their tastes – brownie mix, cupcake mix, the possibilities are endless. You could also do this for hot chocolate mixes, and add different toppings or add ins, such as crushed up candy cane, chocolate truffles, or toffees.
After lockdown, it’s easy to say that a lot of us have experimented in baking. So why not give out some of those homemade goods. Homemade truffles, bread, biscuits are all good choices, and can be easily wrapped up in tins or cellophane.
One thing that always comes around the holidays are drinks. Like the Baking Jars, why not buy some drinking mugs, and add in mini versions (around 200ml) of the persons alcohol of choice, a mixer and make a night out of it. Try mixing different mixers with different alcohols.
- Best Traditional Winter Drinks from around the World – Babylon
- 6 of the Best Cocktails to Celebrate the End of the Year – Babylon
Make some homemade potpourri. They can be made from nearly any flower, fruit, herb or oil you can imagine. Gather whatever you want, for the flowers and herbs dry them out in the oven ( 110 for a couple of hours for most). If you want to, soak them in an essential oil first to make them extra potent. You will need a fixative to make the scent last. Find a list of some you can grow here.
Or, if they prefer to make a stovetop potpourri, you could wrap the ingredients in a small bag or cellophane, and tie it off with ribbon. For a Christmas recipe, check this out!
Here is just a small list of some homemade gifts and decorations you could make this Christmas. Having something like this to do, especially as a lot of us will be staying indoors, will certainly kill some time, while making the house look and/or smell festive.