Getting Crafty for Christmas

The holidays bring out the DIY in me. Something about them just makes me want to bust out my hot glue gun, Modge-Podge and construction paper and surf Pinterest to my heart’s content. Judging by this gem that reappeared last year after decades in hiding, this urge is not a new one.

Oh heeeeyyyy, five-year-old Joanna. I can’t tell if you’re mad or sad or happy. Or whatever. But, sweet headband.

Clearly, I was some kind of ornament-making prodigy. Look at the perfectly rounded cutting and the painstakingly aligned doily-thing. Observe the intentional fade of my fingerprint. Notice the perfect centering of my photograph. Either I was a DIY genius or I had a very very very patient teacher. I’m inclined toward the former.

I think the Christmas-time DIY urge is born from a blend of a) being eh…frugal, b) trying to be more environmentally-conscious and c) a real genuine urge to create stuff because it makes me happy. I’m not sure DIY-ing everything actually saves me money, because even though I try to be thrifty, I sure am a sucker at Michael’s. Plus everything takes forever. But, it really does make me happy!

Gift wrapping is a good example. I don’t buy wrapping paper and bows because it seems so wasteful. I wrap gifts in brown grocery bags and try to use whatever I find around the house to decorate the boxes. Except when I discover some hideous wrapping paper in my garage and have to use it so it’s not wasted (see ugly-paper wrapping in pictures below).

Our Christmas tree star is made out of twine, old plastic bags, cardboard, glitter spray and tons of hot glue. I found the directions here.


Last year, after Carter’s birth, I decided I was going to learn how to use my sewing machine so I could make our family some stockings. I found my inspiration here and got a lot of help with sewing and patterns from my crafty pal, Katie. They turned out a little lumpy, but that’s just personality, right?

And, of course, the ornaments.

Bonus: Here are Andy’s contributions to our Christmas DIY decor: An awesome pinecone Christmas tree that he made with students years ago, and his version of a homemade bow. Note the tape straight down the middle. He’s got mad skills, that one.

Here is Carter’s DIY contribution from last year.  

 I love Christmas time!

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