77 Days Till Christmas: 7 Secrets to Christmas Crafting, Part 1

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With 77 day left until Christmas, I thought I would share my 7 secrets to Christmas crafting. These are my favorite ideas for cheap and chic holiday decorating, gift-giving and superb organization. By the time Christmas rolls around, I can focus on spending time with my friends and family, instead of running out to the store for last-minute gifts and supplies. Follow these 7 secrets to Christmas crafting to have the best-ever Christmas.

  1. Start Early- I like to start more time-consuming projects for home decorating and homemade gifts WAY ahead of time. From August to October is a great time to start a large crochet or knitting pattern for Christmas. You can do a little at a time and not stress out about the project. Make a holiday afghan, a tree skirt or crochet ornaments for home decorations. Start a large sweater or coat project for a family member. Smaller projects like scarves, hats and purses make great homemade Christmas gifts, but when you are making several, you will have to start early. Try making a whole set of simple crochet dishcloths or sewn ornaments for holiday gift exchanges, hostess gifts at holiday parties and stocking stuffers.
  2. Diversify Your Homemade Holiday Cards- Making dozens of the same holiday card can be rather boring. Instead, make sets of different cards to provide a little interesting variety in your crafting. For example, if you have 25 card recipients, make 5 sets of 5 different designs. If you have a smaller number of card recipients and are ambitious, try making a unique card for each recipient. Variation might be as simple as changing the placement of stamps or using different papers, but will keeps things interesting and challenging for you as you decide what designs work. Varying the design is also useful when you have recipients who do not celebrate Christmas. For these recipients, send a neutral snow-themed card for winter. FaveCrafts also has many Hanukkah and other Jewish Holiday cards.
  3. Re-use Holiday Cards from Last Year– Make sure to keep any holiday cards you receive for a number of thrifty Christmas craft projects. If you did keep your holiday cards from last year, you have so many craft possibilities! Cut out colorful images from holiday cards and turn into simple holiday ornaments with a ribbon loop to hang. A large paper-punch or template, such as a star or bell, would be great for creating multiple ornaments. On the cut edges, add glitter, iron-on ribbon or even a crochet edge. You can also use these embellished paper cut-outs to decorate holiday albums or turn into holiday gift tags or toppers. You will not need to buy gift tags when you have old Christmas cards!
  4. Fill Your Home with the Smell of Cinnamon- The smell of cinnamon will create an atmosphere of Christmas in your home. Cinnamon dough ornaments are a fantastic, low-cost craft project that you can make with kids.  As my niece and nephew can attest, kids love to get their hands dirty making the cinnamon dough.  Make traditional ornaments or string on ribbon or twiner to create a banner spelling out “Noel” or “Joy.” You can also add shapes such as stars or santas to a holiday banner. Simply tie a knot in the hanging string at each side of the ornament to keep the letters evenly spaced. Cinnamon dough ornaments also work as gift toppers, though they can be fragile!  Make this Cinnamon Dough project or these painted Cinnamon Dough Ornaments.

Click here for Part 2 of the 7 Secrets to Christmas Crafting.

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FaveCrafts.com is a website with all the craft project ideas, tutorials, videos, and tips you'll ever need! We add new projects and tips every day. Some of our readers' favorites include Christmas Crafts, Free Knitting Patterns, Free Crochet Patterns and Crafting with Kids. You will find step-by-step instructions, videos and patterns to make it quick and easy.
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