I love decorating for Christmas, and I just love how much of my décor is handmade. This post has a bunch of craft and décor ideas to help you deck your halls. It was originally posted December 9, 2011.
Handmade Christmas Décor
The hubs and I will be celebrating our thirteenth Christmas together this year. We started our married life off as poor, starving, college students, and we had no money for Christmas decorations. So we improvised and did it as cheaply as possible. I enjoyed it so much that I’ve kept it up. When I looked through the decorations I’ve made, I was surprised at how much there was! I may have an addiction! :)
So, here are a few of the handmade Christmas decorations I’ve made over the years. Sorry, you won’t get full-blown tutorials, but I’ll show you a picture, give you instructions, and hopefully you’ll be able to figure it out from there. If not, feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I’ll help you out. This post is really long, so feel free to scroll down and look at the pictures. If you see something you’re interested in, the instructions are under the picture.
This is a wreath started out as a Styrofoam ring. I got a bunch of pine garland and a Christmassy silk flower arrangement at an after Christmas sale. I got the wired ribbon for the bow from my Mother-In-Law’s stash. I wrapped the garland around the Styrofoam ring and hot glued it into place. I took apart the flower arrangement and positioned the flowers where I wanted them. I used floral wire and hot glue to secure it into place. Easy Peasy. Total cost of this project? About $3.50. Bargain!
This pillow didn’t cost a dime. I raided my stash and came up with all the items for this. The pillow itself is 2 fleece squares sewn together with the right sides together. I turned it right-side out and stuffed it with fiberfill and hand stitched my hole shut. The Santa is a bunch of felt and pom-poms. Santa’s beard and the trim on his hat are fleece. This project probably only took an hour. My sweet Grandpa welded the rocking chair for me for my third birthday. I have so many memories with that chair. My kids love it, too. It stays out all year. Next to the pillow and chair, I’ve got all of our Christmas books. It’s a nice place for my kids to cozy up and read.
I have two of these. My boys made them at Scouts last year when the hubs and I were still the Cubmasters. The base of this is a log. It smells delicious. We sawed off the bottom part of the log and glued felt along the bottom. This way, it’s flat and won’t scratch up your mantle, table, or wherever you display this. The boys (with a lot of help) drilled holes in the top of the log for their candles and hot glued them into place. They drilled smaller holes in the log where they wanted their poinsettias, pinecones, and other décor. They secured them with floral wire and hot glue. We had eight boys making these during den meeting. We had sharp objects, power tools, and a few hot glue guns. I was a nervous wreck, but the boys did awesome, no one got hurt, and their moms loved their gift! :) We got the logs from the mountains close by, the felt from my stash, the candles for 3 cents each at an after Christmas sale and the flowers from the thrift store. Each one of these centerpieces cost around $1.
Aren’t these handmade wooden Nativity sets adorable? This one was given to me by one of my students. He made it himself. Impressive, right?!
If you’re handy with wood and power tools, this might be pretty easy to make. Not for me, though! It is made out of pine, and he used a jigsaw to cut the pieces out of the wood. It’s all one piece (well, not the base) that fits together like a puzzle. The figures are just pushed forward slightly and glued into place. He finished it off with some clear coat. I just love this, and that the sweet boy took the time to make it for me. Love.
The second nativity in the picture was super cheap and easy to make. The stable is just a stained and sanded piece of wood with blocks glued to the back/bottom to keep it standing.
I got the wood from my Father-In-Law’s wood shop. They’ve been sanded and finished with clear coat. For the eyes, I just dipped the wrong end of my paint brush into black paint and dotted their I’s! Ha ha ha! I am so funny! Anyway, Their clothes, jute “arms” and the sheep’s fur came from my fabric stash. This cute little nativity didn’t cost me a thing. Woot!
This Nativity is made out of terra-cotta pots and wooden balls from the craft store. Mary, Jesus, and Joseph were given to me as a gift from my MIL in 2000. I made the shepherds and angel a few years later. Their faces are painted differently, but that is what happens when you’ve got different crafters. I used fabric, paint, jute, hot glue, and yarn from my stash. I spent $2 on the wooden balls and $1 on the pots-with my 50% off coupon from the craft store. I spent a whopping $3.00 on this project. Super easy.
If you haven’t noticed, I have a thing for Nativities. No one will walk into my home and wonder where our focus is at Christmastime! Okay. The picture on the left was painted by Del Parsons and is called Mother’s Love. And there is a story behind it. Before I get to the story, I did make this. Sort of. I made the matte and plopped it into a frame! It didn’t cost a single penny, since it was made with stuff I had on hand. Now to the story. See Mary and Jesus? That’s my good friend Necia and her sweet baby, Aubrey. I got the picture from them. Years ago, the hubs and I lived in Cedar City, Utah, where we were poor, starving college students. Del Parsons was in our Stake, and was checking out Necia and Aubrey during Stake Conference. It actually made Necia pretty nervous! He approached her and her husband after the meeting and asked if Necia and Aubrey would like to pose as Mary and Joseph for his next painting. Awesome. So, I love putting this up every Christmas and remembering our fun times with Travis, Necia, and their girls.
