5 Fun DIY crafts to brighten the holidays

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The holiday season is about spreading love, cheer, and happiness — especially during a holiday season like this one. Tensions from this year created stress for people as they returned to work, school, and their lifestyles prior to the pandemic. As the year comes to a close, some may forget the true spirit of merriment that makes this holiday season so important. Making fun arts and crafts alone or with friends and family can be an outlet for creativity, appreciation, and simply making one’s surroundings more vibrant. Here are five easy and enjoyable DIY crafts you can try to revive the excitement of the wonderful holiday season.

  1. Thread Spool Wreath

The Christmas wreath has always been an iconic holiday symbol, and the addition of a vintage spin on this DIY wreath places it at the top of the list for fun holiday creations. All that is required to create this easy project is a styrofoam wreath base, duct tape, a glue gun, a ribbon (for the bow), and most importantly, spools of thread (preferably wooden). 

First, wrap the entire wreath base in duct tape. Afterwards, apply glue with the glue gun to wherever you plan on placing the spools of thread; however, it is recommended to cover every last spot with spools or spare materials that serve as decor. Finally, wrap the bow with the ribbon on top of the wreath so it can be hung anywhere.


      2. Apple Pie Garlands

If there’s anything to look forward to for the holiday season, it’s the mouthwatering food that graces the dinner table. From mashed potatoes coated with dripping gravy, all the way to the shining roast beef, it is a tradition to eat as much delicious food as possible without a second thought; and, of course, there is always room for the dessert that follows. Inspired by the famous apple pie, a holiday classic, DIY pie garlands are a simple and colorful addition for festive homes.

 Gather red, orange, and brown cardstock, scissors, glue, and twine to create the garland. Begin by cutting triangle shapes out of red and orange construction paper, or cardstock, into shapes resembling pie slices. Then, take long strips of light brown or beige paper and, with glue, paste them on the pie slice to make the lattice of the actual pie! For the crust, take a dark or light brown long strip of paper and fold it in alternating square sides so that the strip will be crinkled when unfolded. Use a glue gun to glue one strip of paper to the top of each paper slice to make it. To make a garland, take a long piece of twine and attach the pie slices with a glue gun. Now the finished garland can be hung in a living room as holiday decor.


      3. Felt and Candy Cane Christmas Trees

Candy canes and fun food go hand in hand when it comes to finding creative ways to serve some Christmas dessert. This DIY craft features a Christmas tree with a candy cane attached and can be used as a simple holiday present or a dinner table decoration. 

For this craft, all that is needed is green felt, a star sticker (foam preferred), tacky glue, scissors, small pom poms, and a candy cane. First, cut out the outline of a Christmas tree from the green felt using your scissors. Next, fold the tree in half on the vertical side (left to right) and cut six small slits on the fold. IMPORTANT: Ensure the slits are cut in three sets: one on the top, in the middle, and on the bottom. Following that, unfold the tree and slide in the candy cane through the slits as this will keep it in place. Lastly, stick the star sticker on top of the tree and glue on the mini pom poms with your tacky glue, adding any extra decorations as you see fit. This craft has been completed and can be used to add onto the holiday spirit.


      4. Popsicle Stick Snowflake

The winter season is perfect for staying in and trying new things, so why not take advantage of it for a holiday craft? 

To make this popsicle stick snowflake, start by gathering different colors of popsicle sticks (or paint regular ones). After that, use hot glue to stick one on top of the other, making a snowflake shape. Finally, now it’s time for the fun part: apply liquid/tacky glue in thin lines on each of the popsicle sticks and sprinkle glitter on it to make it dazzle. This is optional, but a small winter themed sticker can be added at the edge of each stick for further decoration. One can hang this beautiful art project anywhere in their home to add even more excitement for the snowfall.


      5. Canvas Button Art Christmas Tree

This artsy idea is the most complicated on the list, but it is the most rewarding. This craft requires a canvas, paintbrushes, markers, acrylic paint, gel glue, colorful buttons in different sizes, and beads. 

Begin by lightly sketching out a decorated Christmas tree on the canvas. Once drawn, paint the entire background with acrylic paint, letting it dry and leaving the sketch untouched. Then, paint the tree a nice shade of green and fill in the ornaments and lights on the tree with colorful patterns that are vibrant to the eye and will make it stand out from the background. Afterwards, outline the different colors on the sketch with a marker or dark paint as a reference for the different areas for buttons. Now is the fun part: Finally, starting with the Christmas tree itself, apply gel glue on the dried green paint and cover it in buttons and beads of different sizes that are the same color. Do the same for the various ornaments and decor on the tree, placing the beads/buttons on the corresponding color of paint. The final product is a textured, vibrant piece of artwork that not only adds to Christmas cheer, but can be hung on a wall year round to showcase your creativity.

Easy DIYs serve as exceptional bonding ideas, cute gifts, or merry decorations to adorn one’s home. Making crafts during the holidays brings a great sense of cheer, whether it’s done individually or with friends, so Harrisites should try out at least one this Christmas. It’s the season of looking back and remembering all the experiences and good times we’ve had despite the circumstances of this past year. A wholesome artsy activity is the perfect way to enjoy the season with others.

Art by Sophia Park