Vicky Urquhart of mental health charity, Mind shares her tips for a perfect Crafternoon.
Christmas – love it or loathe it many of us find it both a wonderful and yet incredibly hectic time of year. And when you’re juggling Christmas socialising with shopping and hospitality, it can all become a bit too much. However, if you decide to go down the DIY route you can literally tick a whole host of activities off your to-do list – without even leaving the house!
- Make your own Christmas cards
We all know that braving the shops can be tough enough at Christmastime. And cards are often something you need to buy in advance of gift shopping (unless you’re one of those incredibly organised types!). So, to limit the number of trips to the busy high street, why not make your own cards?
Plus, if you want to keep the children happy, at Mind we have a great template for a finger painted card so the kids can have fun and you can reap the rewards when you send them to your friends who all think they’re the cutest thing ever! (well…unless they decided to make mini Darth Vader cards that is. Perhaps keep that idea for Halloween!)
- Create your own Christmas decorations
If you’re anything like me, you also like to add a new bauble or two to the tree each year. So rather than battling your way through the garden centre’s busy winter wonderland looking for the perfect decoration, why not make your own?
Guess what? Yep, that’s right, us lovely lot at Mind have a template for decorations too! Check out these simple origami stars and get crafty with paper.
But if you want to make more of a statement with your new-found craft skills, have a go at making your own Christmas wreath. And for inspiration, look no further than Pinterest, which is home to a hive of wreath-making ideas.
- Homemade gifts
It doesn’t have to be all 3 for 1 at Boots this year! Create something unique. We’ve got a teddy bear template that you could try out (and there’s a simple version for little hands too). And to make it even more unique, why not use the colours of your favourite football club for footie fans? Or perhaps make a superhero bear in the style of the kids’ favourite Marvel character?
Happy jars are also a lovely idea to give as gifts to make sure friends and loved ones always have a piece of happiness to brighten up their day. Follow our template for happy notes, throw in photos and hand-drawn pictures, poems and funny anecdotes and memories to make people smile.
- Get social
Social demands can be pretty full-on over the festive season. So, here’s an idea that involves no babysitter, getting all your friends together in one place and not even having to leave the house!
Host a Crafternoon! At Mind, we’re encouraging people to get together and get creative (see points 1, 2 and 3 for inspiration) on the 1st of December as part of our mass fundraising event. It’s fun, it’s creative and it means you can make all of the above cards and decorations at the same time as seeing friends and having a good old natter. Oh (and here’s the plug) you can raise money for mental health services at the same time! Just thought I’d mention that…
Now you’ve decided to get your mates together and get crafty, you need to decide what refreshments you’re going to serve up to keep the creative juices flowing. As it’s Christmas, mulled wine is the obvious choice. Of course, you probably want to avoid getting sozzled given we’re talking about an afternoon event. Fear not – we’ve got you covered (again). Keep the festive spirit alive without getting boozy by following this alcohol-free mulled wine recipe.
And if you’ve still not satisfied your sweet tooth try these delicious chocolate brownies.
For more festive craft ideas visit www.mind.org.uk/crafternoon and search for Christmas crafts on Pinterest.