Saturday, December 11, 2010

5 Cheap & (mostly) Easy Christmas Ideas

This morning, I was in a craft whirlwind.  You know the kind - where you're covered in tape, can't find your scissors, and the only hole punch you can seem to locate is the wrong size for your project?   Yeah.  You've been there.

And I got to thinking how maybe things should be less complicated.  So I thought I'd share with you guys 5 of my favorite cheap and (mostly) easy Christmas craft ideas!  Some of these can be given as gifts, some are just great for decorating.  All can be made for less than $5.  Some probably won't even cost you a dime.  How's that for amazing?

1.   Marshmallow Trees

These little guys make me happy. They're time consuming (yes, you do have to glue each individual mini-marshmallow to the cone... yes, I watched 3 separate television shows/movies to complete these yesterday) but so worth it. Typically, you see these left in their natural marshmallow-y state. I'm not a huge fan of your typical Christmas decor, though, so I spray painted mine. You can, too. It's allowed.

Tip - instead of buying styrofoam cones, make your own out of paper! Simply curl a posterboard or piece of cardstock into a cone. Use a stapler and masking tape to secure it, then get to work!

Here are mine atop my in-the-process-of-being-decorated mantle.  Remember, people, all good things come in 3's.

2.   Fun Thumbtacks

If you're anything like me, you have TONS of small buttons. I keep mine in a little glass jar, but I have been trying to think of ways to use them up lately. This idea was perfect because I made a bulletin board for my niece this year as part of her Christmas gift. These little candy colored buttons perfectly match it!

To make these little beauties, I hot glued my buttons onto a piece of cardstock.  Then, using a needle & thread, I sewed the buttons onto the cardstock (I wanted the finished tacks to look like they had been stitched).  After that, just dab a little E-6000 onto the backs and push in your tacks!  (Do yourself a favor & use E-6000 in a well-ventilated area.  Trust me.)

Another, slightly more expensive option is fabric-covered button tacks. These cover buttons can be found at Hobby Lobby, JoAnn's, and if you're lucky your Walmart Supercenter might have them (Store #1 on Walnut in Rogers does, but Bentonville does not). Scraps of fabric put to good use. It's fab.

3.   Newspaper Flowers

I actually made an entire wreath out of these little numbers, but for today I thought I'd try making a few then spray painting them to use for gift wrapping. It was super easy. And these can also be used as tree/garland ornaments (and probably several other things).

To make these, cut a bunch of circles out of newspaper or telephone book papers.  Stagger the circles one on top of the other in a messy stack, then staple the center.  Start scrunching (wadding, whatever you want to call it) each layer of your "flower" beginning with the top.  Keep scrunching all the layers until you have what really resembles a wadded up paper ball.  Slightly open the "petals" of your finished flower and voila!   Now, you can spray paint it.  If you want to.  You don't have to.  I actually quite prefer them in their natural form.  :)

4.   Curly Paper Trees

This project is probably one of the easiest on my list. To make these, you'll need 4 sheets of double-sided paper (I used kraft colored cardstock for mine). Cut 3 of the sheets of paper in to 1" strips that are about 4" long. Using a pencil or pen, curl your strips of paper just as you would your hair with a roller. Use the last piece of cardstock to create your cone base (see idea #1 for tip). When all your curly-que's are made, start hot gluing them from the bottom up, until you reach the top!

5.   Notecards & Gift Tags

Another super duper easy one - use up all those paper & fabric scraps to create note cards, gift tags, and thank you cards! I'm a fan of sewing onto paper (yes, with my sewing machine) but no worries if you don't have one, just bust out the glue stick!

Whew.  That was one heck of a first post, right?

So... what are you guys making this Christmas?  Let's see those crafts!  Upload pics to our Facebook group & please email photos to so I can include them here, on the blog, for our geographically challenged friends.  :)

Keep craftin'!


  1. Loving all your ideas! Going to try to make it in January!

  2. I for SURE hope you can make it!! In case you missed the info about January's meeting that I posted to the FB group, I'll be posting it here soon. :)