1 A hanging Christmas tree made from twigs, pumice and wooden beads.
Its almost the holiday season again and I have been thinking about the cost of Christmas for families on a tight budget. this can be a difficult time for many families and there are many ways to celebrate without breaking the bank.
I have decided to put together a few blogs on making your own natural and recycled gifts. It is also a lovely way of spending some quality time with the family.
With Christmas just around the corner, why not make your own Christmas tree with the children.
It’s fun and it’s free!
Using natural or recycled materials is cost effective and the handmade aspect is something people always seem to appreciate.
.A few years ago, our family (i have grown up children and grandchildren) were all having a tough year financially but wanted to get together and still make it a special occasion.
We settled on an idea for a recycled Christmas. The rules were that you could not purchase a gift. It had to be hand made or recycled. We had to make our own cards and gift wrapping, we also agreed to all use newspaper as our wrapping paper but could pretty it up with bows or string.
This turned out to be one of the most memorable and enjoyable Christmas’s ever!
Since then we have come up with so many creative ideas that I wanted to share some of the joy with all my readers.
A hanging tree
This first post on Christmas gift ideas is about how to make your own driftwood tree. This one is not a freestanding one but a hanging one for either on a wall or from a hook. It will sit flat against a wall but when hanging freely it twists and turns in the breeze.
What you will need to start your project:
- A collection of sticks, twigs, driftwood of various sizes and lengths
- Some string or fishing line
- A drill
- Some pumice,wooden beads or any other type of beads or buttons you would like to separate the sticks with
- A little dash of patience
2 A collection of twigs, beads, pumice, a drill and twine
Spread out your sticks and sort them into lengths. You will want to start at the bottom and lay them out, one above the other gradually. Using shorter lengths as you move up towards the top.(See Photograph).
You can use as many as you like, depending on how tall you want your tree.
Once you are happy with the size and shape of the tree, this is where you will place your beads (or whatever you have chosen, in between each stick to separate them.)
Constructing your Xmas tree
Now you are going to need to use a very thin drill bit to drill a hole in the center of each stick. Use a block of old timber to drill on to stabilize your stick and prevent snapping it.
Once these are done the children can help with a bit of guidance .It is just a matter of threading all the pieces together.
I would recommend beginning at the bottom of the tree by tying your string, or line around one of the beads to stop the string pulling through. (You really don’t want to pick it up and have it all fall apart.)
Once you have reached the top, you can add another bead, or an old Christmas star or ornament to finish it off. Tie your string into a loop for hanging. The children may need some support with this.
3 Fishing line being threaded through the twigs and beads.
If you are feeling really creative you could glue some little extras on like shells if you want to retain the natural look or wrap a bit of tinsel around it to give it some sparkle. You may even have some small hanging decorations laying around that would be perfect.
I found some small painted pine cones that I think I may add to mine.
The one I have made in the photographs took me only ten minutes to make. If you wanted to make it larger it would not be difficult.
A free standing tree
You may want to turn this into a small freestanding tree for a table center piece, or a child’s room. It is quite simple to make this transition as you are already prepared with everything you need.
To do this, the instructions above apply for most of it.
However rather than string you will need some sturdy wire. An old coat hanger will do the trick. Look for a solid, heavier piece of driftwood for the base of the tree and drill a hole in it first.
You will still be threading, but with wire instead of string, so you may need some pliers for this job.
Once you have pushed the wire up through the base, you will need to give it a bit of a twist underneath the base and then flatten it out a bit so that the base sits flat but the wire does not pull through. Try to graduate as you did with the hanging tree because if it is top heavy it will fall over.
Again at the top, once you have completed the construction of the tree, and you are happy with the shape, you will be twisting the wire into a loop, so that no sharp bits are poking out. This would also be a great place to attach a star.
4 Small painted pine cones and some wooden beads.
There are many ways to reduce the pressures that Christmas can place on families and even the small things like making your own decorations or gift wrapping can alleviate some of these. I hope you have enjoyed reading this, and that it has provided you with some new ideas and ways to approach Christmas, without the stress and worry of the costs involved.
There are many great books available for creating your own gifts with children.<==Click here to see Christmas crafts for kids ==>
If you would like to share some of your own thoughts or ideas on Christmas saving traditions in your family please feel free to email or stop in for a chat.
Have fun making your Christmas trees and if you would like to see more posts like this follow me and leave a comment in the box below.