The challenge serves a few purposes for me... it motivates me to try new crafts, saves a lot of money and keeps me more content in the winter months. An extra bonus has been seeing all your crafts as well!
Many of us also make our own cards, decorations, table centre pieces, wreaths and all sorts of things!
So really it is quite a handmade Christmas! This is something to think about! Making someone a wreath for their door or a table display is also a great gift to give.
Today I want to think about things we can make for Christmas besides just the gifts.
I love to look at catalogues to see what people buy and how much they pay for things. So many things that are easy to make are considered wonderful gifts and with price tags to match! The companies that put together hampers ... take a look at those! There are just so many things that we can quite easily do for a fraction of the cost.
I saw a local florist had Christmas wreaths starting at a couple of hundred dollars. A neighbour had hers delivered by a van and she threw it out at the end! A pool noodle is a great base for a wreath! Or a Hoola Hoop. They come in larger or smaller sizes. I used a large Hoola Hoop and made a wreath for our door plus one for Mum's. The greenery was an old cut up Christmas tree. Mine cost well under $20 to make. Actually tearing apart an old tree will give you greenery to decorate a mantle or a table centre, wreaths and a lot of things. Last year I got a Christmas tree for $3 in the sales just to rip it up and make wreaths as gifts.
Other years we picked up pinecones and gum nuts. I sprayed them with glue and sprinkled glitter over them. We made so many of these! One year they decorated the table and another they were heaped up under the tree.
I also glittered gum nuts and used them instead of bows on the parcels. You could use leaves, flowers, shells... whatever you have!
Another year I piled up anything sparky I had including jewellery onto a tiered cake stand. I just added little birds and that was my centrepiece.
Baking can give you decorations, gifts and special treats to share. I am always packaging up baking to give. I made Shortbread every year. It is not expensive to make and a whole round of Shortbread is a spectacular gift! Otherwise I cut in into wedges and divide it up.
I always make Gingerbread as well. That is usually given to neighbours and Andy's work mates etc.
Quite often I need baskets especially to give little hamper type gifts. These might be a small Christmas cake, some biscuits, coconut ice, a jar or two of jam and even some fresh herbs or dried bay leaves. Having lovely baskets to pack things into and having them on hand is the thing. All year I watch for suitable ones in op shops and pay 50c or a $1 for them. I wash them and some years line them up and spray paint the lot silver or sparkly paint. This year I have several and they are a nice natural french grey basket so that can stay as they are.
Mimi makes her own wrapping paper by using butchers paper and writes lovely script across it wth Christmas or Birthday wishes. It looks so stylish and is a fraction of the cost of buying gift wrap.
Tulle cut into strips makes very cheap and beautiful ribbons and bows. I love floral fabrics just torn for a shabby chic kind of effect. Glitter helps everything!
I save up store bags and recover them and then have new gift bags! Old Christmas cards work really well for this and bits of sparkle. These were some I did a couple of years ago...
The act of settling a table beautifully is part of your Christmas decorating and creates such an exciting atmosphere! I have crystal plates and glasses that I have collected over the years. All the sparkle looks amazing. Mostly I will cut flowers from the garden or use something I have to make the table look nice. Be inventive! Your craft supplies probably hold all kinds of things you can use.
On the farm Mum places deer antlers and pinecones that she picks up next to the front door. This is her country Christmas decor.
My own Christmas tree now is a $15 tree in a road side pot. It is small and sweet. I used to have a giant tree when the kids were little but now I have gone simple and I like it! It just does not have to cost a fortune is my point!
If you run strips of tulle through your sewing machine you get glorious garlands of tulle!
Truly you can put together a beautiful Christmas without breaking the bank!
Fill vases with greenery and pick Holly if someone has a bush of it. We have a lot of native things that flower in right red and look wonderful brought inside for Christmas.
What do you make that makes Christmas special at your place? What would you like to do this year that maybe you haven't done before?
I have not put our tree up yet.... that is in December for us. But I am wrapping and making! And I have some gorgeous fabric Paula gave me and loads of glitter!
Coming up we have a post about how Ida celebrated Christmas when they had no money and in the depression.... and another about 100% free glorious things to make Christmas memorable and wonderful.
I hope your week is going well! xxx