One of my favorite activities at this time of the year is looking for crafting ideas throughout my Christmas books and December magazines that I've collected through the years. With two little kids afoot most of the time, I have to be realistic and tend to choose super-easy projects that deliver instant satisfaction.
One magazine I constantly find myself going to for ideas and inspiration is Marie Claire Idees. Today, I was thrilled to discover many of their projects in an online photo gallery. Here are a few of my favorites from their Christmas gallery that I thought I would share since I know many of you love homemade but are pressed for time even if you don't have young kids around. Clicking on the link below the photo will take you to the page online with a more detailed description.
1. This Christmas card advent calendar offers a wonderful way to recycle and display those beautiful cards or gift tags that you just can't bear to throw away.
2. The decorated clothes hanger above is a great alternative to the traditional wreath and looks super easy to make. I know I always have a few ornaments that I'm not sure what to do with after I'm done decorating the tree. Perhaps I'll make two of these using a couple of my kids' smaller wooden hangers to display some of their favorite ornaments in their room.
3. The simple cloth ornaments above can easily be machine or hand sewn, or dare I say it, glued together. I know my kids could spend hours gluing things together, but it's also a simpler way to do this project if you are really pressed for time. A few sprinkles of glitter or beads completes the project, or you could dream up more sophisticated ornamentation.
4. These felt ornaments are a perfect craft for kids. Since my kids are so young, I would first cut out some felt shapes for them and then have them decorate the ornaments with glitter, beads, ribbons and whatever else strikes their fancy.
5. This is another super-easy craft that would be perfect for my two little kids, though the results might not be as professional as these. It's also a great way to recycle those ornaments that just don't fit your decor anymore. Or you could just go to the dollar store for a package of simple ornaments that you or your kids could dress up.
6. Paper art and crafting always appeals to me because of my love for paper goods and vintage ephemera. In the example above, simple white paper is the perfect look for the angel, but you could easily use a different color to fit in with your Christmas decor color scheme.
7. These sweet little trees really drew me in. Again, these are simple to make and a great way to recycle cardboard and paper. These trees could be used to dress up your mantel, as place cards at the dinner table, or as a gift tag in lieu of a bow.
8. These colorful paper flowers could be joined together to make a pretty garland for your mantel or a wreath for indoors.
9. These gift tags, yet another simple craft for kids, could be saved by the recipient as a memento or bookmarker. Or make them a little smaller and use them as tree ornaments.
10. The silver star garland is an easy afternoon project that would serve well as a Christmas or New Year's decoration.
11. (A bonus craft!) I included these beautiful handmade cards in this round-up though I know these kind of cards can take a bit of time to craft but they are so pretty that I couldn't bear to pass them up. Just think how sweet it would be to give one of these handmade cards to someone special like your child's teacher, grandmother, mom or a best friend?
You can find more of these simple craft ideas, as well as more sophisticated projects if you're an advanced crafter, at Marie Claire Idees. I think the magazine recently revamped their web site to include images and ideas archived from 20 years worth of Marie Claire Idees. It's a real treasure trove where I got lost for a couple hours, just enjoying all the handcrafted goodness.
Will you be doing any Christmas crafts this season? Where do you turn to for inspiration to decorate your home for the holidays? Do share.