The hustle and bustle of Christmas, while merry and bright, can feel a bit overwhelming. Sometimes December seems to go by in a flash of shopping, travelling, wrapping and cooking. Making time to relax, either by yourself or with friends and family, is a good way to keep from getting snowed under. At Billy, we love crafting, so we’ve picked our top three crafts for Christmas to help you connect with the festive season and chill.
These crafts are fun for all ages, don’t need many special supplies (most things can be found in your kitchen or even outside!), and could be used to help you make delightful Christmas gifts on a budget!
Potato stamping is a quick, easy and cheap method of stamping. Make sure that an adult is on hand to make the stamps, as cutting with a knife is necessary, after which everyone can have fun with the paints!
Materials & Equipment
- A small, sharp knife
- Cookie cutters (optional)
1. Slice your potatoes in half to create a large, flat potato surface, and pat it dry with a piece of paper towel.
2. Have an adult cut the stamp shape out of the potato with a sharp knife. Either freestyle your own stamp designs or use a cookie cutter for this step. If you’re using cookie cutters, simply press them into the potato’s surface and cut around the outline.
3. If you don’t have cookie cutters, it’s best to stick to simple shapes or blocky alphabet letters until you feel confident with the knife.
4. Either use brushes to paint straight onto your stamps or pour your paint into shallow dishes that you can dip your potatoes in. Dipping is often an easier method for younger stampers.
5. Get stamping!
A few top tips:
It might take a few goes to get used to how much paint to use and how much pressure to apply – have some scrap paper ready to do some test prints!
Simple shapes can be transformed with markers after the paint has dried. Circles are easy to turn into robins, baubles or snowmen, while squares make perfect presents!
Use your stamps on plain brown paper to make unique, festive wrapping paper that is easier to recycle than shop-bought paper with glitter or foil. You can also stamp your own Christmas cards and labels for gifts so that they match your hand-made wrapping paper.
One of my favourite home-made gifts to give are chocolate slabs. They are so fun and easy to make, you can personalise them to the recipient, and the results are always delicious!
Materials & Equipment
- Chocolate (Milk, dark or white)
- Heatproof/microwave safe bowl
- Flat baking tray or chopping board covered with cling film or baking parchment
- Toppings! (try sprinkles, sea salt, dried fruit, chopped nuts, small sweets and treats)
1. Melt your chocolate on the stove or in a microwave. Make sure to keep stirring it to make sure it doesn’t stick or burn.
2. Once your chocolate is completely smooth, spread it out onto your prepared chopping board or baking tray.
3. Now it’s time to add your toppings! It’s best to do this quickly while the chocolate is still melted. Try mixing up different combinations of topping to personalise the slabs for different people.
4. Place your finished chocolate slab in the fridge for a few hours. Once the chocolate has hardened, cut or break the slab up into bite size pieces and package together to give as gifts.
5. Make sure you catch any smaller pieces to test out your creation yourself!
The flavours we made:
Gingerbread – Milk chocolate base with swirls of dark chocolate and crumbled ginger biscuit
Rocky Road – Milk chocolate with white chocolate swirls, white chocolate buttons, mini marshmallows, Maltesers and chopped chocolate wafers
Triple Choc Swirl – Milk, white and dark chocolate swirled together with white chocolate buttons and chopped milk chocolate shards
Foraged Foliage Decorations
Foraged crafting is perfect for people who like to mix crafting with outdoor adventures. Pick a dry day and take a bag with you to collect natural decorations that are festive and free!
Materials & Equipment
- Some good walking shoes
- A stiff brush
- Baking tray
- Jugs / jars or vases to display table decorations
- Wire or a floristry hoop (if you wish to make a wreath!)
- Wire or string
- Whatever you find!
1 . While out on your walk, keep your eyes peeled for evergreen branches, sprigs of holly with beautiful red berries, pine-cones and any other wintery foliage that you like the look of. Make sure to also follow the Woodland Trust’s foraging guidelines.
2 . Place your foraged finds in a warm spot to make sure they dry out before you start crafting.
3 . If you’ve picked up pine-cones, you’ll want to give them some special attention. Use a stiff brush to get any dirt out of their nooks and crannies. You can also dunk them in some diluted dish washing detergent, but be careful, as pine-cones close up when wet, so you’ll have to clean fast! Putting your pine-cones in the oven at about 100°C for 30 minutes will complete the cleaning process.
4 . Now you’re ready to craft!
5 . Try stringing your foraged finds together to create garlands, bunching them together for decorative dinner table centrepieces or winding them onto circular wire bases to create wreaths.
Some top tips:
- Use odd numbers when arranging wreaths – three or five of something will always look better than two or four.
- Adding a dab of white paint or some glitter to the tips of pine-cones makes them look extra wintery and festive.
- Another use for festive foraged foliage is to incorporate smaller pieces into your gift wrapping for a unique and rustic look.
We hope you enjoy trying out our top three Christmas activities. Don’t forget to share your fantastic Christmas crafts with us on social media. Happy crafting!