Make your own unique Christmas decorations

Elvis Elvis

One year when our extended family was together for Christmas, we had all the kids each make their own gingerbread house. It went over real good and was a lot of fun.

We had everything set out and organized on the table and the kids just sat down and created. Considering we had 14 cousins there, it went fairly quick and smooth. So here goes with the how to.

Gingerbread House

Use 1/2 gallon cardboard cartons for the basic structure of your house. Rinse well, (so you won’t have a stinky house), cut the carton in half and tape (masking tape or wide clear tape) the top half to a square of cardboard for a base.

If you don’t want the middle piece of the top of the carton sticking up so far, trim it down but not below the glued portion.

The rest of the supplies you will need are:graham crackers, tubs of white icing (one per house), miniature pure chocolate candy bars, (the little foil wrapped rectangle kind), Large and miniature candy canes, twizzlers (the thick red licorice sticks), powdered sugar, and assorted round hard candies (can be red and white mints or different colors).

Empty your tub of icing into a bowl and gradually mix in approximately 1/2 cup of powder sugar and mix well. It should become very thick but not too dry. I had to do each tub of icing with slightly different amounts.

Now, using your pre-assembled house foundation, smear a thin layer of the icing onto the carton and place a graham cracker over it, it’s best to finish one side at a time. Do the same with the roof.

Now comes the really creative part.

Using the icing for the cement and snow glue the rectangle candy bar onto the front for the door.

Break the small candy canes into even pieces and make sqaures on the side for windows.

For snow on the roof, smear some icing on it and then put on strips of twizzlers, lengthwise, about an inch apart. Some of our kids put round candies on the roof instead, use your imagination.

For the front and back peaks of the roof either trim a graham cracker to fit over it and put on with icing, or cover the suface well by smearing on icing and then put candies on it.

Next put a strip of icing along the vertical corners of the house and break the large candy canes to the same highth of the corner of the house and stick it on the icing.

If you want to add more touches smear any remaining icing on the cardboard base and lay the round candies in a path to the door.

There are many variations and other types of candy that you might to choose to use. Just let your creativity go, if nothing else the kids have a great time and these are not too difficult for school age children.

Candy Cane Candle

This is a very simple, decorative (doesn’t burn real good, the candy canes usually fall off), candle to make, and pretty.

You will need a medium sized round candle, a package of regular sized candy canes (unwrapped), a 1 1/2 inch wide ribbon and a cool melt glue gun (hot melt will not work).

Make your own unique Christmas decorations

Now all you do is simply glue the candy canes with the hook at the top and facing outward from the candle. Make sure to put the candy canes closely together.

For the final touch tie a Christmas ribbon around the middle of the candle, and there you have it!

There are so many different colors of candy canes now that you have an abundance of options. So, make a menagerie of these pretty candles to set on a table.

Dryer Vent Snowman

This is really simple to make.

Buy a dryer vent hose and cut three pieces (the largest about 4 inches longer than the second and the second 3 inches larger than the smallest one) according to how big around you want your snowman.

Bring the opposite ends of each piece around and use a cool melt glue gun to glue them together. If you have trouble holding it together while gluing, staple it in a couple places to hold it.

Dot the same with the other pieces and then glue the smaller on top of the larger to make a snowman body.

Use felt or construction paper shapes for the eyes, nose and mouth and glue lightweight sticks onto his sides, facing forward, for arms.

Wrap a scarf around his neck and you have it.

Countdown to Christmas Tree

This would be fun for grandkids that live close by as well as kids at home.

Paint or cover (with cloth or paper), a gallon can. Then fill it with dirt or rocks and place a sturdy branch in it with lots of limbs, (an option is to spray paint the limb).

You can leave it simple and plain except for the countdown pockets. We always tie curly ribbons on our branches to fill it in and maybe some small ornaments.

Next make the pockets out of either felt or construction paper by cutting 3×4 inch rectangles and gluing them together just along the edges.

Glue a 6 inch piece of ribbon onto the open end. Depending on what day you start your countdown, number the pockets to Christmas day.

Fill the pockets with a piece of candy a coin or a note of a surprise treat for the receiver, (our kids like that one), whatever is special to you.

Colorful Window Decorations

Here’s another easy and fun project.

Cut two squares of clear contact paper, peel the backing off of one and lay it flat on a table.

Now sprinkle on sequins and/or small amounts of glitter onto it. Peel the backing from the other piece and lay it over the decorated piece. Press it together firmly and seal well.

Use templates, cookie cutters or free hand and draw ornament shapes onto the decorated contact paper.

Cut them out and press cut edges together to make sure they are sealed good. Poke a small hole in the top of your ornament and tie a string through it to hang in the window.

Years ago when we had half the number of our family as we do now, which is 8 kids. I looked into opening a party supply store. In the process of trying out decorations I fell in love with curly ribbon. It can be used for so many different things.

You can buy it on large rolls which is cheaper in the long run and it lasts a long time. I keep several different colors on hand for all kinds of occasions.

Party Garland

Green garland is so pretty and sometimes we twist beads or shiny garland or ribbon with it when we put it up. But to really get a party type mood just tie 8-10 inch strips every few inches on the garland. Curl the ends of the ribbon and your done.

You can use just gold, or silver ribbon or you can mix whatever colors go with your theme and other decorations.

This idea is really simple but fun and pretty.