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A crafty Christmas

My absolute fav holiday of the year is almost upon us and I thought this was the perfect time for my first ever blog post!!! I love Christmas and I loooove crafting so this has been so much fun to create!

I’ve come together with some of my crafty friends and we’ve got some great Christmas projects for you! The best part is that most of the items you need for these projects are either recycled or something that you may have hidden in your cupboards! Plus you’ll have some gorgeous decor, beautiful gifts and delicious treats to eat along the way!

I fully encourage you to get into the Christmas spirit by recreating some (or all) of these projects and tag us on Instagram if you choose to share your creation. Make sure that you use the hashtag #acraftyxmas when posting on Instagram because at the end of the month we’ll be giving away a $100 store credit to one lucky participant!!!

Well, what are you waiting for?!! Let’s get started…

1. Recycled Advent Calendar

Advent calendar by @jennaduxbury_

Forget about the store bought advent calendars that are filled with sugar and provide a minute of enjoyment!

The advent calendar you see here can be filled with any treats you desire or fun craft activities for the kids to do in the lead up to Christmas.

All you’ll need is a fallen branch about 1mtr in length, some old calico bags/fabric scraps in assorted sizes, twine, paper, pegs and pencils.

Roughly cut paper into 25 pieces and label each piece from 1-25.

Peg each piece of paper to a bag.

Start tying each bag onto your tree branch using random lengths of twine.

Now you’ll need to decide where you’re going to place your calendar and secure one piece of twine to each end of your branch so it’s ready to hang.

To make it more exciting like Jenna has done in the image above, you can dye some of your bags or maybe even sew some fabric stars onto them!

2. Snow Globe

Snow globe by @sweet.little.soul

One of our fav craft activities is DIY snow globes so I just had to include this one!

You’ll need an old jar, a pine cone, leaves/foliage, coconut flakes, glue, fabric scrap and twine.

Start by gluing your pine cone and foliage to the inside of your lid. Make sure that it’s placed in the center so you can get the lid on easily.

Add enough coconut flakes to your jar so that you can see the “snow” but it doesn’t cover too much of design.

Now it’s time to put the lid on, you could glue it shut if you wanted to but I prefer not to because I like to change it up sometimes.

Lastly, grab your fabric scrap and secure it to your lid with some twine and you’re done!

3. Homemade Bath Salts

Bath salt gift bags by @our_life_behind_the_lens

Take the stress out of finding the perfect gift and make your own!

You’ll need fabric scraps cut into squares, twine, epsom salts, food colouring, bi carb soda, essential oil, dried flowers and gift tags.

Mix salt, soda, a couple of drops of food colouring and essential oil in a bowl.

Lay your fabric squares out and spoon some mixture into the middle of the square, then top it off with some dried flowers.

Grab each corner and wrap your mixture into the fabric, then secure with some twine.

Lastly, make it personalized with a handwritten gift tag.

4. Christmas Wrapping Paper

Christmas wrapping paper by @kyrielouise17

Add a personalized touch to your Christmas gift this year with handmade wrapping paper.

You’ll need butchers paper or kraft paper, paint, pencils, stamps or anything else that will make a beautiful print on your wrapping paper.

Lay paper out an old surface.

Start getting creative with your designs or leave the kids be, sit down, have a cuppa and watch them create their magic!

Leave to dry overnight and start wrapping your gifts in the most thoughtful wrapping paper!

5. Christmas Bon Bons

Christmas bon bons by @sweet.little.soul

If you’re hosting Christmas at your house you can make it even more memorable with these handmade bon bons!

I recommend deciding on what you will include inside first, will they be little gifts, treats or maybe a sweet poem?

You’ll need kraft paper, twine, small gifts/sweets and toilet rolls.

Wrap the paper around your toilet roll, twist and secure one end with a length of twine.

Add a surprise inside.

Twist and secure the other end of paper with another length of twine and you’re done!

