Handmade Christmas Gifts

Now that Christmas is over and the presents have been given I can share with you the things I made as gifts this year!

Wax Melts

I made these for my Mum using left over candle wax, they are scented with cherry Bakewell scent.  I used silicone ice moulds to create them and, while it was an experiment to see if it would work, they turned out perfect so I was really pleased to be able to gift them to my Mum.

Candles

The purple one is baby powder scented and I made that for my lovely neighbour.  The red jar one is cherry Bakewell which I made for myself, the layered one in the same picture is bubblegum scented (which I also kept as it was leftover wax from another candle), the candles in the glass mugs are scented with Tranquility, Sticky Toffee Pudding, Cornish Coastline and Cherry Bakewell which I gave to my brother Ben and his wife Egle.  The three jar candles are vanilla custard and cherry bakewell scented which I made for my 3 step daughters.  The jar candle on its own is bubblegum scented which I made for my little brother Richard.

Pencil Boxes

I made these for my twin niece and nephew James and Ellie.  I had bought them time telling watches in pink for Ellie and blue for James to help them learn to tell the time but when they arrived they were just in plastic sleeves.  I wanted to be able to gift them in something that was a bit more special so I purchased a load of gems and plain wooden pencil boxes from Hobbycraft along with some Modpodge and set about creating them.  I already had the Hello Kitty and Nemo flat back bits in my stash along with glitter so it was applying the modpodge and glitter, another layer of modpodge, gems and another coat of modpodge and leaving to dry before placing their watches inside and wrapping.

Journal

I made this bullet journal/diary thing for Mum because she is never without her diary.  Even when I was small I remember her always having her diary to hand and writing all sorts of memos and things into it.  I made her this so she can log everything she needs to and carry it about day-to-day.  I included a future log, a monthly overview for each month, weekly shopping and to do lists, a recipe for each month, a section for reflections on each month and lots of other things.  I even included a different holiday for each day using images that I found online (though I can’t seem to find a link…) I think she really liked it!

What did you make as gifts for people this Christmas?

Project Make – Christmas Decorations

Today on the blog I’m going to share with you instructions on how to make some simple Christmas Decorations.  These decorations can be made by adults or children and will add a fun element to your interior decor for the season!

The first decoration I am going to show you how to make is a 3D Snowflake

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For this project you will need…

  • 6 sheets of white paper (or any colour of your choice) I used white A4 printer paper
  • Scissors
  • Double sided tape or stapler
  • A hole punch
  • Cotton or string to hang

img_0569img_0691 If you are starting with rectangular paper (like I am) the first step is to cut it into a square.  To do this I folded the paper diagonally then used the straight edge as a guide and trimmed off the excess.  You will need to do this to all 6 sheets of paper.

 

 

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You can save the cut off piece and use it to make paper chains later!

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The next step is to take your square of paper and fold it along the crease you initially made then fold the triangle in half again. Again, this needs to be done to all 6 pieces of paper.

 

Once you have done this you can now begin to make the cuts in the paper.  Using the longest side as a guide, cut straight lines up the paper leaving about 1 cm uncut.  I work from the double edge fold to the single edge fold but it doesn’t matter which way you cut the paper.  Aim to make 5 or 6 cuts of equal width.

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When all 6 pieces of paper have been cut in the same way you can then open the paper out.

Now we can start to construct the snowflake.

 

 

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Place the paper as in the picture above (with the spine that is uncut running vertical), start in the middle and apply a piece of double-sided tape to one of the points of the triangle, roll it over and attach to the opposite side point so that it forms a tube.

Flip the paper over and then do the same to the next triangle point, then flip and repeat.  Do this for all the triangle points.img_0585

You should end up with something looking like the above picture.  Repeat for the other 5 pieces of paper.

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Once all of the snowflake segments have been made lay them out.  You will notice that one side has a bigger length than the other, make sure they all face the same way.  You then want to attach them together using either double-sided tape or a stapler, big side on one to small side on the other, attach at the crossed part (like in the middle picture above).  Once you have done this and attached all of them together you will then want to secure the centre points, I stapled 3 points together, then the other 3 then stapled the whole lot together (see the last picture above).  Once you have done this you can then attach the last snowflake segment to the first, making the completed snowflake.

