10 Handmade Christmas Ideas
There’s nothing like a handmade Christmas to put the spirit into the holiday. Doing something from the heart to show people who are your core that you care costs less, but rolling up your sleeves is not only good for your wallet – it’s food for the soul. Hand-made decor, gifts and food pull at the heart-strings of all that we hold dear, rather than tugging at our VISA or stretching our budgets.
Usually for Christmas, I share some of my favorite handmade stores, and offer shopping tips – but this year, I am making a departure and we are sharing loaves and fishes design instead.
Below, are some of the Handmade Christmas ideas I have come across during 2012, and just when I think we need some DIY the most.
Christmas used to come in December; not before Halloween. I have nothing against a strong economy, but it has all become so mercilessly commercial. More significant than my personal objections to tasteless over-consumption are incidents of loss and tragedy attributed to climate change-driven storms, and events that can only be attributed to pure and unadulterated evil that have punctuate 2012. It is enough to shake the most stalwart of hearts and question our most foundational beliefs.
A handmade Christmas won’t fix life’s tragedies, but I think the end of 2012 may be the perfect opportunity to encircle those we love with handmade symbols of generosity and good tidings. So gather your kids, friends and family, toss aside your credit cards and pull out your glue guns, scissors and assorted supplies – and let’s get creative! It’s inexpensive, painless, and best of all – it’s fun!
Here are 10 of my favorite Handmade Christmas ideas for the 2012 Holiday Season; put them all together in one celebration with the people you love and watch the holiday magic happen!
This pendant from The Ruffled Blog has all the timeless handmade Christmas elegance of Scandanavian decoration, and this project really elevates the concept of a simple lamp-kit!
2. Oh, Christmas Branch…
I was sixteen when I discovered Christmas branches. My had family relocated to Mexico for a year, where there was no such thing as a Christmas tree – and we felt a little displaced without this traditional symbol of Christmas. But necessity is the mother of invention; not being one to allow Christmas to go unheralded, my mom took up tin scissors and cut up soda cans in imitation of the local Mexican tin Christmas ornaments. I found a good tutorial on this at inspirewild.com. This project is not for everyone; it’s rough on the hands – but as always, and ahead of her time, my mom incorporated the printed aspects of the soda cans in her designs. You can use the guidelines below and flip the cans…
3. Faceted DIY Vase – If tin shears and sore patties are not for you, try vintage ornaments instead. You can suspend your branches (as seen up top) or (as above) support your branches in a vintage container with floral foam and fill in around the container top with floral moss – or make your own container and ornaments!
4. Neon Felt Christmas Ornaments – This is a sweet table topper from ohhappyday.com is perfect if you don’t have a collection of vintage ornaments on hand, or call home an apartment that places a real premiums on storage. They cost very little, store easily in flat sandwich Tupperware containers, take up no space, and are perfect projects to pull kids into your design plan!
5. Ice Lanterns – No Holiday table story is complete without candles to put the ambiance into entertaining – but ice lanterns add true je ne se qua to your design story!
Martha Stewart was first to popularize the idea of frozen floral ice bowls, and her version has all the flawless elegance embodied in her brand.
But I love the more primative look of the version from Design Sponge, incorporating frozen herbs such as rosemary that can’t help but release a scented bouquet as the ice begins to thaw…
No matter your personal preference, he directions are always the same, though the ingredients you choose to freeze in the ice are as limitless as you imagination.
You will need two containers, one smaller then the other.
Pine greens, herbs or flowers or……
Fill the larger container half full with water.
Place the smaller container inside it and place some rocks or something heavy to keep in in place.
Add more water, the water level should be to the top.
Add your herbs or what have you to the sides of the bucket.
Design Sponge recommends using tape to keep the small container in the middle of the bigger one, but I prefer placing cut dowels just above the water line; the tape adhesive may freeze and come loose before the water can properly freeze
Climate permitting you can set the whole thing outside to freeze, but if not, keep it freezer-sized.
Once frozen, just the small bucket first and then the large one and voila!
Place a votive candle inside the ice lantern right before you expect guests to arrive. You can place some on the table in frozen dishes, and put some on the porch for magical curb appeal!
6. Handmade Place settings are at the heart of a memorable handmade Christmas.
I love the setting from karroselund.com, incorporating a beeswax cornucopia. But if beeswax is difficult to locate, but paper plates are not.
7. Paper Plate Angels – Le Top blog provides a template to create these lovely paper plate angels to welcome your guests to Christmas dinner.
Handmade garlands are amongst the more delicate mechanisms for distributing splashes of color, or shape around a holiday table.
8. Origami garland – is one of may favorite additions to table stories or holiday decor. Wit and whistle provides concise instructions that makes it easier than you might think, or perhaps you fancy that growing trend towards the simplicity of handmade design coming out of the Netherlands.
9. Handmade Irish Cream – Woonideen offers a tutorial to create a baked paper clay moose garland that is just beautiful, and a fun activity to go with some cookies and cocoa (look for the translate option on their site)…or some handmade spirits!
10. Make Peppermint Meringues – Yes, the skiptomylou blog provides directions to make homemade Irish cream will put that spirit in your holiday! and what would a Christmas table story be without a bit of peppermint?
The peppermint meringues are candy cane confections that say you care – recipe also from skiptomylou blog.
We have just set an entirely handmade table with loads of budget to spare to fulfill those holiday wishes. Eat, drink, create and be merry!