Simple Christmas: Cardboard Tree

Christmas tree with the lights onI love Christmas trees but I know there is a lot of environmental and consumerist issues about their purchase however I’m not going to get into that at the moment. As an alternative this year and since money is tight I am opting to make my tree from huge pieces of cardboard some of our new furniture was packaged in. It was really easy to make and I had ever needed to create it so it didn’t cost me anything. The only things you need are two large pieces of cardboard but you can opt for a smaller tree of course, a pencil, a Stanley or craft knife, masking tape and spray paint in the colour of your choice, I opted for classic green. The thicker the cardboard the better as it will make it more substantial and remember that any ornaments you put on it must be on the lighter side. I have to say that it didn’t turn out perfect as I had fairly flimsy cardboard, but I managed to stabilise the tree with some heavy books around the base and later in the week I will show you how to make a tree skirt to cover them up and make the tree more festive.

cardboard christmas tree outline1. Draw your tree design on to the two pieces of cardboard. I made very straight designs so the trees branches would be strong and stable to put ornaments on. the branches are definitely the strongest part of the tree.

2 Use a craft knife to cut around the outline of both your tree parts. This takes a long time btw.

3. Cut a slit through the middle of the ‘trunk’ on each piece about half way up/down. On one piece you want the slit going from the bottom up and on the other from the top down.

cardboard christmas tree

4. Spray paint the tree in the desired colour, using paper or more cardboard to protect your paint area. This is best to do outside or in a very well ventilated area.

5. Slot the tree pieces together. This is where it got tricky for me as the base was quite floppy. I used masking tape to secure the pieces. A piece of tape around the top of the tree to keep it together and then used the tape lengthways to stick the pieces together where they meet in the middle. Keep taping till secure.

christmas tree painted6. Spray paint the fully constructed tree again, this will hide the masking tape and give a better finish to the tree.

7. I used books around the four corners of the base to keep the tree upright and give it strength.

8. DECORATE! bare in mind the weight of each ornament and don’t over load the tree.Christmas tree partial decorated

Its one of my favourite ways I’ve upcycled cardboard and is a very green Christmas tree in more ways then one. I just need a few more decorations to make it feel extra Christmassy, my next few posts will show you how to create the yellow garland that is draped around the tree, a star for the top and a skirt for the bottom. What do you think? feeling festive?

Lorna

x xxx

 

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Simple Christmas: Here Comes Santa Claus, Here Comes Santa Claus

christmas craftingIt’s the 1st of November! and while most are nursing a Halloween hangover I am thinking of Christmas** I normally start planning Christmas a lot earlier then November but having a lot on my plate recently it has fallen by the wayside. I am expecting Christmas to be a very, very lean one this year so it is even more important that I save money for presents and partying by been thrifty and frugal in things that I can make and do myself. I would love to have a decorated living room for me and Harry to enjoy the holidays in but since this is our first year in our own house we don’t have any decorations! So….. I am of course going to make them all. Last year I did a series of Christmas Crafts you can easily make at home called Simple Christmas and this year I shall continue it with all the homemade decorations I create myself. So to kick things off here are the DIYs from last year for you to make. Just click the picture and it will take you to the tutorial!

crackers about crackers

recycled yoghurt lid ornament

recycled paper christmas tree

Wreath

Happy Crafting and I will be back soon with some new DIY crafts for Christmas

Lorna

X xxx

Everyday Etsy: Cheap and Cheerful Christmas

It might be a little bit late to order these beauty off Etsy but its always nice to have a little browse to get you in the Christmas spirit. However, it might be the perfect opportunity to find something you love for next year as its likely people will start dropping their prices once Christmas is over. I usually go for classic golds, reds and green but i thought i would have a look at some more colourful and quirky decorations to see if an alternative look to the classic Christmas style would go down. Its fair to say i’m loving it.
cheap and cheerful christmas

Firstly, a crazy card to send your loved ones. The creeper card from LittleSketchyCards would be great for the gamer in your life but for me he looks more like a funky robot! I absolutely love HetBovenhuis colourful felt wreath, it would really brighten up a space and still have a Christmas vibe with the snowflake details. Please buy me this though. CadaverCarnival ‘s Angry greed Christmas ornament is crazy, creepy but really cool. For me it reminds me of an evil brussel sprout (see this post) but i bet i could find a place on my tree for it :D For links to the rest of these fun and bright items check out my treasury Cheap and Cheerful Christmas

Merry Cheerful Christmas!

