You’ve put up the Christmas tree, right? Posted all your Christmas cards, organised thoughtful gifts for your nearest and dearest, and planned the perfect menu for a light Christmas lunch (which will follow festive brunch with the neighbours before festive dinner at your in-laws)?
Oh, not yet? Don’t worry – nor have we, so we’ve pulled together the best festive hacks and Christmas themed DIY ideas we could find to make silly season celebrations a cinch.
DIY Christmas trees
1. Scandi style Christmas tree
Sometimes less is more! This chic Scandi style Christmas tree is perfect for adding the holiday spirit to any small space with minimal effort. All you need is a petite tree, a woven basket and a few fairy lights. Caitlin and Manda from The Merrythought put together this minimal Christmas tree DIY for West Elm. Check out the step by step tutorial here.
2. Modern Christmas tree
Christmas needn’t be a traditional affair. Give your festive decorations a modern twist with a forest of mini Christmas trees in your favourite colours. To create this eye-catching DIY project, you’ll need paper mache cones. (You can find these at educational suppliers or craft stores like Spotlight). You’ll also need aerosol paint and metallic pens in copper or gold for painterly splashes to complete the look. Kara explains exactly what’s involved in her blog A Kailo Chic Life.
3. Fairy lights
It might be too hot for a fire on Christmas day in the Southern Hemisphere, but you can add an inviting glow to your living room with a luminous fairy light tree. Visit A Pair & A Spare where Geneva gives super easy to follow step-by-step instructions on how to assemble a fairy light Christmas tree on pine wood backing. Can’t fit 3m of plywood in your house? You could also attach 3M hooks directly to your wall in the shape of a tree then thread through a string of fairy lights for instant ambience.
4. Hanging herbs
An aromatic and rustic alternative to a traditional Christmas tree, this novel DIY is perfect for foodies. Bundle up your favourite herbs (make sure to pick varieties such as Rosemary or Sage that will dry well – no one wants droopy Parsley). Then, hang them with twine from a picture rail or wooden dowel. Bonus, this will come in handy if you run out of herbs while preparing Christmas dinner!
5. Cactus Christmas tree
Move aside, pinetree! You can transform any indoor plant into a Christmas tree with the addition of some pom poms, tinsel or other festive accoutrements. Sugar & Cloth prickles our fancy by transforming a humble cactus into a Christmas tree alternative with brightly coloured trim and super cute pom pom trim – check out their easy DIY instructions here! Can we keep our plants decorated all year? Get some inspo on which plant to choose with our tips on the best indoor plants for Aussie homes.
6. Geometric Balsa wood
Ensure Christmas is a classy affair with a modern minimalist balsa wood tree via Fiddle and Spoon. Chic and architectural, this DIY project promises a luxurious final product that wouldn’t look out of place in a high-end boutique. These tree-riffic designs also make great table decorations when created in miniature. Customise the colours to match your décor.
7. Party fringing
Have a penchant for pastels? Then yule love A Bubbly Life’s fringed Christmas trees in mint green and bubblegum pink. Laurel shows us how easy it is to start with cardboard or paper mache cones. Just cover with fringing created from cut-up tissue paper strips. This DIY also works great with metallic tinsel if you’re looking for something with more glitz and glam.
8. Mini vignette Christmas tree
Apartment dwellers may not have halls to deck with holly, but they needn’t miss out on spreading Christmas cheer! Bring the fun of the silly season to a small space with this idea shared by Stone Gable. Check out the tutorial, complete with a list of all of the household items you could use to put together this fun-sized festive scene here.
DIY Christmas decorations
9. Bauble wreath
Your front door is sure to become the talk of the neighbourhood if you recreate this fun idea from Sweet Pickins. Steal a few of your kids’ pool noodles, invest in an abundance of baubles (Kmart has a great range), fire up a hot glue gun then get glueing to create this show-stopping wonder. We love the rainbow effect Sweet Pickins has created, but this DIY would also look great in one block colour.
