Hand Made Decorations
It’s difficult not to get excited about Christmas. You want to decorate your home, spread tinsel and glitter, dangle baubles and fairy lights from the tree. There is something magical about the whole process. Yet year on year it all grows far more expensive.
If like me, you live on a tight budget and you can’t splash out on a brand new set of decorations. With a single bauble costing anywhere from £1 to upwards of £5 the cost soon mounts up. Instead making the most of what you already have, with a little time and creativity, you can make almost all of your decorations for pennies.
One of my favourite materials to work with is felt. Being cheap and easy to work with it’s perfect for quick decorations.
A sheet of acrylic felt costs as little as 50p and comes in a rainbow of colours and patterns. You really don’t need much to make them. Ribbon starts from 40p/m.
For all the decorations I drew around cookie cutters I already had but you can find basic shapes online or draw them yourself.
To make the holly decorations:
- Draw around your chosen template (tailors chalk or a pen works best, just turn the pieces around when finishing) you need 4 leaf shapes and 4 berry shapes.
- Cut each shape carefully with sharp scissors. They need to match up well as pairs.
- Sew or glue, with PVA or fabric glue, two leaf pieces together so they are back to back. This is just to thicken it up so the leaves hold their shape. Do the same with the other pieces.
- Arrange each leaf and berry together and stitch or glue into position. Add glitter if you wish, I haven’t here, and then allow to dry. Finish with a small length of ribbon or cord to hang it up.
Total cost per holly leaf decoration – 60p
Felt heart decorations
These require a little more work.
- For each decoration you need 2 heart shaped pieces of felt, a length of ribbon and a small amount of toy stuffing.
- Sew the two pieces of felt together with a simple running stitch. Leaving a gap at the top to add the stuffing and ribbon.
- Lightly stuff and sew shut with hanging loop in place.
- Decorate with chain stitch in embroidery cottons or use sequins and PVA as a quicker alternative. You could use glitter glue pens or even buttons.
Total cost of each heart decoration – £1
Christmas tree decorations are made up in exactly the same way.
This is probably the easiest one to make. You can use any colours or shapes for this making it perfect for anytime of year. As it is Christmas I’ve stuck to traditional green and red.
- Draw around the template with enough hearts for the length of garland you wish to make. I used 10 large and 10 small hearts for every 1.5 metres
- Cut carefully with sharp scissors or a really good blade, use an electric knife sharpener before the first cut for the best result. Then glue a small heart inside a larger heart.
- If you wish to decorate them with glitter or add a message such as “merry christmas” do that now. I left mine blank.
- Using a hole punch make 2 holes in each side of the heart then thread paper ribbon through, it may tear so take your time.
- Arrange the hearts evenly then hang it up!
Total cost of entire garland – £3.10
Each sheet of A3 card was 70p and paper ribbon just £1 for 5 metres.
I love pom poms and they make fantastic baubles even little ones can make your tree etc, pretty.
I always rummage through the sale bins for cheaper, more fancy yarns. New acrylic yarn costs £1.50 a ball and each ball makes roughly 6 pom poms.
Another easy decoration is to make paper snowflakes out of white printer paper. You can make them as big or as small as you need.
They’re also perfect for using up any waste or scrap paper.
Make the most of what you have.
As well as making new decorations spend a little time revamping your old decorations. Here are a few ideas to revamp your own.
- Use spray paint to change the colour of plastic decorations. Apply thinly and build up layers for an even finish.
- Replace the old, frayed hanging loops with fresh new ribbon.
- Wrap leftover Christmas ribbon around candles.
- Simply giving baubles a good clean in a mild soap and water can brighten them. Not all can be washed. Test it first.
- Swap some decorations with friends. A new look for zero cost.
- Gather pine cones, holly and ivy and make your own wreath.