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The last thing to do is punch a hole in one of the outer edges of the snowflake and add a piece of cotton or string so that it can be hung.  You can make bigger or smaller versions of this by varying the size of the square of paper that you start with.

Using the same method as above you can create teardrop spinners to hang.  img_0627

Just take one piece of paper, fold as above and trim excess (if starting with a rectangle), then cut the paper as before but aim to make the width between cuts around 0.5cm or narrower, open the paper out and, like before, start in the centre and attach point to point, flip and attach the next one, flip back and attach the next until you have attached all points, hole punch at one end and attach cotton or string and hang.

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The next decoration I’m going to show you how to make is one that you can make with children and is really simple…

Toilet Roll Snowflakes

For this decoration you will need

  • empty toilet toll tubes
  • scissors
  • stapler
  • paint
  • glue (PVA works best)
  • glitter
  • hole punch
  • string or cotton to hang

(hover your mouse over the photos for the instructions!)

 

What decorations do you make for the festive season?

 

Mind Crafternoon

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On Saturday I held a Crafternoon –  a crafting afternoon, in aid of Mind, the mental health charity.  I chose to host the crafting event because Mind, while I have not used all of their services, have found their on-line resources to be really helpful and informative.  1 in 4 of us, in our lifetime will experience some kind of mental health problem and its charities such as Mind that can help when these problems arise.  I believe that Mind do a really good job offering support, advice and campaigning to improve services, raise awareness and promote understanding of mental health issues and wanted to support them to continue to carry out the work that they do.

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My Mind Crafternoon started with signing up for the event via the Mind website which was a really simple process of form filling with your name, address, email and the date of your Crafternoon (if it is to be held on another day aside from 1st December – the official Crafternoon date).  Once you have submitted your information Mind will then send out a kit that includes ideas of things to make including instructions, ways to raise money, bunting to cut out and make along with balloons and a money-box to keep the donations in.  They also supply the paying in forms for you to use when banking the money raised.  When I received my pack I was really amazed by how informative and helpful the pack was, there were so many tips and ideas so even the least crafty person would be able to hold an event like this!

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I first set up a Facebook event and invited some friends and then bought some notecards and invites, wrote a bit about Mind and my Crafternoon in the cards and wrote out the details of the party onto the invites then sent them out to the attendees the week before the event.

I then put my Christmas decorations up, dug out all my craft things and set them up on the table.  Sam and I baked a Vegan Devil’s Food chocolate cake and my friend Jez made some cakes and things for my event too.  My lovely neighbour, Heather, made earrings and wine glass charms to sell and I had some sets of nails that I’d decorated to sell as well so we could raise extra money for Mind.

img_0679The Vegan Devil's Food Cake Sam and I madeimg_0663img_0664img_0665

I decided to have a raffle, originally I was going to buy a tub of chocolates to raffle but decided to make a Christmas Mulled Wine scented soy candle to raffle instead.

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The Activities

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Jez showed us how to decorate compact mirrors and I decorated a phone case.  We used Mod Podge, glitter and 3d elements such as bows, flowers and pearl flat back beads to decorate them.  I’d never done this before and it was really fun!  Everyone got stuck in and it was really lovely to see how each persons style and taste came out when we all used similar elements in our work.

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Everyone’s work looked really fab and I think everyone was really pleased with the outcome!  I know I’m super happy with how my phone case turned out!  Jez was a really good teacher to have!

 

 

 

I led a Snowflake Making Masterclass using white paper, double-sided sticky and scissors to make 3d snowflakes.  It was fun to be able to share what I’d learned with my friends and see how happy they were to have been able to make something so lovely from simple sheets of paper.

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I then showed my friends how to make paper Christmas flowers from folded paper, scissors, a stapler and cotton thread.  They all agreed that it would be something fun that they could do with their children as a Christmas activity.

 

 

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And finally I did a brief demonstration showing everyone how to make Christmas Snowflakes and trees from toilet roll tubes.

 

 

 

It was a really fun day, there was a lot of chat and getting to know each other, laughter and fun, cake eating and wine drinking!  I think I will definitely be hosting another one in the future!  In fact I’ve already started thinking of different Crafternoons I could hold and the sort of themes that I could base them on!