By Kate Web
Christmas is a great time to get crafty. You have the cold weather which stops you from wanting to leave the house, especially when it involves several layers and thick boots. You have the need for Christmas decorations and the need for finding great personal gifts for your nearest and dearest.
There are a million and one crafty things you can do to get you through the winter and a few million items that you can create with crafts to serve as great presents for your loved ones. Below I have listed just a few of these crafts and items for you to get stuck into this Christmas.
For the Home
One thing I love about Christmas is the smells that Christmas creates, whether it's the tree, the food or the winter sharpness that is in the air. By using items such as wreathes and fruits in your craft you can help bring those smells into your home. One of the simplest ways to do this which can involve many different decorative methods such as papercraft and needlecraft are wreaths.
Wreaths are a circular shaped ring of objects with together make up a wreath. These are very common items for people to put on their front doors but there is no reason why these can't be placed around the house as well for added decoration. Wreaths can be made from fresh or fake branches and fruit, you can even use dried fruit on it such a lemons and oranges to bring the smell into the wreath.
Wreaths can also be made from material such as felt, cut out in Christmas themed shapes such as doves, baubles and trees. You can also embroider parts of the wreath with glitter and sparkles to make it really eye catching. These kinds of wreaths can be brought out year after year and fixed easily.
Similar crafts can be applied to garlands, these can be hung around the house to decorate, common versions are paper chains whilst the Americans often place strings of popcorn up, and again creating the Christmas smells in the house. Making garlands out of festive themed material and shapes can also look wonderful and can be made to suit the decor in your house already and the colour theme that you want to go for at Christmas.
For the Table
The Christmas dinner is a special meal that is only made once a year in its entirety. This means that we often spare no expense and make it very extravagant, using only the best china and cutlery. Recently, many people have begun decorating the table as well as the house to make it extra special and extra Christmassy.
One simple way of decorating the table with as little effort as possible is to have the following three items decorating the table. Item one is a centre piece, item two are napkin holders and item three are name place tags for each place at the table so people who where they are sitting - this is especially important with a large family or if you need to ensure that certain people are closer to the toilet or the kitchen for example.
Christmas centre pieces are a great way of bring the family together, there are some very simple centre pieces that take seconds to make and have a huge impact. This involving having a large glass bowl in the centre of the table and then filling it with baubles and other festive items, such as candles and Poinsettias.
Depending on what you put in the bowl you can often make this well in advance taking the rush out of laying the table. Some people who have their dinner later in the day put candles in their centre piece to add to the ambiance and give some festive light to the table, if you are worried about people catching their festive jumpers on the naked flame as they try and get the last of the roast potatoes, you can always get battery operated candles or run some LED lights across the table.
Festive napkin holders can help make the table and the settings look merry and special, there are simple things you can do to make napkin holders including simply tying some ribbon around the napkin for those who are craft adverse.
Crafters can include images of Christmas objects such as baubles, the Christmas tree, Santa Claus and Elves printed on thick car and tied to the napkins. Another idea is to cross stitch Christmas themed patterns, put a lovely border around it made up of ribbon or material, and then wrap this around the napkins. There are small cross stitch kits which are the perfect size for this idea.
All of these napkin holders can be kept and reused at the next Christmas, starting a new family tradition and enjoyment for years to come.
Name Place Tags
As mentioned, placing name place tags at each seat at the Christmas table ensures that people know where they are sitting. If you are hosting a big dinner party or friends, this idea makes sure that people are encouraged to mix with people they don't know so that everyone feels involved and a part of the celebration. For families, this stops any arguments over the seating arrangement and ensures that family members that need to be close to the kitchen or the bathroom etc are seated on the table in a place that will minimise the disruption when they need to leave the table.
They name tags can simply be pieces of card with names written on them, they can be decorated with anything that you have on hand such as pencils and pens. This is a good task for children or you can take them to the next level and create them in nearly every craft from needlecraft to papercraft.
Some people have been known to make their name place tags more 3D by spray painting hard fruit such as pears in a colour which co-ordinates with the rest of your table such as silver or gold and then tying a tag around the stalk of the fruits and writing the names of your guests on that.
Don't be afraid to be inventive with these name place tags, just keep it within the colour theme you are using and ensure that they don't take up too much of the table as your guests will prefer to have gravy on the table than elaborate name place tags.
For the Tree
For many people, the tree is the most important part of Christmas and they decorate them very elaborately. The ways in which you can involve crafts in the tree is infinite. Some examples include making a tree stand cover using material and needlecraft for decoration and making tree ornaments which can be created using any and every craft imaginable including decoupage. The sky is the limit when it comes to the tree and crafts; even the way that you decorate the tree is a craft.
For the Christmas Cards
Christmas cards are a great avenue to express your creativity, you can make your own cards quite cheaply and they are valued much more than traditional shop brought cards. Paper crafts such as die-cutting, embossing, stencils and decoupage are the common methods of crafts that are used in Christmas cards but really any craft can be used. Cross stitch cards look fantastic and you can stitch some very simple Christmas designs quickly and easily for use in cards.
The Gift Corner has some great advice regarding how to make your own Christmas cards, with the most important piece of advice given is that you decide on the finished design before you stick anything down to avoid making mistakes.
For the Gifts
With personalised and easy to make Christmas cards comes personalised, unique and easy to make Christmas gifts. Homemade gifts and gifts that have been personalised are much more precious than shop brought gifts, especially if you are buying for someone who already has everything. The possibilities for gifts include the following...
This is just a handful of possibilities and as you can see the numbers of crafts are endless. Try making a Christmas gift today, your recipient will love and cherish the gift.
Things to Remember about Crafting for Christmas
Remember the most important part of Christmas is not anything that I have written in this article, it is the family and friends that you spend it with. This is why it is very important that you don't overload yourself, by all means have a truly crafty Christmas and enjoy everything the festive season has to offer but make things in advance and spread out the time needed to make everything that you want to make. You will enjoy it more and find that your crafts are a thousand times better than if you had left it all to the end.
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