Written by Lio Rowan (Features Writer)
It’s finally December, which means for some of us, a rush to decorate for the holidays. However, it’s not exactly safe to be shopping for decorations right now, and some of us have even lost our decorations or ornaments. All hope is not lost, there is a plethora of fun “do it yourself” Christmas decorations you can make. It’s a hands-on way to bring the family together during these isolating times we are in. I myself have been making decorations, and have a few tips, tricks, and tutorials that will get you on your way to creating your own wonderful decorations. Links to websites with more detailed instructions can be found at the end of the article.
To start, we have a homemade advent calendar that doubles as a decoration. For 10 dollars you can buy a kit on amazon. It comes with 24 small, festive bags; some twine, and clothespins. It’s so simple and easy, fill your bags with any small treats you like, and pin them around a door frame, or on blank wall space. It’s reusable too, so every year you can hang them in a different place. My family found it easiest to use push pins to tie the twine too. Then we formed a fun little factory line and each played a part in creating our own advent calendar to countdown the days till Christmas.
Next, we have natural and rustic looking ornaments. All you’ll need are oranges and some string. Limes, lemons, and grapefruit work just as well, you could even mix and match if you’d like. You’ll want to cut each fruit into circular slices about 1 cm thick. Then set your oven to 230 degrees Fahrenheit. Place your oranges in for a couple of hours, or until they are dried. Then you simply tie them to string and you’ll have citrusy ornaments. They made our house smell so nice. Eating all the miss sliced oranges was a treat, and definitely a new family tradition.
Traditions such as stringing popcorn and cranberries are also a part of my family, and you can give it a try too. Grab your leftover cranberries from thanksgiving and pop some unflavoured popcorn. You are going to want some thread and needle, with the length and color of your choice. Then simply put on a holiday movie of your choice and thread your popcorn and cranberries into beautiful strings of decoration. You can create patterns, and hang them over door frames, or wrap them around your Christmas tree. Overall, wonderfully simple decoration and ornament that even is compostable once you remove the thread!
Speaking of compostable, another fun and easy decoration are salt clay ornaments. It’s easy, fun, and will get all the kids together painting and laughing. It’s only three simple ingredients, two cups of flour, one cup of salt, and one cup of water. Start by preheating your oven to 250 F, then you are going to want to mix together your dry ingredients before you add the water gradually. Once the mixture has come together, knead it on a flat surface for 5 minutes. After that, your clay is done. Using cookie cutters you can cut out shapes. Poke a hole for your hook or string and for. Once they are cooled you can paint them, throw some glitter on if you’re feeling festive, and hang them on your Christmas tree. An addition to the salt clay is the baby’s first Christmas ornament, or maybe our pet’s first Christmas. You can use the clay to create hand, or paw, prints. date and sign them and now you have the baby’s first ornament.
This next one requires a little time in your backyard. Gathering small twigs and sticks, you can use a hot glue gun to create wonderful little decorations and ornaments. You can glue them in the shape of a star, or a tree, or anything else you want. It adds a nice vintage look to your tree. Wrap the sticks in embroidery thread for a cue pop of color. You can send the kids out on an adventure to find the sticks, it will get them up and moving outside during these months of indoor time.
Last but no least, we all need snowflakes on christmas. You can use popsicle sticks, glue, and beads to make these gorgeous and expressive snowflakes. Gue your popsicle sticks to make the shape, and decorate them as you feel. They make any christmas tree feel more personal and familial.
Best wishes to everyone this holiday season. Christmas is all about spending time with loved ones, having warm drinks, and obviously crafting. Have a wonderful time, and be careful with your glue guns.