We know that you've got better things to do this Christmas (like sitting with a glass of egg nog in front of 'Elf') than sift through Pinterest for a Christmas craft idea that won't cost an arm and a leg in materials! So we've put together a collection of some of our favourite simple Christmas craft ideas*. These crafts can all be made from simple materials, including recycled or found objects. We’ve selected a range of ideas to suit a variety of ages, from the very young upwards.
So, get out that drop sheet, and let the glitter rain!
Christmas Craft Idea #1: Scrap Ribbon Tree Ornaments
We love that this Christmas craft idea involves the kids foraging outside for some sticks as a part of the process, and it uses up all those leftover scraps of ribbon from presents throughout the year.
First, have your children find a stick from outside that is reasonably straight.
Next, they can tie the ribbon scraps down the length of the stick, bunching them together as they go.
Trim the edges of the ribbon to make a Christmas tree shape (you may need to help with this step depending on the age of your child).
Attach a loop of string or ribbon to the top of the tree ornament, to hang it from your Christmas tree.
N.B You could also make smaller versions of these ribbon trees, and glue them onto the front of cards as a sweet DIY Christmas card craft.
Christmas Craft Idea #2: Christmas Wrapping Paper
Got apples (or some sponges), paint, and some blank paper? That’s all you need for the kids to make Christmas wrapping paper that they can use to wrap presents for family, friends and siblings.
Cut the apple in half horizontally (this will create a star shape in the middle of the apple) or cut sponges into Christmas-related shapes (a Christmas cookie-cutter will help with this).
Next, pour a small amount of silver or gold paint into a container (you can also use a stamp pad if you'd prefer)
Have your child dip the apple or sponge into the paint and then press it onto the paper repeatedly to make festive wrapping paper that they can use to wrap up presents for their family and friends.
Christmas Craft Idea #3: Ice Ornament
There's something about the process of turning water into ice that just fascinates children. And the only materials you need for this activity are water, a cake tin, a heavy string or shoelace, and whatever natural objects your children can find in their back yard or local park.
Have your children collect a variety of natural objects (e.g. pebbles, bark, leaves, pine cones, shells, dried flowers).
They can then arrange the objects that they have found in the cake tin.
Fold the string or shoelace in half and lay it in the pan so that the fold is over the end and the two ends are in the center of the pan.
Fill the pan with water, and then whack it in the freezer.
When the water is frozen, remove the ice from the pan and hang it outside. (Somewhere where the drips can water your pots or garden beds as it melts!)
Christmas Craft Idea #4: Christmas Card Chains
A good way to make use of all those old Christmas cards from last year, all you need for this craft activity are scissors, used Christmas cards, and a stapler.
Firstly, cut the cards to make horizontal strips.
Next, show your child how to loop one strip and staple the ends together. Insert a second strip through the loop and staple its ends together to form a second link on the chain.
Continue this process until the chain is as long as you and your child like. They can use the Christmas card chain to decorate their room or the Christmas tree.
Christmas Craft Idea #5: Thumbprint Reindeer Christmas Cards
DIY Christmas cards are such a simple way to help your children learn that giving to others is what Christmas is all about.
First, fold a piece of cardboard in half.
Next, have your child press their finger on a stamp pad, (or in a small container filled with paint) and then press their thumb onto the front of the Christmas cards.
Show them how to add legs and other features to their thumbprint to make reindeer. To up the creativity level, they could think up a range of other festive designs to create using their thumbprints, or a hand print.
To adapt this Christmas craft idea for younger children, have them place a hand print on the front of a Christmas card that you can then turn into a Christmas tree.
Christmas Craft Idea #6: Candy-cane ornaments
Toddlers and pre-schoolers love threading, so it's a given that this one is going to be a hit with the littlies.
First, dye some penne pasta red and green (or dig out some beads if you have them).
After they have dried, have your child thread the coloured pasta pieces onto a pipe cleaner.
Once they have filled up the pipe cleaners, you can bend the ends over, and let them decorate the tree with their creations!
Christmas Craft Idea #7: Ice scene
Have your child draw a Christmas scene with crayons on heavy paper or cardboard.
Next, mix together equal parts boiling water and Epsom salts.
Brush the Epsom salt mixture over the picture, and watch how ice crystals form!
N.B. As it dries, the crystals will brush off, so you may want to cover the picture with clear contact to preserve it.
We hope you have a wonderful time Christmas crafting with your children this holiday season!
*A number of these ideas have been adapted from The Arts and Crafts Busy Book by Trish Kuffner, a wonderful resource for parents.