Holiday DIY essentials

Whatever holiday you’re celebrating this winter (if any), if you’re looking to add some festive decor to your home or a personal touch to gift-giving, there are a few DIY essentials you should have in your toolbox. With these ten items you’ve got everything you need to make homemade gifts, wrapping paper and labels; to decorate for holiday parties; to get cozy for the winter weather; and to turn inexpensive items into showpieces.

1) Spray Paint: My love of spray paint knows no bounds. Particularly if your holiday decor has a specific colour scheme, it’s time to make spray paint your best friend. Matte white has long been an essential in my home, but metallics are an amazing addition for the holiday season. Turn cheap dollar store or garage sale tjotkes into Anthropologie-esque ornaments, gild that ugly green tree stand, coordinate pinecones, customize serving ware (handles only please!) or even add a festive touch to furniture.

PicMonkey Collage

2) Twine: A roll of twine has the power to give boring every day objects a rustic flare. Wrap around glass candle holders or mason jars to cover ugly labels or turn a plain jar into a winter vase; use in place of ribbon to wrap gifts or to hang DIY ornaments; or tie a cinnamon stick around cloth napkins for a festive place setting.


3) Pinecones: One of the cheapest and easiest winter/holiday decor items out there. Simply pick them up off the ground, or, if there are no trees in your proximity, pop by the dollar store where you can buy bags of cinnamon scented pinecones for next to nothing. Add a hook to hang them on the tree, fill a glass vase for a centre piece, or simply place them around your home wherever a little bit of rustic decor is called for.

4) Stamp Kit: VIntage and vintage style alphabet stamp kits are an amazing and easy DIY resource. Use them to stamp names onto gift tags, to make personalized cards, to create menus or to add a homemade element to virtually any paper product. While you’re at it, grab an apple and a potato. Both make excellent stamps and can be carved into a variety of shapes to create patterns on plain paper.

Stamp Collage

5) Mason Jars: Anyone who’s ever been on Pinterest knows that mason jar DIYs are a dime a dozen these days.  While they may not further your creative credibility much, there is a reason they’re so popular.  WIthout any crafting at all, these jars can be used as drinking glasses, vases, and holders for candles, cutlery or serving ware. For the holidays, consider filling a jar halfway with epsom salts and cranberries, then placing a candle on top; use that gold spray paint to create some festive nog cups; or use as a vessel to gift homemade cookie mix or other food items.

6) Tin Cans: A hammer and nail are all you need to transform old tin cans into beautiful holiday lanterns. Punch holes at random or, if you’ve got a steady hand, try a star or a snowflake. Stick a candle inside and you’re ready to go. I personally like the rustic look of a plain silver can, but you can paint them any colour you want.  A coat of paint and some glue gun polka dots and you’ve also got yourself a cute planter or pencil holder.


7) Glue gun: This tool is a must own for any crafter.  A glue gun is not only ideal for gluing, it can also be used to provide texture to smooth surfaces and as a quick fix in place of sewing.

8) Lace Doilies: While you may not want to use too many of your grandmother’s lace doilies for holiday craft projects, there are many uses for both fabric and inexpensive paper doilies. I love the look of a paper doily wrapped around kraft paper and fabric doilies can be pressed into clay to make beautiful dishes and ornaments.


9) Kraft paper: That plain brown butcher shop paper is super versatile. Use it to wrap gifts, to create a simple stencil, to make place cards, or in place of burlap as an easy and inexpensive table runner.

10) Sharpies: Metallic sharpies are EVERYTHING. Use them to customize a plain white mug, add gold polka dots to almost anything (including your manicure!), to label gifts on glossy paper, and to add a special touch to ornaments.

sharpiecollageAnything else to add to the list? We’d love to hear about your DIY essentials and creations!


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