The economy has been rough lately, which could have the potential to put a damper on the holidays. But that’s only if you let it. There are actually plenty of low- and no-cost ways you can bring your family together during the holidays, using free Christmas printables and a little creativity.
In the past, homemade Christmas crafts usually consisted of pencil holders made with orange juice cans, crepe paper snowflakes or anything with macaroni glued all over it. But for Internet savvy parents, those days are gone. There are now a wide array of printable holiday craft projects you can download from the Web. Just print and follow the instructions. And many of the printables are so versatile, so you can even use them in ways beyond that which their original designer intended.
Here are some ideas for using Christmas printables in family projects that will make your home a little merrier this holiday season:
Make food gifts together
You can help keep kids busy and take care of some of your holiday gift-giving by creating gifts from your kitchen. For easy presents, make simple nut brittle from recipes you can find online or cookies using store-bought slice-and-bake dough. Just place your creations in Christmas gift bags you can make using a free downloadable template and tie them with ribbons, and you’ll have sweet gifts with a very special presentation. Make sure to line the bags with wax paper, plastic bags or foil first, though, or you’ll have a greasy mess on your hands!
You can also turn simple cupcakes into distinctive gifts by the addition of paper Christmas cupcake toppers you can make yourself. Some require cutting with scissors and some require a circle cutter, but other than that, all you need are toothpicks and glue or a glue stick. If you want the cupcake toppers to have a shinier, more polished look and you want them to last long after the recipients receive them, you can laminate the cupcake toppers template first, before you do any cutting. And if you want to stretch your holiday budget, make mini cupcakes. They’ll be just as impressive but won’t cost as much.
To present your cupcakes, use a shirt-sized gift box (most dollar stores have these during the holidays in fun prints for little money). Just cut holes in the top large enough to hold the cupcakes and glue the top in place over the box bottom.
Make giftable crafts
There are also a lot of printable craft projects available online, many of which make perfect gifts. There are Christmas wreaths made of paper, fabric, feathers and old book pages; snowmen made from light bulbs or socks; baskets woven from recycled or new Christmas wrapping paper; and even reindeers made from beer bottles. And these are just a small sampling of the projects you can do; there are innumerable Christmas crafts available online. Just do a search for “Christmas crafts” or “Christmas printables” and you’ll find a wide variety.
As you can see, there are lots of opportunities for you to have holiday fun with your family without having to spend a fortune. You’ll end up with some very distinctive gifts that your friends and family will love, and as a huge bonus, you’ll have created memories for your children that will last a lifetime.
Carla Chadwick designs and blogs about party printables for all occasions. You can see her latest creations on her Facebook page.