Christmas Crafts Inspired by Nature
This Christmas, bring a touch of the outdoors to your table centerpiece, your mantle, or anywhere else in your home that could use a bit of decoration for the holidays. Natural materials such as pinecones, raffia, twigs, and cinnamon sticks can be transformed into lovely ornaments for your home with a few simple touches.
Miniature Christmas Trees
These fun and easy ornaments are a snap to make and look gorgeous when you display a bunch of them grouped together. To make easy place card holders for your dinner table, hot glue clothes pegs or paperclips to the back of each tree and slip your name cards inside.
What you’ll need:
* Tiny terracotta pots
* Scraps of ribbon or folk art paint and brushes
* Dried moss or natural raffia
* Small pinecones with round bottoms
* Hot glue gun with glue sticks
The first step is to prepare your pots. Cut a length of ribbon to wrap around the bottom half of the pot and hot glue it on, or apply glue to the pot and wrap very thin strips of ribbon around it. Alternatively, you can paint your pots in festive colors or with seasonal images like snowflakes or pine trees. Allow glue or paint to dry.
Next, put a bit of hot glue in the bottom and up the insides of your prepared pot. Fill with dried moss or raffia, leaving about half an inch of filler spilling out of the top. Apply some glue to the bottom of your pinecone and gently press it into the middle of the pot, making sure that some of the moss or raffia is left peaking out of the sides.
Once the glue has dried, you will have some lovely little Christmas “trees” to display.
Some other options:
To make your pinecone tree more dazzling, spray paint the pinecones in glittery shades of silver, gold, green, or white. Let the paint dry thoroughly before gluing your pinecones.
Rather than planting a pinecone in the center of your pot, you can add a candle. Prepare your pot as directed above. Cut out a chunk of craft foam to fit the bottom and three-quarters up the side of your pot, and hot glue it inside. Using a knife cut a snug hole in the middle of the craft foam the same width as your candle. Attach moss or raffia to the top of the foam and pot, and gently insert your candle when the glue has dried. It is not recommended to light these candles, as the moss or raffia would cause a fire hazard.
Cinnamon Stick Candle
An ordinary pillar candle becomes a stunning ornament with the help of cinnamon sticks, raffia, and some seasonal accents. These make lovely hostess gifts, or give them to your child’s teachers as a unique and thoughtful present.
What you’ll need:
* Pillar candle – any size, but must be taller than your cinnamon sticks
* Cinnamon sticks – enough to line up around the base of your candle (approximately
30-40, depending on the size of the candle)
* Hot glue gun and glue sticks
* Wide elastic band
* Natural raffia or natural colored twine
* Embellishments, such as seasonal picks, fabric flowers, small ornaments, etc.
Make sure your candle is clean and free of dust before you begin. Hot glue cinnamon sticks, varying their height and appearance, standing up straight around the base of your candle. When the candle base is covered completely, place the elastic band around the candle and cinnamon sticks and allow the glue to dry.
When glue is set and dry, take several lengths of raffia or twine and wrap it around the elastic band, covering the band completely. Tie the raffia in a pretty bow, or hot glue the ends to the back of the candle. Glue your embellishments in the center of the candle, directly onto the raffia. Once again, allow the glue to dry.
If you’ve started out with a high-quality candle, it is possible to light your creation as long as you watch for wax drips, and blow out the flame once the candle burns down towards the cinnamon sticks. Higher quality pillar candles will burn into themselves, creating a well of melted wax in the center of the candle rather than oozing down the sides. If you are unsure of the quality of your candles, or will not be able to observe the candle as it burns, it is not recommended to light the finished product.
Let these ideas inspire you to create other decorations for your home that capture the essence of nature!