This isn’t meant to become a crafting / DIY blog, but I couldn’t resist sharing my favorite crafts of the season. Most of these can be found on Design Sponge and can be done without any money at all (or as little as $1). I already blogged about the DIY Christmas ornaments, and the advent calendar, so I won’t repeat those here. I *LOVE* doing DIY crafts and *LOVE* Christmas, so forgive me if this post seems a little overwhelming. ;)
First, I’ll start with centerpieces:
Twine Snowman and Covered Bottles
$ = free, or $3-5
materials: twine, bottle, yarn, red ribbon
I had twine, white yarn, some red ribbons, and a few bottles lying around the apartment, so this craft was free. I had a small Santa hat and white buttons too (I tend to keep EVERYTHING for occasions such as this!). You can make this craft as simple or elaborate as you want. I chose to keep it simple, keeping with our simple, outdoorsy, aesthetic. You could choose different colored yarn for the bottle, or add details to the snowman’s face, etc.
$ = $3
Materials: medium sized branches, twig balls from Dollar Store or craft store
This is a no-brainer. Look for colored twig balls in your Dollar or craft store to add some color, and to use this year-round.
$ = free
Materials: empty jar or soup can, old (but still nice!) sock
This is also a simple craft that can be used all year long. If you have lost a sock mysteriously in the wash (as we have millions of times!) this can be a practical way to salvage those loner socks.
Toilet Paper Art
$ = free
Materials: 20 + toilet paper rolls, glue, paper clips or clothespins (to hold while glue is drying)
I had begun keeping toilet paper rolls a few months ago, trying to think of a way to reuse them in some clever craft. Design Sponge came through again with a wonderful recycled craft reusing these little guys. The tutorial suggests painting the insides, but to keep with our simple, earth-tone decor, we left them unpainted. You could cut each roll into 5 sections (which we did), or 3-4 which would make the design stick out further from the wall. We put this up right before Christmas because the pattern reminded us of snowflakes or holly, but could easily be left up all year long. Also, even though the structure was strong, we put 3 small finishing nails in the wall to hold the curves we wanted along the bathroom door frame.
Tree Branch Stocking Holder
$ = free
Materials: large twig, twine, drill, screws
We don’t have a fireplace or mantle, so we wanted to be creative in how we hung our stockings this year. Without putting holes in the wall, we came up with a suspending branch with screws that could hang from our curtain rod in the living room. You could use red ribbon (instead of twine) to give the holder some added color. Also, instead of screws, you could use black nails so they aren’t a strong contrast against the bark color. Note: if your stockings will be heavy, you will obviously want a pretty large branch that can hold the weight.
$ = free – $10
I was drooling over this paper wreath when I found the tutorial online. With my obsession with old book pages, and my love for wreaths – it was inevitably my next big DIY project. For this one, you’ll need to set aside 2-3 hours. I deviated from the tutorial. I didn’t have a styrofoam wreath (I used cardboard). I don’t have a hot glue gun (I used a stapler), and I didn’t use paint for the book page edges. (I had an old copy of Gone With the Wind that I had picked up from a thrift store a few months ago. It had red tinted edges = perfect for this project). So this ended up being a free (although somewhat tedious) project. Note: when using cardboard for the project, you will want to cut pages for the outer and innermost sections of the wreath about half an inch. This will give the wreath a more rounded look.
For a finishing touch, I added a red bow and elongated ribbon, but will take that off after the New Year. We will keep this wreath up all year round! (And sorry Grandma, I know Gone With the Wind is your favorite story, but it was the perfect book for this project! Please don’t think any less of me. ;) )
$ = $ 5-10
Materials: vintage tea cup (saucer not necessary), pure beeswax, wick
These were a cinch to make. I had all the wax I needed (I am an encaustic artist and use beeswax in all my work), and just had to go find some cute teacups at the thrift store up the street. For some variation, you can add orange rind, cinnamon, cloves, etc – to make these little beauties smell really Christmas-y.
Tea lights in egg carton
$ = $5-10
Materials: mini muffin pan, wick, beeswax, egg carton
You will need a mini muffin tin, since they will produce the perfect egg-carton sized candles. Following the same wick instructions as above, fill the muffin tin with the hot beeswax.
We have been recycling our egg cartons for months now and I began to think – these are the perfect size for tea lights! I would recommend the half-carton size, because they are so darling! Add some ribbon, tags and little doodles – and you have personalized, recycled gift packaging. :)
I sincerely hope you had a really special and meaningful Christmas. May the Lord’s peace rest on you during the upcoming year.