Lorna

X xxx

15 Uses: Christmas Cards

This 15 uses has a distinctively Christmas theme, using old Christmas Greetings cards to make decorations and presents for your house, friends and family. Christmas is often a expensive time and a time when a great amount of waste happens. You don’t have to live in darkness and be a miser just for the sake of the planet and your pockets however. These simple creations made from paper and card that would have been thrown away can now be put to good use, helping you count the pennies this year along the way and do a little bit for your eco credentials. It is also a great way to keep those special cards from loved ones without it feeling like your hording, you can display them for a lifetime without cluttering up draws.room decorations made from recycled christmas cards

5 Decorations for Around the Home.

1. Simple paper/card bunting from Christmas cards creates a new look other then your traditional paper chains, although they would also be easy to make with old cards.

2. Cards in similar colours can make lovely free standing trees for any tables left bare, especially great to add a little festive cheer to bedrooms which are often overlooked when it comes to Christmas decorations.

3. This is a really refreshing wreath, made by cutting and gluing lots of leaf shapes together. The different colours of the cards really make it stand out but the leaf shapes bring the traditional look in.

4. A free standing snow man made from lots of half snowman shapes glued together to make a 3D version. Make sure each section is fairly thick, adding more cards to make it sturdy.

5. Another wreath but much quicker to make. Cut out full characters from cards and glue them to a wreath form made of cardboard. Attach a ribbon and you have a decoration perfect for anywhere in the house

I have my own versions of free standing paper tree and a traditional wreath tutorial

recycled greetings cards ornaments 5 Christmas Card Ornaments

1. Create this ornament like the snow man, adding lots of cut out house shapes together. Thread or glue a piece of thread from bottom to top, adding decorative beads and top and bottom, tie in a loop and hang for all to see.

2. Go green further by recycling old food jar lids as well. Attach wire or thread to the top of the lid with glue and add a Christmas card image to the center. Use the Lid as a template to draw around your imagine then cut out on the inside of the circle so the image is slightly smaller then the lid and can slot in. Glue in place. Check out my tutorial for using yogurt lids in this way

3. Create sweetie holders by rolling a triangle of card into a cone, glue or tape in place. Add a hanging ribbon by punching too holes in either side of the cone and treading ribbon through and knotting. Glue a cut out image from a card and you have a beautiful ornament with added treats.

4. Simple card circles, folded in half , then  glued to 5 others can create a simple but colourful hanging bauble when some ribbon is added to the top.  Use a length of string or ribbon to attach several and make a festive garland for the tree or across a doorway.

5. Make these cute little houses for another decoration that has a hidden surprise. Simply constructed you need card in these shapes: 1 rectangle for the base, 2 squares for the sides, the front and back made from a piece that is a square (same size as the sides) and a triangle at the top, lastly 2 rectangles for the slanted roof. Add tabs into the design of the shapes so you can easily glue it together. Make sure you add any treats into the top before putting the roof on. String wire through the top of the roof to hand on the tree or leave it underneath to open on Christmas day. Perfect for wrapping those really small presents like jewellery.presents recycled from christmas cards

5 Gift ideas from Christmas Cards

1. Make some Christmas coasters and place mats for the big week by glue squares of cards onto cork mats. Be as wacky or as subtle as you like when it comes to colours. Add a lick of varnish when the glue has dried to protect your mats for years to come.