10. Minimalist wreath
Between presents, decorations and social occasions, most of us tend to go a bit overboard on Christmas. Cut through the clutter and give your back pocket a break with a chic and minimal wreath that can be assembled in minutes, and with very few materials, thanks to this step by step guide from These Four Walls.
11. Horizontal wreath
Love a pendant light? How about a pendant wreath? This clever idea by The White Company is a stylish twist on a traditional decoration. For this suspended showstopper, you’ll need a wreath, some rope and a strong ceiling hook (hire a handyman if you can’t hang one yourself). Check out these Christmas table decoration ideas for more inspo. And, bonus, more space on the table for Christmas dinner! No complaints here.
12. Advent calendar
An advent calendar can make every morning feel like Christmas morning. Design your advent calendar however you want – be it with brown paper bags or bottle caps. Simplify Create Inspire has loads of ideas worth checking out. Fill up your advent calendar with notes, chocolates, and trinkets for your child or partner. What better way to count down the days until Christmas?
13. Mason jar lid and bauble wreath
A fresh wreath will generally last around two-three weeks maximum depending on how well you take care of it, and how much Mother Nature decides to crank up the heat during December. For an option that lasts forever and is a fresh take on tradition, this DIY is for you. Check out the full tutorial by Donna at Funky Junk Interiors here.
14. Tinsel wreath
Your days will be extra merry with a tinsel wreath positioned above your mantlepiece! A cheap and cheerful DIY project, a tinsel wreath can be assembled in under ten minutes (which leaves you extra time to shop for all of those last-minute gifts!). Visit Happy Thought for the full tutorial, plus ideas on customising your creation.
15. Marble baubles
According to DIY enthusiasts Alice and Lois, it only takes five minutes to make these stunning marble baubles! A must-do-DIY for anyone with a penchant for marble, these gorgeous baubles can be done in any colour to suit your festive decor. Visit Alice and Lois for the full DIY, plus plenty of other crafty Christmas ideas!
16. Clothespeg snowflakes
You can make Christmas ornaments from just about anything, as Allison from Dream a Little Bigger shows in this DIY project. Steal a few pegs from the washing line, and grab some glitter and glue to transform an everyday household item into a beautiful Christmas tree decoration! These stunning stars would also make great present toppers when attached to a gift with ribbon.
17. Personalised baubles
As you may know, we love a good #kmarthack, so we were impressed when we saw these lovely Christmas baubles! Caroline from Girl about townhouse says all you need is a bauble, sharpie, and some pretty ribbon. Spell out the name or initial of your loved one, and there you have it! A beautiful ornament you can also use as a fancy gift tag.
18. Painted pinecones
Hunting for the easiest Christmas DIY ever? Call off the search! Just forage for some pinecones (or twigs, or pampas grass, or palm leaves), pop down to Bunnings and grab some metallic spray paint then spray to your heart’s content! Instant luxe with natural charm and the possibilities are endless. Add them to a vase, arrange in a bowl or scatter over the table as a festive centerpiece. For tips on how to paint pinecones, visit ShabbyFufu.
19. Snowglobe terrarium jars
20. Luminaire centrepieces
December days are guaranteed to be lit with these simple yet effective centrepieces. Round up some mason jars, tea lights, greenery and cranberries and voila, your table is ready for Christmas lunch! Kim from Today’s Creative Life explains how to make these 5-minute DIYs here.
21. Ice light candle holders
While we’re not sure how long these would actually last on a hot Christmas night in Australia, we think these ice lights are super cool! Check out the tutorial from Bo Bedre here (just FYI it’s in Norwegian so you’ll have to translate!). For a longer lasting version of this fabulously frosty DIY, we recommend making the bases from resin with help from this tutorial.
22. Gold handlettering ornaments
There is something so elegant about gold lettering. In addition to making your own tree look fab, these glittering ornaments also make a great gift for friends, family and colleagues. Lorita at Ting and Things shows how easy it is to make these stylish DIY ornaments. Find the full list of supplies and instructions here.
