Need to keep the kids at bay and busy doing something that doesn’t involve a screen during their holidays this Christmas? Read on for our handy DIY decor ideas.
We’ve been scouting around for projects that will provide wholesome handmade fun for the family. Why not get stuck in yourself? It makes sense to take a break from all that consumption and make this about quality time to gather round a table over a delightful bit of craft?
Besides, there’s another reason…
Making handcrafted festive decorations or Christmas crafts for gifting is a great way to live more sustainably whilst passing on timeless skills to the younglings this season!
Ready to set the scene?
Get the hot chocolate and mulled wine stirring, light the fire, put on the carols and bring out your crafting basket. Who needs Netflix when you’ve got all this to look forward to!
Start With Handmade Outdoor Decorations
A Handmade Wreath
Make a unique statement at the doorstep this year. Create a wreath from scratch or embellish a basic wreath from the supermarket
You’ll could get the kids involved by
- Taking them on forest walks and collecting pine cones, holly and other interesting foliage to embellish your wreath.
- Have a discussion on what elements of the wreath they would like to add - they could even create a secondary wreath for the back door. Decide what themes you may want to play with. Will you be adding handmade angels and fairies or will there be an animal theme?
- The children could be set about making the smaller components, each one adding a unique piece they’ve made themselves. They could bring pieces they’ve been making in school into the wreath so there is a piece of everyone there, and it may even tell a story!
This is a great get out Clause (pardon the pun!) when you’ve been presented with ‘interesting clay figurines’ from the last craft clay or woodcraft workshop. Hang these on trees outside and douse with glitter especially if they’re exceptionally large and too heavy for the tree inside.
Use Packaging from Christmas Deliveries
Are you inundated with styrofoam from all those online deliveries?
Carve the larger pieces or mould them into balls. Ideally, turn them into a mix of different sized balls. Keep them white or paint them over in different colours before attaching them onto a circular wreath form to create a snowball or multi-coloured ball wreath.
Top it up with a giant bow on top and you’ve got yourself a whimsical wreath.
Image credit - https://kidscraftroom.com/yarn-wrapped-diy-wall-letters/
You’ve probably accumulated lots of hard cardboard packaging from all that online shopping too.
- Try Yarn letters! Just cut out large letter shapes and wrap them in scraps of leftover yarn, ribbon or event scraps of cloth shredded into strips.
- We found a blog that spells it out for you in YARN WRAPPED DIY WALL LETTERS at kidscraftroom.com.It's all filled with other great craft ideas too.
- Use them to spell out festive greetings like ‘JOY’ and “HELLO SANTA!”.
- For thicker looking letters and a 3-D effect, just build up the base with 3 to 4 layers of cardboard per letter and wrap on a thick base layer of cloth scraps before layering on the festive, more pretty looking yarn.
Image credit https://www.womansday.com/home/crafts-projects/how-to/g299/decorative-holiday-crafts-100780/?slide=22
Make larger versions for bunting on walls and smaller versions for Christmas tree ornaments that could spell out names as well.
Reuse Last Year’s Christmas Cards
Here are some great ideas to recycle the old Christmas cards that have popped up from last year’s Christmas
Cut old Christmas cards (fronts) from last year into triangles to recycle as party bunting.
- Use a large darning needle to sew onto a decorative Christmas ribbon or twine to create easy party bunting or a decorative garland. Alternatively, use tiny clothes pins or strong glue to attach these onto the decorative string.
- Use it for the children's room, the mantel in the den or the next Christmas party.
- Helping to host a Christmas fair or market? This is a perfect crowdsourced project if you got everyone involved to bring some of their own creations and join them together.
Traditional Foodie Festive Decor
Sometimes you just need to trust the wisdom of our elders when it comes to rediscovering eco-friendly ideas for decorating the home this Christmas. Besides, food-related ingredients make it all safer when getting the children involved.
Salt Dough is the Way to Go!
Image credit: https://www.muminthemadhouse.com/fingerprint-christmas-tree-ornament-air-drying-clay/
This is perfect for those of us who aren’t into working with clay. This edible version can be easily cleaned away.
You’ll just need 3 ingredients:
- Salt (1 cup)
- Flour (2 cups)
- Water (1 cup)
- All you have to do is mix the 3 listed ingredients in a mixer until it is a smooth dough. Then roll the dough out between two pieces of the parchment paper till it’s about ¼ inch in thickness.
- Arm the kids with cookie cutters to create the shapes they need
- Punch holes at the top with a skewer or small straw so they can thread through string or ribbon later to hang their creations.
- Once the shapes have been created, just bake them like cookies in the oven at 120 degrees celsius. You’ll need to bake for about 3 hours to let the dough dry.
- Use rubber stamps or hand paint in patterns with poster paints that may be safer for the little ones and of course - don’t forget to sprinkle on some glitter!
Need some creative ideas? There's a great list of 20 Easy Salt Dough Ornaments to Make in Time for Christmas in Goodhousekeeping.com
Dried Citrus And Spice Garlands
Image credit: https://www.countryliving.com/diy-crafts/tips/g907/craft-ideas-for-christmas-decorations-1209/?slide=10
All you have to do is dry out some slices of dried citrus cross-section pieces like limes, lemons, oranges and grapefruit.
- When ready and dried, hand them to the kids to string onto some pretty plaid ribbon. You could even slice up other fruits like apples and pears and dry those too.
- You can make it more creative by alternating with greenery they may have picked up from the forest; like plain pine or eucalyptus leaves, or bits of mistletoe.
- You can also string on (like beads): dried peppers, bay leaves, dried cranberries, sticks of cinnamon and pine cones. Layer again with plain greenery.
This makes for accompaniment to your table runner to dress it up for dinner. Or drape it onto mantelpieces and shelves. You could even drape it around windows, on staircases, and wrap pieces into a wreath form to create a door hanging.
There’s a great blog here on How to Use Dried Fruit for Christmas Decorations in a variety of ways
This blog gives really clear instructions too - on how to Make a Dried Orange Christmas Garland.
Need More Clever Christmas Craft Ideas?
Check out these other bright blogs for more out of the box thinking when it comes to handmade Christmas craft ideas.