You can buy Christmas decorations cheaply nowadays anywhere; from supermarkets to DIY stores to newsagents. But what are the decorations that really reflect the spirit of Christmas? The ones your children make are the ones that really lift your spirits on a grey December day.
Here are some ideas for Christmas decorations to make. You can use things which you may already have around the house (or could scrounge from a hoarder friend!) So not only are they made with love, they are also recycled.
1) Paper Chains: I don’t know what it’s like where you live, but we are bombarded by leaflets every day of the week. The mountain of glossy paper that falls out of the free newspapers could make a small library if they were actually made into books. So instead of putting them straight into the recycling bin, make them into paper chains instead. It’s easiest if you make yourself a template the size of paper strip that you want – use an old cereal packet. Then when you cut them out they will all be the same size. You can cut your strips so as they are plain colours or as patterned as you like. Glue, sticky tape or staple each together.
2) Tree Decorations: If you saved last year’s Christmas cards – or you never found a Christmas card recycling collection to donate them to - now is the time to make use of them. Cut out any nice designs such as a Santa Claus, a bauble or candle, stick pieces of ribbon to the back and you have homemade tree decorations. Make them even more festive by adding glitter or sequins.
3) Pom-poms always remind me of winter, and if you have a collection of yarn oddments you could make pom-pom tree decorations. Make mad multi-coloured ones, pure snow-white ones, or a festive red and green mix. Shiny yarns or ones containing Lurex look great too. If you need reminding how to make them Fiber Images have a great How to Make a Pompom page.
4) A little more fiddly, but great fun, are Christmas Parcel Decorations. You need to start with small boxes about 2” or 5cm square. You could cut them down from a biscuit or toothpaste box, or make your own from old cereal boxes using the diagram here as a pattern. Use sticky-tape to make the boxes - if you glue them you have to hold it together until it is dry. Next use up those tiny scraps of Christmas wrapping paper you can’t bear to throw away, or the paper from early gifts which have already been opened by the impatient. Wrap the presents up just like the real thing; tape the paper down then tie ribbon or shiny yarn around the boxes to make the loops to hang them on the tree.
About the Author: Jacqui O'Brien is the Editor of eParenting.