23. Clay Christmas ornaments
These clay ornaments have that perfect handmade look. Aren’t they pretty? And the best part is they’re easy to make! All you need are some air dry clay, letter stamps, and twine. You can also add watercolours to highlight your family members’ names. Jelica of A Pretty Fix shows five different ways to make air dry clay ornaments.
24. Car ornaments
The motoring enthusiast in your household will get revved up over these wheely cool decorations. Rather than raiding your favourite little person’s prized Matchbox collection, we suggest purchasing some cheap car toys from your local $2 shop to complete this DIY. Visit Please Note Paper for the full list of materials plus a comprehensive how-to.
25. Giant baubles
Supersize your Christmas celebrations with XL baubles! Fabulous stacked up in a pile, or perched atop a Christmas tree, these oversized and over-the-top ornaments are easy to construct with foam balls and a few other materials. Love this idea? Kara from A Kailo Chic Life has you covered with her simple step by step guide.
26. Festive pillow
A quick DIY is all you need to turn your living room into a festive space. Simply wrap your pillows like a present; Perfect if you have Christmas-coloured ribbons lying around! You can even wrap your pillow with a festive flannel shirt you have on-hand. Here are some Christmas pillow ideas from HGTV.
DIY Christmas gifts
27. Bath salts
Handmade gifts remind your loved ones that you’re thinking about them. This ever-so-creative DIY from Sugar & Cloth combines homemade bath salts with sand art. If you don’t have any large jars laying around at home, you can buy some mini RAJTAN spice jars from Ikea.
28. Peppermint mason jar candles
Is it even Christmas if your house doesn’t smell like lollies, spice, or fruit? A lovely way to ignite Christmas cheer in your household, this DIY project doubles as a handmade present. Crafty blogger A Pumpkin And A Princess says you’ll need soy candle wax, peppermint oil, and your creative juices to complete this project.
29. Embroidered notebooks
You’ll have sew much fun picking out a design then embroidering it onto a note book, thanks to Mollie Makes! This DIY project can be labour intensive if you’re not an experienced sewer so don’t leave it until the night before Christmas.
30. Marbled tea light cups
If you’re tempted by the marbled baubles above, get some other items in on the action! These plain glass tealight holders are easily transformed into unique pieces with just a bit of nail polish. Great for a bulk gifting. Chelsea explains how here.
31. Gingerbread lip scrub
Between kissing grandparents and smiling for family photos, your lips need some love at Christmas time! Delicious and a skin care staple, this lip scrub is a fab stocking stuffer that you can make while you’re whipping up a gingerbread house. Alyssa shows us how on the Runway Chef.
32. Cookies in a jar
A ready-to-go recipe in a jar is a fabulous gift idea for your favourite time-poor food lover. Simply layer the ingredients and print out instructions so that it’s easy for the giftee to make, bake, and devour. Crazy Little Projects has an easy-to-follow cookie recipe plus printable tags to give your jar a professional touch.
33. Bath bombs
Tis the season to be jolly and to relax in a bubblebath! Give the gift of pampering and relaxation this Christmas with a homemade bath bomb for anyone who appreciates a good soak. Customise the colour and scent with your favourite essential oils. You’ll find the full tutorial via Inspired by Charm.
34. Hot Chocolate baubles
Even on a hot summer’s night there’s nothing quite like a cup of cocoa to get into the Christmas spirit. This delicious DIY from Little White Socks is sure to impress; All you need is some hot cocoa powder, mini marshmallows, crushed candy canes and clear ornaments. Just pour the contents into a mug, add milk, and you’re all set!
35. Embroidered hankies
You can’t go wrong with practical gifts with a personal touch. If you have kids, why not trace their drawings onto handkerchiefs and embroider them? Your spouse is going to love a piece of your kids’ artwork to carry around. Grandma and Grandpa would love them, too! Other than doodles, you can sew on names or witty one-liners onto the hankies. Here’s how to do a standard stem stitch.
