DIY and Crafts

Avoid expensive store-bought decorations with these DIY ideas 

Article by Homes to Love

Add some festive cheer to your home this Christmas with these DIY crafts that are quick, easy and look far more expensive than their price tag

Avoid expensive store-bought decorations with these DIY ideas 

If you’re looking to save money over Christmas but still want your decor style to have that designer feel, you’re in luck. We’ve rounded up our favourite festive DIY projects that look more expensive than they really are.

The best bit? You don’t need a degree in DIY.

Christmas crackers 

Create individual crackers for the table – your family and guests will love the thought you put into choosing something just for them. The key to making these crackers look luxe is the paper – we used a gold mock-croc wrapping paper from Whitcoulls.

Cut the paper into six pieces 32cm x 15cm.

Place a cracker tube, toilet roll tube or sections of a wrapping paper tube in the middle of each sheet.

Wrap paper around the tube and use double-sided tape to secure.

Slot in your customised gift then tie each end of the cracker with a 50cm length of ribbon.

Cost: $30. | Time: approx 30 mins.


4. Forest candles

Everyday bottles can be turned into stylish candleholders by removing the labels and adding some greenery. We used Antipodes water bottles and a packet of candles from Look Sharp.

Select thin fronds so they will fit through the tops of the bottles.

Fill bottles with water once foliage is in place and pop a candle in the top.

Leave a small gap between the water and the base of the candle.

These are lovely grouped on a table or sideboard or would look equally enchanting as a Christmas table centrepiece.

Cost: $20.| Time: 5 minutes.


Minimalist wreath

To make a beaded wreath take a 25cm galvanised metal ring (ours was from Spotlight) and cut the join so you can bend it open.

Thread beads onto ring in a pattern of your choice; ours was 1 big bead then 3 small (37 beads in total).

Bind the metal ends together with sticky tape, once the ring is full. We wrapped it around about 5 times for a strong join.

a length of wide ribbon about 75cm long, tie it over the join to disguise it, tie the loose ends together and hang.

Cost: $10-15. | Time: approx 10 mins.

Gift tags, Christmas, gold

Washi gift tags

Cut out gift tags from white card.

Hole punch a hole at the top of each card.

Thread through ribbon/twine or cord.

Cut Washi tape into different shapes and patterns, peel away sticky backing and secure.

Cost: $10.| Time: 15 minutes.

Fabric gift bags 

If you have time and a sewing machine, whip up some luxe fabric gift bags in navy linen and gold-flecked velvet fabric. While the fabric is more costly than wrapping paper, these bags are part of the gift and can be reused by your recipient. They’ll love the effort you’ve gone to!

Select fabric that doesn’t fray easily. Cut out a generous rectangle a little wider than you want your bag to be and twice as long.

Fold in half so the patterned side is turned inwards and sew a 1cm seam up the sides.

Turn right side out, place your gift inside and tie a ribbon or gold string around the top.

Cost: $25. | Time: 30 minutes.

Art deco block decorations

These art deco-style blocks make neat little tree decorations and were inspired by the stylish print shown in the photograph. Their colours really pop against the black tree.

Drill a hole through the middle of each block (you may need to use a vice for the smaller blocks).

Paint blocks in your three chosen colours. We used testpots of Resene ‘Santa Fe’, ‘Springwood’ and ‘Rhino’. Apply 2 coats per block, leaving them to dry between each coat.

Cut cord to desired length for hanging. Double cord and poke through painted blocks (mixing the different shapes) to make a loop at the top. Secure with a knot at the bottom.

Hang on the tree. How good do they look!

Cost: $25. | Time: 1 – 2 hours.

Linen napkins

Linen napkins look impressive but they can be expensive – some retail for more than $10 each.

Cut each napkin in half (turn over the cut edge by 2cm and sew along). To make ours we took $3 fringed blush linen tea towels from The Warehouse.

Fold and place in napkin rings and voilà: linen-style napkins with fringed ends.

Cost: $1.50 per napkin. | Time: approx 20 mins.

Feather wreath 

The beauty of a wreath is that it’s Christmassy but also super-versatile. To create this feathered version simply wrap two navy feather boas around a polystyrene ring and secure them at the back with glue.

Take a 35cm-diameter polystyrene ring and glue one end of the first feather boa to the back.

Wrap the boa around the wreath and glue at the back.

Take the second boa and follow the same process until the ring is completely covered.

Tie a length of gold twine or ribbon around your wreath and hang.

Cost: $26. | Time: 15 minutes.

Photography by: Wendy Fenwick, Chris Warnes/Warnes & Walton/Living Inside

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