35 Easy Christmas Crafts | Midwest Living

35 Easy Christmas Crafts

Decorate your home, make a gift or create an ornament with our 35 ideas for fun and easy Christmas crafts.

Vintage glamour

A foam cone becomes a sparkly miniature tree when covered with pearls, rhinestone earrings and vintage crystals.

Floating candle

Light up family dinners or holiday parties with this pretty candle. Place greenery at the bottom of a glass jar; fill jar about two-thirds full of water. Add cranberries and a floating candle.

Countdown to Christmas

A gray-painted board attached to a vintage window frame makes an eye-catching Advent calendar. Cup hooks hold manila shipping tags numbered with stickers. Each day in December, a family member chooses an ornament from a nearby bowl and hangs it on the calendar. Pretty gifts and silvery ornaments fill out the ledge below.

Hurricane makeover

Give glass a temporary snowy tree look. Draw a design on adhesive shelf paper, cut it out with a crafts knife or scissors, and stick to hurricane. Peel off the top and spray exposed areas with faux snow from a crafts store. Let dry. If the tree design seems too intricate, go for simple geometric shapes: circles, rectangles, triangles, etc.

Wrap a pillow

Dress a plain pillow for the season. Cut a holiday shape, such as a tree or star, from felt or burlap. Secure on a pillow by wrapping repeatedly with yarn. Inexpensive burlap and yarn (or string) work great for wrapping packages, too.

Cheerful statement

Think big and bright when making these bold ornaments. Red and green scrapbooking paper in fun patterns adorns shapes cut from poster board. We found ornament silhouettes online then enlarged them to suit the window. Glue three papers onto each ornament. Punch a hole at the top, then hang them on red cording or yarn taped to the top of the window. A valance of live greens finishes the display.

Resources Scrapbooking papers and red cording Michaels Crafts Stores. (800) 642-4235; michaels.com Ornament silhouettes Search Internet for “Christmas ornament shapes.” 

Jolly holly leaves garland

Fashion a festive chair-backer from paper straws and felt in fun hues. We paired hunter green with zesty lime and shades of lavender. To make, trace three sizes of leaves on sheets of wool felt. (Download patterns below.) Cut out leaves. Punch two holes in leaf tops. For berries, hot-glue wool felt balls below holes. String leaves in groups of three, separating clusters with paper straws cut to 6 inches. Pin or tie garlands to chairs for a fanciful flourish.

Resources Gold cording Hobby Lobby. (800) 888-0321; hobbylobby.com Paper straws Tinkerbell-inspired Lavender, Pistachio and Purple striped paper straws. Party Delights. etsy.com/shop/PartyDelights Wool felt Balls; colors: Purple and Thistle. 18x18-inch sheets; colors: Hunter Green and Willow. The Felt Pod. thefeltpod.com

Share some scents

Spread your love for the season's scents by making spice bags for simmering—then give some to friends! Place star anise, cinnamon sticks, cloves and orange zest in empty tea bags (available at tea shops). Trim the tops of the bags with pinking shears, then tie them closed. For gifts, place them in boxes adorned with paper snowflakes.

Dress up a cabinet

Give cabinet doors or windows a holiday touch with ribbon and a paper medallion. Just crisscross the ribbon and tape or tack in place, adding the medallion where the ribbons cross.

Snowy scenes

Create a white Christmas using inexpensive glass cylinders from a crafts store. Place one cylinder inside a larger one, then sprinkle a dusting of fake snow between the two and nestle a sprig of greenery on top of the snow. Add a pillar candle or battery-operated candle inside the center cylinder. Group different size cylinders for your display.

Make an Advent calendar

Turn a mini muffin pan into an Advent calendar! Use a pan with 24 wells about two inches wide. Cut 2¼-inch circles from a 12x24 adhesive magnet sheet. Adhere to patterned paper and cut out. Use a 1-inch circular punch for inner circles; number and glue to magnetic circles. Fill wells with toys, candy or notes. To hang your calendar, use a hammer and nail to punch holes at one end; string with ribbon.

Velvet votives

Wrap silver votive holders in velvet ribbon and glue on mini pinecones to add a sparkly touch to centerpieces or mantels. These also make great hostess gifts!

Make a festive frame

Make a white frame (or spreay-paint one) a pretty focal point by hanging an ornament from the hook in back. 

Alphabet greeting

Vintage toy blocks spell out holiday messages. Look for blocks in a variety of sizes and colors. If you want to hang your creation, glue to a sturdy surface such as a board or artist's canvas.

Hang a no-fuss doorknob

Greet guests with a festive salutation. Just fold over the top of a wide burlap ribbon, then cut a slit through both layers to slide over a doorknob. Attach cork stick-on letters to spell out Welcome. Wired-on live greens and tiny pinecones complete the arrangement.

Dress up fruit

Add holiday flair to apples by inserting bronze brads (available at crafts stores) in a variety of patterns.

Decoupage trees

Use foam cones, holiday papers and decoupage glue to make the three trees at the center of this pretty holiday scene. Create circle shapes with a paper punch, then glue to cones.

Easy-fill ornaments

Nestle special “ingredients” inside ball ornaments for thoughtful, budget-friendly party favors or decorations. You can use wintry natural materials like we did, or let your imagination fly.

