For the Christmas Tree
Create a unique and personal Christmas tree this year by getting the children involved in making some homemade decorations. There are so many different ornaments that you can create and hang on the tree, from glitter baubles, edible treats to upcycled household items. What's more, these craft ideas are perfect if you are looking for something artistic to do or simply want to impress your guests!
Homemade Turtle Dove
It's amazing what you can do with a piece of paper and if you've struggled with origami before, this paper ornament is a much simpler alternative. All you need to do is print the online template on paper or card and start colouring in, using felt tips, pencils, glitter and anything else that you would like to add to decorate the bird. If you prefer not to use colour, you could just cut out the marked areas on the wings and tail, which will look just as effective.
Once this step is complete you then need to cut out the outline of the dove and carefully create two slits, as shown on the stencil. Then fold the wings downwards and feed each wing through the slits. Finish by securing with a small piece of tape or glue underneath the dove. We used a hole punch so we could add a piece of string or ribbon, and voilà - you're now ready to hang your paper dove on the tree.
Pinecones are readily available from local woods and can be turned into an array of different decorations. This pinecone bow ornament is a fairly simple but classic design that requires very little effort. Simply attach a piece of string or jute to the pinecone, leaving enough space so that it can hang from the tree. Then tie a cream, gold or other coloured piece of ribbon of your choice, and tie at the bottom of the string.
You can also add gold or silver spray paint and glitter, depending on your colour scheme. For a more crafty decoration why not make a pinecone reindeer for your tree; simply cut out some ears from felt material, attach a pair of googly eyes (available at most craft stores) and a red pompom nose.
Edible Christmas tree decorations
Gingerbread is a classic Christmas treat, which makes a tasty alternative to foiled chocolates. Bake some gingerbread men or stars, then decorate with royal icing and edible glitter and simply suspend from the Christmas tree with festive ribbon. Why not make some festive gingerbread stars by following this Nigella recipe.
Christmas Wish List Baubles
Start a family Christmas tradition by making these wish list baubles, which will become a keepsake for your children for years to come! Ask your child to write down their Christmas wish list on a small piece of paper, or if they are too young, you can write it on their behalf. Then roll up the note and place inside a clear bauble. Finish by writing their name and the year on the outside of the bauble with glue and glitter.
Mini Christmas Tree
Want to evoke some festive cheer in a different room of the house, but don't have enough space for a tree? Something as simple as a bundle of twigs can be turned into a beautiful festive decoration. Gather a bundle of branches together in an old vase and secure with glue or ribbon. Add some silver or gold spray paint to create a touch of colour and decorate with festive lights, snowflakes and small baubles. A mini tree is so versatile, you can even clip your Christmas cards to them, to create a unique display piece.
Homemade snow globes DIY snow globes look stunning and can be made by recycling your old jam and mason jars. You can either improvise by using miniature Christmas decorations designed for dolls houses or mould your own out of clay or Play-Doh. Glue the decoration to the inside of the jam jar lid using waterproof superglue , sprinkle some glitter into the jar and fill with water, then all you need to do is screw the lid on tightly and turn upside down.
If you don't want to run the risk of spilling water everywhere, why not create a waterless snow globe? To create your snowy scene you just need glitter, a small toy or a festive ornament and some cotton wool. Glue your ornament to the lid of your jar, making sure to glue down each piece carefully, then pull apart some cotton wool and glue it down around the base of the jar.
Homemade Christmas stockings look fantastic draped over the fireplace at Christmas and can be re-used every year. With so many different materials available, you are spoilt for choice when it comes to designing a stocking that will store those smaller, sentimental gifts. To make them extra special, you can also personalise them using the family member's favourite colours and initials.
Cork reindeer decorations
If you have any spare cork lying around from parties, there's a great way to recycle them. Turn them - into cute cork reindeers, which can be used as gifts or table decorations. You'll need old corks and twigs to make them, as well a red nose and anything else you want to add to it. It's incredible what you can make with just a few simple materials.