Family Fun: Crafts for Christmas
This year, get the whole family involved in making decorations for the Christmas tree and your home and set a new tradition.
It feels a little strange to be putting together articles for Christmas; it seems like only yesterday we were going through the whole lockdown situation and now we are heading for the festive season. With all the uncertainty we have been going through this year, I thought it might be nice to show a selection of Christmas crafts that the entire family can get involved in and who knows, it might become an ongoing family tradition.
Crafting with air-dry clay
One of my personal favourites for crafting is using air-dry clay. It is inexpensive and easy to work with and even the kids can get involved with making decorations for the festive season. A medium pack of air-dry clay costs around R30 and there is so much you can make using just a single pack, so it really is an affordable hobby that is safe for everyone.
- Open the packet and remove just enough clay for any particular project and then fold over the top of the packet to seal and wrap in cling-wrap before placing in an air-tight container. You should be able to keep the clay for about a month or two before it goes hard.
- On a smooth board, use a rolling pin to roll out your piece of clay to about a 3 to 4mm thickness.
- Use a biscuit cutter or cut out the design using a blunt knife.
- Carefully lift from the tray and put in a warm, dry place to set overnight. If possible, turn over halfway through the setting time so that both sides dry thoroughly.
- Use craft paint, glitter or embellishments to finish off your air-dry clay tree ornaments.
You can make your own Christmas tree ornaments using biscuit or cookie cutters, or you can just cut out your own shapes. Once the shapes are set hard, use craft paint, metallic paint or even chalk paint to create custom ornaments for your Christmas tree.
Give your clay ornaments a unique finish by using lace to imprint a design onto the surface of the clay. These clay stars would also make perfect gift tags!
You can use air-dry clay to make a selection of Christmas decor goodies, or even use it to make gifts for family and friends.
Crafting with scrap wood
If you are a DIY enthusiast, no doubt you have a few pieces of scrap wood lying around. I also like to collect thick branches and tree stumps in case I come across a new idea for using these.
Depending upon how much scrap wood you have, you can make small decorative ornaments or large ones that can be used to add to your festive decor. Raw wood trees crafted from scrap wood have become a very popular trend with the growth of recycling and it's a great way to put all your scrap wood to good use.
Where there's no room in a compact home for a conventional Christmas tree, there are plenty of options for making a DIY wood tree that symbolises the spirit of Christmas, one that can be placed on a shelf or table.
Even if you don't have any scrap wood leftover from previous projects, there's bound to be a few branches you can trim off overgrown trees and put to good use as a Christmas wreath for the front door.
For those who don't celebrate Christmas in the traditional sense, there are plenty of ways to use scrap wood to make home decorations on the cheap.
Crafting with pasta
Yes, you saw right... crafting with pasta! Shells, bows, scoops, twists and more, pasta is available at your local supermarket and comes in some great shapes for using to make Christmas decor. Take this shimmering Christmas tree, for example, the pasta shells are glued onto a cone, spray painted and finished with small embellished pearls. So easy... so cute!
- Shop for interesting pasta shapes that can be used for various festive decorations.
- Colour the shapes with acrylic craft paint or spray paint.
- Use a hot glue gun - or contact adhesive for young children - to stick the coloured pasta onto shapes.
The kids can have so much fun using past shapes to craft decorations to hang on the Christmas tree or for decor around the home. Buy a can or three of spray paint in red, green, white and gold or silver and spray the pasta beforehand, or let younger children use craft paint to colour their pasta.
Make it easier for little ones to create their Christmas decorations by cutting out paper card shapes onto which the pasta shapes can be glued.