How to Make Your Own Christmas Crafts with 23 Photos
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.
Snowflake Crafts Punch
I live in the northeast US and we do get snow in the winter. This lovely snowflake punch belongs to the Christmas season!
Pine cones, dry and in good condition
Sewing thread or embroidery floss
Ribbon – fabric or gift wrap type
Cotton swabs (such as a Q-tip)
Pan to do powder shaking in
Talcum powder or glitter
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.
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
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.
If you are lucky, a family member may come by to give an opinion. : )
My cat, Skeeter, weighs in on artistic and other merit
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
How do you feel about making homemade gifts to give at Christmas?
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
Music to Work and Craft By
This soundtrack is an integral part of my Christmases.
Playdough, salt dough or Sculpey ™ clay: a little less than 1/3 cup
Cardboard or a drink coaster about 3 inches wide
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
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."
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
EXTREME ABSTRACT Nativity
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
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.
Another option is to add paint for the robes of Mary and Joseph and the swaddling of Baby Jesus.
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.