6. DIY Candle Holders

DIY candle holders by @sweet.little.soul

Liven up your Christmas decor with some glittery candle holders!

You’ll need some old jars, masking tape, mod podge, bio glitter and tea light candles.

Make sure that your jars are clean and dry before beginning.

Decide how far you want your glitter to stand by placing the tape around the jar.

Paint the mod podge on underneath the tape rim (it doesn’t matter if you over lap onto the tape)

Sprinkle your glitter over the jar until its covered, then shake the excess off and let it sit to dry.

One final coat of mod podge needs to be applied and dried before you can use your new candle holders.

7. Twig Snowflake

Twig snowflake by @sweet.little.soul

Add some rustic charm to your Christmas theme with this twig snowflake.

You’ll need twigs and glue.

We used the straightest twigs we could find.

We used 1x 10cm piece and 6x 5cm pieces of twig. The measurements don’t need to be exact!

Start by taking the long piece and gluing each of the shorter pieces on to make an 8 pointed star.

Break some more twigs about 1-2cm in length and glue these to either side of the points.

8. Festive Potpourri

Festive potpourri by @mumma_and_her_cooks

Bring the smell of Christmas into your home with a jar full of festive scents.

You’ll need a bowl, pine cones, oranges, star anise, cinnamon sticks, rosemary and nutmeg.

Preheat oven to 75 degrees celcius.

Thinly slice orange, lay flat on a baking tray.

Cook for 2 hours, flip and cook for another 2 hours.

Let them cool for 1 hour.

Now you’re ready to put everything in a bowl together.

Place a bowl near your entryway so that the first thing guests smell is this delicious scent!

9. Snowman

You’ll need 1 white sock, 1 coloured sock for the hat, rice, rubber bands (or thread), buttons, ribbons, glue, markers, dried orange.

Fill the white sock with enough rice for your snowman and tie it off with a rubber band.

Use another rubber band to form a head closer to the top of your other band.

Glue the vertically buttons onto the belly.

Draw the eyes and mouth on with a black marker.

Glue some dried orange on for his pointy nose.

Use a piece of ribbon for the scarf and glue to secure.

Cut the colored sock just below the heel so you have the toe section remaining. Roll it a bit and place it on the head of your snowman. You can leave it as it is or you can secure it with some glue.

10. Pine Cone Christmas Tree

Pine cone Christmas tree by @our_life_behind_the_lens

A cute little Christmas tree that can be hung on your big tree or used as decor.

You’ll need a pine cone, timber slice, cardboard star and some metallic beads.

Glue the base of your pine cone to the timber slice so that it stands up straight.

Glue each bead to the wings of the pine cone.

Add the star to the top with some glue and you’re done.

11. Pretzel Reindeer

Pretzel reindeer by @sweet.little.soul

These are the perfect treat for Christmas day and your guests with love them!

You’ll need pretzels, red M&Ms, small marshmallows and rollos.

Lay some baking paper on a plate microwave safe plate.

Place whole pretzels onto your plate and top with a rollo. Make sure that they’re not too close together because you’ll need some room to work with once he chocolate has melted a tad.

Microwave them until the chocolate has softened, try intervals of 15 seconds.

Using a sharp knife, cut some pretzels in half. (Kids, don’t do this step yourself, get Mum or Dad’s help!)

I found the easiest way to put these together was starting with the red M&Ms for the nose, then the chopped pretzels for the antlers and lastly, the marshmallows for eyes.

Chill in the fridge for 30 minutes and then you can taste test these delicious treats!

12. Xmas Cookies

You can’t do Christmas without some festive cookies and this recipe is so simple!

You’ll need 1 cup of softened butter, 1/4 cup of castor sugar, 2 cups of plain flour and some Xmas cutters.

Preheat oven to 180 degrees and line a baking tray with baking paper.

Cream together butter and sugar.

Add flour and fold until combined.

Dust your bench with flour and roll your dough out with a rolling pin.

