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As the days get colder in the winter months, we tend to spend longer in the comfort and warmth of our homes. The positive here is that it gives us more time to take up new hobbies and enjoy fun activities that can help pass the time.
A great example of this is taking up arts and crafts, as it’s something you can do by yourself or with friends and family. So, to give you a little inspiration we have put together five suggestions you might want to try – all with a festive twist to really get you in the Christmas spirit.
Making a wreath is easy and a wreath is a great festive edition to any home. You can hang it on your door as a welcoming statement, from a window or even from a mantelpiece.
To make your wreath, you’ll need:
If it’s your first time making a wreath, then you’ll also need a bit of patience. Here’s a short step-by-step guide for you:
Step One - To start, attach your two grapevine wreaths together using the wire. To create some stability, it’s best to do this in four places, effectively dividing the wreath into quarters.
Step Two - Then, snip off the excess wire so it isn’t visible.
Step Three - You can then add your garland to the top, attaching it in a similar way before gluing your decorations on. If you prefer, you can instead use fresh flowers and simply place the stems through the grapevine.
Step Four - For the ultimate finishing touch, consider adding a bright red bow.
If you’re a McCarthy & Stone homeowner and you’d rather make your wreath in a more social setting, then many of our developments will be running workshops this year. Keep an eye on the bulletin boards around your development or ask your House Manager for more details.
Making your own Christmas cards adds a personal touch to your festive gifts. Not only is it a great way of showing someone that you really care, but it’s also a fantastic way of adding some of your own personality to the cards you give to people.
A craft or hobby shop will have all the items you need at a reasonable price, so it can also be cheaper than buying pre-made cards, too. Plus, depending on your skill level, you can try something simple, or something fancy.
If you have visiting grandchildren over the Christmas period, then card making is also a great activity for them to get involved with. You can send cards to your neighbours and friends from the whole family.
Making Christmas Crackers
Christmas crackers are an essential part of a Christmas dinner, but we often end up with unwanted presents and rubbish jokes. Thankfully, it’s easy to make your own with some basic supplies.
This is a rather fiddly task if you’re making a full set, but is easy when following a step by step guide. The beauty of making Christmas crackers is that you can split the task over a few days or weeks if you only need them for the big day.
The added bonus of making your own is that you have control over what you put in them and what materials you use to make them. To add an eco-friendlier touch to your crackers, make them using recycled materials and avoid things like non-biodegradable plastics if you’re adding little toys or games. Suggestions include, mini notepads, mini jam pots, luxury tea bags or British wild flower seeds.
Christmas Tree Decorations
It’s easy to buy baubles and tinsel for a tree, but this can sometimes feel a little impersonal. Thankfully, there are plenty of ways that you can make your own Christmas tree decorations, including clear baubles you can put family photos in and ceramic baubles that you can paint in your own style.
Many of these baubles also come in a kit, so you don’t need lots of equipment and you can complete the project in an afternoon. It’s perfect if you’re looking to put your tree up in a hurry.
Create an Advent Calendar
This is the most complex craft on our list, but it’s great if you fancy a challenge. Like with many crafts, creating an advent calendar can be as easy or as difficult as you like.
On the simple end of the scale, you can decorate envelopes before adding a gift to each and then hanging it from the mantelpiece by some string. On the more complex end of the scale, you can build a wooden advent calendar that can be used year after year.
Christmas Crafts with McCarthy & Stone
At McCarthy & Stone, we always make sure our developments are ready for Christmas and we love hosting events that residents and their family members can enjoy. Be sure to keep an eye out for our festive events – including wreath making - at your local development to see how you can get involved.
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