Christmas Decorations — DIY Holiday Crafts

Posted by on Dec 13, 2010

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We're all looking for ways to reduce our holiday expenses these days, and one of the simplest ways is to cut back on decorations. But honestly, who couldn't use that extra holiday cheer during these cold, dreary months? That’s why we've collected some of our favorite handmade holiday decorating ideas for your inspiration. These ideas won’t break the bank and can be made with just a hot glue gun, fabric remnants or old clothes, magazines and other materials you probably already have at home or can easily acquire at a craft store, resale shop or dollar store. It turns out you can have your favorite Christmas decorations like candles, wreaths, stockings and trees and still save a bunch of money to put toward, well, your heating bill.

modern DIY hoop christmas wreath
Modern Wreath
Difficulty Level: Easy

For a modern, feminine version of a holiday wreath, try crafting a version of this simple design, made with embroidery hoops which are easily found at a craft store, resale shop or dollar store. In fact, any thin, circular frames could be wrapped in garland, ribbon or yarn for the same effect, so collect a variety of sizes and cover the hoops in the material of your choice. Then use the good ol' hot glue gun to add embellishments like little birds, beads or buttons. Arrange the hoops concentrically, then skew them so they're all facing slightly different directions. Tie them together at the top with fabric or ribbon and make a loop for hanging.
Get a free wreath tutorial from InfoBarrel!

Customizable Candles
Difficulty Level: Easy

You could spend over $10 apiece on Christmas-themed candles that you'll only have on display for one month. Or you could buy some plain, inexpensive pillar candles and embellish them with push pins or thumbtacks. A candle from a dollar store costs, let's see ... a dollar (!), and a box of 60 modern-style pins will only set you back about $2. Create a delicate border around the base of the candle by inserting pins of one or two different colors, or make an all-over pattern in red and white candy-cane stripes. Beware: be mindful of the pins near the top of the candle. If it burns down to where the pattern starts, the hot wax could start dripping onto your table. Drippage aside, by designing your own holiday candles you'll not only save a bundle, but you can use the same candle for the next year or even for everyday use — simply change the pin colors

homemade magazine Christmas tree
Lee mills
Homemade Christmas Tree
Difficulty Level: Easy

Why cut down another lovely tree just to use as a Christmas decoration for a few weeks, when you could go green and make your own tree? A Christmas tree decoration is easily made by merely folding pages of a magazine or two. A glue stick will come in handy to keep your folds in place, and you can add glitter, paint and tiny ornaments to make it just how you like. An undecorated tabletop Christmas tree costs about $10 in a store, but this one will only cost you whatever trimmings you choose to use. If you're feeling more ambitious, start saving your empty soda cans and plastic bottles for a larger tree that really makes an impressive, earth-friendly statement.
Get the free Christmas tree pattern from Just Like Martha!

Cozy Christmas Stockings
Difficulty Level: Easy

Christmas just isn't the same without stockings hung for your family, roommates and pets. Instead of spending $10 apiece on generic store-bought stockings, consider making one of these homemade, customizable and virtually free socks! All you need are some old sweaters or collared shirts, needle and thread and Martha's free stocking template. Felted wool sweaters also make impressive DIY Christmas stockings. Just raid your closet or resale shop for unwanted sweaters made of any animal wool (lamb, alpaca, cashmere), put them through a warm washing machine cycle and dryer, and voila! Felted wool retains its overall design, it just becomes much more dense, making an interesting, store-bought-looking material. Once you have your felted material, follow Martha's stocking directions. If you're going to be felting a lot of sweaters, it's a good idea to put them in a garment bag when they go into the washing cycle to prevent all the fuzzies from ruining your machine. The sweaters will shrink considerably, so the bigger the sweater the better. And if you save the post-felting fuzzies they can later be used as stuffing for pillows or plushies! 

Get the free sweater stocking tutorial from Martha Stewart!

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