Easy last minute Christmas DIY

Here’s what I do when I want to craft something last minute, but still have all the fun of creating something from scratch – I decorate match boxes!

They’re the perfect size for a last minute Christmas gift, don’t take up much space and are the perfect utilitarian gift this time of year. I did these together with my daughter, who had lots of fun cutting scraps of paper and gluing sequins.

If you want to be really fancy you can gift these along with wax dipped pine cones as fire starters. It’s also super easy to do – just melt old candles in a jar in boiling water, or on low heat and dip the pine cones in the wax! You can dip them several times if you like, just for the look of it, but once is enough for fire starting.

 

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The Magic of Jinglebells

I haven’t always been able to have traditional Christmas scents at our home because of allergies, but you can add some magic through sound as well! There is something magical about the sound of tinkling bells at Christmastime. When I was little I used to pretend a tomtenisse had walked by when a bell jingled, and some of that feeling still exists somewhere for me. Here are some easy DIY:s using jinglebells:

Acorn bells are the perfect mix of whimsy and magic. Go pick some acorn caps, dry them and glue jingle bells to the inside.

If you have a lot of bells you can add them to a sturdy piece of metal wire, turn them into a wreath and hang them on a door. Makes for a lovely jingle whenever someone walks through the door.

You can also add your bells to the decorations you make. Make decorations out of self-hardening clay with a cut out for a jingle bell.

 

 

 

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DIY Reusable Christmas bags

This is one of my favorite Christmas DIY:s! Instead of packaging gifts in paper that gets tossed out, I sewed us a bunch of pretty bags that we can reuse for years to come.

I got to repurpose a lot of preloved materials, which also made my heart a bit extra warm! Old Christmas curtains, napkins and runners are now a staple beneath our Christmas tree, and get to be as admired as they ought to.

The bags are super easy to sew – simply cut a rectangle of a material (a runner is perfect for this). Fold it in two, add a ribbon to one side (make sure the longer part of the ribbon is on the straight side of the fabric) and sew together. I’ve used up a lot of pretty ribbons that I haven’t had the heart to use up, including lovely ribbons from funeral adresses.

It’s the perfect way to reuse old fabric material that you still love, but don’t have a use for. We get to take out the bag filled with bags, and fill them with our gifts, saving both the environment and time, and making us smile in the process!

 

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DIY Gingerbread Copenhagen

This year I decided to make a cityscape candle holder. I chose Copenhagen, a city that is close to my heart, and made buildings inspired by those there. I drew them freehand on the gingerbread dough, mainly from memory, so I’m probably the only one who recognizes Marmorkirken and Magasin! But it was a superfun build, and it adds so much cozyness to our December.

This also functions as an advent candle holder where we light one candle each Sunday, but I wanted to show you how it looks like with all four candles lit. I made little windows with sugar glass and it looks especially lovely when the candles have burned down low and you can see through the windows.

 

 

 

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Is our national holiday a gingerbread day?

Dec 6th is a common gingerbread baking day here in Finland. For me personally our Independence Day has been a day without that many traditions. That all changed a couple of years ago when we decided to make that day our Gingerbread House Making Day along with the family of my bestie. Since then we spend that day having so much fun together, and both kids and adults produce the most amazing creations.

These are from a few years back. Last year my eyes ached too much so I couldn’t take pictures, and least of all edit them, but it was superfun all the same! I like documenting things here on the blog, but simply putting phone pictures onto IG stories has its own charm. It sort of fits with the gingerbread theme of beauty in the moment.

Happy 2nd Advent everyone, and here’s to celebrating Finland tomorrow, with candles and gingerbread and whatever you choose!

 

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DIY Cozy Christmas Cushions

I love upcycling and reusing old, loved materials for something new!

What better way to keep old doilies and napkins in use than to turn them into pillow covers?

It is so easy to sew new covers for your pillows – just take a rectangle of material (in this case, some old table cloths), turn it inside out and fold it over the cushion. Pin together the sides, and ease out the cushion through the bottom i.e. where the fabric is folded. Sew the sides, turn it back the right way up and presto, you’ve got a cushion cover!

Christmas season becomes a bit more magical with throw pillows for the season. I’ve decorated ours with old doilies, buttons and ribbons, and old napkins.

Makes for a very cozy corner to sit and sip some mulled wine and listen to Christmas music!

 

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Gingerbread season

Gingerbread season is upon us, and the house is filled with the scent of ginger, cloves and cinnamon! These days I don’t even need to make the dough myself – my kids are volunteering, and bake cookies almost every day, and we love it!

I made my first gingerbread house when I was 13 years old, and there hasn’t been a year since that I haven’t made at least one. But this year might be an exception – I’ve only made a candle stick so far, which technically is made up of houses, but 2D not 3D houses. Similar to these ones on the picture above, only with less color. Those in the picture are perfect to make if you don’t want to create a whole house! Just cut out a house, ”paint” it with icing the way you want and ”glue” it on a gingerbread cookie.

I love all things gingerbread! although I leave the eating to the rest of the family 🙂 we have so many cookie cutters that I can’t keep track of them, but still I find myself making cookies like the ones in the picture above – made with a simple template, and simply decorated to look like wintery mittens.

There’s something magical about gingerbread, and the sense that this is something to be enjoyed in the here and now. It is of the moment, for the moment, and for making magical memories!

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Christmas pine cone crafts

I love crafting with what nature gives us – you get a glimpse and a memory of the woods and forests while you craft, and afterward when you incorporate the decorations into your home. It’s a win-win in so many ways.

This pretty pine cone decoration was really easy to make, and adds so much flair- I glued strings to pine cones, and then glued some jingle bells and decorations on them, plus a lace ribbon. It jingle jangles whenever you walk past it, adding to the festive atmosphere.

Sometimes single pine cones are pretty enough to hang by themselves, perhaps enhanced by a glossy ribbon.

I’ve also been making mini-Christmas trees out of pine cones. I glued a pine cone onto a piece of wood. Painted the edges of the cone with white paint and then glued beads onto them. Plus a glittery star on top.

Makes for a nice little Christmas present for friends and neighbors.

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Pretty Pine-cone Decorations

I love creating things together with nature, and pine cones are the perfect medium! The trees have already gotten their use out of them, and now they get to become pretty decorations for Christmas.

 

Pine cone stars are easy to make, and so pretty!

You just glue together five pine cones (first dry them, if they’re freshly picked), and then decorate them plus add a string.

If you like a more natural look, you can simply glue yet another pretty pine cone at the center of the star.

Big pine cones make for big stars, perfect for decorating outdoors!

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