Eversince I reacquainted myself with a sewing machine in 2011, I haven’t bought ready-made Christmas decorations. During my first Christmas in New Zealand, I sewed stockings, hearts, birds, wreaths and even placemats and coasters! I have since added just a little every year, tweaking them with new skills (and ideas) I have gained from my sewing experiments.
But you don’t have to stitch to create homemade decor. Here are a few ideas of materials you can use, courtesy of my fellow crafty sisters (and nephew). Best part – they cost next to nothing!
My sister Rina lives close to the beach, and she and her kids collect shells. Last week, she gave a bunch of them to her son, Jake. Using just a stick, the shells and a glue gun, he came up with a Christmas sign for a school project. So impressive! You can display this on a mantelpiece or mount it on a wall. I think you can also work with small stones to do this – but I think it’ll be hard to beat my nephew’s cuteness when it comes to posing (*insert auntie pride here*).
• Tomato cage
No, this is not a place to punish naughty tomatoes. A tomato cage is a wire contraption used by gardeners to ensure their tomato plants grow upright. My dear friend, Amor Damaso, is a Filipina based in the States, but we’re connected across the miles by our shared love for Jesus, writing, creating artworks and crafts. In lieu of a real tree this year, Amor took her husband’s tomato cage, turned it upside down, and embellished it with silver and gold Christmas balls, twinkly lights (with white wiring), a gold bow and silver star on top. Tada! A homemade tree that sparkles with yuletide spirit, ingenuity and brilliance. If you’d like to read more about Amor’s projects, this reluctant blogger will be getting back online in the New Year. Hopefully, I can get her to do another project for my blog. Watch this space!
• Scraps (of the fabric kind)
This bird wreath has been with us for three Christmases now. But to give it a fresh spin, I added a hat and scarf, and created a “Merry Christmas” scroll. For my little add-ons, I dug into my fabric stash of three years. I wrote Merry Christmas using a Pentel Fabric Gel Pen, then applied Mod Podge gloss over the fabric to stiffen it so I could shape it (do wait until the ink has dried to avoid smudging the letters). After about an hour, I sewed the scroll onto the ribbon with running and cross stitches.
Using leftover canvas, I happily created a new addition to my tree — my Joy angel. I illustrated the Matryoshka-inspired angel with my Pentel Fabric Gel Pen using Zentangle-inspired patterns, and then hand-stamped it with “Joy”. It spells out how I feel whenever I handcraft something special for Christmas.
Feel free to share your own Homemade Christmas decor with me here!