Start cutting shapes out of your dough and placing them on the baking tray.

Bake for 10-12 minutes or until golden brown.

You could also whip up some royal icing, decorate your cookies and gift them for Christmas.

13. Twine Angel

Twine angel by @sweet.little.soul

You’ll need twine, a wooden bead, ribbon, glue and clear jewellery string.

Start by spreading your fingers open and wrapping the twine around them about 10 times. Cut twine of the roll and gently lay your bundle down without disturbing it.

Cut roughly 15-20cm of jewellery string to tie a knot at the very top of twine bundle. This will act as a hanging loop.

Now, you’ll need to cut a smaller amount of jewellery string to tie the twine together about an inch from the top (depending on the size of your wooden bead).

Glue the wooden bead inside the top loop of twine.

Cut 2 lengths of ribbon and glue them onto the back for angel wings.

14. DIY Christmas Wreath

Twig Christmas wreath by @sweet.little.soul

You’ll need a cardboard ring, twigs, pine cones, gumnuts, star anise, dried oranges, glue and suction cup hooks.

Start by gluing layers of twigs onto the cardboard ring. I did about 3-4 layers and positioned them randomly for the first 2 layers and then I did more of a slanted fan style for the remainder.

Once you’re happy with the twigs and you feel like your wreath is thick enough you can start gluing the pine cones on.

To finish the wreath I added some gumnuts and dried oranges but you could use anything or leave it as is.

To hang you’ll need to turn it over and tie some twine near the top around a couple of twigs so you can hook your suction caps on.

15. Citrus Garland

Citrus garland by @sweet.little.soul

I’ve always wanted to make one of these and I finally made the time this year. I just can’t believe I waited this long, it smells and looks absolutely amazing!

You’ll need orange slices (use the drying out recipe from the Festive Potpourri tutorial above), icing sugar, cinnamon sugar, twine and a needle.

We used the dried orange tutorial from the Festive Potpourri tutorial above but I wanted to have a variety of shades so before we baked them we sprinkled icing sugar on some, cinnamon sugar on others and left some plain. You could also try drying out grapefruit and blood oranges as well.

We went with a 2mtr length of twine and used a felting needle for the citrus because it’s less sharp than a regular needle for the kids.

When threading the oranges on we went in one side and out the other because it wanted them to sit flat on the string.

You can break up your garland by adding some wooden beads or stars.

16. Cookie Decorating

Cookie decorating by @our_life_behind_the_lens

Something simple to keep the kids busy while you get organized for the big day!

You’ll need milk arrowroot biscuits, icing sugar and some lollies.

Whip up a small batch of icing sugar, spread it over the cookies, let the kids decorate and then let them sit for 30 minutes or until set.

17. Nature Globes

Nature globes by @jennaduxbury_

You’ll need old jars, Rosemary, Banskia flowers and water.

Fill Jars almost all the way with water.

Stand over the sink and start placing your foliage in the jars, top side down.

Once you’re happy with how each jar looks, you can screw the lid on tightly, turn it upside down and voila!

18. Festive Lanterns

Festive lanterns by @our_life_behind_the_lens

These lanterns will brighten any outdoor space and they’re super easy to make!

You’ll need an old jar, glue, twine, bio glitter, snow spray and twinkle lights.

Start by painting glue on the outside of your jar, then spray with snow and let it dry.

Glue some glitter just below the rim and let that dry.

Tie a length of twine around the rim.

Place your string lights inside and you’re done!

19. BBQ Steak Rub for Dad

BBQ steak rub by @sweet.little.soul

We all know Dad loves a good steak so this BBQ rub is the perfect gift for him!

You’ll need an old jar, some twine and a gift tag.

Gather and mix all of the following ingredients in a bowl- 3 tbs of salt, 3 tbs of smoked paprika, 2 tbs of onion powder, 2 tbs of garlic powder, 2 tbs of dried oregano, 2 tbs of coarsely ground black pepper, 1 tbs of brown sugar and 1 tbs of ground cumin.