If you’re not confident with your sewing skills, you can hire a local seamstress to do a bunch of hankies for you.
36. Christmas slippers care package
Here’s a twist on your usual Christmas gift basket. Stuff a cosy pair of slippers with care package staples, such as lip balm, lotion, face masks, and chocolate. You’ll be giving your loved one everything they need for some pampering over the holidays. Check out these cute Christmas slippers basket ideas by Savvy Honey.
37. Framed handwritten recipes and letters
Your memorabilia don’t have to stay tucked away in your drawers. Take your most loved recipe or letter and display it in a beautiful frame. Here’s a quick guide on how to preserve ink on your framed handwritten recipes and letters.
38. Patterned coasters
Mod podge is your best friend when it comes to DIY gifts. Just look at these patterned coasters you can easily make with mod podge. Now all your spare wrapping paper and Christmas paper napkins don’t have to go to waste!
39. Christmas tea tree
Tea lovers are going to adore this! Christmas tea trees are a clever way to display tea bags. Simply grab a styrofoam cone and glue gun, and construct your mini tree. Also, you can choose colour palettes and tea flavours fit for the holidays. Top it off with a large bow and star cutout, and you’ll have a gift your loved ones will be proud to display at home.
Festive food for Christmas gatherings
40. Antipasto Christmas tree
A feast for your eyes and your stomach, this delicious DIY is quite possibly the best Christmas catering idea ever! Find a step-by-step tutorial that explains how to recreate this mouth-watering masterpiece at home via the CafeDelites website.
41. Rosemary wreath platter
Make the most of that lush rosemary bush in your backyard to create a rosemary wreath as the base for a festive antipasto platter. Trim a generous amount of rosemary, give it a rinse then assemble in a wreath shape on a circular plate. Garnish with olives, cheese, sundried tomatoes and any other finger foods that tickle your fancy. See more photos and HEAPS more festive food ideas at Home is Where the Boat is.
42. Sugar cone Christmas trees
An enchanted forest where all the trees are edible? Sign us up! These delicious treats are a fun and delicious kid-friendly DIY. Stock up on your favourite lollies and let your appetite be the guide. The hardest part is not eating all of the ingredients while you work! Nancy from Coupon Clipping Cook shows us how in this recipe.
43. Christmas tree cupcakes
Little bit of cake, little bit of green food colouring, whole lotta icing – these are just so cute! Manu’s Menu clearly has their cupcake piping technique down to a fine art, but if your baking skills aren’t quite there yet, just go heavy with the decorations. It’s all about the festive spirit, right?
44. Christmas tree meringues
The silly season just got sweeter thanks to these adorable Christmas tree meringues via Bargain Mums. Serve these cute, bite-sized trees as part of dessert, or use them as an edible table decoration or gift!
45. Strawberry Santa brownie bites
You can give practically any food a Christmas-y makeover with the addition of a strawberry Santa hat, and brownie bites are no exception. Make brownies from scratch, or if you’re time-poor, opt for a brownie mix from the supermarket, cut them into small rounds, then perch a strawberry Santa hat on top, and you have the beginnings of a festive feast. Visit I Heart Nap Time for detailed instructions.
46. Cinnamon hard candy
Spicy, sweet—cinnamon hard candy has all the fun and festive flavours you can ask for. By making your own cinnamon hard candy, you can put in as much or as little cinnamon oil as you want. Here’s a cinnamon hard candy recipe by Amy Brinkley of The Blond Cook.
47. Hot chocolate stirrers
These edible hot chocolate stirrers are genius. Just dip one of these into your hot cocoa or coffee, and you instantly get a holiday drink. To make the stirrers, dip the ends of peppermint sticks in melted chocolate. Then, sprinkle on some crushed candy canes or marshmallows misted with water. Here’s a 15-minute recipe by Grace and Good Eats.
