10/12/20 BLOG 27: CHRISTMAS CRAFTS
As the festive season appears to be officially upon us, this week we wanted to share some ideas for easy, cheap, fun Christmas crafting. Things that can be done on your own, with your kids, or even to make presents from things you hopefully already have in the house! These activities may provide you with a bit of self-care space during what is often a hectic, difficult and tiring time in the lead up to Christmas.
Our first crafting session comes from a woman involved with the Encompass Network who wanted to share an easy to follow mini-masterclass on creating Scandinavian Tomte (wee gnome-y type guys!)
I have a double confession to make - I love Christmas and I love snow.
As a kid I used to make what I thought were wonderful creations in school and would proudly bring them home for my mum. She would praise them and agree how wonderful they were, yet somehow, they never quite made it onto the tree or mantlepiece. Supposedly were put away in a very special box to be kept for good. It was only years later that I realised my creations of toilet roll candles had been consigned to the bin.
I still lovemaking DIY decorations, gathering up bits and bobs to turn into festive creations.
I used to live and travel in Scandinavia which I truly loved, and it will always have a very special place in my heart and memories. The best visits for me were winter with knee deep snow and twinkly lights – it seemed like Christmas lasted forever. I remember seeing gorgeous little gnome character s called Tomte in Sweden and Tonttu in Finland. They are meant to be mischievous wee guys who also look after and over your home. This year I decided I was making a mini tribe of them to watch over us at Xmas.
These are one of the easiest things to make and nearly everything I use is recycled.
What to do –
I am not a very precise person and have more of an improvise as I go along technique. Don’t worry if you make a mistake – you can correct it or start again.
And there you go – your very own unique Tomte or Tonttu. These are so simple to make. They cost next to nothing with the only real cost being the rice filling, plus they are great way to rid your home of surplus socks. I really enjoy making them and they don’t require a lot of planning or equipment, a good way to zone out from all the worries and focus on something fun and positive. I get real pleasure when I look at them (even though my partner thinks I have lost it when I text him to ask his colleagues if he can have their old odd socks.)
My kids love them and are making their own versions too to give to pals as wee gifts.
I have decided to call this one Miisa – a homage to a special person I knew on my Skandi travels! I love him and think the fact his beard is a bit skewed adds to his charm.
Here he is with some of his pals in his rightful place in the Tomte Tribe.
I went for neutral colours ( largely based on what socks I had available) but you can make them to match your other decorations – here are some red ones I have made for a friend.
I wanted to use up every scrap of fur so tried out a teen Tomte too with a funky fringe.
A friend followed my (very basic) instructions and adapted them using wool and other scraps. She used tights and socks, and a few chopped up teddies. There is now another Tomte Tribe just up the road from me.
It would be amazing to see your own creations! It’s lovely to think of other little Tomte Tribes appearing wherever you are too !
One thing I have been doing recently is making salt-dough decorations for my tree (and for the trees of various lucky family members!). This is something that is really fun and easy to do with a wee one – the aim doesn’t have to be to produce the most gawjus creations ever known to humankind, but to enjoy the process of making something. As you can see from the picture below, I don’t think ours will win any awards any time soon…
Here are some of our (slightly rubbish yet loved) creations. We had a really fun couple of afternoons making and decorating them.
If neither of these suggestions float your Christmas boat, then Women’s Worker Isla shared these recipes for chocolate truffles and chutney, both of which she makes for Christmas presents every year:
Biscuity Chocolate Truffles - Tesco Real Food
Caramelised red onion chutney - BBC Good Food
I hope these suggestions can provide some sort of festive inspiration for some Christmas crafts for you all. We would love to hear how you’ve got on and see your creations! You can chat to us here or contact me on email at firstname.lastname@example.org Looking forward to hearing from you! Take Care,