Pour the mix into your jar, tie some twine around the rim, add a handwritten gift tag and there you have it!

20. Christmas Cards

Handmade Christmas cards by @sunnylittlesunflowers

You’ll need paper, pencils, paint, dried flowers, bio glitter and glue.

Fold paper in half.

Decorate the front.

Write a heartfelt message to the recipient inside.

21. Pine Cone Elves

Pine cone elves by @sweet.little.soul

You’ll need glue, scissors, wooden beads, pine cones and felt/fabric scraps.

Gather your felt/fabric and cut some hearts for feet, long strips for scarves, triangles for hats and half ovals for hands.

Glue a triangle around the wooden bead (make sure that you position it correctly though), once it’s secure you can glue it until it resembles a cone (bit by bit is the best way for this part because it’s quite fiddly).

Position and glue the hands and feet onto the pine cones.

Glue the wooden bead (head) onto the top of the pine cone.

Lastly, position your scarf, tie it in a knot and glue one side down so it doesn’t move.

22. Salt Dough Ornaments

Salt dough ornaments by @lovedbydannii

You’ll need 1/2 cup of plain flour, 1/2 cup of salt, 1 tbs vegetable oil and 2/3 cup of water.

Preheat oven to 120 degrees and line a baking tray with baking paper.

Mix all dry ingredients together.

Add oil and then slowly add water whilst mixing to form a dough.

Knead on a floured surface and roll flat.

Cut out some Christmas shapes and use a skewer to make a hole for hanging.

Place on prepared baking tray and cook them in the oven for approximately 2 hours until firm.

Once dry you can start decorating with paint and glitter.

23. Table Centerpiece

Table centerpiece by @sweet.little.soul

Create a festive centerpiece for your table.

You’ll need a vine wreath, scented candle, pine cones, dried flowers, a wood slice, star anise and dried oranges.

We placed all of our pieces on top of the wood slice so it was easy to move around as we didn’t glue anything together. It’s so quick to put together, looks amazing and smells delish!

Don’t leave candle unattended.

24. Festive Play Dough

Festive play dough by @our_life_behind_the_lens

There’s nothing better than sensory play and this play dough recipe is by far the best!

You’ll need 1 tablespoon cooking oil, food colour/natural dye, 1 cup boiled water, 2 tsp cream of tartar, 1 cup plain flour and 1/2 cup salt.

In a large bowl, mix dry ingredients.

In another bowl, add in the vegetable oil, food coloring and water.

Now slowly add in your dry ingredients.

Let your dough cool and then knead. If the dough feels sticky, add more flour.

Add a couple drops of essential oil and some bio glitter and you’ve got yourself some beautiful festive dough!

25. Reindeer Food

Reindeer food by @sweet.little.soul

We all know that Santa loves is milk and cookies but what about the reindeer?!! I think they deserve something extra special after all of their hard work!

You’ll need a bowl, rolled oats, bran sticks, pretzels, candy canes and a calico bag.

Using a bowl mix the 1 cup of rolled oats and 1/2 bran sticks.

Carefully pour it into a calico bag.

Garnish with pretzels and broken candy canes.

26. Santa Breakfast Pancakes.

Santa breakfast pancakes by @sweet.little.soul

Add some Christmas spirit to your favourite pancake recipe!

You’ll need pancakes, strawberries, whipped cream, malteasers and chocolate sauce.

Whip up your fav pancakes and let them cool while you start organizing the garnishes.

Cut strawberries down the middle and place them on a plate in the shape of Santa’s hat.

Place a pancake underneath the hat with 1/2 inch gap between the two.

Surround Santa’s face in whipped cream and give him a big beard.

Make two whipped cream dots and place the malteasers on top for his eyes.

Cut the tip off one strawberry for Santa’s nose.

Using chocolate sauce, create Santa’s mouth.