This week's feature is bought to you courtesy of my laziness. I live in a 50s built house, with a large window at the bottom of the stairs, at the front of the house. Last year I had this fab idea. Son and I would spend some great bonding time together, and make a huge cascade of paper snowflakes, big and small, flowing down the window.
Yeah, well, that was the idea. The reality turned into something a little bit different. First, paper snowflakes actually take quite a long time to do. Especially if you want proper snowflakes rather than doilies. Second, seven year old boys do not have that much patience. So after about snowflake number two it was just me sitting there, snipping away.
Finally, after three hours of work, I had enough snowflakes to fill one corner of one half of the window. Whoop-de-blimin-do.
This weekend I sat down to find another, better, decorating idea. And crucially it had to be cheap. I have absolutely no room for extras in this year's Christmas budget. I was amazed at what I found, so I went searching for more. And here's the top five, fabulous, fun and free (well cheap, and possibly free if you already have the material to hand) Christmas decoration ideas I found.
Christmas Bauble Wreath
I actually have a ton of baubles from Christmas' Past, most of which I hardly ever use. I've seen these bauble type wreaths before but had absolutely no idea how to make one, or even if it was possible.
Eddie Ross crafts shows you how to do this, using photos. It doesn't look like you need much other than a wire coat hanger, baubles and some twisty tie things. I usually keep all these - they come attached to toys in packaging by the bucket load.
The only piece of equipment used here that I don't have to hand is a glue gun. I usually borrow my friend's but to be honest, when it comes to kids and crafts they're just so useful and not that expensive. I'm going to invest in one! The photo at the top of this post shows you how the Eddie Ross wreath worked out. I'll post a photo if mine even comes close to this!
It looks like Vintage Wanna Bee has saved me from the Paper Snowflake horror this year! I just love the potential for this particular decoration. I'll be doing mine so it can be seen from the street as I like to add a little Christmas touch, and since the glass isn't frosted I never leave the curtains open (it is right on the street). But you could do this so it is visible from inside, and it won't necessarily stop you from closing blinds or pulling the curtains shut.
It works out free for me as I have a tension rod already, bought to use in the bathroom but never actually used as it was too short. A tension rod is one of those little rods you can get from places like Argos or B&Q where it expands to fit the space and stays up through pressure placed against the walls. I don't think they can take more weight than a shower curtain, but baubles and other ornaments don't weigh that much.
I also have ribbon left over from the Jubilee, in silver, metallic blue and shiny metallic red. With some tinsel on the rod, or some holly (there's lots growing wild near me), it would be quite a bit of fun to do this with son. He is already bursting with excitement, counting down the days to the 1st of December when we can put up the tree (and he can open his first advent calendar window!).
Or it could be a Snow Woman. I don't think that these things have to be gender specific, and my use of the word snowman is purely because snowwoman looks odd and I don't want to have to use two words!
What I liked about this decorating idea is that it is also something you can do with the kids, or if they're a bit older, then leave them to it on their own. The fridge on the left, courtesy of Crafting My Talents is made up of mostly scrap book paper and wrapping paper taped to the fridge.
If you've got a single fridge instead of double-sided then check out Hillary Hanaike's blog.
How about adding a little Dr Seuss inspiration to your Christmas? I really like this one, especially if your children really love Dr Seuss. The frame concept would work well as an outdoor (hanging on the door) or indoor decoration. And the baubles can be hung anywhere. What a great rainy day project too at the start of the holidays - make your own baubles!
The idea comes from Blue Cricket Design, and looks fairly simple to assemble. A picture frame from a junk shop that you can paint, some ribbon and some baubles that you can also paint. One tip I came across for painting plastic or melamine surfaces that might work here is to lightly sandpaper it first.
However, what they've done here is actually make the baubles themselves out of papier mache. Again, this could be a fun craft to do with the kids. I keep a small box filled with cut up strips of old newspaper ready for whenever we decide to do something in papier mache. Probably sounds a bit excessive, but I can cut the strips up at anytime. However nothing kills the creative moment dead more than going from great idea to boring half hour spent ripping or cutting.
This is a slight cheat in that my favourite idea here come again from the site I just mentioned above, Blue Cricket Design. I mean look at these baubles, don't they just look gorgeous? I love that home made stuff, and if you can't do the home-made thing when you've got kids then just when can you do it?
These coloured Christmas stars at Homemade Gifts are quite cute too.