As the comfort tv hierarchy goes, Kirstie’s Handmade Christmas is up there with The Great British Bake Off as one of the best ways to quiet the mind and de-stress after a long hard day. Or as the case may be, a long hard 2020.
What better way to fill that Winter Wonderland shaped void in our hearts and cure those bad-day blues than with a festive crafternoon round the table?
Watching the show every year has become synonymous with the countdown till the holidays. Cosying down for the evening to see some of the country’s finest makers create a cornucopia of handcrafted presents, joyful decorations and seasonal bakes gives us all the festive inspo we need to make something of our miscellaneous scraps of wrapping paper – even if it does shine a light on our inferior DIY skills.
As we continue into a second lockdown here in the UK, we’re going to be spending more time indoors during the days leading up to Christmas, and what better way to fill that Winter Wonderland shaped void in our hearts and cure those bad-day blues than with a festive crafternoon round the table?
From marble-effect crackers to snowflake coasters, here’s how to make sure you have the best DIY December yet #KeepCraftingAndCarryOn
1. Reusable Handmade Advent Calendar
Count down the days till Christmas with your very own advent calendar, made from 24 small muslin bags, number templates and red acrylic paint / number stamps. You can either trace the number templates and paint over them or paint a thin layer of paint directly onto number stamps and then stamp the bag.
If you don’t have wooden rods to hang the finished muslin bags, you can forage for a stick and tie a piece of twine to the ends for displaying. Fill the muslin bags with mini treats to enjoy all through December and tie onto your wooden framing with the handles or secure with rustic wooden pegs.
And for those looking for a longer DIY project, we’re obsessed with this felt stocking advent calendar by A Beautiful Mess.
2. Jumbo Christmas Garland
Give your door a statement festive makeover for the holidays with this jumbo Christmas garland made using wooden craft ovals, metallic spray paint and a drill. Go extra or go home right?
3. Crafty Christmas Baubles
Use polystyrene balls, glue, silver bauble tops, ribbon or twine and Decopatch papers to make your own Christmas tree baubles – hang them loud and proud, pride of place on your spruce.
You can also use clear baubles filled with sprigs of fresh rosemary decorated with calligraphy inspired lettering – give it a go with a gold or black Sharpie.
4. DIY Napkin Rings
Dress up your Thanksgiving table with budget-friendly napkin rings. You just need three things: twine, a roll of natural hessian burlap and some scissors.
Cut your burlap ribbon to size, wrap it round your napkin and hold in place with twine for a rustic & frugal farmhouse tablescape. You can also add in cinnamon sticks and evergreen twigs for a table that looks and smells the part.
5. Snowflake Coasters
You don’t need to be Kirstie Allsopp to master this easy festive coffee table décor. All you need is a glue gun, scissors and white pipe cleaners. Sounds like our kinda craft!
Cut three 3 inch even pieces of pipe cleaner for the base, six 1 inch pieces and six ¾ inch pieces for the snowflake detail. Use the hot glue gun to secure the 3 inch pieces together to make a star shape for the base. Bend the smaller pieces to make a ‘v’ shape and glue onto each arm to complete the snowflake design. And you’re done!
6. Felt Garland
Here’s a Christmas garland you can put together in one crafernoon and enjoy using year after year. Thread a series of accordion bundles of felt together on one line of strong upholstery thread in vivid colourways or festive tones of your choice, pressing the pieces together as you sew. Knot the end, fluff your felt and enjoy.
7. Paper Tree Garland
Scandi lovers, this minimal garland will speak to your soul. You’ll need heavy card stock paper in a few shades of green, scissors, bakers twine, self-healing cutting mat, precision knife and embroidery needle and thread.
Make a triangle template to map out your tree shapes, each tree will consist of two interlocking triangles (so if you’d like a garland with 12 trees on, you’ll need to cut out 24 triangles). Pair the triangles up and cut a half inch slit in the top of one and a half inch slit in the bottom of the other, so they can interlock. Using a straight pin or a small hole punch, make a small hole in the top of the tree. Then, thread the trees together with the embroidery needle and baker’s twine.
8. Marble Christmas Crackers
Style your table with your very own marbled crackers – they’re surprisingly easy to make and they certainly look the part.
9. Gold pine cone place card holders
Why have we never fully appreciated the tiny notches of a pine cone before? To make your very own festive place card holders, give your pine cones a couple of coats of gold / silver spray paint, or leave them bare & rustic, they look just as nice.
Cut out your place cards using cardstock paper and write your guests’ names on each one using gold calligraphy ink (or just your best handwriting with an ordinary gold pen, no judgement). Nestle each card into a pine cone and place on the table for each guest. After your Christmas dinner, you can repurpose the pine cones in a bowl with some twinkly fairy lights or style them with your garland on your mantle.
10. Christmas cocktail stir sticks
Give your tipples a festive glow up with these super easy cocktail stir sticks. All you need is a set of wooden skewers, a hot glue gun, mini bottle brush trees (available online / at most craft stores).
Start by trimming your skewers to fit your cocktail glasses, dab a generous blob of glue on the top end and attach it to the base of a bottle brush tree, holding in place for 30 seconds to secure. Once cooled, add it to your favourite Yuletide beverage for a drink that’s dressed for the occasion. Stand back and admire your handiwork.
11. Cranberry place cards
Crafts don’t get easier than this! Using fresh cranberries, wire, scissors, fresh tree trimmings, kraft paper and stamps, you can make your very own festive place cards. Christmas table of dreams pending…
12. Swedish-Inspired Brass Ring Christmas Wreath
Making your own Christmas wreath is one of life’s simple pleasures and a great way to quiet your mind. To make your own simple Christmas wreath, you will need a selection of foliage (eucalyptus, berries, evergreen twigs and hydrangeas work wonderfully at this time of year), floristry wire, scissors and a plain brass wreath ring (available online).
Begin wrapping your floral wire around the base of the ring so you can place your foliage and secure the wire as you work your way round. Take your foliage all the way round for a statement wreath, or if you prefer the simple and traditional Nordic style, focus your greenery around the bottom half of your wreath, or down one side for a fuss-free but undeniably festive DIY wreath.
13. Car In A Jar Snow Globe
You know that quintessential Christmas scene with the old vintage car with a tree on the roof, well with bottle brush trees, faux snow, mason jars, a toy car, red and white twine and red jingle bells, you can make your very own to give to your loved ones for gifts, handmade with love.
To start, tie the red jingle bells around the lid using the baker’s twine. Remove the base from your bottle brush tree if it has one and tie round the vintage toy car with the baker’s twine. If your toy car has windows, thread the twine through the car to secure. Cover the bottom of the mason jar with a light layer of faux snow and nestle the car on top. Secure the lid and watch your loved ones tear up with joy at your thoughtful creation.
14. Pine Scented Candles
Homemade gifts don’t get better than Narnia-inspired Christmas candles. Once we’ve successfully made one of these, we’ll know we’ve hit our Yuletide peak.