Bring joy to your home and to your wallet by taking a different approach to the way you adorn your home this festive season. Who would have thought burnt out light globes or toilet roll tubes could be transformed into dazzling ornaments?
Instead of buying the same old Christmas decor that you find in every shop why not try making your own using elements that you already have lying around the house. Get the whole family involved and start spreading the Christmas cheer.
1. Create a light star
Hunt around your local park or garden for 5 even lengthed pieces of wood. Tie the 5 pieces of wood together to create a star shape then wrap white fairy lights around the wood. Such an easy idea and a great way to get festive with little fuss.
2. Handmade wreath
A homemade wreath hung on the front door always looks great and is a welcoming sight to visitors. Using a wire wreath that can be purchased from your local craft store, wrap bundles of foliage sprigs (either purchased at a florist or gathered from your garden,) around the wire. Secure the foliage with paddle wire as you go, being sure to conceal the stems. A fresh wreath will last about a week, however, they dry beautifully and will last a couple of months.
3. A different kind of tree
For a minimalist and unique Christmas tree use an A-frame ladder and decorate with lights, tinsel and decorations. One huge advantage of this 'tree' is it makes it easy to put the start on top.
4. Light up the night
Use up all those empty jars that are sitting in the cupboard. Add a 20-30mm layer of sand to the bottom of the jars and nestle a tea light or small candle in each. Light them as night falls to edge a pathway, throw gentle light over a table or hang from trees.
5. Sacks of fun
For a rustic look make Santa stockings from hessian bags sewed together with twine or ribbon. Cut the hessian to the size you want and use a large needle to sew two halves together then attach some festive decorations and names.
6. Individual ornaments
Paint polystyrene or plastic ball balls with blackboard paint and write names or messages on them in chalk. Use them as place settings for Christmas lunch or include them when giving a gift.
7. Make colourful cones
Spend an afternoon with the family in the park and collect a bag full of pine cones from the ground. You can spray paint with metallic colours or tie a number together with red and white ribbon for a door hanging.
8. Lolly trees
For those of you with a sweet tooth, head to your local craft store and buy a few foam cones of varying heights. Purchase a number of bags of boiled lollies in a variety of colours and shapes and use drops of royal icing to stick the sweets all over the cones to completely cover them. These make great table decorations and are a favourite with the kids
9. A light bulb moment
Rather than throw burnt out light bulbs in the bin, give them a second life as a Christmas decoration. Paint on some craft glue and roll them in glitter then attach a ribbon to the fitting end and hang around your home. As they are glass you want to make sure small children don't get hold of them.
10. Decorate your own paper
People love receiving a gift wrapped in handmade paper - it makes the gift so much more personal. Buy some brown kraft paper or a roll of brown paper from your local craft store. Grab a potato from the cupboard and cut shapes into the potato - crosses, hearts, stars... whatever takes your fancy. Add the paint to the potato design and then splodge it onto the paper. Re-apply the paint every 2 stamps. You can always use cookie cutters to form your stamp too.