Friday, December 5, 2014

Handmade Christmas: Easy decorations

I've been all over Pinterest looking for ideas for cute handmade decorations (see my Homemade Christmas board) and thought I might make a different Christmas ornament every day to pop in the advent calender. Cue little meltdown at the thought of all that crafting. Plan B - a few easy decorations that are sweet and not particularly labour intensive. Here are four of my favourites (Dear Boy asked for some blue decorations this year, so we've gone with that theme):

Bird-on-a-branch bauble

You'll need:
  • empty, plastic or glass baubles ( I got ours from the local $2 shops - these ones split in half so they're relatively easy to load or decorate)
  • twig
  • small piece cardboard
  • 2 small pieces of felt
  • clear drying craft glue

I cut out a tiny stylised bird shape from cardboard and then used that as a template to cut two pieces from felt. I made the felt pieces slightly larger, which meant I could leave the carboard in the centre to keep it a little stiff, but still have enough edging so it didn't show.

It was important to see how the twig sat inside the bauble so I could attach the bird on the right bit (upside down birds - funny but less awesome).

I glued the bird to the branch and left it to dry overnight before sealing it into the bauble.

Glittery dinosaurs

You'll need:
  • set of plastic dinosaurs (or other figures; Lila at Mama Nourish used animals and set them on matchboxes) 
  • small eyehooks (and pliers if you need them)
  • white basecoat (spray)paint
  • coloured (spray)paint
  • glitter (with a glue) or glitter paint (I used Jo Sonja's Opal Dust)
  • varnish or clear sealer
I screwed in the eyehooks by hand then painted the dinosaurs with a basecoat, a colour coat, a glitter coat and then a sealant. There are probably some very important steps in there for preparing plastic , etc but I tried to simplify as much as possible as I was painting with hand in front of the TV at night. The only really problematic stage was after the first two coats, where the paint flaked if you handled it too much. I attached plain wool for hanging but might get some silvery ribbon next year.

Clothespeg angels

You'll need:
  • wooden clothespegs (I found these at Spotlight)
  • small eyehooks
  • circles of felt and/or fabric (I used the rim of a glass for a circumference and cut with pinking shears so I didn't have to worry about the hems)
  • small craft feathers
  • clear-drying craft glue
Screwing the eyehooks into these was more difficult than getting them into the plastic dinosaurs. You may want to use a very fine drill bit to get you started. Stitch together the coloured circles (no need if you're just using coloured felt). Fold over the lip of one side of the circle for a 'collar' look and glue onto the peg. Glue two feathers to the back (a bit fiddly but worth it to persist).

Wool-wrapped words

You'll need:
  • Craft wire
  • Coloured wool or twine
  • Hot glue gun or craft glue
Glue down the end of the wool to the wire and wrap, glueing occasionally or continuously. This was my first hot glue gun experience and it was a bit fiddly with all the stringy bits but they come off really easily afterwards. Once you have a long piece of wire covered in wool then you can start shaping your word. I ended up jumping on Picmonkey and testing words in their cursive fonts to see how to run letters together. Some words will flow together more easily than others.

Are you making any decorations this year? Where did you find your inspiration?


  1. Gorgeous, my little guy would love the glitter dinosaur x

    1. Dear Boy's quite partial to them now. He knows there's going to be one in each of the advent bags I made, but he gets excited each time like it's a surprise every night. Very sweet.

  2. Those angels are just gorgeous! Blue was definitely a good choice :)

    1. Thanks Lisa, definitely a new colour scheme for us after years of red and gold.


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