Simple Christmas crafts

(even if you’re not creative)

Why writing is good for your wellbeing

A Christmas made for Instagram?

For some of us, Christmas is the highlight of the year – nothing can compete with the buzz of excitement that the season brings: the colours, the lights, the parties and the presents. And if you’re creative, then Christmas is the time when you really come into your own. It’s the opportunity to showcase the best of everything you do: from beautifully illustrated Christmas cards to exquisitely wrapped gifts using hand-designed paper; from homemade table decorations and festive wreaths to cute tree ornaments and mouth-watering Santa-shaped cookies. Christmas is when you come alive.

For others, Christmas fills you with anxiety, and all you can think of is the mountain of extra work you’re going to have to do to prepare for Great Aunt Maybel’s visit; and how on Earth you’re going to fit 12 people round the table on Christmas Day! The idea of leisurely Christmas crafting while listening to favourite carols and snacking on homemade cinnamon shortbread is so alien, that you’ve got more chance of the Christmas angel flying off the tree and whisking you back in time to witness the birth of baby Jesus, than you have of baking and decorating an Instagrammable gingerbread house or creating a door wreath worthy of Ideal Home magazine!

If you fall into the second group of people, then this blog is for you. And if you are in the first, then perhaps you’ll encourage others with your time-saving Christmas craft tips, so that those who aren’t quite as creative (or are just time-starved) can enjoy the magic of Christmas in the same way you do!

Make it or fake it!

The trick is balancing time and money with the desire to add your own sparkle to the Yuletide season. Be selective in which items you buy and which you decide to make. You’ll also enjoy the experience more if you don’t leave crafting to the last minute. Preparation is key. Start early.

There is no shame in buying shop-bought cards, wrapping paper, gift-tags and decorations – most of us do, but if you want to add a personal touch to your present-wrapping and other festive preparations then it doesn’t have to be time-consuming or extravagant. A simple card or gift tag needs only take minutes, not hours to create, and it’s an easy way of personalising gifts without investing time and money you don’t have.

Christmas crafts made easy

Keep it simple. Grab your favourite Zebra pens – we choose Glitter Doodler’z for Christmas crafting – who doesn’t love a bit of sparkle and bling at Christmas? Pick your core colours – a limited palette and minimalist design can be every bit as effective as an intricate illustration. A star, snowflake, Christmas tree, wrapped present or sprig of mistletoe are all great places to start.

Painting with potatoes or sponges is not just a great activity to do with children but it’s fun for us adults too. 😉 Adding stick-on eyes, an off-cut of material for a scarf and using your McKie marker pen or Doodler’z for the finer details can make for funny snowman designs. And kids will love Christmas characters made from hands and footprints – reindeer antlers anyone?

Blank gift tags are widely available online or through craft and stationery retailers and with your favourite Zebra pens, are a wonderful way of personalising present-wrapping.

And who doesn’t love their own handwritten place card at the dinner table? (Try the Mildliner Brush pens for this.) How to truly make your guests feel welcome! Why not create a menu card too for that extra special touch?

Nature’s glory

If decorations or tree and table ornaments are more your thing, then there’s plenty you can do with vegetation from your garden or down local country lanes (be aware of UK foraging laws). Holly and ivy are the traditional festive favourites, but firs and pines and other evergreens can be just as attractive. Adorn pictures and mantlepieces or if you’re feeling inspired, create a table centrepiece or door wreath. Even a sprig of greenery tied to cutlery or a jam jar containing a candle, can transform a Christmas dining table with ease. And of course, you’ll be wanting some mistletoe…

Paper chains and hanging tree ornaments can be simple and effective creative projects – there are plenty of paper craft suggestions online – and a glass bowl of pinecones and fairy lights, or a vase of berried twigs makes a fantastic festive feature.

Made with love

But everything in proportion. If you are hosting Christmas for the multitudes then you may not have the time or the inclination to get creative. Worrying about whether you have enough chairs to seat everyone or if the turkey you ordered is going to be big enough, might come higher up your priority list!

That said, remember that being creative is good for your wellbeing, and if you can make time for some Christmas crafting, not only will your loved ones appreciate the effort you’ve made, but you’ll feel the better for it too.

Keep it simple.

It feels good.