decoration

Make paper decorations

The year 3 students at our school recently made some Christmas decorations – and I think they are lovely!

paper Christmas decorations hanging in a window overlooking greenery

I spotted them on a bench outside the classroom and couldn’t resist grabbing some photos before ours arrived home a few days later.

collection of children's hanging Christmas decorations

How to make hanging Christmas decorations

You will need:

  • one A4 sheet of thin cardboard per decoration (obviously you can use a bigger sheet of cardboard to make lots of these!)
  • scissors
  • staples (and stapler!)
  • decorations – glitter glue, stickers, textas, glitter
  • shiny string (or plain string or thin ribbon) for hanging

cardboard, ruler, pencil, stapler and scissor to make a Christmas decoration

You then need to cut the cardboard into strips. For each hanging decoration, you will need to cut 7 strips about 5 cm wide based on:

  • 2 x full length
  • 2 x 2/3 length
  • 3 x 1/3 length

{This makes it a good maths activity, too, and will stretch the kids brains as well as building their fine motor skills while having fun and being creative!}

red and green cardboard strips

Strips cut for the alternative, wider decoration (see below)

Arrange the strips from biggest to smallest to biggest. That is, make a pile of

  • 1 full length
  • 1 2/3 length
  • 3 1/3 length
  • 1 2/3 length
  • 1 full length

Make the pile neat, with all strips meeting at one end of the pile. Staple the ends together.

stapled strips of reed and green cardboard

Bend the strips towards each other so all the loose ends line up together, and staple again.

Put a hole in one end and thread string/ribbon through (or just staple on the string or ribbon if you prefer) so the decoration can hang.

Now make it beautiful with textas, stickers and glitter glue.

Alternatively, staple a few decorations together to make a longer decoration, and just add string/ribbon at one end. Or attach some string to two decorations so there is a little room for them to sway independently. connected hanging decorations hanging in a window

They can hang on a tree, in a window or from a ceiling. Somewhere that catches an occasional breeze gives a pretty effect.

child-made hanging decorations hanging in a window

Many of the children at school chose to use black card so the glitter and stickers stood out more, but I also like the colourful cardboard ones. What will you make – colourful or black?

An alternative is to have 2 1/3 lengths and one 1/6 length to have a decoration that is much wider than it is tall – this is what happened when I followed my kids’ instructions initially!

red and green card decoration

Themed Christmas designed with style

Red, orange and beige Christmas wreath on a door

Sophie’s Christmas wreath from 2016

Christmas tree day!

Years ago, my flatmate and I gave the first of December the unofficial title of “Christmas Tree Day” and the name has stuck.  It’s the day I give myself permission to decorate my home for the Christmas season, although I have been planning my tree and decorations for a while beforehand.

I like to purchase additional ornaments every year to build on my collection of decorations that are laden with memories (is there anything more precious than your baby’s first Christmas bauble?), but as an interior designer, I like to have a general idea of what my tree will look with the expectation that my children will add their home made flourishes for which I’m lucky I don’t suffer from *P.O.P.D.!  This year my tree is planned to be in peacock tones.

Apart from the decorated tree, I also like to bring in some Christmas cheer by decorating my entry table and dining table with an arrangement that ties in to the theme of the tree.

While the Christmas tree is beautiful, nothing is more welcoming than decorating the front door with a homemade garland.

close up of red and orange Christmas tree decorations

A close up of Sophie’s 2016 Christmas tree decorations

Decorating tips…

My best tip for decorating your home for Christmas is to choose a colour combination for your decorations and carry the colours from front door, entry, dining table and tree. The steady colour palette makes for a comfortable transition from room to room.

Personally, I like the rule of 3. This means you use three colours – a main colour that is about 60% of the decoration, a secondary colour for 30% and a final colour to make up the balance as a sharp contrast.

Australian flowers as a Christmas table centrepiece

A beautiful Aussie-themed Christmas table decoration from Sophie’s home in 2016

 

This article and associated photos were kindly provided by Sophie Kost, lead designer at My Beautiful Abode.

*Perfect Ornament Placement Disorder

Make an easy, edible Christmas decoration

Want an easy way to make a cake or cup cakes or dessert platter or whatever look really special?

Simply heat up a candy cane (buy them in whatever size suits the decoration you’re after – they range from tiny to huge!) and gently bend it into a shape to suit.

Adding more of a swirl than the traditional cane shape is more compact so it works better on some designs I find – the long cane just doesn’t fit in and looks stark so this is a nice option.

Simple Christmas decorations made by kids

A while ago I worked as child carer in my own home. Leading up to Christmas, I wanted to do some Christmas activities with the kids, as you do!

I was also on a budget but I found this activity worked really well – it cost nothing as I had stuff lying around, the kids were amused for hours and got creative (and developed fine motor skills of course), and by their nature, parents had somewhere to display their work (there are only so many paintings that fit on a fridge!)

Cardboard Christmas Tree decorations

As I was working with two year olds, I did a lot of the preparation work and divide the instructions for an adult and kids. If you have older kids, they may be able to do some of the earlier steps as well.

instructions for the adult

Cut out Christmas shapes from cardboard (cereal boxes work but washing powder boxes are thicker cardboard so are better). Stars, stockings and bells are easy, but get as creative as you want!

Punch a hole near one edge (poke the hole with scissors if you don’t have a hole punch).

instructions for the kids

Decorate the shapes! Glue on bits of coloured paper, tinsel and cotton wool balls, add stickers, glitter and paints.

Let it dry.

Thread gift ribbon (or string) through the hole and tie into a loop.

Hang the loop on the Christmas tree (or a door handle).

Stand back and admire your beautiful work 🙂

Love Santa says – send us photos of your creations, too!

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