Do it yourself

Giving your home an updated look for the season can be cost effective. Here are some examples of DIY projects.


A festive theme in keeping with the holidays can be achieved by collecting pieces of tree trunk, stacking them in various heights and adding candles. The fresh Christmas tree logs are ideal. Simply ask for the cut off pieces where fresh trees are sold. This tablescape is great for a coffee table, console table or dining table.


Make an oversized wreath for your garden. A hula-hoop, garland and string of lights is all you need. Twist the garland around the hoop, then the lights. Other garnishes can include left over ribbons, ornaments, whatever decorations you have around the home.


Almost all clear drinking glasses can be used as votives. The short tumblers are best. Embellish with a broach or bracelet. Simple place your tea light at the bottom of the glass. This is ideal for mis-matched glasses that would otherwise be discarded. Jars are another alternative. Here is a project for creating ambience in your garden or including in wreaths. It is a bird feeder votive.

1.Cut a strip of fabric the height of the jar, and enough to wrap around it.

2.Cut a small circle in the fabric strip.

3.Glue the fabric to the jar.

4.Using an ice pick, puncture a small hole in the centre of the lid. A tin lid is preferable.

5.Tie a length of thread to the matchstick and thread through the lid. This way, the votive can be hung.

6.Cut a circle out of cardboard box or use a plastic cover from a butter container. The diameter should be wider than the jar lid.

7.Make a cone by cutting from the circumference to the centre of the circle. Then twist and shape to a cone. Glue or staple the cone.

8.Glue the cone to the lid.

9.Insert a battery-operated tea light candle inside jar and cover with cone-shaped lid.

The Christmas tree ball

Historically, Christmas tree balls were made out of blown glass, wood, metal or clay. Artisans took great pride in creating, carving or sculpting exquisite balls. These balls were so precious that they passed on from generation to generation.

In modern times balls are mass produced, easy to purchase and range from the inexpensive to the costly. As the inexpensive Christmas ball is so easy to obtain, one can buy a packet and put one’s own decorative, twist to the ball by adding glitter or cloth.

A cloth ball is probably the least expensive decoration you will ever make as we have all the ingredients hanging around the house. Most homes have left over bits of ribbon and scraps of cloth in a closet somewhere begging to be put to use. We created a Christmas tree with red and white poinsettia flowers and green leaves, and enhanced this layer of decorations with red, gold, silver, green and madrass covered balls. Indigenous fabrics add another dimension to a tree because they import local, cultural aspects to your tree.

1.You will need inexpensive Christmas balls with string or metal hook attached, a piece of cloth, ties saved from grocery packaging,thumb tacks.

2.Decide your colour scheme. The piece of fabric you choose should compliment the other decorations on the tree. Cut the cloth into a square 6″x6″ or rectangle 6″x8″depending on how you full you would like the head of the cloth at the top of the ball.

3.Wrap the ball securely in the cloth making sure the head of the ball is free, secure the cloth with the tie back and tie a pretty or contrasting piece of ribbon around the neck of the ball.

4.Hang the ball on the tree by the string, hook or a thumb tack through the head of the cloth.

A Cork Wreath

Save the cork whenever you open that bottle of wine! At Christmas use the saved corks to make a cork wreathe by simply gluing them to a piece of card board or wood cut out in the shape of a wreath. You can apply acrylic varnish to the corks for shine, if you wish and add a red bow. Free, different recycled!

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