2. I bet many of the thrifty people reading this have made lots of lovely treats for friends and family that fall into the gift in a jar section. Don’t waste more paper and ink by printing out labels. Use cards to ring through the festive delights inside, especially if its got a Christmas theme like cookie dough mix or mincemeat.

3. Give a small child a simple memory game for Christmas by cutting up a large card into equal squares. They can play it inbetween the lull of opening presents and stuffing your face.

4. Got a bottle of something special for the wine lover in your life. Add a beautiful gift tag made from sturdy card folded in half, with a hole through one side and part of a greetings card glued to the other.

5. Use some of the beautiful poetry on a card to make a bookmark for the book worm of the group. This example has a blanket stitched edge to make a nice finishing touch and a neater look

Only a few more sleeps to go :D

Lorna

X xxx

 

A Simple Christmas: A Charity Shop Surprise

Just a quick post to share with you what a lovely surprise i found when i came home, a fully decked out tree with tinsel, lights and baubles as well as a garland for the stairs. We only had a few decorations as well as items we’ve made and so its was great to come home and find a tree (albeit plastic) ready for santa and his sleigh. The best part of it all is Sue (my mother in law) had found it all in our local charity shops costing a grand total of £17 which i think is pretty much a steal. I can now fill in the gaps with our homemade decorations and now things are feeling certainly festive around these parts. Look out for a post this coming week when i show you how to make a wreath for your front door or in our case above the mantel piece. simple charity shop Christmas

Lorna

X xxx

 

A Simple Christmas: Recycled yogurt pot lid picture ornament

Today is the start of a little collection of Homemade trinkets and treats you can make for your home this Christmas. You don’t always have to spend a fortune on decorations, or presents for that matter, and sometimes you can’t afford to buy those beautiful big baubles your craving. This Christmas i will be making most of our ornaments because we don’t have the money to build up a Christmas collection straight away and what better way to use my crafty skills. Most of the crafts i will be sharing with you will be made from ‘rubbish’ from around the home. With a few little extra buys you can transform some trash into Christmas treasure, starting with these personal ornaments.

Yogurt Pot hanging frames
You with need: As many yogurt pots as you have/saved/pulled out of the bin, Cotton thread preferably gold or red, A needle, Gold and Red Spray paint (but if you’ve got a different colour scheme then go with what you want), photos of you, family, friends and pets.

1. Make sure your yogurt lids are clean and dry and set up a protected place outside to paint them, ventilation is important!

2. Spray paint the top of the lids, half in gold, half in red and leave to dry for at least an hour

3. Once completely dry, puncuture a hole in the side of the rim on each pot using your needle. Then thread a small piece of cotton through the whole and tie in a knot making sure the knot is visible only at the back (glue if need be). Take another length of cotton that will make a loop as big as you want your decoration to hang down. Slip the longer thread into the loop you have already made on the yogurt lid and tie a knot to secure.

4. Measure the front central dip in the lid, i use different circle objects to gauge the size and use it as a template, for example a bottle or a cup. Trace the same size circle around a photo of loved ones and cut out.

5. Glue the cut out photo on to the center and leave to dry. You are then free to hang it from your Christmas tree, mantel or you could even use them as personalised present tags.

The reason i like this project so much is that:

Its easy and you can make alot in an afternoon, though children will need a lot supervision and help because of using spray paint, needles and scissors.

Its pretty cheap, you just need to collect some lids which you still have time to do before Christmas. The spray paint cans cost me about £4 each and my gold one has lasted me forever so only bought a red one new, Cotton i already had but you can get a reel for pennies and you can use photos you already have rather then let them sit in a album where no ones see them

It is personal, you can have Christmas photos, silly photos or just photos of happy memories. Its a one of a kind ornament for you and your family.

Please share your own Christmas crafts and ideas in the comments, still need a few more ideas myself to fill our little tree up and i promise I won’t say seasons greetings just yet… you’ll have to wait till December

Lorna

X xxx