Christmas is coming and we need to start getting organised. Knocking up the whole Yule performance overnight is a non-starter, if you want it to be a real show stopper. That said, Christmas can be a time of great expense and for the financially stressed it’s a period when any opportunity to save money should be optimised.
So it’s great news to learn that serving up a Christmas chock-full of seasonal cheer and festive fizz can be done on a budget. The answer to a cheaper Christmas? Make it a hand-made, crafty Christmas full of stylish but affordable gifts and decorations. Here are some seasonal tips for festive fun that allow you to be generous without leaving you bankrupt…
If you are a parent, filling up a Christmas stocking full of goodies is a seasonal highlight. Save money on expensive, shop bought stockings by making your own. Are you good with a needle and thread or a pair of knitting needles? Re-purpose an old woollen jumper or pillow case, styling it into the classic boot shape. Head to your friendly online arts and craft supplies shop to find seasonal motifs to decorate it with. Whatever you want – pine trees, snowmen, stars, snowflakes, sleighs, Santa Claus, reindeer or any other number of festive themes, stitch them onto the stocking to make a fun and colourful container for those exciting little stocking fillers. Come Christmas morning, kids will be so excited to discover their personal, bespoke stocking at the end of their bed, crammed with presents.
A Christmas tree doesn’t strictly have to be a tree. Real trees certainly are beautiful but they can be problematic. They drop their needles everywhere, are difficult to transport, you have to try and keep them alive somewhere, and after party season you have the issue of what you are going to do with it. Give yourself a break from traditional tree trouble and try some crafty alternatives. How about using large twigs painted white and frosted with glitter for a winter wonderland flavour? Alternatively, you could collect clear plastic water bottles and fashion a tree from them (check out Youtube for tutorials). Christmas trees can be made from felt, foil, paper mache, cardboard, bottle tops, tin cans, egg cartons and all manner of alternative materials. Find some PVC plastic pipe and slice up enough sections to stick on the wall in a triangular approximation of tree – fill each pipe section with a jewel coloured bauble, and voila! An eye catching, space saving and unique tree with no mess and heaps of style.
When you open up to the possibilities of alternative Christmas trees, suddenly everything you look at holds potential. Save money by putting together your own tree out of recycled materials and decorate with art and craft supplies to give your home a Christmas focal point that gets people talking.
Charismatic Christmas cards
If your Christmas list has grown over the years, so too will your card budget. Instantly save money and have fun as well by making your own hand made cards. You get a lot more for your money when you buy a card making kit from craft suppliers. By crafting your own designs not only do you deliver a distinctive one-off card to friends and family, you also show them how much you care. Forget e-cards, cheapo cards and pale imitations – go down the hand-made, crafted card route and see what amazing results can be achieved. It is possible to buy quality Christmas card blanks to customise and personalise yourself, with stunning effects. Once you have tried creating your own Christmas greetings cards, you’ll soon discover it’s such fun and so satisfying, there’s no going back…
Turn a standard Christmas meal into a seasonal banquet by spending time on a magical table setting and decorations with name cards, central display, napkins, table cloth etc. Invest in crafters tools such as stamps and punches to create festive designs and themed displays that will enhance any holiday feast. Buy plain napkins, cards and tablecloths and decorate them yourself, thereby saving money and creating a fresh twist on table décor for Noel.
You don’t have to break the bank this Christmas. When you simply focus on hand-made, high quality gifts and decorations, everyone is happy – you get more for your money and a unique and rich Christmas experience that avoids the blandness of mainstream celebrations. Enjoy!