It’s getting cold here in Scotland and things are getting frosty. So, our minds have been turning to Christmas.
Yes, I said it. I said the ‘C’ word.
Why do people get so upset when discussing Christmas early?
There is only 7 more weeks to a time of year that brings many people joy.
So let’s get it on!!
Here’s A List Of Easy To Make Christmas Decorations From Your Garden – Fantastic Activities For Your Kids!
With 3 kids it can be an expensive time of year especially if you buy gifts from the kids as well as you.
We help by supplementing with homemade gifts and decorations too. Usually the kids make their on gifts to the grandparents, neighbours and friends.
So, Here’s a list of our best ideas for you to try now before the busy season kicks off.
Before we continue, I want to let you know that I’ve included some affiliate links to products I feel are beneficial to you. I only mention these products to help you and your family because I truly believe they are worthwhile. However if you decided to buy something through my links I may receive a small commission at no cost to you.
Pinecone Candle Decoration.
Time for Tea??
This beautiful decoration is a super simple but thoughtful gift for someone you might not see on Christmas day.
Kids of all ages can help with this one.
- Simply paint the pinecone and decorate like a tree using sequins, glitter sparkly pipe cleaners and whatever else take your fancy.
- Glue onto an egg cup as a base like we have or even a flat wooden off cut and your done.
- Once you add the poem to it becomes something special and we still pop ours on the tree each year.
- Squeeze out all the water. The drier you get the ball the quicker it will be ready to give.
Pretty House Plant In Painted Pot.
This is an oldy but a goodie. Simple buy a terracotta pot from your local garden centre and let the kids paint and decorate it to please the person it’s for. We love this Santa pot.
Acrylic paints work best and for a smooth finish, paint the pot first with a white paint with a little PVA glue in it.
This helps seal the pot and the colour sets better.
Once its dry simply pop in a home grown pot plant or buy an inexpensive house plant from the garden centre and there you go.
To save even more money, we take cuttings in the spring from our house plants and sometimes to sow seeds, so we have lots of options for gifts in winter.
We grow them in small pots until they have strong roots. Then repot into the painted pots – perfect for gifting, just wrap in coloured tissue paper and all done!
Design Your Own Festive Plate
This simple craft is a great way to give a gift or make memories each year.
Since our kids were small we have decorated an inexpensive plate with a festive design.
We have drawn the design on the plates in permanent marker and baked them in the oven at 160oC for a half hour to set the pen.
The plates won’t stand up to washing so we use them as display plates and we serve our Santa treats on them on Christmas Eve.
For more family traditions to start this Christmas try this post 24 Family Friendly Advent Activities
Dried Fruit Garland
Each year we go to the festive market which is full of mini stalls of hand crafted products from all over the world.
Each year I look forward to the stall that sells wooden decorations.
It always smells so good.
So, last year we decided we’d try make our own scented garland decorations from pinecones, twigs we found in the garden, orange and apple slices that have been dried in our dehydrator.
- We put everything in a large freezer bag with lots of our favourite festive spice and sealed the bag.
- Then we left the bag sealed in a dark space for a few weeks to let the smell sink into the natural materials.
Once we were ready to hang our garland. All we needed to do was simply string the pieces together and hang it up. It smelled amazing for weeks.
- Festive Jars are easy to make Christmas gifts.
Making a jar with some festive treats inside is a great gift for Christmas.
We keep it simple and use permanent markers to draw designs on the recycled glass jars.
The patterns make a lovely stained glass effect.
A good tip is to cut out a Christmas picture from a colouring in book and put it inside your jar.
Use the pens to draw over the lines and colour it in.
They can be filled with candles, sweets, soaps, truffles practically anything!
These ones from Celebratingsweets.com are a wonderful idea!
We like to have a few sweet filled jars wrapped up in-case we get any surprise play dates or friends to play near Christmas.
Salt Dough Decorations.
So cute! We make these every year for the tree. The recipe is easy. Simple add;
- 1 cup of salt
- then 1 cup of flour
- and mix in 1/2 a cup of warm water.
- We also added cinnamon and ginger powder to make them smell amazing and give them a brown colour.
Simple roll the dough out and cut out your favourite shapes.
To dry these simply lay on a tray in an over at 160°C for 30 mins approximately.
You can also dry these in the microwave in around 4 minutes.
Simple lay on a plate and heat in 30 second bursts of heat.
Turn each time to stop bubbling. Once they’re dry you can paint, glitter and decorate anyway you want.
