Making Christmas Crafts
DIY Budget Decorating for the Holidays
The holidays are an exciting time of year. Christmas music
blasts in every retail store and on every radio station. The
smells of peppermint, gingerbread, and pumpkin grace every
restaurant, bakery, and coffee shop. With all the hustle
and bustle come parties, gift exchanges, and holiday
decorating, all of which cost money. With a few tweaks and
a clever imagination, you can beautifully yet frugally
decorate your home so you have money left over to get gifts
from those holiday wish lists. Here are a few indoor and
outdoor budget-saving decorating tips for this holiday season.
DIY Christmas Outdoor Sign
You know the holidays are here when your neighbors start
decorating the outsides of their homes. The twinkle lights
sparkle in the bushes, and the candles in the window go on at
night. It seems that when your household includes kids, it’s
natural to participate in the outdoor-decorating festivities.
Every home with children needs a “Santa, Stop Here!” sign to
display. You can make one for a few dollars by upcycling
an old shelf or a leftover flooring plank, or you can
purchase an inexpensive, unfinished 2X4.
To make a “Santa, Stop Here!” outdoor sign, you need a piece of wood,
measuring tape, pencil, scissors, letter stencils, paint, stencil brush,
painter’s tape, hooks, and rope. First, measure the length of your wood
and letters to make sure the arrow and words fit properly. Next, tape
off the arrow with painter’s tape and paint the outer border. Make sure
the arrow faces in the right direction, depending on where you want to
hang your sign. Last, hand paint or stencil the words “Santa, Stop Here!”
inside the arrow. Once the paint is dry, insert two large hooks and hang
your sign. You can also make other Christmas signs with sayings such as
“Let it Snow,” “Joy to the World,” “Happy Holidays,” or “Merry Christmas.”
Wire Hanger Wreath
Another simple and inexpensive project is making your own wire hanger
Christmas wreath. Wreaths look beautiful on front doors, in entryways, and
atop fireplace mantels. They can also be pricey in stores, especially when
you need more than one. To make your own, you will need fresh greenery, a
wire hanger, green floral wire, pliers, and wire cutters. Greenery can be
gathered from your yard, or you can use scraps from when you trim your tree.
You can also ask local Christmas tree lots for some; many will gladly give
them to you at no or very little cost. Using your pliers, bend the hanger to
create a circle. If you have a hanger with a cardboard bottom, remove the bottom
and twist the ends together to form a circle. Wrap the greenery all the way around
the hanger. You don’t need much, but the more you use, the fuller the wreath.
Use green floral wire to attach loose pieces of greenery. If you want, you can
embellish your wreath with small ornaments, pinecones, and ribbon. Making your
own wreath with fresh-cut greenery smells great, and you don’t have to worry
about storing it.
Simple DIY Wreath Hanger
Now that you have made all your wreaths, you need something to hang them on.
Save a few dollars by making your own wreath hangers out of a wire hanger in just
three simple steps. All you need is a wire hanger and wire cutters. Using the
wire cutters, cut the hook off the wire hanger. Straighten the hanger as much
as you can and fold it in half (pliers may help in this step). Create an “S”
shape, squaring out the back so that the curved part is the hanger and the
ends of the hanger are the back. You can use these hangers to display wreaths
on mirror, stair or balcony railings, or doors.
Christmas Card Display
Giving and receiving Christmas cards is a wonderful tradition.
Why not display the lovely sentiments you receive and use them as
part of your Christmas decorations? You can make a Christmas card
display using an old frame, which you can find at a thrift store or
garage sale. All you need is a large wooden frame, paint, paint brush,
chicken wire, wire cutters, and a staple gun. If you buy a frame that
is already holding a picture, remove the picture from the frame. Paint
your frame to match your décor. Measure and cut the chicken wire to fit
the inside of your frame (consider wearing gloves during this step to
protect yourself from the sharp edges of the chicken wire). Staple the
chicken wire to the back of your frame. Hang your Christmas card display
and use clothespins to hang Christmas cards as you receive them in the
mail. If desired, you can decorate your frame with greenery, ribbon, and ornaments.
DIY Recycled Christmas Ornaments
Making your own recycled Christmas ornaments is a fun craft for the whole family.
Schedule a family craft night and go on a treasure hunt at home to look for items
such as cardboard tubes, old Christmas cards, Scrabble tiles, pine cones, and small
toys. Gather some supplies, such as glue, scissors, tape, and ribbon, and let the kids
(and yourself) go to town. With a little imagination, you can fill your tree
with handmade ornaments. You can cut and shape cardboard tubes and old Christmas
cards to form beautiful snowflake and poinsettia ornaments. You can use Scrabble
tiles to make ornaments that say “Joy,” “Noel,” or “Let it Snow” by simply gluing
tiles to cardboard backing. Use a drill and an “s” hook to attach hangers to pine
cones or old toys to make memory ornaments. Small toys, such as those you get in
fast-good kid’s meals, are perfect for this project. Don’t forget to write the date
on the bottom of each ornament to help you remember when you created each one.
As you can see, there are many budget-friendly alternatives to buying new Christmas
decorations from a retail store. By shopping at garage sales and thrift stores or
simply looking for unused items in your home, you can make beautiful, one-of-a-kind
Christmas décor yourself or with your family.