Christmas gift wrapping ideas
48. Eco-friendly gift wrapping
Furoshiki – the Japanese art of fabric wrapping – is a sophisticated change of pace to presents wrapped in paper. Use fabric in a pretty print or block colour, or purchase some cute teatowels, then wrap away! Get inspired about the possibilities of furoshiki in this tutorial by My Poppet Makes.
You don’t need to be a master calligrapher to create bespoke wrapping paper adorned with your favourite festive phrases (but it would certainly help!). Chloe from Boxwood Avenue says all you need to recreate this chic wrapping DIY is paper, a sharpie, and some silly season slogans. Finish with a striped ribbon and a sprig of your favourite herb.
50. Hand-painted gift wrapping
Painterly brush strokes never looked so good! We love this DIY idea by Lay Baby Lay who transforms bland black paper into a work of abstract art with white and pink brushstrokes. She continues the artistic flair with an array of ribbons and fun finishing touches including mini trees and golden bells.
51. Star-shaped gift wrapping
Are you a star on the sewing machine? Then you’ll have no problem re-creating this stunning wrapping idea by A Pair and A Spare. Get going with a star template, then fire up the Singer to stitch together a star-shaped pouch. Fill with confetti or tinsel pieces for extra wow.
52. Animal gift wrapping
Whether you channel the North Pole with a penguin present, or prefer to keep things closer to home with a gift resembling your favourite four-legged friend, animal gift wrapping is an adorable idea. Handcraft heavyweight Lia Griffith has done the hard work for you and has created animal stencils that you can download from her website and print at home. Thanks Lia!
53. Roller stamp prints
Did somebody say #IkeaHack?! Transform a humble Ikea lint roller into a stamp to decorate wrapping paper with this amazing tutorial by Handmade Charlotte. Once your stamp is assembled, apply paint and get rolling. It’s that easy!
54. Reindeer gift wrapping
If Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer is the most popular Christmas carol in your household, there’s simply no going past this wrapping idea from Frog Prince Paperie. It doesn’t matter what shape the present; Wrap it up in brown paper, add a red nose and some antlers and voila, Rudolph wrapping complete!
55. Simple gift wrapping
Brown paper packages tied up with string… if these are a few of your favourite things, you’ll love this simple wrapping idea via These Four Walls. Basic yet beautiful, the wrapping of these presents is elegant without detracting from the wow-factor of the gifts inside.
56. Sweater totes
Have any stretched out or shrunken sweaters? Cut out the sweater sleeves and slip them onto some wine bottles. Then, add some nice ribbons. These cosy-looking wine bottle gift bags will surely make your friends smile.
57. Boozy popsicles
58. Christmas pudding vodka
Spice up Christmas drinks without overheating with this infused vodka recipe from Jamie Oliver. Perfect for a hot Aussie day with heaps of ice!
59. Cranberry mocktail
Let’s face it – for lots of us, Christmas involves lots of driving around, so a good mocktail is appreciated by one and all. Get refreshed with this cranberry concoction by Say Yes.
60. Beer Advent calendar
What’s better than a surprise present every day? A surprise beer every day! Chasin’ Mason brings the Christmas cheer with this beer advent calendar.
But wait—there’s myrrh!
When should you take your Christmas decorations down?
Tradition states that your Christmas tree and decorations should be taken down on Twelfth Night to avoid bad luck (apparently tree spirits live in the foliage so, yknow, they’re trying to enjoy the holiday season, too).
Whether you believe in the superstition or not, don’t let your brilliant DIY efforts go to waste and salvage your favourite pieces for next year. Box up your baubles, wreaths and trinkets with clear labels, so you can easily retrieve them from storage.
PS. Kmart’s Christmas range includes specialised storage solutions for all your decor, wrapping, and even your Christmas tree if you love being super organised.
Have yourself a merry little Christmas!
Header photos by: A Pair and a Spare / Alice & Lois / China Squirrel / The Merrythought