What you’ll need

Plastic ball ornaments (We found ours at Hobby Lobby for $1.49 each.)

Artificial snow


Pine tree clippings




Place items inside one ornament half. (Leave them loose, or secure with a dot of hot glue.) Top with the other half, string with ribbon, and presto, you’re done!


Christmas art

Create wall art by painting nine 12x-12-inch artist’s canvases in bright red or another favorite Christmas color; let dry. Glue on ribbon in a variety of patterns.

Pom-pom wreath

Hot-glue pom-poms and vintage light reflectors onto a plastic-foam wreath with a flat back for a colorful vintage look. Bulbs or vintage buttons would work, too.

Snow globe

Create a winter wonderland in snow globe-inspired apothecary jars. Pour Epsom salt into the jars, then stand bottlebrush trees and toy deer spray-painted gold in the “snow.”

Recycle wrapping paper

Turn colorful, graphic wrapping paper designs into bargain Christmas decor for your tabletop or mantel. For the simplest tree, shown in fuchsia, wrap paper around a foam cone. Trim to fit, and secure with pushpins. Overlapping circle cutouts create the scalloped look of the chartreuse tree. Make shapes with a circle punch (available at scrapbooking stores); then attach with glue. For the apple-green looped tree, fold a sheet of paper in half, securing with spray adhesive. Cut 1x5-inch paper strips. Starting at the bottom, layer looped strips, securing with pushpins, to cover the foam cone. 

Mini glittery stockings garland

Bring glitz to a shelf or mantel with a glitter-paper garland. (Download patterns below.) Trace stocking shapes onto glittery scrapbooking paper. Turn over patterns to trace back sides. Cut out; glue fronts to backs. Toe and heel patches and stripes cut from paper in another color make sweet accents. Punch two holes in the tops of socks to string on shiny gold cording.

Resources Glitter paper 12x12-inch; colors: Gold, Grape, Lavender and Olive. Archiver’s. archiversannex.com Gold cording Hobby Lobby. (800) 888-0321; hobbylobby.com

Painted-scene ornament

Use white and red acrylic paints to create this snowy scene. Paint the bottom with two coats of white paint; let dry after each. Then add trees in different sizes. After they’ve dried, dab on red acrylic paint to look like cardinals.

Centerpiece chic

To craft a quick centerpiece, gather evergreen boughs into a container covered in red silk flowers.

Remove stems from silk flowers, and hot-glue blossoms to a cylindrical container. Fill container with water and fresh evergreens.

Create card art

Turn leftover holiday cards into a quick crafts project. Use medium- and large-size hole punches from crafts supply stores to make paper circles, then arrange them, overlapping, on a wooden wreath form. Glue them in place; dot with pom-poms. Hang from ribbon glued to the back of the wreath.

Snowy vista

A flurry of snowflakes floats above a forest of pines. Simply hot-glue together trees cut from foam-core board. Lean the unit against the window or secure with double-faced tape. Thread or hot-glue pom-poms onto fishing line then attach to the window frame with invisible tape.

Resources Foam-core board, craft pom-poms and filament Michaels Crafts Stores. (800) 642-4235; michaels.com Wall color SW6706 Off-Beat Green. Sherwin-Williams. (800) 474-3794; sherwin-williams.com

Cookie cutter wreath

Inexpensive cookie cutters create a fun and easy-to-make door decoration.

Arrange cookie cutters inside a shape drawn on paper. Each cutter should have contact points with another. Join contact points with a paper clip or wire, and spray paint if you like. Top with a ribbon.

Refined ribbons garland

A braided ribbon garland looks sharp draped over framed art. Tie cording at one end of a dozen green, gold and purple ribbons. Separate into three bunches by color, then braid. Tie end. Ornaments on jump rings add holiday bling.

Resources Ornaments Christmas Central. (800) 433-0038; christmascentral.com Ribbons Midori (800) 659-3049; midoriribbon.com

Poinsettia felt throw

Create a holiday-inspired throw to drape across a chair or love seat for a festive layer of warmth.

See instructions and patterns for this and 8 more holiday felt projects.

Window dressing

Give your windows a holiday touch with a ribbon swag. This homeowner printed tags on her computer and adorned them with fluffy pom-poms and striped cords.

Nut and star wreath

An 18-inch wire star form serves as the foundation for this beautiful nut-studded wreath. Wrap wire form with 12 yards of 9-inch-wide woven ribbon and hot-glue in place. Glue mixed nuts to the form, then glue fresh, fragrant bay leaves around the perimeter behind the nuts.

Appreciate your ancestry

Holidays are the perfect time to teach youngsters about their heritage. Make it an activity by cutting out copies of vintage baby photos and arranging them on the wall in a "family tree." Family members can guess who's who.

Woodland centerpiece

Create this centerpiece with materials from the crafts store or florist’s shop. Glue large bark chips to a clear glass vase. Surround the vase with moss and top with nuts, berries and tiny decorative birds to look like a forest floor. Add a fresh or dried floral arrangement; ours uses hydrangeas, roses, fresh greenery and hypericum berries.

Photo display

Stems with just a few leaves or berries make natural holders for family photographs. Tie branches with twine and add evergreen tassels; insert photos in the branches, clipping them on if needed to hold in place.

More holiday decorating ideas

Click below for more great holiday decorating tips and ideas.

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