Wednesday 18 December 2013

Home Made Christmas Decorations using Free Printables

I try and be crafty, but I'm not a natural and I have to think about it for a long time before I start as experience has taught me I'll end up wasting loads of lovely materials otherwise.

Cartridge Save have solved my problem by creating a whole host of free printables that you can make with your children ~ including loads of Christmas ideas for decorations and activities. I was asked if I wanted to try them out and they even sent me a bag of goodies to use...

The printable sheets are really clear and easy to use, and even come with templates for you to cut out and draw around.

We started by making Christmas trees. These can have pretty string threaded through the top and hung on the tree, or left freestanding. If you use card they'll be sturdier, we used thick paper. 

There's a template to cut out, and you can fit 5 trees onto a piece of A4 sized card if you're careful.
2 trees make one 3D tree, and if you use paper or card that is only decorated on one side, you will need to put 2 pieces 'back to back' to give full colour.

You can also take card or paper in 2 different colours for a more striking effect. 

While the glitter and decorations were drying we decided we'd make angels next. I love these because they remind me of being at infant school myself. We always made them in class. They're incredibly simple.

The angels are made from a circle of paper cut and turned into a cone, but the cut area forms the  wings. We decided to put glitter on ours. 

Mine is the gold and silver angel - my 5 year old went for black glitter, possibly a goth angel?

After angels we made a Christmas card with a woolly mitten.

The mitten is cut from a template and then decorated. Our card had snowflakes already, and the boys made them shiny. Then you hole punch the end and thread wool through to make a tassely edge. I couldn't find a hole punch, so I put my glove on the bread board and made holes with the point of my scissors.

The card itself is made by taking A4 card and folding it in half, then taking coloured A4 paper, cutting it in half and trimming the edges slightly, so that when you stick it onto the card, you can see a white edge. We didn't trim ours enough really, and my sons choice was perhaps a bit pale for a Christmas card, I'd like to make the next one bright red or green. We decorated ours with lines and dots of glitter.

The last project we tried was the crackers. We were given some gorgeous thick paper, ribbon and snaps to make our crackers.

Cut thick wrapping paper or other paper  to a 20x30cm rectangle and score lines 10cm in from each end. This will be the 'weak point' where the cracker rips.  Don't be too zealous or you'll overweaken your paper and it'll tear too early. 

Take 2 matching toilet roll tubes and cut one in half. Put a dab of glue on either end of your snap and fasten it to the 'inside' of your paper. Glue the middle section of the paper between the score lines, paying particular attention to the edge, and then roll it around the toilet roll tubes tightly. 

We discovered that we've 2 types of toilet roll and the new eco friendly tiny ones are a bit small for crackers, so we ended up cutting 2 small tubes and sticking them together to make a fatter tube.

When the glue is dry you need to form the end by pinching the cracker evenly and then twisting the end. It's easy once you get the hang of it, be gentle but firm.

Before you fasten the second end of your cracker you need to fill it. These are totally personalised, so anything that fits can be used as long as it won't spoil or won't break if it falls on the floor when the cracker is pulled!I think adding some Christmas sprinkles and maybe a sweet or two makes it fun too.

You can even use something that has special importance to the person who'll pull the cracker.

Don't forget a joke and a novelty hat if you can fit one!

Then pinch and twist to fasten the second end, add ribbon and extra decorations.

Your decorations can be themed or, as in my case, personal. I have a recipient in mind for each cracker and the contents are specific to them.

I added some glitter to the ends of my crackers and made them a bit extra special. 

Really the only limit is your imagination - or your children's imagination! 

Cartridge Save are the UK's biggest online printer cartridge shop. They specialise in next day delivery of low price printer ink. 


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