Merry ‘Crafty’ Christmas

Jack Evans - Reporter

Christmas decorations

Christmas time provides the a great opportunity to get creative with rolls of wrapping paper, card and tape to create some wonderful festive creations. We take a look at how to create your own advent calendars and Christmas cards.

Advent calendar creations

There are a variety of methods to create your unique calendar but one creation I recently heard of was the bag calendar. This method uses paper bags pegged on lines of string, each bag having a different treat inside. I have adapted this method to make a standing calendar that will take up less space and is great for sitting on a desk or shelf.

You will need: 25 small paper bags, one large piece of cardboard (preferably larger than A4), A4 piece of cardboard scissors, string, small pegs, sticky tape, blank sticky labels and a marker pen.

  1. Start by cutting a strip of cardboard from the smaller piece of the 2, ¾ the length of the larger piece. Fold the top of the strip to make a flap and tape to the piece of cardboard, fold the other end to make another flap. This will be the stand for the calendar.
  2. Next cut 5 pieces of string about 1.5” longer than the width of the cardboard.
  3. Lay the first piece of string across the width of the carboard and tape each end to the back of the cardboard so you cannot see the joint.
  4. Repeat the process for the other 4 pieces of string, leaving a gap the size of a paper bag between each length. These will be the lines which the bags hang on.
  5. Using sticky labels, number each of the paper bags from 1 to 25.
  6. Fill the bags with the treats for each day before tying closed with a small length of string.
  7. Finally, peg the bags using small pegs to the line. 5 bags per line of string.

Creative inspiration: You could cover the backing for the advent calendar in festive wrapping paper or decorate with marker pens for a more attractive design and the paper bags could also be decorated. Make sure however that the ink will not come into contact with the sweets in the bags if they are not individually wrapped. Ribbons could be used instead of string or even small Christmas themed socks providing they are clean!

Christmas cards

It is often tempting just to buy shop cards as they look attractive with their glittery and colourful designs but home-made cards add a more personal touch. You can make your own from scratch, design cards using computer software or decorate printed designs.

To make cards from scratch you will need A4 card in your choice of colour along with stickers, marker pens or cut outs from old Christmas cards. Then you just need to put on your creative hat and get designing.

The other method which I prefer is designing computer based cards. There are a variety of applications and software packages you can use but I just use Microsoft Word or Publisher. The advantage of this method is you can quickly add in colours, effects, personalised photographs and text in a matter of minutes – great for when you have a long list of cards to send. After you have designed your card and proof read it, print it off. You can then add the finishing touches by hand such as ribbons, stickers, glitter or whatever takes your fancy.

Two simple creations that will put you in the festive mood and unleash your creativity.

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