Getting Crafty with Christmas Traditions

I love everything about the Christmas season. I love all of the common Christmas traditions; the tree, the stockings, the cookies, the presents.  Bring it on. As an artsy person, I try to make sure that there are homemade elements to my holidays. Here are a few fun, easy and inexpensive ways to get Christmas-crafty.

Mitten Ornaments with Hidden Note

I’m always on the lookout for Christmas ornaments that are mittens that actually have an opening.  They look darling on the tree and give a warm, cozy feel. But more than that, the opening gives me the opportunity to tuck inside a note that I write every year at the end of the season.  This is a fun tradition you could easily add to your family’s. I write the date at the top and then I just write all about the things we did that year during the holiday season. Then, the following year, it is so much fun to find these ornaments, open up the notes and read about past Christmases.  You’ll be surprised at how much you had forgotten. My kids love it.  

To get crafty with this tradition, why not make your own mitten ornaments? You could find some child-sized ones at a dollar or thrift store and glue on strips of ribbon and pom poms for decoration.  Or you could purchase some felt sheets at a craft store. Draw a mitten shape and cut out two. Glue or hand stitch around the edges, remembering to leave the opening. Decorate and poke an ornament hook through for hanging.

Water-colored Gift Tags

Here’s a fun and easy way to make your own colorful gift tags.  On a large piece of watercolor paper, use watercolor paints to paint a variety of stripes, circles or other abstract patterns in holiday colors of your choice.  You could even add rubber stamping or drawings if you want. Don’t worry about perfection as the sheet is going to get cut up. Let it dry. Turn it over so you are working with the blank side.  Trace a gift tag that has a shape you like. Or, simply divide the sheet up into strips and then draw rectangles with a pencil. Cut these out and you have your tags. Round the corners and punch a hole into the top, if you like.  Thread some ribbon through for an extra finished look and your gift recipients will be so impressed with your homemade tags. You’ll have a new yearly tradition!

Recycled Christmas Cards Ornaments 

This crafty tradition could be ornaments or tags!   All you have to do is save the Christmas cards you get and maybe ask others to save theirs for you too.  Again, work from the blank side. Draw or trace some holiday shapes that you like. It could be as basic as a circle or—my favorite—the shape of a sweater.  Cut them out. These instant “ugly sweaters” are funny and really adorable. Embellish to your heart’s content with glitter, stickers, etc. Punch holes in the top and thread some ribbon through.  You’ll wind up with some unique gift tags or ornaments for your tree (don’t forget to write the date on the back before you hang them).  

As you know, I am all about giving your creativity ways to come out and play.  What better time than the holidays? Show your kids that you don’t have to be an artist to enjoy making things. Encourage them to make little gifts for others at this time.  I hope you’ll add some Christmas craftiness to your holiday traditions. Feel free to share what you’ve made to  Happy Holidays!

Kerry Molina
About Kerry Molina 10 Articles
An artist, writer, teacher, and tutor, as well as the owner of Yellow Brick Road Studio and Enrichment Workshops, Kerry Molina was voted Lifestyle’s 2018 Best Local Artist. She holds a BA in Art History from Ithaca College and an MA in Museum Studies from The George Washington University.  She resides in Gainesville with her husband, two children, and two cats.

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