Every year in the lead up to Christmas I get the urge to craft, but I usually only manage to complete one or two items around all the other jobs I set myself, so this year I gave myself permission to keep creating until my enthusiasm petered out.

Santa Sacks

This year my inspiration for getting crafty was sparked by a huge gold velvet curtain I spotted on the op shop floor. It was exactly the type of fabric I’d been trying to find for the past few years to make Santa sacks. I scooped it up and started looking for matching materials without really knowing how it was going to come together. I ended up with a deep red Snuggie, two golden pillow cases, some thread and some curtain ties. With the addition of some Santa prints from the sewing shop, here’s the final result:

Two Santa sacks for the children handmade from upcycled materials.

I’m really happy with how they turned out and the kids love them which is the main thing. They are bigger than I intended but the point of them is to avoid individually wrapping gifts. I can comfortably fit sports equipment or a skateboard in these bags if I want. We’ve actually used Santa sacks from day one but I always wanted to create something more magical than I could find in the shops and these only cost me about $7 each. I ended up making five Santa sacks so that my nieces could have one too.

Two Santa sacks for the children handmade from upcycled materials.

Kris Kringle Gifts

For Kris Kringle this year we are responsible for providing gifts for two of my nieces who are three years old. After checking with their parents, I came up with the idea of making them an apron by upcycling some clothing that wasn’t being worn anymore. I’ve added an oven mitt for play and I’m thinking of adding a couple of utensils like a whisk, wooden spoon and a bowl from the op shop for outdoor play, along with a mud pie recipe. I’m sure they don’t need directions but it might be fun to send them on a wild goose chase collecting ingredients like gum nuts, leaves, dirt, twigs, flowers, sap, feathers, rocks, and so on.

Childrens apron and oven mitt handmade from upcycled materials.

Teacher Gifts

I’ve never done teacher gifts before because of the whole consumerism thing but saying thank you is a nice thing to do and giving is a nice thing to teach children. So, some simple ideas I came up with for our teacher gifts include homemade wild plum jam, homemade vanilla essence, and a homemade heat pack (eye pillow). Every bit of these gifts has been rescued and reused. I didn’t buy anything new. I’d already made a huge amount of jam, so it only took an hour to make several of each of these gifts (there are two teachers in each class and a music teacher). Altogether it took less time than it probably would have taken me to find something appropriate and affordable in the shops or online. And there won’t be any waste at the end.

Teacher gift: wild plum jam

Teacher gift: homemade vanillia essence

Teacher gift: homemade eye pillow/heat pack


Several years ago I bought some supplies to make Christmas bunting but I didn’t use it all so I made some more bunting. I also helped Ainsley make some baked dough tree decorations (Olaf the snowman looks more like a bird) and both kids helped me use leftover hessian, red material, beads, buttons, sticks and string from the other projects to make some rustic/primitive tree decorations. I’m a fan of this style so they look good to me.

Homemade Christmas bunting

Homemade Christmas tree decoration


Finally, I made some stockings to match the Santa sacks with the leftover material, repaired a Santa hat and made another one so the kids could have one each. The fluffy white material for the hat came from a robotic horse we dismantled as a tinkering project one day.

Homemade Christmas stocking made from upcycled material.

Homemade Christmas hat made from upcycled material.

I still have a little creative energy left but Christmas lunch and dinner is at our house this year and I really need to start meal planning. Plus, Alby’s 8th birthday is between now and then and we have end of school activities and other events to get through. Best I get those things organised first then see what time I have to spare.

Do you get crafty at Christmas?

9 thoughts

  1. We mad tea towels one year with the names of the recipients printed on each one with some decorative stencilling to make them look attractive. Another year we made pesto with enough pasta to make a meal. It’s fun coming up with ideas and I really enjoyed looking at your collection of nifty gifts. 😊

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Thank you so much for such an inspirational blog! I’ve been reading all your posts and LOVE all your ideas. I live in Brisbane and have two girls aged 3 and 1, and I’m just starting on my zero waste, minimalist journey. There’s not a whole lot of bulk available here but certainly more than I was previously aware of; you don’t see what you’re not looking for I guess! I do regret not starting earlier but I’m so excited about the opportunity to make the planet a little better while we’re here. What an amazing relief it is to get rid of all the “stuff” filling up our house and spend time together instead. Totally agree about the adult presents at Christmas too- it will be hard to convince my present-happy family to get on board but I remain hopeful… 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  3. We don’t give gifts to the adults in our extended family at Christmas, but years ago I made yoyo’s for my dad and brother and put them in a large glass jar with instructions that if they wanted more yoyo’s for Christmas they needed to return the jar to me. I’m still filling those jars. I’ve added cranberry and white chocolate shortbread to the options, and usually make both.

    Liked by 1 person

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