I still can’t quite believe it’s December and Christmas is less than two weeks away, but whilst life is as busy as ever for many with work, pandemic-safe-socialising and figuring out present shopping when you’re not seeing everyone at the same time and what to buy when and from where but there’s always time for Christmas crafts, right?
Personally, handmade crafts have been a wonder for my mental health this year and it makes me feel really creative and accomplished! So I thought I’d share some of the things I’ve been making (or intend to make) that can be a couple of hours of offline festive fun.
- cotton wool ball snowman
My beloved Frank who now hangs on my porch door!
6 sheets of A4 paper taped together, 3 bags of cotton wool balls, probably too much PVA glue, a Poundland hat and some pipe cleaners is a recipe for a few hours of wondering why you thought sticking that many cotton wool balls was a good idea, but then you get to the fun decorating bit and he looks amazing!
I’ve made a little Frank (can’t decide whether to call them Franklin or Franklette) that I might put up with him and it brings back that ‘Primary school art project’ feeling of doing something not because it needs to be skilled or perfect or challenging but making something just because it’s fun!
I’m going to get one of those big art folders so I can store him safely for next year and not waste all those cotton wool balls, but I really hope next year I can visit my godmothers children around Christmas and we can all do this together because I think it would be so much fun!
- paper crafts – like paper chains and paper snowflakes!
Seems simple, sticking strips of paper and cutting out shapes but it can be a really great activity to do with younger children and is a really easy way to make the house feel more festive in a homely, unprofessional way (though no shade to anyone who’s home looks like a homeware catalogue).
Although you can buy paper chains at most shops around Christmas, making your own and having fun drawing Christmas designs with coloured pens can make it a much more involved festive activity.
Paper snowflakes are really simple to make, just folding paper, cutting sections out and opening up again but it’s a really effective window decoration and can even be fun to hang from the paper chains if you’re feeling fancy!
- cardboard Christmas tree piñata
If I make this, it’s definitely not for piñata purposes, but my friend send me this link for a cardboard, tissue paper tree and whilst I haven’t got round to it yet, I have lots of festive pom-poms and pipe cleaners and I think it would look really cute!
Spending an afternoon not thinking too hard about my responsibilities and getting my hands into something creative, festive and cute always helps calm me down (assuming I’m not ignoring all of my other responsibilities to do it!).
Maybe it’s just some tissue paper on a cardboard box that’ll go in the recycling in the new year, but it’s worth it for the impact it has on my mental health and it’s much cheaper than therapy.
Perhaps should be counted separately to crafts, but snowman shaped cookies, cupcakes with chocolate fingers as reindeer antlers or a full on Yule log (which I am very proud of, biggest of thanks to Mary Berry for her recipe that I followed), it’s the time of year for sweet treats.
Whether you’d making your own buttercream or using a box cake mix, eating something you’ve made yourself is always satisfying at this time of year.
My mum bought a gingerbread house making kit for my fiancé and I and had initiated a little competition within my family, so I need to find some time to make a pretty gingerbread house (and find some ideas on Pinterest, I’m a bit stumped at the moment!)
- card making!
My Nan used to be really into making cards, always sending personalised cards with pictures and 3D stickers and those fancy inserts on the inside that essentially make it a small book and I always treasured them.
But whether you’re buying Hobbycraft out of stickers and fancy blank card sets or folding a piece of paper in half and drawing with some crayons that you have no recollection of buying, the personal touch will certainly be appreciated by your loved ones!
Plus points if you let your children write a little message on the inside. I asked my fiancé to write some messages for his family in our Christmas cards (which I didn’t make, I must admit) and he wrote the card for his dad entirely with his left hand like an actual child. Pretty sure last year he did a drawing for my godmothers kids and even though they were 3, 7 and 8 I’m pretty sure they all did nicer drawings for us!
It feels like this entire year has been months of saying ‘I can’t believe it’s already X month’ and it’s whizzed by but felt really slow simultaneously. Only 10 days till Christmas!
I can’t wait for this year to be over, but I’m definitely tentative about putting too much hope on 2021, but I have to be optimistic about things getting better and seeing friends and family again soon because I don’t know how I’d cope if I wasn’t.
Thank you for reading – I hope you and your loved ones are happy, healthy and staying safe!