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Arts & crafts

Homemade Christmas decorations/gifts

(22 Posts)
ticktock Thu 18-Oct-12 14:57:35

This year I thought I'd try my hand at a bit of craftwork and make my own Christmas decorations and if I'm feeling really adventurous gifts.

How do I make Christmas cards look authentic and not like DGD made it? What else can I make? Any tips/ideas much appreciated!

absentgrana Thu 18-Oct-12 15:14:18

Do you have a decent art shop nearby. If so, go and have a look at all the stuff to do with making greetings cards – even pop-up ones – which help give a professional finish.

Elegran Thu 18-Oct-12 16:06:39

There are loads of ideas and patterns on the net. Some of them are on sites where they want you to buy their supplies, but it is free to look - then decide what materials you are going to use.

Granny23 Thu 18-Oct-12 17:43:46

Decorated Santa sacks are easy if you buy red pillowcases (2 for £3 from Asda) and sew on, cut out from scraps letters, to make names or glue on pictures of Santa (from last years cards) etc - or simply decorate with tinsel or cotton wool.

My other easy peasie one is pine cones collected from under pine trees (where else?), tips rolled in a saucer of white paint and then sprinkled with sparkles. Tie with ribbon and hang on tree or fill a woden bowl or basket and sit by fireside. We have loads of Ivy in the garden and used to make a huge garland of Ivy, every 3rd or 4th leaf painted and sprinkled round the edge, red ribbon twirled through and the whole lot installed along the top and down one side of the tall bookcase - Very Festive and lasts for about 2 weeks without water.

ticktock Thu 18-Oct-12 20:20:30

Thank you all!

Granny23 the Santa sacks sound like a good idea for the DGCs.

If I do end up making gifts, what would you suggest?

Granny23 Thu 18-Oct-12 22:11:48

Sadly most craft made presents, take hours to make and cost more than buying ready made. Although people may admire them they often have little practical use and end up stuffed in a cupboard. My children and now my DGC have, however, appreciated some customised items, not available in the shops e.g. Dolls house bedding, curtains and rugs which match up with the ones in their own home, Clothes for dolls which are copies of their owners clothes - when I made dresses and pinafores for the children I would use the scraps to make a matching favourite doll sized version. Same idea works with knitwear eg. hat and scarf set for DGS + matched set for his Teddy. Customised name plates for bedroom doors have also been popular.
OH! and chunky jigsaws where the picture is a photograph of themselves, their pet, their house - only needs thick cardboard, glue, and a stanley knife.
Craft shop prices are extortionate, but useful for browsing. Quality fabric can be found inThrift Shops (a size 22 skirt will have twice as much fabric as a size 12 but will still only cost a couple of ££), an extra large man's shirt will yield a fair quantity of good quality cotton fabric and gent's ties are an excellent source of luxury fabric for trims or Cindy/Barbie dresses. Fleece by the yard is also pricey, better to buy a fleece blanket from IKEA or B & M and cut it up.

For adults - customised canvas shopping bags (saw a smasher with old buttons sewn all over, don't know if it was HM or from a fancy boutique), cushion covers to match their decor, part painted terra cota flower pots or with braid stuck around rim also to match decor, funky covers or nests for mobiles and of course, small pots of jam, marmalade, chutney with fabric covers and sitting in a small (cardboard) box covered with the same fabric.
I may return if I remember more grin

Nansypansy Fri 19-Oct-12 07:49:05

I've made several items for selling at a W.I. Christmas Fayre - mobile phone/kindle/spectacle cases etc. as well as everlasting crackers, coasters, bunting etc. and I'm trying to source some cellophane bags as I think presentation is important. Any recommendations of where to get some from that aren't too expensive?

Elegran Fri 19-Oct-12 08:18:09

I have bought them online from Craft Creations. They are very good and will talk to you on the phone about things. The more you buy the cheaper it comes, of course. Lots of places have small packs for extortionate amounts.

gracesmum Fri 19-Oct-12 12:21:50

Our version of home made gifts is sloe/bullace/damson gin and green tomato chutney. The only proviso is that recipients give us back the empties if they want more next year - as nice kilner jars and bottles don't come cheap. It can also raise an eyebrow or two when buying industrial quantities of gin at cheapest possible supermarket - last year we got 6 litres at one go in Morrisons and DH j explained to the cashier - "We've got the grandson coming". She just nodded.

Mishap Fri 19-Oct-12 14:54:28

Years ago I amde an "advent calendar" wall hanging which has become a bit of an heirloom.

It is a piece of large blue corduroy, with a wooden batten slotted into hemmed channels top and bottom so it can hang from the wall. I then appliqued a nighttime hillside nativity scene on to it.

