In our previous article on Homemade Decorations in April, we covered a number of money saving ideas from worn out ornaments to pine cones and cheap baubles. In the second instalment of this thrifty series, we take a look at some more creative and off-the-wall creations that can keep the kids busy and keep your wallet a little fuller in the run-up to the most expensive (but fun) season of the year.
Whilst they’re not the biggest bank breaker, advent calendars are a constant purchase every year and you can save money by making your own. Whether it’s because you don’t want your children to be eating chocolate every morning before breakfast or you want to let your creative juices loose, making your own advent calendar is fun and exciting. A simple and inventive way to do so is to collect and use 25 old matchboxes throughout the year, gluing them together in the shape of a Christmas tree (9 at the base, 7 on the next layer, then 5, then 3, then 1.) Cover the logos and packaging with wrapping paper for a more festive feel, number the sleeves and have your children slide one out each morning for a different treat. This gives you the chance to include anything in their calendars, not just chocolate. You might want to put healthier sweets into the boxes, or small toys out of the Christmas crackers you have left over from last year.
Old keys make excellent tree hangings with a little sprucing up. All of us have redundant keys on our keychains and have been waiting for a chance to discard them, raid your family and friends’ keyrings for similar opportunities and give them a quick spray of paint to cover their years of wear and tear. Matt white spray looks excellent against the green of a Christmas tree, hang them with red and white ribbons to give them an extra festive feel and they quickly become an attractive and quirky ornament for your fir tree. The more classic keys with the rounded handle and long stem look far more charming than the modern Yale or security keys.
Wreaths can be expensive to buy and time consuming to make, so whilst there’s no substitution for hanging one on the outside of your front door; you can experience with something a little different in the home. Christmas is a very family themed celebration, so gather some old photographs of your nearest and dearest to make a photo wreath. With no cost whatsoever, it takes just five minutes to arrange with sellotape or light glue; and will spark endless conversation and nostalgia once the mulled wine begins to flow!
For the third and final episode of our Homemade Decorations guides, don’t forget to bookmark the UK Christmas World blog and check back in June!
This article was written by Hayley Crossley.