It’s that time of year again. Children are counting down the days to open their presents while families across the world prepare to celebrate the festive season around a beautifully lit Christmas tree and dazzling lights.
But there’s no need to rush out and buy a new batch of decorations this time around. Instead, why not sit down with your kids and grandkids and embrace your creative side with some simple homemade ornaments, centrepieces and festive creations to liven up your home?
Homemade cookies and gingerbread houses aren’t the only things you can make in your kitchen. From nostalgic paper chains and popcorn tinsel, to homemade snowflakes and candle pieces, there are so many decorations you can personalise from the comfort of your own home.
These DIY ideas are a great way to make your house look festive for Christmas Day, and they are affordable as well. Why not try them out?
There’s nothing like stringing together pieces of popcorn to bring back memories of your childhood in the 1960s, ’70s and ’80s.
Popcorn tinsel couldn’t be simpler to make. Start by cooking up some popcorn – either buying microwavable packets or cooking it in a pan with a dash of oil – before leaving it to cool and finally threading a needle and thread through each piece to make a long string to wrap round the tree.
Take care when using a needle and thread with small children of course – the last thing you want is a cut to ruin your fun activity!
Alternatively, why not use some dried fruit to make beautiful hanging ornaments or baubles for the tree? Simply thread some ribbon through the top of a dried orange or pear and they look fabulous for a truly homely feel.
Cute vintage pasta trees are easy to make and look really sweet – a sure hit with the grandkids!
You’ll just need some dry pasta, (tubes are best, but you can mix it up too with different shapes), glue, styrofoam cones or thin card to bend into shape, and spray paint in your favourite colours.
Start out by getting hold of a styrofoam cone or slowly bending some card into a cone shape, before gluing it together and leaving it to dry.
Spread some glue over part of the cone, before slowing adding the shells in whatever pattern you like. To give the illusion of branches, it works well to stick pasta tubes to the cone from one end so they branch out length-ways.
Next, just leave them to dry thoroughly before spray painting the tree with your favourite colours. For a natural look, green is always a great choice, or for a dazzling festive style opt for silver or gold spray paint.
There’s any number of festive centrepieces you can make from home, but one great idea is a Christmassy glass jar to impress your guests.
All you’ll need is an old glass jar or empty vase to start you off, and the rest can usually be dug out from your old Christmas boxes or unused decorations.
By filling the jar up with baubles, pine cones, coloured pearls or even some fairy lights, it immediately comes to life and looks beautiful.
You can’t beat a few intricate snowflakes around your windows and walls, especially when they’ve been made by the kids in the family. And while they may look complicated, they are super simple for the youngsters to do themselves.
Start by collecting some paper or card, scissors, and fishing line if you’d prefer to hang the pieces.
Lay out the paper or card (for a more sturdy decoration) and cut it down to a square shape. Then fold it in half to make a triangle shape and find the centre-point (as shown in the video above). Make a small crease at the bottom of the triangle to mark the centre, before bending one lower point up in a diagonal shape.
Turn the paper over before then bending the other side up in the same way. You should be left with the bottom half of a diamond with a smaller point above it. Finally, simply fold it in half once more and you’re ready to begin cutting your shapes.
From there, let your creative side run wild and draw on a pattern before cutting it out. There are some great shapes and ideas you can copy in the video above. Once done, simply open it up and voila!
Children across the globe have enjoyed this activity for years. Perhaps you yourself remember making them at school? Or your parents set out the strips of paper to keep you busy in the holidays?
The simple act of sticking thin strips of coloured paper into round circles to interlock with each other provides endless fun – and adds a very homemade feel to your festive decor!
You can choose whether you want colourful chains or a more rustic feel using old newspapers or carol sheets, before cutting them into strips and gluing each into a circle – ensuring you thread the next one through before you glue the ends together.
Just like the pasta tree, you can make something magical by using a styrofoam cone base and getting creative from there.
Instead of sticking pasta down, why not dig out some leftover baubles and use them instead? The result is incredible – and it’s completely up to you whether you have a colour theme or not.
There’s a seemingly endless list of possibilities when it comes to making a festive candle centrepiece, and it’s a chance for you and your grandkids to try something different every year.
Whether you lay out some small rocks and pebbles, spray paint them gold or silver, and scatter them on a long plate around some candles, or you lay out some sprigs of holly or pine cones in much the same way, making up your own design couldn’t be easier.
There’s no need to spend all your Christmas savings on a fancy table runner this season. In fact, by simply using some of your old doilies you can create a beautiful snowflake style design yourself in no time at all.
Collect up some of your old doilies, preferably finding different shapes and sizes, before lining them up in a long pattern – placing the smaller ones between bigger shapes to create a more artistic, jagged line.
From there start sewing the edges together to ensure it remains one long piece and you’re all done!
She became a member of Starts at 60 and got access to amazing travel deals, free masterclasses, exclusive news and features and hot member discounts!
And she entered to win a $10K trip for four people to Norfolk Island in 2021. Join now, it’s free to become a member. Members get more.