We have even made a photo frame with thumb print Christmas lights around it. The kids put a photo in and their grandmother loved it.
Mini Chocolate Truffles.
Placed in a simple box make a lovely gift.
- 1 (200g) tub cream cheese, softened
- 340g icing sugar, sifted
- 490g plain chocolate, melted
- 1 teaspoons vanilla
- In a large bowl, beat the cream cheese until it’s smooth and silky. Gradually beat in the icing sugar until everything is well blended.
- Stir in the melted chocolate and vanilla until no streaks remain. Put in the fridge for about 1 hour.
- Shape into 2.5cm balls. ( dust your hands in icing sugar to stop the mix sticking to you.
- Next roll your truffles in ground nuts, cocoa powder, desiccated coconut, icing sugar, etc.
- You could flavour your truffles with liqueurs for adults or other flavours just leave out the vanilla and add whatever flavouring you like.
Candle Table Decoration .
This one is very pretty and can be made as unique as the person your giving it to.
The secret is washing powder, or the powder you put in the machine to wash your clothes.
Simply gather some Christmas foliage from the garden and your all ready to make this beautiful decoration. Find the instructions here.
Beeswax candles are a very easy craft for kids and can be adapted quiet easily. This example from weefolkart.com is a beautiful way of using them.
simply roll them up in your chosen size from tealight to tower and then design them as you like
All you need are some natural beeswax sheets and a pair of scissors. You can design them anyway you like and even use wax crayon to colour them in.
- Twig Trees.
Take a walk in the woods and gather some pencil thick twigs for this craft.
You could use lolly sticks but I like the rustic feel better. Check out these ideas at Wooden Flamingo for more info.
Herbal Bath Bags
All you need to make these lovely gifts is some cotton or muslin bags and a few handfuls of dried herbs and flowers.
You could grow these for yourselves, pick and dry them in an airing cupboard so you could make these for Christmas gifts.
Dried flowers like Meadowsweet, Lemon Verbena, , Honeysuckle, Red Clover, Rose, Chamomile, Calendula all make lovely smelling and healing bath bags.
Just pop all your herbs and flowers into small cotton bags, I like to add a few handfuls of Epsom salts and tie it tight.
Add a homemade card telling your recipient about what is in their gift – It is important to always provide a list of what’s in your bath bag in-case it causes any sensitivities.
Then just tie with a ribbon and your all set.
We grow lots of willow, but if you don’t grow your own simply order some willow stems for weaving.
After soaking them for a while you can bend them into a circle of your choosing.
A large circle makes a great base for a Christmas Wreath.
A tiny one with lots of willow makes a lovely decoration for the Christmas tree.
Once you get a bit of practice you can try a willow star shape or even a snowman!!
This one here from Craftinvaders.co.uk shows you how to make it.
Festive Photo Frames.
We tried this craft last year and it was an amazing success.
Simply buy or repurpose a photo frame that you don’t need.
Cut out a festive picture from a colouring book and carefully put it under the glass.
Now, just use permanent marker pens to draw over the picture and decorate it.
The results came out amazing.
This year I will be printing out a picture of the kids or their grandparents and trying to make a version that looks this them. Wish me luck !!
Make Your Own Christmas Wreath
Now don’t panic, this is much easier than you think simply buy a wreath ring or make your own from a few willow stems ( see above)
Simply add bunches of foliage one on top of the other, wiring them on all the way around the ring until you’ve covered the hole thing in a luscious layer of greenery.
Next, using garden wire you can add glittery pinecones, red Christmas baubles, ribbon or anything else your imagination comes up with.
A few years ago we made one all covered in mini nutcrackers and candy canes.
These are a great decoration for your own home but great as a gift for someone who might not have one.
We make 10 each year for grand parents, friends and neighbours and it costs me around £3 for the wire and that’s it.
Last year we used pinecones and left over baubles from the tree.
We also have fake berry stems to replace the holly berries the birds eat before I can save them! Find out more instructions here
Rock photo frame.
We found this idea on highlandsranch.macaronikid.com and it’ll be a great gift for grand-parents.
We’ve been collecting lots of tiny rock from the garden and on our walks and we are going to add them to an air drying clay frame and fill it with a picture of the kids.
Homemade food gifts are always a hit.
So, there you go, some amazing nature themed handmade gifts and decorations you can make with your kids.
Perfect gift full of love for friends and family. A lovely way to celebrate the seasons as well as the yule tide.
We’d love to hear what your making this year??