7 Holiday DIYS You Need to Try

hand with wreaths and candles
  • 1-8 hours
  • Beginner
  • 0-100

The holidays are a time of bustling activity, from parties to shopping, to decorating the home. But during those long dark nights when the hum of the household slows to a simmer, get into the season with some DIY decor and gifts.

1. Wreaths

The essence of a wreath is as basic as it gets—simply shape materials into a circle. Your creativity is the only limitation here. For a Christmas vibe, use the cuttings from your tree. Use a wire, foam, straw, or rattan form and attach your sprigs with any type of plant ties or wire. Adorn your conifer base with bulbs, dried fruit, ribbon, or ornaments. You can also attach lights.

Wreaths are so versatile you can shape one from eucalyptus, magnolia leaves, boxwood, and more. You can also wrap a base with wide ribbon or jute material and decorate it for any season.

Although any wreath can make a nice gift, a special touch comes from wooden shapes cut using a bandsaw. Go with a holiday theme such as stocking, snowflakes, bells or Santa and cut an assortment of pieces out of thin wood. Paint or decorate them and then glue the cutouts in a circle around a wreath form.

2. Candles

hands holding candle in glass jar

Candle making is an age-old art. While once a necessity for light, today’s candles set the mood in a room, offer enticing scents, and add to the interior design motif. Gather some quality wax, wicks, scents, and coloring if desired. Melt the wax at a low temperature and place the wick into whatever form you want to use.

This can be anything from an aluminum can to the bottom of a milk carton to a purchased candle form. Then pour the wax into the form and allow it to cool. Once you get the technique down, experiment with the addition of natural materials like rosemary, mint, or pine needles. Decorate your candles to match the scent with a dried orange slice, flowers, or pine cones, for example.

3. Etched Glass

Turn boring into fabulous with a bit of etching cream such as Armour Etch. Use stencils or make your own by cutting a design from shelf liner. Make sure your stencils are firmly pressed into place to avoid the etching cream seeping beneath it.

Then apply a generous amount of cream and let it sit at least as long as the directions suggest. Rinse and remove your stencil. This technique can be used on glassware, jars, mirrors, vases, and more.

4. Ginger Body Scrub

ginger body scrub materials

Body scrubs are incredibly easy to make, but you don’t have to tell your gift recipient that. Go with the scents of the season with a peppermint or ginger option. Infuse coconut oil with peppermint or ginger by simmering for about 10 minutes. Then strain the mixture.

Combine the infused oil with either olive oil, grapeseed oil, or sunflower oil. Use about ¼ cup of each the coconut and the plant oil. Allow the mixture to cool and then combine with ½ cup white sugar and ½ cup of coarse salt. Add additional scent with essential oils if desired.

5. Stockings

You don’t have to have advanced seamstress skills to manage making stockings. If you are adept at using a sewing machine, the basic pattern is simply two large sock shapes sewn together with an opening at the top. You can then embellish with the addition of a cuff and decorate the sock with paints, embroidery, or patches that are sewn on.

You can also make stockings that are crocheted or knitted. If you’re into quilting, use the technique to make a patchwork stocking. In addition to making stockings for family members and friends, they make nice decorations and gift-giving bags.

6. Salt Dough Ornaments

hands painting colorful salt dough ornaments

These ornaments are easy and fun to make. Get the family involved by making the dough and creating handprints. Or shape them with cookie cutters and paint them. Remember to leave a hole in the top for a hanging ribbon. A sturdy straw works well for this.

The basic recipe is four cups of all-purpose flour, one cup of salt, and one and a half cups of water. Stir the ingredients together and knead with your hands until it’s smooth.

Roll the salt dough out thin on parchment paper that is on a cookie sheet. Use cutters to make your shapes, leaving the dough in place on the paper. Then bake your shapes at around 300 degrees for about an hour. Cool and let the decorating commence!

7. Advent Calendar

There are so many fun variations of advent calendars to help you count down the days until your favorite celebration. You can create covers for a wood display box with existing small compartments by tacking a swinging door to each one. Inside, place pieces of wrapped chocolate or other gifts. Or you can frame it in a corkboard and mount decorated wooden tags in a calendar pattern.

Put prizes with a matching number in a nearby container. The fun part of making your advent calendar is choosing the size and shape of the spaces so you can pick whether you want it to house small toys, mini liquor bottles, or sweet notes. It’s up to you!