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By Amanda Peach

We all spend hours Christmas shopping in the busy streets, looking for that perfect gift,  but wouldn’t it be nice to sit in the comfort of your own home this year and create unique gifts for your loved ones or to lay your Christmas table with handmade decorations? 

I’m going to share with you some of my favorite DIY gifts and decorations to spread that extra bit of love this Christmas!

SANTA STOCKING

These adorable Santa stockings are super easy to make, and you have the choice to sew them, or glue the pieces together. 

1 First you will need to download the free template*, print it out and cut out all of the pieces. Next you’ll want to gather your felt, you’ll need red, white, beige, and a small amount of black and gold or yellow.

2 Lay the template pieces over your felt and pin them (pinning the pieces makes it easier to cut the shapes without your template moving) on each template piece you will see how many of each piece you need and in which colour. 

3 Once you have all of your pieces cut out, it’s time to put them together! I used a hot glue gun, but you can use fabric glue or sew the pieces together if you like. 

4 Starting with the 2 main stocking pieces, glue around the edges to make the basic shape ( Don’t forget to leave the top open!). You can do this inside out if you would like a neater edge. When you’ve glued it just pop it the right way round again through the opening at the top. 

5 Now, position the face and glue it down, and then the beard. Next comes the nose & moustache on top.

6 Place the trim of the hat across the top of the face and glue. 

7 This next part is a little different: Place the straight edge of the hat inside the opening of the stocking (with the point of the hat pointing away from you) and glue it to the inside of the stocking, make sure you glue it to the front piece so you can still put things inside! Then fold over the tip of the hat and secure in place to the front of the stocking. This will give the stocking a little more character instead of everything being stuck flat on the front. 

8 For the finishing touches add a pompom to the tip of the hat, the belt and buckle, and don’t forget to give him some eyes! You can draw on the eyes or stick on some premade ones. 

LETTER TILE DECORATIONS

These cute little decorations are super easy to make and completely customisable. All you need is a pack of letter tiles, some glue and ribbon and you’re good to go! Simply cut a length of ribbon, fold it in half and glue the two sides together, leaving the top section to form a loop. Next, lay out the letters how you want them and glue them to the ribbon. It’s that easy! To decorate it a little if you like, you could add bells, a bow or whatever takes your fancy. you now have your own, handmade personalized tree ornament or gift! 

CRACKERS

Everyone loves Christmas crackers in theory; they’re a  traditional focal point of the dinner table on Christmas Day, but im sure I’m not alone in being rather disappointed by the cringeworthy jokes, paper hats and tiny plastic toys inside, right? Not to mention those little pieces of plastic inevitably find their way to the bin, and adding to the world’s plastic problem. 

So why not make your own?! They so easy and you can decorate them however you like and put anything you want inside! 

All you will need to make your own crackers is:

Paper or card (wrapping paper works well)

A cracker template*

Some string or ribbon 

Cracker snaps

Goodies to put inside your crackers

1 First you’ll need to print out your cracker template and cut it out. (You could also print the template directly onto the paper you want to use) Next draw around your template onto your chosen paper.

2 Cut out around the outside of the template, and along the solid lines (don’t cut along the dotted lines)

3 Now this is the fiddly bit… cutting out what feels like hundreds of little diamonds. The most precise way to do it would be to use a craft knife however a small pair of scissors did the job perfectly. These holes allow you to get a neat edge when you gather the ends to make your handles. 

4 Now turn your paper face down and fold along the dotted lines, you want the little spikes between the diamonds to be facing upwards (towards the middle of the cracker once rolled) 

5 Now roll your cracker! If you are using a fairly thick paper this will be easy, if it’s a thin paper try wrapping it around a toilet roll tube to get a nice round shape. 

6 Slot the tab into the marked slot to secure the tube, you can add a little glue or tape to make sure the tube is secure if you like. 

7 Slide in a cracker snap and whatever else you want to fill your cracker with, and roll up the ends and insert the tabs. Tie a ribbon or string around the handles, Add decorations or names to the outside if you like, and voila! You made Christmas crackers! 

I hope you enjoy these easy Christmas crafts as much as I do, and they’re also a great way to get the whole family involved in making this Christmas that extra special. 

*All templates mentioned can be found at www.DitzyB.com/downloads 

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