I don’t know about you, but I simply love the idea of a homemade Christmas. Pretty white lights nestled among the greenery, smells of cinnamon, something yummy in the oven, and ornaments that take me back through the years are just a part of the nostalgia that is our Christmas.
We have ornaments that we’ve made together over the years that each hold a special meaning or bring back lovely memories.
There is something comforting about an atmosphere where there is good ‘ole fashioned Christmas music playing in the background, family laughing – and me . . . covered in craft paint and glitter!
I’ve been known to get in a bit over my head when it comes to planning the “perfect Christmas” but the last few years, I’ve found some ways to simplify things a bit and take the pressure off. Let me just tell you – MUCH more relaxing.
When deciding which of the down home, good old-fashioned projects to take on for the holidays, it is critical to be realistic with your expectations and your schedule. No matter how lovely the Christmas music, if Mama’s in the kitchen fussing up a storm – nobody is having much fun. I may, or may not know this from experience – I can neither confirm nor deny whether this information has come to me first hand.
If you are a busy mom who loves a homemade Christmas, don’t be discouraged! There are ways to create homemade ornaments, food, and gifts that will allow you to enjoy the experience without the stress. Rule number one – keep it simple!
A hot glue gun can be your best friend. It is inexpensive, quick, and easy to work with. I buy inexpensive low heat glue guns to allow the boys to use on their own ornaments as well. They still require supervision, but from the age of about 7 they have been able to master the low temp hot glue.
We have made many ornaments with the things that we find in nature. Living by the beach means sea shells – so we have a lot of sea shell ornaments. You can do just as well with bought shells, or with found items like pine cones, and acorns.
The glitter covered long spiral shells you see hanging above are shells my husband and I picked up on our honeymoon from the beaches in Costa Rica! With a little bit of glue and glitter brushed on, and a silver string for hanging – our simple shells are transformed into our Florida icicles.
We used the same Elmer’s glue and glitter treatment on the star fish as we did on the “icicles” and brushed it on with a little paint brush. The clear globes full of “sand” and shells were bought on sale (sign up for Michael’s email and get 40 – 50% off coupons) to buy them for very little. Instead of sand, I used a coarse salt which we funneled into the tops and then we simply dropped our tiny sea shell treasures into it. These clear ornaments are so versatile.
Add tiny toys, feathers, paint, or glitter. Even just a small piece of the evergreen Christmas tree looks elegantly beautiful when placed in these clear balls. Use sand, salt, shredded paper (white or colored), or fake snow as a base in the ornaments. You can find tiny pine cones, acorns, and either leave them natural or paint them before dropping into their new homes.
Other ideas include:
- cut up inexpensive silk Christmas floral items or holly leaf
- ribbon or strips of Christmas paper
- peacock feathers – elegant and colorful
- Lego’s would be great fun for a child!
- antique book pages or flowers cut from them
- sheet music (paper can be wiped with tea & a paper towel to “age” it a bit)
- use a paper punch to cut shapes of paper
- cut paper snow flakes
- dollar store Christmas items or plastic animals covered with white paint
- miniature village trees or characters
- pretty beads or vintage jewelry
The sky, your imagination, and the size of the ornament’s neck – is the limit on this simple, rewarding craft that the whole family can do together. These crafts may not solve all your holiday stress, but it will provide a simple way to decorate. You and your children will love giving these away to family and friends, and you will be the toast of the town. Overnight, you’ll become the belle of the ball. You will be invited to all the best parties, and everyone will secretly hope to become the lucky recipient of one of your exquisite handmade ornaments.
Most of all, you will enjoy pulling them out each year listening to the children reminisce about who made what while sipping hot cocoa, and baking cookies. “Silent Night” will play peacefully in the background – and you will be covered in craft paint and glitter – just like me!
I pray you enjoy this special time with your family ~
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