A DIY Holiday

Vanessa Silvera gets us into the holiday mood with some ideas for arts and crafts

After what has felt like an eternity, 2020 is coming to a close and the Holiday Season is finally upon us! We can all probably agree it has been an unusual year and the festivities we normally look forward to are seemingly canceled, but fear not, there is more you can do from the comfort of your own homes besides baking cookies and streaming your favorite movies. As the countdown to Christmas begins, get your creativity flowing and deck the halls with some DIY holiday-themed arts and crafts!


1. Homemade Cards

Let me start by saying that there is nothing more underrated than a homemade card. Yeah, I know you can personalize and buy them on Etsy, but it’s not the same as taking the time and care of making one yourself. Depending on time constraints and comfort level, there are plenty of sophisticated and ornate designs on the Internet (Pinterest is a great place to start) as well as simple yet elegant ones.


Here are some of my top picks:






2. Cork Christmas Tree

This one is for the wine lovers, I see you. If you’re looking for an excuse to open that bottle of wine, look no further.



What you’ll need:

  • 31 wine corks

  • Green paint

  • Scissors

  • Glue / glue gun

  • Ribbon (or other tree topper)

  • Twine (optional)

  • Glitter paint (optional)


Instructions:

  1. Set 3 wine corks off to the side, and paint both ends of the rest green. Let them sit to dry and add the glitter paint on top if desired

  2. While they’re drying, glue the 3 wine corks into a triangle. If you have a piece of twine on hand, proceed to wrap and glue it around the base

  3. Arrange your green corks into rows, the bottom row should have 7 and each successive row should have 1 less cork. Glue the corks of each row together

  4. Once the rows have dried, stack and glue them together one row at a time, that’s your tree top done!

  5. Next, glue the trunk to the bottom, making sure it’s centered

  6. Time to decorate! You can make a bow from ribbon and place at the top or add another tree topper of your choice


Step-by-step photos: https://decorbytheseashore.com/diy-wine-cork-christmas-tree-tutorial/


3. Customize your Ornament



Now, for your bigger tree, give it some life with a hand-painted glass ornament! You can get a dozen clear glass baubles from Amazon for as little as £12 (£1 each). Once you’re ready to get started, prep the bauble by dusting and cleaning the surface thoroughly, so that the paint will stick. I recommend using acrylic enamel paint, but any acrylic paint that specifies its good for glass will also work.




If painting isn’t exactly up your alley, cover or coat the bauble with glitter, sequins, yarn, feathers, fabric, and snow (epsom salt)! For a treat for later, fill it up with candy, marshmallows, popcorn, or any nonperishable snack food.


Design inspiration: https://www.loveambie.com/glass-ball-diy-christmas-ornaments/


4. Peppermint Candy Soap



Of course, the Holidays are not just about decorations and jolly tunes, but also about giving. For an affordable and adorable gift, try your hand at DIY soap!


What you’ll need:

  • Clear glycerin soap

  • Shea butter soap

  • Glycerin soap red colorant

  • Soap fragrance (peppermint)

  • Silicone round molds

  • Measuring cup (microwave safe)

  • Cutting board

  • Mixing spoon

  • Large knife

  • Rubbing alcohol in a spray bottle


Instructions:

  1. First, determine the amount of liquid the mold holds by filling it up with water and pouring that amount into your measuring cup. For example, if each soap cube equals 1oz and each mold contains ¼ cup of liquid (2 fl. oz.), then 2 melted cubes equals ¼ cup

  2. Cut the number of glycerine cubes needed and place them in the measuring cup. Microwave for 30 seconds, stir, and microwave again in 10-second intervals until fully melted

  3. Add in drops of peppermint fragrance and stir until you smell the peppermint

  4. Add about 6 drops of red colorant into the mix and stir

  5. Pour the red liquid soap into the mold(s) and lightly mist with alcohol to remove any air bubbles

  6. Repeat steps 2-5 with the shea butter soap, but only add the fragrance this time

  7. Allow the soap to cool at room temperature for a couple of hours, or speed up the process by refrigerating

  8. Once the soap has hardened, remove the molds by gently popping them out of the silicone. Be sure to clean and dry the molds for later

  9. Stack the red and white soaps on top of each other and cut into eighths

  10. To assemble the peppermint candy: melt an extra 3 cubes of glycerin soap with the same method outlined earlier

  11. Pour a thin layer of the melted glycerin into the molds, covering the bottom. Lightly spray the layer with alcohol (acts as a binding agent)

  12. Arrange alternating slices of red and white soap into the mold, forming the peppermint candy shape, lightly spray with alcohol

  13. For the final layer, pour a second thin layer of clear soap and spray with alcohol again

  14. Let them sit to dry for a few hours and remove them from the molds

  15. Wrap each peppermint soap in cellophane, secure the ends with ribbon, and cut off the excess cellophane on ends. Done!


Step-by-step photos: https://www.purplehuesandme.com/2018/11/peppermint-candy-soap.html


Hope you’re feeling inspired and if you try one of these, feel free to share with us on our social media!

Happy Holidays,

Calliope XO