Along tghe bottom batten are 24 hooks and we hang Christmas chocolates from there - and one gets eaten each day.

vampirequeen Fri 19-Oct-12 19:26:18

With our help the children collected the seed from the Love in the Mist plants that they had grown from seed this year. They're going to put some seeds into a small envelope then put that into a larger envelope which they will have decorated with pictures of the flowers, the name of the plant and when the seeds should be sown (basically the information on a commercial seed packet). These will be gifts for their mum and stepdad, grandparents and teachers.

We're also going to decorate pine cones with spray snow and glitter and collect holly to make an advent wreath as we have the children at the weekends and on Christmas Day this year so we can light the candles one week at a time during Advent and on Christmas Day.

Grannybug Fri 19-Oct-12 20:13:54

Decoupaging terracotta flowerpots and planting them with spring bulbs can make useful gifts. Just use old seed packets ,wrapping paper etc but don't spend money on expensive decoupage papers.

ticktock Fri 19-Oct-12 20:15:50

Lovely ideas, thank you! Last year I bought everyone a personalised mug, with family pictures on them. Pressing a few buttons to upload pictures online was too easy though, need a challenge this year! I'll have to look into all of these...

Grannyknot Sat 20-Oct-12 08:00:59

VPQ that sounds great, what you're doing. Years ago when my children were little, we used to decoupage on to soaps. This has given me an idea to personalise soap for DD, who loves her cat, Mia Ow. I could print a photo of the cat and make her some soap this year! Last year, for the first time I started around this time of year and gathered bits and pieces to make up a hamper each for my 2 adult children (and partners). It was such a success (each one personalised according to tastes) that I'm repeating it this year. I didn't just go to one supermarket to shop either, I shopped around, Ikea food, Lidl, Christmas markets, village markets, Heston from Waitrose, home made (by me) chicken liver pate in a nice ceramic dish, etc. etc. Those hampers were full of treats! Last year's actual hampers were 2 baskets sourced from charity shops, one was a picnic basket and the other was a flat bottomed sort of market shopper. Any ideas for what I can put the goodies in this year, as don't want to do baskets again.

shysal Sat 20-Oct-12 09:08:43

Nansypansy I buy cellophane bags cheaply on ebay. There are all sizes, with or without bases. I use them for individual cupcakes or small gifts and tie with curly ribbon (shall do some for the children on Hallowe'en).

I enjoy making 3D cards from good quality wrapping paper, or free pictures on line (they need 3 or 4 identical images). However, I do buy the blank cards with envelopes, which look more professional.

I like the red pillow case idea, my giant bags are no longer suitable, as the older the GCs get the smaller the presents are!

fluffy Sat 20-Oct-12 18:38:09

Chutney, chutney, chutney - make either spiced apple or spiced tomato - v easy - last year I got recipes from the net - I think there is a Rachel - cant remember her name - she is Irish and on sometimes after Saturday kitchen. Anyway - make a big batch of chutney - you just put all the ingredient in a pan stir til chutneyish - smells gorgeous. Put in jars (which you will have sterilized) - decorate with Christmassy fabric tops and put pretty labels on and give with a nice cheese - people love this.

applepie Wed 24-Oct-12 10:45:59

All these ideas are brilliant <gets out notepad>

MulberryTree Mon 29-Oct-12 14:19:50

I made a lovely picture, very similar to this, for DH. I bought a load of second-hand maps from the local charity shops, cut round the map where we met, married and live and stuck it down on a bit of paper. Bought a nice frame from Amazon for it and it looks fantastic! If I do say so myself!

dorsetpennt Mon 29-Oct-12 14:31:42

In the US popcorn is strung on thread and used to decorate the tree. A friend and I go into the New Forest for pine cones and greenery [no we don't rob it, the greenery is usually the ivy that curls around trees]. I made my children their stockings using felt and decorated with sequins, including their name - have done the same for my 2 GDs. I used to belong to a craft group at my childrens' primary school and we made things to be sold at the Xmas Fair. I used to make little stockings filled with small chocolate coins to hang on the tree. A friend knitted tiny little angels which were so lovely I bought one and have it still.

yogagran Mon 29-Oct-12 15:03:17

I think my dog would just love the home made popcorn decorations grin We tried chocolate decorations on the tree one year - notice I said ONE year

grumpysmrs Wed 02-Jan-13 10:00:44

granny23 what great ideas, I agree about craft shop prices. When I retired I looked around for a craft group to join, couldn't find one and it took me 3 months to get brave enough to go see the vicar at our local church to see if I could start up one. we are now into our third year and have made some wonderful things for next to nothing, every week I say remember NEVER throw anything away without looking at it and thinking now what could we make with that, we made rag wreaths this Christmas, I bought the wire rings for 40 p each but wire coat hangers could of been used, odds and ends of material (old clothes from group members and from church jumbles) and those wreaths turned out great even better than the ones sold in the local craft shop for £15.
I've only just found this site and now I'm wondering if we can start an on line craft group

wanting Fri 25-Jan-13 09:31:15

I think yo can make a Santa Claus with paper ,beads or woolen wires. You can also make jewelry for you relatives.