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Today I have Guest Post from Claudia, also known as Claude, who is a costume maker and lover of all things vintage. She is completely obsessed with vintage and retro fashion styles and loves all eras, from the Renaissance to the New Romantics. Claudia’s personal style is something she likes to call 1940s Land Girl and she loves the wartime theme of make do and mend – definitely something we could all do a little more of!
Like myself, Claudia is also a huge fan of Charity shops and firmly believes buying second is best for the environment. You can find her blog over at www.retroclaude.com please do take a look, I promise you won’t be disappointed!
In this post, Claudia takes us through some super easy Christmas Crafts that will also save money.
5 Easy Christmas Crafts to Save you Money
Christmas is an expensive time of year. Last year the average spend on Christmas in the UK was an eye-watering £821.25. That’s a lot of mince pies. But there are plenty of ways to cut the cost of Christmas without feeling like a Scrooge. And getting crafty is possibly my favourite! Don’t worry this post is 100% glitter free.
Crafting to Save Money
Crafting in itself can be really fun. There is a reason so many people get crafty as a hobby. Making something with your own hands is incredibly satisfying and even therapeutic. But the cost of all those fancy materials can quickly add up. This post is about saving money, not Pinterest worthy table centrepieces. So I’ve picked a few ideas to target the areas that we spend the most on at Christmas.
Almost half of the £821.25 the average household spends at Christmas goes on presents, with children and partners receiving the most expensive gifts.
You may not be able to face disappointed family members on Christmas morning, but how about saving a few £££ by getting savvy with your wrapping?
Make the most of cheap wrapping paper by creating your own gift bags. I followed this tutorial and very quickly made these.
They are also perfect for wrapping oddly shaped items such as toys or wine bottles. Besides, they coordinate with all the other presents under the tree.
Seeing as you would have to buy the wrapping paper anyway, and gift bags can cost as much as £2 each if you make 5 gift bags, that’s £10 saved!
Handmade presents can be a bit hit and miss. Some people will be really touched that you put the effort in, others will be disappointed that you didn’t buy them something. It’s a tricky line to tread.
However, for people you might not know on a personal level, a handmade gift can be a great way to show your appreciation. My favourite kind of handmade gifts to make are food. Cookies, chocolates and cakes can be rustled up last minute, with things you’ve got in the cupboard and maybe a quick dash to the corner shop.
(Via: Norwood Themes)
Chocolate bark is by far my favourite to make. It’s so easy! No need to worry about it not rising or burning. Simply:
- Melt the chocolate
- Spread it over some parchment paper
- Sprinkle with nuts, dried fruit, sweets (whatever is in the cupboard)
- Leave to set
- Smash it into little pieces
The cheapest places to buy chocolate for this kind of recipe is Lidl. They do bars of chocolate from as little as 30p. If you buy a dark, a milk and a white bar, that’s 90p spent on chocolate and you have triple chocolate bark for less than £1.
If you serve it up in a handmade gift bag even better! I’m sure your child’s teacher or your work colleagues will be thrilled with a Christmasey sweet treat. If you’re stuck for bark recipes I suggest you check out this post.
Christmas decorations are a great way to chase away the winter blues. Seeing all the beautiful lights transform my house into a winter wonderland makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside. But if you’re on a budget, and especially if you have just got a place of your own, achieving the look of a magical grotto can feel out of reach.
So here are some, maybe unconventional ideas, for how to decorate your home on the cheap.
It is worth asking yourself whether you really need a Christmas tree. I know, I know! I said this post wasn’t going to make you feel like a Scrooge. But near me, the smallest real Christmas trees are selling for £45.
If a real tree just isn’t an option for you this Christmas, why not have a go at making a DIY one? That way you don’t have to miss out on the magic of Christmas but can save yourself a tidy sum.
Here are a few of my favourite unconventional Christmas trees:
For the book lover in your life:
(via: Very Merry Vintage Style)
The lifestyle blogger:
(via: Live Eco)
For the minimalist:
And my favourite, perfect for small spaces:
By getting inventive with your tree you can spend the money you will save on the presents that will be going under it instead.
No matter what you chose as your Christmas tree it’s going to need some decorations. Places like Primark and Poundland do some cheap but not cheap looking decorations, but if you are really pinching the pennies, DIY decorations needn’t look naff.
Paper baubles can easily be made in different colours and patterns.
These scandi-inspired decorations are all over the place this year. I have seen similar ones in several shop windows on the high street. Using leftover wrapping paper, I was able to make these stylish origami decorations with very little effort. Find the tutorials I followed here from All Things Paper.
If you are after more traditional Christmas baubles why not check out this tutorial from Handmade Gifts Made Easy?
(via: Homemade Gifts Made Easy)
Or make use of old Christmas cards with this Polkadoodle tutorial.
(via: Maker Mama)
If you’re looking for ideas to decorate other areas of your house too, garlands are the way to go. They can easily be made from paper or you can scavenge for evergreens from your garden.
For this star garland I followed this tutorial from Girl About Townhouse. She even has a handy video to follow step by step!
Or why not collect pine cones on a winter walk and make this pine garland? Perfect for getting that Christmasy smell if you don’t have a real tree.
(via: The Simple Things)
So there we have it! 5 Christmas crafts to save you money. I hope that this post inspires you to get creative in your money saving this year. I would love to know if you give any of these crafts a go and leave a comment if you have any other suggestions.