Our founder, Sarah Cressall, writes a monthly article for Crafts Business magazine. Read Sarahs tips on enjoying a creative Christmas to bring the festive season to sparkly life.
There is something truly magical about the festive season, catching up with people, sparkly lights, the smell of fir trees and open fires, plus great food and drink and a vibrancy in the air.
Ever since I can remember I’ve made my own Christmas cards. For me and the kids it’s been part of our festive preparations.
We’ve come up with a wide range of ideas and slightly mad activities. From potato printed reindeers, fabric Christmas trees, tree doodles, photo montages and clay Christmas decorations attached to the cards with ribbon - most of these broke when they landed on the door mat and people got an envelope of white powder (I said it was Christmas magic dust!). It’s a great excuse to get creative together and convert the kitchen table into a festive creative hub.
As well as bringing the family together, there are lots of opportunities to tap into your creativity to produce a more personalized, mindful, cost effective or eco Christmas depending on your focus.
There are endless ways to create your own design for your Christmas cards, gift tags, wrapping paper and Christmas tree decorations. Here are a few ideas to feed your inspiration:
1. Have a go at lino cutting a design and printing – I’ve just done my first lino print and created a doodle bauble and I’m hooked now!
2. Embellish a favourite photo – print the photo and perhaps add on Santa hats, or cut out and change the background to a festive scene.
3. Doodle Christmas designs – take a line for a walk and see what Christmas designs you can come up with.
4. Use old Christmas wrapping paper or old cards to create a collage.
5. Paint a design – experiment with limiting your pallet to two colours.
6. Make some potato prints and paint and print.
7. Ask the family to create painted fingerprints, once dry, turn these into a portrait with a black marker pen.
8. Turn your fingerprints into a family of reindeers.
9. Cut up some old cardboard boxes to create shapes and use this to print with.
10. Draw shapes and embellish with buttons stars, eco glitter etc.,
11. Recycle old pieces of paper into different lengths to create a recycled paper strip effect tree.
12. Transform handprints into santa, trees or whatever your imagination comes up with.
13. Fold triangles of paper into trees and embellishments.
14. Sew directly onto the card to create unique star patterns.
15. Create concertina folds with a piece of white paper, and cut out snowman shapes to create a snowman garland and decorate.
16. If you are creating with kids, give them a range of materials, put some festive tunes on and just see what happens!
Of course, once you have your design you can either print, or send digital cards. A further development is to use some of the many apps to animate your image. This is a great way of using screen time for extending the creative process, very popular with teenagers!
For a slightly different take on giving Christmas cards – give a mini malleable reusable personalized sculpture. Create a Christmas tree model from Play-Doh, add beads and buttons as embellishments and pop a paper clip in the top. Cut out a star from gold card and write the recipients name on one side and your name of the back. Slide the star into the paper clip and you have a very unique festive greeting sculpture.
Developing these ideas further you can create a wide range of wonderful hand-made items that provide truly thoughtful gifts.
Reusing and repurposing other materials can also create some lovely effects.
Here are a few ideas around a more eco friendly, hand-made, or budget conscious Christmas:
1. Button Christmas trees – thread recycled buttons of different sizes, largest at the bottom to create a mini Christmas tree effect.
2. Personalised Christmas baubles - celebrate babies first Christmas, or a newly married couples first Christmas.
3. Create a Christmas wreath made from cut up clothes – transform outgrown clothes into a family ‘rag wreath’ heirloom.
4. Photo montage - create a canvas of the past year or two of favourite photos.
5. Turn old jewelry into book-marks – tie two knots, two inches in from each end of a piece of coloured string. Thread three the beads onto each end and knot the string. and leave the beads on either end.
6. Paint an old plant pot and pop a plant in.
7. Design a book of personalised vouchers – these could be for babysitting, cooking dinner, taxi rides…you name it!
8. Hand paint a pebble with a personalised message
9. Upcycle an old favourite item of clothing into a cushion cover.
10. Turn old socks into a cuddly toy – stuff with other old socks and sew the opening up. Tie a ribbon around the middle, add fabric for eyes and ears. (don’t sew buttons if you are giving this to a young child as they can be a choking hazard).
11. Design and make greeting card and envelope sets for a gift that will keep giving all year.
12. Create a bouquet of hand made flowers – you can make these from recycled card, tissue paper, paper straws etc.
13. Create a personalized name plate for a door - papier mache a piece of card with the persons name on.
To find lots more creative activities and ideas subscribe to The Creation Station Youtube for a weekly 'Make it Monday' video tutorial.
My Amazon best selling book ‘Creative Sparks – mishaps, hurdles and ideas to inspire you and yours’ is packed with over 52 ideas to inspire both children and adults imagination all year round. An inspiring gift for anyone who loves to develop their creativity.
This Christmas at The Creation Station we are providing lots of creative ideas, inspiration and a fun competition to help get the festive creative juices flowing.
Check out www.thecreationstation.co.uk for:
- Daily advent inspiration of hand-made Christmas activity ideas.
- Creative family festive challenge
- Enter a design for our Christmas Card 2019 competition.
With 2020 close by, you may be thinking about creating a new career or making a change to achieve more flexibility, to use your talents, to benefit from your own hard work or perhaps you are looking at ways to turn your passion for creativity into your own business.
You may have seen the increase in demand for creative classes, parties and events for children and adults. With a Creation Station franchise, you receive award-winning training and on-going support to deliver art and craft activities for both children and adults within your community. Many of our 120 successful franchise owners had never ran a business before and come from a wide range of backgrounds, including PA’s. teachers, HR, crafters, managers and bankers.
Now, we see over 20,000 children and adults a week and customers have rated our activities 5-Star. Demand continues to increase.
If you would like to create a 2020 that puts you in control of your working career doing something you love and making a difference to others please request your information pack
Wishing you a fabulous and fun festive season,
Here’s to inspiring futures,
Best Selling Author, Multi-Award-Winning Entrpreneur, Speaker, Founder and CEO of The Creation Station