People across the country will soon be hauling boxes of Christmas decorations out of their lofts, or heading down to the shops in search of new ones.
But amongst the hustle and bustle of sparkly things and shiny trinkets, do you find yourself looking for something a bit…different?
Making your own Christmas decorations is easier than you think. There are lots of ways you can bring some festive cheer into your home by using materials you find outside every day.
Where to Find Your Materials:
Country walks – the next time you take your dog for a walk, instead of throwing the stick for your faithful friend, bring it home instead!
The beach – You can find lots of materials washed up on the beach, not just driftwood. You can collect shells, dried seaweed and other flotsam as well. Just give anything you find a good wash before making anything with them
Local workshops – A visit to your local workshop could yield some great finds. Always ask before taking anything, such as wood scraps or logs left over, as long as it is safe to do so
Woodland – A day out with the family to your local nature park or woodland can be a treasure trove for material hunters. Just remember the golden rule – never, ever, break branches off from living trees. Only take branches and twigs that have already fallen off
Neighbours – When your neighbour gets out their chainsaw to do a spot of garden DIY, make sure you are standing nearby with an empty sack. Most of the time they will be happy for you to take the trimmings off their hands
Little Touches: Your creative efforts can be as big or as small as you want them to be. If you want to add a touch of originality to your home, go for something subtle yet eye-catching. Create a tea light holder by drilling holes in a log or use small twigs and some holly to spruce up a picture frame. A small change here and there can make a big difference to a room.
You don’t even have to venture outside to create yourself something original – just use any leftover wood you have in the house or shed. Paul at Chris Sharps Cabinets created some unique coasters one day when he wanted to find a use for leftover cut-offs;”We do recycle as much as possible, but we had some leftover wood that we use for chair legs and it seems too nice to simply recycle. I had the idea to cut it into slices, engrave a pattern on each one and use them as coasters. They were so popular we now make them regularly for our customers!”
In The Mood: Creating the perfect festive atmosphere is the goal for many hosts and hostesses during Christmas and you can use your driftwood materials to make that dream a reality. Natural wood is already associated with log burners and Christmas trees so you instantly get a festive feel when you use logs to create candle holders or twigs to make Christmas tree decorations.
If you are short on space in your home but still want to show off your creative skills, why not try making your own driftwood tree? The great thing about these is that yours can be as complex or as simple as you like – it’s up to you.
No Mess, No Fuss: If the idea of being creative leaves you feeling flustered, there are ways of introducing some natural style into your home without touching glue or scissors. If you have an open fireplace, why not dress it up with a stack of logs, some holly or ivy and a few berries? You don’t have to light it, of course, but it will immediately give your room a lovely Christmas feel. The same goes for adding festive scents to your home. Grab yourself a bowl or dish for your coffee table and fill it with colourful and fragrant things such as pine cones, pine needles, berries, mistletoe, nuts or fruit. It makes for a lovely centrepiece for any Christmas table.
Show Off Your Skills: However, if you are the artistic, crafty type then you can attempt something more daring. Creating your own natural wreath or garland is quite a task but the finished result is spectacular. You can go traditional and make yours from holly, ivy, pine cones and fruit with perhaps a red bow or two to finish it off. Or you can go crazy and throw together combinations of anything you can lay your hands on, including shells, sweets, toys and bells.
It doesn’t take much to turn a few bits and pieces that you find on the ground into amazing Christmas decorations. A little bit of imagination and a few simple tools are all you need to create your very own homemade winter wonderland this Christmas.