The picture on the right was painted by Simon Dewey. It is called “A Child Is Born.” I think it is absolutely precious. I used a 50% coupon at the craft store and bought a tile board. I painted it cream. I got the picture from our calendar for that year. I measured it, cut it, and mod podged it onto the tile. When that was dry, I laid the tile on a couple of up-side-down plastic cups and lots of cardboard underneath. I poured epoxy over it (50% off with a coupon and still pretty spendy…) and cleared out the crevices with a popsicle stick. Several times. I breathed on the epoxy to get the bubbles out. When it was dry, I sanded the drips off of the back. This project cost…ummm…50% off at the craft store?! I don’t remember. Sorry!
This post is getting kinda long, but we still aren’t finished!
This was easy, and also 50% off with a coupon at the craft store! This is just a thin piece of wood cut into the snowman/hat shape and a heart for the carrot nose. I drilled two holes in the hat for the floral wire hanger. I sanded the whole thing, painted it, used the wrong-end-of-the paintbrush trick, added a bow from my fabric stash. With hot glue. This little cutie hangs from the knob on my curio cabinet. He only cost $1.00!!
I raided my Mother-In-Law’s fabric stash and made 5 of these cute little rag-quilt-shelf-dealios for my curio cabinet. I also made a runner for the top of my piano that has long since bit the dust. These were super easy to make. Cut eight equal squares. With the wrong sides together, sew an “X” onto the square. Take your scissors and notch the edges. Repeat with remaining squares. Sew them together with the raw edges facing up. You can make more of these, sew them together and make a table runner. Top stitch around it, and you’re done! Total cost here? Zilch!
Love this ornament. Seriously. I think it is my favorite. I saw one similar to this at Kmart a few years ago. For $9.00! Um…no way! So, I bought a small basket for fifty cents at the dollar store and used junk from my stash to finish ‘er off.
Fiddy cent well spent, right?!
My little “D” made this for me in preschool. In 2009. It is jute on a stick holding up some muslin with my cutie’s little “angel hands” in paint with a bow. Easy, and I love, love, love it! Look how tiny his hands were!
I saw some of these glass balls at Target a few years ago. Um, yeah. I have five kids. No glass balls here! And since I will NEVER pay full price for anything, I waited for the after Christmas sale and got the un-breakable sort. I drew the designs on them with some paint-glitter pens. It was fast, cheap, and easy. My kind of ornament! :)
Remember earlier how I mentioned that the hubs and I were poor and starving for the first few years of marriage? Here is a very small sample of some of the handmade ornaments I made for our tree. Pretend they aren’t hung on a hanger! I make one to represent each year, so our tree is full of these! Each one of the kiddos has their newborn picture in one on the tree. Each one has a story behind it. The red one is a trip we made to Temple Square one summer. My oldest wanted to meet President Hinckley, so we had him wave to him in his office window! The white one was made for our sweet little angel baby who passed away in 2009. The green one is one I embroidered and stuffed with cotton balls for our very first Christmas. These are just crocheted around canning jar rings, and the lids hold the picture (or whatever else) into place.
On the back, I write the date and where we were, or whatever else about the ornament.
Don’t worry. We’re almost done. But first, I need to throw in a picture of the ornament I got for my first Christmas ever. I got it from my Grandma who passed away in October.
Love this guy!
Okay, last one:
I made this with my mom at her Super Saturday years and years and years ago…but it was really easy. It cost $10, but would have been cheaper if I had used junk from my own stash. All it is is 3 4x4’s cut to different lengths and drilled into a square wooden base. I sanded it and painted it cream, then ran over the top of it with wood stain. I “snowed” the tops with white paint and a sponge. The entire thing got a few coats of glittery clear coat. I hot glued tea lights to the top of each “candle”, wrapped it with a white light-pine-garland thing, added pinecones and a wired bow. This sits on top of my curio cabinet. I also added lights to my house plant. He he!
Speaking of pinecones, we have a real tree. We chopped it down in the mountains last Saturday. It has real pinecones in it, and it smells divine!
So here’s how my “Handmade Christmas” came together:
I don’t have a fireplace, so I improvised:
Here’s my “mantle” (my piano). Without the porcelain Nativity’s lights on. Sorry.
The stockings were a splurge. I bought them, but I love them! I got them from www.walmart.com and now they’re on sale for $13.98 each. They even came personalized!
Here’s my curio cabinet (made by my FIL!!) that holds my nativity collection and keeps them safely out of the hands of my children!
…and that’s how we do a “Handmade Christmas” at our house!