How to Make Your Own Christmas Crafts with 23 Photos

Fa-la-la-la-la: it's time to start Christmas craft making!
Fa-la-la-la-la: it's time to start Christmas craft making! | Source

July means start thinking Christmas

If you are like me, there are only about three months of the year in which I am not thinking about Christmas. I just love so much about the holiday. So, I feel justified in starting to practice Christmas carols on the piano again (practice makes perfect, right?) when July rolls around. Furthermore, I start thinking about gift ideas as I peruse summer yard sales and store bonanzas. Making a new type of ornament for the Christmas tree is a bonding activity I did with my sons every year, and we did it in the summer vacation from school. This was great because there was plenty of time, a need for non-TV activities, and it took that pressure away from the autumn months.

Following are a few ideas for making easy Christmas crafts.

Pine Cone Christmas Ornament

These can be hung on the tree or elsewhere and can be grouped on different lengths of ribbons for a front door decoration. Your imagination is the only limit.

Pine Cones

The basic "ingredient" for a pine cone ornament.
The basic "ingredient" for a pine cone ornament. | Source

Snowflake Crafts Punch

Martha Stewart Crafts Punch, Arctic Snowflake
Martha Stewart Crafts Punch, Arctic Snowflake

I live in the northeast US and we do get snow in the winter. This lovely snowflake punch belongs to the Christmas season!

 

Materials

Pine cones, dry and in good condition

Sewing thread or embroidery floss

Ribbon – fabric or gift wrap type

Scissors

Glue

Cotton swabs (such as a Q-tip)

Pan to do powder shaking in

Talcum powder or glitter

Festive Ribbons

I feel so good as I start creating and decorating with curling ribbon and fabric.
I feel so good as I start creating and decorating with curling ribbon and fabric.

Procedure

Gently shake the pine cones over a trash can to dislodge any loose flakes or materials.

Then, use a piece of floss or thread about 5 inches long to circle under the scales at the top (where the stem would be) and tie tightly in a double knot. The 2 ends of the thread will be used to secure the loop ribbon and any decorative ribbons.

Thread slips under scales at the top.
Thread slips under scales at the top. | Source


Next, cut about 5 inches from whatever will be the loop to hang directly on a Christmas tree branch or to hang from a wire ornament hook. Double knot it and then use the thread to tie it onto the pine cone.

Attach hanging ribbon loop

Thread is used to tie on the loop.
Thread is used to tie on the loop. | Source


After that, choose whatever you may want to have as a decorative element at the top of your ornament. You will see in my photos that I used an 8-inch length of red ribbon and also added silver curling ribbon. They both are tied onto the pine cone with the thread. When you are done adding ribbons and double-knotting them securely, then cut off the ends of the thread.

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If you are lucky, a family member may come by to give an opinion. : )

My cat, Skeeter, weighs in on artistic and other merit

I think that my cat is saying "It doesn't look like food, but maybe I'd better check."
I think that my cat is saying "It doesn't look like food, but maybe I'd better check." | Source

To add the appearance of snow-tipped scales, dip a cotton swab into clear-drying glue (such as Elmer’s brand) and spread a drop on the edges of the scales. Then, holding the pine cone over a pan, sprinkle on powder, glitter, or other dried pigment. (In the example photographed, I used talcum powder and a little bit of curry powder.)

Adding the Snow

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How do you feel about making homemade gifts to give at Christmas?

  • I am a creative person, so every year I try to give my loved ones something from my hands and heart.
  • This is new to me; I am going to give it a try.
  • I do it when I can, but I do not feel a need to give a homemade gift every single year.
See results without voting

Holy Family nativity miniature scene

This is another craft for Christmas which is great for children. It uses the tactile medium of clay, salt dough, or playdough. What fun! For this decoration, one is trying more for the spirit of showing Joseph, Mary, and baby Jesus - not a museum-worthy representation. Well – it is a MOMA / Museum of Modern Art sort of nativity. If you have sentimental family members, they will love your gift of the Holy Family, knowing it came from you to them.

Loving Holy Family

No question who or what this is!
No question who or what this is! | Source

Please know:

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Music to Work and Craft By

White Christmas
White Christmas

The only person who is going to croon White Christmas and Mele Kalikimaka correctly is Bing!

 
Merry Christmas
Merry Christmas

Don't forget to stock up on vinyl for Christmas.

 

Materials

Playdough, salt dough or Sculpey ™ clay: a little less than 1/3 cup

Cardboard or a drink coaster about 3 inches wide

Butter knife

Ruler

Toothpick

Strong glue

Needed for playdough and salt dough: shellac or varnish spray

Optional for all three types of dough: Paint and small paintbrushes

Clay and Drink Coaster

Source

Procedure

Take your coaster or cardboard and cover it or color it however you wish. Next, measure about 1/3 cup of dough to make one nativity scene. Roll and soften the dough in your hands until it is pliable. Then roll it until it is a 6-inch long "snake."

The starting snake next to the ruler.
The starting snake next to the ruler. | Source

Divide the dough

The ruler is extremely useful for getting proportions of dough divided. Allow 1/2 inch for the manger and 1/2 inch for baby Jesus. Joseph uses 3 inches of dough and Mary uses 2 inches. Use the butter knife to make a slit along the manger dough to open it into a bed.

Making the Manger

I have covered the coaster with aluminum foil.
I have covered the coaster with aluminum foil. | Source

EXTREME ABSTRACT Nativity

To me, this creche looks like the ultimate in simplicity - or fungus growing in the woods?
To me, this creche looks like the ultimate in simplicity - or fungus growing in the woods? | Source

Shaping the figures

With your fingers, pinch the dough gently to form a neck and head for the parents. Pinch and shape the manger. Then, use a toothpick if you wish to draw eyes and facial features for baby Jesus. Also, round the swaddling clothes to look more like a baby's bundling.

Saint Joseph and Saint Mary

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Source
Forming a manger.
Forming a manger. | Source
Forming Holy Infant Jesus Christ
Forming Holy Infant Jesus Christ | Source

Depending on which type of clay or playdough you used, you may need to bake it or allow it to air dry for a few days to a few weeks. One option is to leave it unpainted and glue it to the base. Below I show different arrangements of the three figures.

Unpainted Nativity

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Source

Another option is to add paint for the robes of Mary and Joseph and the swaddling of Baby Jesus.

Painted Simply

I chose to give Jesus a blend of the paints of his parents.
I chose to give Jesus a blend of the paints of his parents. | Source

I hope you enjoy making these crafts for Christmas. Feel free to comment about your own experiences making these.

All photos and text copyright 2012 Maren E. Morgan.

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Comments 5 comments

kumar24894 4 years ago from Fuck of HUBPAGES

Thats a great craft. Well done, loved it :)


Maren Morgan M-T profile image

Maren Morgan M-T 4 years ago from Pennsylvania Author

Thanks, kumar24894.


Rui Carreira profile image

Rui Carreira 4 years ago from Torres Novas

Maren, you have a wonderfull nugget here.... I love the fact that you invested the time to get these wonderfull pics. Voted Up!


Sushma Webber profile image

Sushma Webber 4 years ago from New Zealand

Hi Maren, great hub, very creative. Keep up the good work. Thanks for the inspiration to create awesome stuff with simple things.


Maren Morgan M-T profile image

Maren Morgan M-T 4 years ago from Pennsylvania Author

Thanks, Rui and Sushma. I do take lots of photos, if I can, for a how-to. Maybe it is because I know for myself I learn best by seeing. Also, having taught poor urban kids and being raised by parents who grew up during the Depression I am TOTALLY into making things from ordinary, non-expensive objects. Thanks again.

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