Hours Of Fun Craft Countdown To Christmas – Christmas cards. 7 Days To Go!

Hours of Fun are counting down the days until Christmas by sharing a different Christmas activity each day.  Starting on the 13th December with the last post being published on Christmas Eve.

On the 6th day of Christmas my true love gave to me………A handmade Christmas card!

Make your own Christmas cards

Making Christmas cards is one of my favourite things to do for Christmas, although I often leave it a little late in starting them, it then becomes a race against the Post Office posting dates to make sure they get to people in time!!  I set a reminder this year at the start of November to get going on them, but it seems I ignored it!  I need to come up with a more effective reminder system for next Christmas!

You can have a lot of fun making Christmas cards and you don’t need to be an expert artist or crafter, you just need some glue, scissors, old Christmas cards, card blanks and some coloured paper or card and off you go!

You can recycle your old Christmas cards and make some fantastic new ones.  Cut out the pictures on the front, you can also cut out the verse or greeting printed inside the card and use this on your  new card creations.  Layering a card up is a simple technique that produces a fantastic finish.  Using sticky pads for this works really well to give it depth.  You can cut out a shape a little smaller than your card in coloured or Christmas printed paper, then using your recycled card topper build up a picture. 

One thing I have learnt recently is that some of the layered cards can become too thick to send as a normal letter and you will have to pay the extra to send it as a large letter.  It is worth baring this in mind when you are sticking them together.

My favourite purchase last year was a pad of Christmas printed paper.  I have used it for loads of things and it has been cut up and stuck on lots of cards.  Printed paper brings a stylish look to any card, and you can layer it up with a pieces of plain coloured paper or card to produce an effective design. 

I have used rather a lot of felt shapes for this year’s cards.  I have a little felt obsession and can cut through felt using my Big Shot cutting machine and am slowly building up a fab Christmas cutter and embossing selection to use with the machine.  With the combination of Christmas printer paper, a simple purple heart can be made into a feature on a Christmas card.

This year I have also had a lot of fun making Christmas characters with pipe cleaner and then attaching them onto cards using a needle and thread.    You can make snowmen, reindeer, Father Christmas and anything else Christmassy.  If you then cut out a piece of card or paper slightly smaller than your card blank, attached the pipe cleaner figure on to this sheet using a needle and thread, don’t forget to stick the ends of the thread down with some sticky tape.  Once attached you can then stick your pre-cut card/paper onto you card blank and der der!!  You have hidden your sewing leaving a neat finish and have made a super fun card to give someone.

I love receiving hand made cards and always keep them as I have a box upstairs that I put all hand made cards into.    Each year the number we receive seems to be increasing too which I love even more.  Apologies to those of you who will be receiving a Christmas card from us as there is a chance you will see it here before you receive it!!

Hours of Fun Craft Countdown to Christmas – Christmas cakes. 11 days to go!!

Hours of Fun are counting down the days until Christmas by sharing a different Christmas activity each day.  Starting yesterday with the last post being published on Christmas Eve.

On the 2nd day of Christmas my true love gave to me………A homemade yummy Christmas cake!

Bake and decorate your own Christmas cake

For as long as I can remember we have had a homemade Christmas cake and it’s always delicious.  I have a few different recipes for fruit cake I like to use.  Delia’s classic Christmas cake is a good one and Beginner’s guide to cake decorating which includes a light and dark fruit cake recipe of which both are delicious.

A fruit cake does require some preparation time and ideally should be made a couple of months before Christmas to allow you to feed it every week or so with more brandy.  Don’t forget to weigh out your fruit the night before baking your cake and leave it to soak in brandy overnight.  Ensure you will not need your oven for anything else when it is time to bake the cake as it can take a very long time.  I often find it takes at least one hour longer than the recipe states however everyone’s oven is different so make sure you check it as it nears the end time given.  Stick a skewer in and if it comes out with bits of cake on then it’s not ready.

Then you get to the decorating part which is a lot of fun.  If you want a marzipan layer this goes on first.  You can then go for something simple by covering the cake with ready to roll fondant to give a smooth finish or you can make royal icing and cover the cake giving a rough  snow scene finish.

Ideas for decorating the cake  include a Christmas message written across the cake, modeled figures made from fondant and rolled fondant cut into shapes.  You can also buy lots of fantastic decorations at your local supermarket or cake supply shop, plastic and edible.

Making a Christmas cake is a lot of fun and very rewarding as you get to eat it too!  You can get the children involved, have a night with some friends making models for the cake and try out different types of fruit cake as there are a lot!  You could try Jamaica cake made with rum or Stollen which is a traditional German fruit cake.

 

Hours of Fun Craft Countdown to Christmas – Christmas Tree Decorations. 12 days to go!

Hours of Fun are counting down the days until Christmas by sharing a different Christmas activity each day.  Starting today with the last post being published on Christmas Eve.

On the 1st day of Christmas my true love gave to me………A handmade Christmas decoration!

Make your own Christmas Tree decorations.

Christmas tree decorations are lots of fun and can be as simple or as tricky as you wish to take on.  Using Christmas coloured felt, foam and material pieces  you can create gorgeous decorations to add to your tree.

Snowmen, Christmas trees, stockings, angels, reindeer and snowflakes are fab shapes to work with, accessorising with googly eyes, glitter, shapes, ribbon and beads.

Hours of Fun sell make your own Christmas Tree Decoration kits which contain everything you need to make a decoration along with instructions, and we are happy to put together a particular shape or colour theme for you.  You may even be able to make a decoration using items around the house.  Have a wander around and see what you can find.  Look for scraps of material, old clothes, cotton wool, coloured paper, coloured card, ribbon,  string, buttons and stickers.    Find your scissors and glue and get crafting.

Draw the shape you want to use onto some plain paper, we will use a Snowman in this example.  Cut the Snowman out and use it as your template.  Trace the shape onto your material, foam, card, make sure you use something that will hold its shape when hung.  Decorate the Snowman by cutting out and gluing on a hat, scarf, buttons and arms if you wish, don’t forget to give him a face!  You will need to attach some ribbon or string to the top of the Snowman so he can be hung from the tree, this can be done by making a hole in the Snowman and threading a piece of ribbon through or by gluing it on – make sure it is secure as you don’t want it falling from the tree.

Other ideas

Buy some polystyrene balls which you can get from craft shops and decorate them with Christmas printed materials, ribbon and sequins.  These create fantastic baubles and you can make a set of matching colours to fit in with your colour scheme.

Buy plain baubles and paint them with Christmas pictures and designs, why not use glitter and googly eyes to add effects.

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