First you must gather all the materials you will need for your forthcoming Christmas crafts session.
Start very local – send the children out into in the back garden to gather colourful berries and seed heads, tendrils of ivy, sprigs of holly (gardening gloves on) and left over lavender from the summer – anything that will add colour, texture or form to your Christmas creations.
Next, go for a walk in the woods. Collect whatever you think will work with your Christmassy theme; pine cones of course, along with sprigs of pine, more holly, ivy and berries and even small twigs to make a star.
Forage for natural decoration materials
Down at the greengrocers, concentrate on colour and aroma. Buy cranberries, citrus fruits, cinnamon sticks, cloves, star anise, dried chillies and anything else that will add seasonal colour to your creations. For very little outlay, this is where you can add the wow factor.
If you wish to supplement your natural materials, head to the craft shop for glitter, gold, silver and white paint, tinsel and (essential this) miniature snowmen and Santas. You might also like to pick up some oasis floral foam – it’s a green spongy material for keeping displays in place and well-watered.
Don't forget to add some glitter
Slice your citrus fruits into rings and put them in a low oven for a few hours to dry them out. Gather your materials. Clear a space on the kitchen table and lay everything out. You are ready to create your masterpieces.
Dried citrus fruit are great to use
A simple idea to start with: thread your dried citrus fruits along with cinnamon sticks and create hanging decorations for the tree. Like that? Next, create your table centre for the all-important Christmas lunch. This can be as easy as placing candles on a plate and surrounding them with cranberries. Intersperse some sprigs of ivy, pine or even rosemary for contrast. So easy and so festive.
Alternatively, using some oasis floral foam arrange your holly, ivy and berries in a basket around a central candle. Take some pine cones, paint the tips white for a snow-dusted effect and add these at the base of the candle. Our design is shown. Get cracking and send us a picture of yours. Feeling ambitious? How about a wreath for your door. You will need a 12-14 inch diameter circular frame, wire, moss, ribbon, some of your pine cones, holly, dried fruits and chillies and any other decorations you choose.
Start by winding the wire onto your frame...actually, the more we think about this, the more complicated it sounds. Scrap the wreath, your local florist will do a much better job of it.
A finished handmade centrepiece
Pour yourself a glass of Christmas cheer, step back and admire the fruits of your labour. This is the moment at which you realise the children are nowhere to be seen.
They wandered away somewhere in between steps 3 and 4 to watch Polar Express (again). The joy of making your own rustic decorations is that you were so engrossed that you didn't even notice they were gone.
The downside to this absorbing and deeply satisfying activity is that is now Xmas Eve and you haven’t defrosted the turkey, wrapped the presents or booked the taxi to collect Grandma tomorrow. But, hey, the house does look lovely and Christmassy and that citrusy, piney aroma is so festive...
Admire your natural decoration
Decorate your cabin with loved ones