Get into the holiday spirit with these holiday crafts that are fun for all ages.
One of the best parts of the Christmas tradition is when it’s time to pull the decorations out of the attic and be reminded of holidays passed. If your family is anything like mine, your ornaments box is filled with handmade holiday crafts from preschool years that have long been forgotten and hand-me-downs of DIY wonders from grandparents who are no longer with us. And while some of the macaroni may have come unglued and or is smashed to smithereens under the years of memories, these keepsakes are some of the most precious.
But even if you are the type of person who lovingly re-envisions your trees every year, painstakingly color-coordinating garlands as if you’re Martha Stewart, there is always room for adding new touches to your holiday leitmotif.
So what better time is there to create new holiday craft memories than when your whole family is gathered together? It’s the perfect time to create new memories with grandchildren and adults alike. We’ve gathered a few ideas of simple crafts that we think everyone can do, and you won’t even need to buy a whole bunch of supplies (although isn’t that half the fun?)
Salt Dough Ornaments
- 4 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 cup salt
- 1 ½ cups warm water
- Large mixing bowl
- Rolling pin
- Drinking Straw (to poke a hole with)
The beauty of making salt dough ornaments is their simplicity. You just mix the ingredients together, roll out the dough to your desired thickness, and then go wild. You can use cookie cutters or free-hand your designs, while the more adventurous can choose to sculpt. Bake them at 300° for about an hour (or until they are completely dry) and let them cool. You could end there, or you could decide to paint them to add an extra flourish. Nothing says “Christmas” like glitter, after all. And the best part is that these are perfect for making with kids from 1 to 92, as it doesn’t involve sharp implements or the dastardly glue gun. For an inspirational photo gallery of ideas, visit Country Living’s website.
Wine Cork Reindeer
- Wine corks
- Brown pipe cleaners
- Wiggly eyes
- Red pom-poms
- Baker’s Twine (or festive string)
- Pine Cones
- Hot Glue Gun
- Awl Tool (or stick, or kabob skewer)
Since it’s the holiday season it shouldn’t be too hard to procure enough wine corks to construct these adorable little guys. (You can, of course, buy corks from a craft store, but what’s the fun in that?) You can use any pent-up frustration plucking the scales from a pine cone for the ears and then poking the three holes in top of the cork into which you insert the antlers and hanging string. Get more details from Cristina Gala’s Remodel la Casa blog.
Photo Transfer Ornaments
- Wooden craft ornaments
- Matte Gel Medium
- White craft paint
- Foam brushes
- Christmas Images*
- Glitter craft paint (optional)
- Sandpaper (also optional)
This craft is the perfect combination of making memories and preserving old ones. Instead of simply gluing a photo onto a wooden ornament, you actually transfer the image directly onto the wood, giving it a vintage look and allowing the wood grain to show through. The key is to not be intimidated by the supplies list. We’re pretty sure most people don’t have “Matte Gel Medium” laying around the house, but it’s easily found at a local craft store (or Amazon) and the end results are well worth the effort. For full, easy-to-follow instructions, visit Landee’s craft page.
*The major downside of making these ornaments has to do with the images you want to transfer. They have to have been printed using a laser printer, rather than an inkjet one. Landee recommends Kinko’s, but that requires saving the images to a thumb drive, getting in the car, dealing with holiday crowds, and on and on and on… and it limits you to images that you have digitally, to begin with. If you’re willing to do the leg work, though, look how charming these would be hanging from your tree!
Mason Jar Lid Ornaments
- Mason jar lid and screw ring (you can buy these in packs in the canning section of any big box or hardware store)
- Fabric scraps
- Glue gun
- Image/Cutout/Sticker to place in the center of the ornament
This particular craft takes the cake for being really straightforward. The hardest part is probably just locating Christmas cut-outs or stickers to use, but if you have a fancy machine that does that then you’re golden! All you do is glue the fabric to the jar lid, glue the image onto the fabric, and then glue the ring to the lid. Boom: Adorable cottage core ornaments. These are great for a crowd that demands instant gratification and not too much clean-up. For full instructions, visit Clean and Scentisible.
Knit Cap Ornaments
- Paper towel tubes
- Cotton balls
- Ruler (optional)
Holiday crafts don’t get cuter than this one. We just couldn’t resist these little guys, and they’re such a cute way to use up those yarn scraps that you’ve been hoarding in your craft closet. The most laborious part is cutting the yarn into 12” strips, but the instructions at Make Your Own Zone show a nifty way to make this less painstaking.
Collaborative Family Scrapbook
- A blank scrapbook (or method of binding some pages together)
- Scrapbooking pages
- Family photos
- Glue, pens, stickers, and other embellishments
We’re sure that you have a pretty good idea of how to make a scrapbook, but when we heard about this from a friend we thought it was such a lovely idea for a family holiday craft it just had to be mentioned. The task is to make a collaborative scrapbook to preserve a family memory from all the different perspectives of the people who experienced it. Maybe you want to challenge family members to gather photos and souvenirs from your current gathering. Or maybe you’d like to commemorate a past experience, such as a shared vacation, birthday party, or an era of your lives together. Some people do this to honor a loved one’s passing.
The plan is simple: Everyone contributes their own page of their memories. Whatever you choose as your theme, when you pull it all together you’ve preserved memories for you all to enjoy in years to come, and to share with those who weren’t around when it happened. It’s a wonderful reason to go through old photos (or to finally print out some of the ones lingering in digital format), and the process can be a true family bonding experience.