Christmas is a great time to get crafty. Busting out the paintbrush or the glue gun can be a whole lot more relaxing than joining the hordes at the shops, and is also better for the budget and the planet.
Try these simple ideas for DIY gifts, décor and wrapping at your place.
Deck the Halls
DIY Christmas decorations are a great way to unleash your creativity, or at least keep the kids occupied. Start by choosing a theme or colour scheme and let the ideas flow from there.
BlackWhite by Resene editor LauraLynn Johnston reckons we could all use some extra cheer in our lives this Christmas in particular. "I'm decorating with jovial candy colours," she says. "Try incorporating pops of Resene Fringy Flower, Resene Golden Glow, Resene Consuela, Resene Sail and Resene Tuft Bush into an otherwise neutral scheme for a fun lolly-inspired look."
Or, if you’re more into a relaxed, coastal vibe, Johnston recommends a beachcombing session to get you started. "Shells are beautiful in their own right but they can make even lovelier decorations with a couple of coats of paint," she says. "I like to find two shells that are roughly the same size, paint them in two coats of a favourite colour like Resene Kumutoto (a soft-toned coastal blue) and hot glue them together with a loop of string in between."
Another idea is to gather up lots of small driftwood sticks, painted and then glued or bound together to form stars or tree shapes.
For sparkle fans, Johnston recommends picking up some test pots in metallics like Resene Rose Gold, Resene Gold Dust, Resene Proton and Resene Copper Fire to liven up any decorations you already own. "You could also create some simple star or sunburst ornaments by sticking small (approx. 25mm-35mm diameter) polystyrene balls together with a bunch of toothpicks so that they splay out in all directions," she says. "Then, paint the whole thing in two coats of Resene metallic paint."
If you’re keen to try your hand at making gifts this year, there are plenty of ideas on Pinterest or in craft or interiors magazines to try. For friends or family who like fishing or boating, Johnston recommends making keychains that float, in case they accidentally drop their keys in the water.
"All you need is a cork, an eye screw, a key ring, one or more Resene testpots in your choice of colours and one or two small artist’s brushes," she says. "I like painting nautical flags on them in Resene Tangaroa, Resene Pirate Gold, Resene Raging Bull, Resene Alabaster and Resene Blackjack that represent the first letter of the recipient’s name, but you can paint them with their initial or favourite colour instead. Once your paint has dried, simply screw the eye screw into one end and attach the key ring. I definitely accumulated my fair share of corks in 2020, so it’s nice to be able to reuse them."
Alternatively, terracotta pots look great painted and then potted up with plants. Whether you choose to recycle old ones or buy them new, the first step is to wash your pot thoroughly and brush with a stiff brush to remove dust or dirt before allowing it to dry completely. If you’re potting straight into the pot and not using a plastic inner pot, be sure to seal the inside with Resene Aquapel and Terracotta Sealer to stop the water coming through and bubbling off your paint. Then paint your design using Resene testpots. You can leave it as is or for an extra glossy finish apply Resene Clearcoat UVS.
When deciding which plant to put in your creation, take your cue from the recipient. The interior lover might want an indoor palm or a philodendron for a tropical look, fans of cooking will always welcome a potted herb for the windowsill, and first-time plant parents might welcome an easy-care cactus or succulent. Or for a child, you might like to gift them some seeds and let them experience the joy of growing their own plant by themselves.
It’s a wrap
A more sustainable and inexpensive option than buying plastic-coated gift wrap is to print your own on recycled craft paper. Carve stamps from corks, polystyrene blocks or even potato halves, or criss-cross a few rubber bands around your Resene testpot to make a star-shaped stamp to dip in paint. Stencils are also great for sponging on paint, try making your own with colourful half moons or a terrazzo print.
Homemade wrapping paper is especially fun with small children. Simply apply barrier cream to their hand and/or foot first to make it easy to wash later. Then apply paint using a Resene testpot and a Resene testpot brush and let them stamp it onto the paper. Repeat with other colours. This one is especially good for grandparents – don’t be surprised if the paper gets kept for many years to come.
And if you’re happy with the results, don’t just stop at gift wrap – matching gift tags, place name holders and Christmas cards will add to the festive cheer.
For more Christmas project ideas, see the Resene website, or visit your Resene ColorShop to pick up your favourite testpots and get creating.
This article is created for Resene