Welcome to another Wacky Workshops project – Christmas creativity on a budget.
Many of us will be doing our best to reign in Christmas spending this year and these Christmas creativity projects fit the bill.
They are easy to make and cost very little in materials.
CHRISTMAS CREATIVITY WRAPPING IDEAS
Is anyone else fed up with cheap Christmas paper that rips when you try to use it?
I’ve become a big fan of brown paper packages tied up with string.
The paper is strong, inexpensive and doesn’t use harmful dies in production, so it’s better for the environment.
It’s so easy to add a little Christmas creativity to the packages without spending a fortune.
A black marker and some red pom-poms allow you to create cute reindeer faces, such as the ones pictured below.
If that’s not your style, some green foliage gives a beautiful decorative effect – pine leaves are extra good as they look like tiny Christmas trees.
Check out these clever and creative Christmas wrapping ideas for more inspiration to adorn brown paper packages.
CHRISTMAS CREATIVITY TABLETOP IDEAS
THE CHRISTMAS NUTCRACKER
Nutcracker dolls originate from late-17th century Germany where they were regarded as symbols of good luck.
They were often given as gifts and eventually became associated with the Christmas season.
Nutcracker dolls traditionally resemble toy soldiers and are often painted in bright colours.
According to legend, Nutcrackers represent power and strength and guard the family and home from evil spirits and danger. A fierce protector, the Nutcracker bares its teeth to the evil spirits and serves as the traditional messenger of good luck and goodwill.
An average handcrafted nutcracker doll is made out of about 60 separate pieces of wood. Have no fear, this Wacky version of the nutcracker is much simpler.
Last year I made a bunch of nutcrackers – one for each family member at our Christmas lunch. I filled each one with little, inexpensive trinkets and used them to mark each person’s place at the table.
I used canisters, like the ones scented reeds come in. However, if you can’t get your hands on enough canisters, long cardboard rolls, like the ones used for foil or baking paper, will also work.
All that’s required for these are white, green, red, beige and black paper. I had a supply of shiny gold paper in my arts and crafts stash, which I used for the bottom band around the hat. This could be substituted with glitter or even strips of foil.
I also have a supply of craft feathers, but you could just as easily make paper feathers to attach to the hats.
If you don’t have pom-poms for the noses, simply draw them on or cut circles from red or pink paper.
I didn’t have beige paper but used old manila folders for the faces.
Once you’ve gathered your materials, it’s a simple matter of cutting and glueing.
I started by covering the bottom part of the canisters in the white paper. I used red or green for the canister lid.
If you’re using cardboard rolls, create the hat at the top section of the roll and cut a circle from the same colour paper to cover the top. Your guests can break through this paper circle to reach the goodies inside.
Next, I cut out shapes from different coloured paper to create the hair, moustache, beard, boots, belt and front of the uniform. I used glitter to decorate the front of the uniform.
After glueing this all into place, I used a marker to create legs, eyes, eyebrows and, most importantly, the big teeth.
I came across some little DIY foam Christmas elf photo frames and inserted a picture of each of the grandkids in each one. As I was putting them together, it occurred to me how easy it would be to recreate these cute little elves using coloured paper glued to cardboard. They make the cutest little tabletop decorations and are also a good way to mark the kids’ places at the table.
CHRISTMAS CREATIVITY DECORATION
Do you have a few old fence palings? A bit of paint can transform them into the cutest Santas and gnomes.
Often, the shape of the paling lends itself perfectly to form hats and beards.
I used impasto to give some texture to the beards.
You can make your own, inexpensive, impasto by mixing 1/4 cup of cornflour (some people use baby powder) with a tablespoon of white glue, a tablespoon of white paint and a tablespoon of water. Mix well and store in an airtight container.
Try the same idea on sticks for cute garden decorations.
Turn garden cuttings of ivy or other vines into wreaths and add a cheap set of battery fairy lights.
Below is just one more idea for enjoying Christmas creativity on a budget.
Follow my Grand Christmas Pinterest board for more inspiration.
Happy crafting and have a gleeful week, Tamuria.