If you’re looking for some cost of living friendly craft ideas to do with children this Christmas, you’ve come to the right place. We’ve got 11 ideas for you that don’t require a trip to Hobbycraft, expensive craft kits or a mountain of fake snow.
It’s worth saying that craft activities are rarely completely free. We’re expecting that you’ll have a few simple craft bits – like felt-tips, a glue stick and scissors. But we promise these ideas won’t have any specialist items. We’ve chosen ones that use what you’ve already got at home or can recycle for free.
If you are looking for totally free craft activities to entertain kids this Christmas, see whether your local library or children’s centre run sessions in the school holidays. Also check out shopping centres as they often run festive activities for kids.
Get ready by collecting your free craft materials
You can build a free Christmas craft stash out of the contents of your recycling bin, plus a few natural objects from a winter walk!
- Used wrapping paper and Christmas cards
- Paper packaging or cardboard boxes from deliveries
- Chocolate or sweet wrappers (especially Quality Street)
- Newspaper and magazines
- Twigs, leaves, acorns and pinecones
- Loo or kitchen rolls and egg cartons
1. Leftover wrapping paper chains
Save any wrapping paper destined for the recycling bin to make into easy paper chains. Cut strips of paper, dot with glue to make a loop – then repeat. Kids can mix and match patterns to create their own designs. There’s an easy video they can follow here.
2. Folded paper angel ornaments
Older children can use these simple instructions to make these beautiful angel decorations. This example is made from spare sheet music, but you could use any scrap paper, pages from old books or even newspaper. Skip the bead if you don’t have one to hand – it’ll still look great.
3. Rustic twig ornaments
This activity creates beautiful natural decorations for your home. All you need are twigs, scissors and either glue or string. Find out how to make mini christmas trees, snowflakes and stars here.
4. Paper snowflakes
These are a classic Christmas craft activity, but they never get old. There are so many possibilities, like this video that will give the children some inspiration. All you need are scissors, and then any scrap paper, kitchen roll or even coffee filters. We think they’d look really beautiful strung together as a garland too.
5. Christmas cards from kids’ artwork
This is a clever craft activity to turn the never ending stream of art that children bring home from school or nursery into classy Christmas cards. With a bit of help, even very young children can cut out the circles from their paintings or drawings (the more abstract the better!) and glue the bauble shapes onto cards.
6. Leaf creatures
Pick up some leaves when out on a walk – different shapes and colours are good. Then all the kids need are pens and their imagination. How many different animals can they find in the leaves?
7. Christmas garland
Turn the stack of Christmas cards that come home in the school book bag into a fun garland you can hang round the house. Cut out pairs of circles from the card and then glue together, sandwiching string in between. You could even try different shapes like stars, hearts or trees.
8. Paper roll snowflakes
Older children will enjoy this geometric craft activity – turning a tube from a loo or kitchen roll, plus glue, into something they can hang in their window. You can find lots of different designs online, but we like this one. Just skip the glitter if you don’t have any!
9. DIY Christmas crackers
You can make a simple cracker from a loo roll tube and leftover wrapping paper. Children can pick a small toy or chocolate to go inside, plus think up the silliest Christmas joke to go in there too. If they need some inspiration, here are 50 of the funniest.
10. Winter leaf window
Leaves you collect when out and about make a stunning window display. All you need to do is flatten the leaves overnight between heavy books and then glue onto a window with washable PVA glue.
11. Sweet wrapper suncatcher
If you get through a tin (or two) of Quality Street around Christmas, make sure to keep the colourful wrappers. Cut out a frame (you could choose a festive shape) and then glue the wrappers in place. Don’t be constrained by rainbows, any kind of stained glass window pattern works. P.S. Check out 9 more amazing activity ideas for sweet wrappers.