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    • Chef Ash
    • By Chef Ash 1st Nov 15, 9:15 AM
    • 2Posts
    • 21Thanks
    Chef Ash
    Homemade Christmas
    • #1
    • 1st Nov 15, 9:15 AM
    Homemade Christmas 1st Nov 15 at 9:15 AM
    Has anyone ever done a completely homemade christmas? We don't have any kids to buy for. We also don't have much at all to spend on craft supplies. Is it doable?

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    Last edited by Former MSE Zorica; 10-11-2015 at 1:42 PM.
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    • Janey3
    • By Janey3 1st Nov 15, 10:42 AM
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    • #2
    • 1st Nov 15, 10:42 AM
    • #2
    • 1st Nov 15, 10:42 AM
    Not for many a year now but it's such a lovely idea to have a traditional home made Christmas and am sure can be doable.

    If you are fair at crafting and have the time, then that's the way to go, home made presents, most people enjoy receiving these, if they don't, then just too bad, this is the way you are doing it this year! You wouldn't have to spend that much on materials - browse the charity shops for materials and boot sales, etc., Most of the food can be home made too and prepared in advance. Decorations can be made, with little expense. I think time is the one thing you will need plenty of.

    Making me nostalgic now, for Christmases past when everything was home made and the true spirit of Christmas shone through!

    Looking forward to see how it's going if you decide to do this.
    Last edited by Janey3; 01-11-2015 at 10:48 AM.
    • mrs motivated
    • By mrs motivated 1st Nov 15, 10:46 AM
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    mrs motivated
    • #3
    • 1st Nov 15, 10:46 AM
    • #3
    • 1st Nov 15, 10:46 AM
    What a lovely idea, I'm not sure I could do it but shall watch this with interest and hopefully pick up some tips
    Last edited by mrs motivated; 01-11-2015 at 10:47 AM. Reason: iPad thinks it can spell
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    • JackieO
    • By JackieO 1st Nov 15, 11:38 AM
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    • #4
    • 1st Nov 15, 11:38 AM
    • #4
    • 1st Nov 15, 11:38 AM
    Sound great,and very like my childhood of the late 1940s-50s.Toys were almost unobtainable and toy shops few and far between.

    had two older brothers who bless them were vary practical at making things(my late Dad was a chemist, and apart from perhaps mending my brothers shoes, hadn't a clue) My late Mum was always knitting or sewing and made lots of stuff,but I never noticed until Christmas morning what she was making for me (probably did it once I was in bed).

    My eldest brother ,now sadly passed away, made me a beautiful dolls house from old orange box wood in 1951 and my middle brother carved all the furniture and varnished it for me.They were very practical boys and great at building something out of nothing almost .

    My middle brother grew up and continued this habit and in 1995 bought an old tumbled down house and barn in France and totally renovated it into a three bedroomed house where he has lived in since 2003.It was basically four walls and an earthen floor.No plumbing/electric and it had a tree growing through the roof of the house I think to go back to the non-commercial days before all of the plastic tatt that's around now would be lovely .

    If nothing else there would be far less landfill as anything that could be used.recycled or adapted was in those days .Materials were hard to come by often.

    As for the food, back then, because of rationing it was your Mum's inventiveness that usually saved the day, and certain things were hoarded towards Christmas like sugar and dried fruits. One year my Mum managed to make coconut ice God knows where she sourced the coconut from and she also made peppermint cream both of these were made and wrapped in bits of the orange cellophane from a Lucozade bottle that my Dad had brought home. Decorations were carefully put away each year for the following year for the tree and paper decorations were always hand made paper chains, or chinese lanterns from coloured paper .Christmas wrapping paper was often ironed and put away and no one ever, ever cut string it was undone and rolled up I still can't bring myself all these years later to cut the paper on a parcel

    It will be interesting to see how this thread develops and how folk are making maybe more things for Christmas instead of just buying in to the commercial junk that's already flooding the shops.I know I shall be drying slices of oranges on the radiator to hang on the tree (Harrods want £8.00 for a small net bag of these)
    So come on fellow MSE'rs lets see how creative we can be with some ideas from long ago
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    • summerlady
    • By summerlady 1st Nov 15, 11:41 AM
    • 214 Posts
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    • #5
    • 1st Nov 15, 11:41 AM
    • #5
    • 1st Nov 15, 11:41 AM
    I always intend to but start far too late to make all the gifts I would like to make.

    People end up getting crafted items as birthday gifts.

    There is a crafting section on here in the Christmas and other Yuletide Celebrations board. I haven't looked lately but there is sure to be some inspiration there.
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    • summerlady
    • By summerlady 1st Nov 15, 11:46 AM
    • 214 Posts
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    • #6
    • 1st Nov 15, 11:46 AM
    • #6
    • 1st Nov 15, 11:46 AM
    JackieO - I had forgotten about making dried orange slices for the tree. I did that and salt dough shapes with my nieces 25 years ago. I can now do it with their kids.

    We will also being making gingerbread men.
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    • karren
    • By karren 1st Nov 15, 12:23 PM
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    • #7
    • 1st Nov 15, 12:23 PM
    • #7
    • 1st Nov 15, 12:23 PM
    I'm currently googling Christmas makes
    I've some willow I'm going to make into wreaths then pick up holly and ivy on my dog walks they can be present to mil

    I've fabric I intend to make into Christmas cushions and lots of patterns on pinintrest and poundland cushions as inserts I've some clothes ready for charity shop so will see in anything suitable to use as fabric for that

    I've made carrier bag holders and and peg bags in past from old jeans

    I've been collecting dowe eggbert jars for months to fill with twinks hob nobs

    And I've few ideas for frugal makes
    Last edited by karren; 01-11-2015 at 12:31 PM.
    • tatabubbly
    • By tatabubbly 1st Nov 15, 12:48 PM
    • 905 Posts
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    • #8
    • 1st Nov 15, 12:48 PM
    • #8
    • 1st Nov 15, 12:48 PM
    What a lovely thought!

    I have the same decorations now for about 5 years and I love them! Forgot about making homemade paper chains! I'll have to get out some colourful paper!
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    • marleyboy
    • By marleyboy 1st Nov 15, 12:58 PM
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    • #9
    • 1st Nov 15, 12:58 PM
    • #9
    • 1st Nov 15, 12:58 PM
    We used to make paper chains using crepe paper and decorate the tree by making decorations, even the angel on the top was made using an old toilet roll tube.

    When my Son is old enough to join in the DIY festivities, he too will be adding his own homemade festivities to the home.
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    • Janey3
    • By Janey3 1st Nov 15, 1:10 PM
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    ..and sticking cotton wool balls on the windows for snow!
    • Nargleblast
    • By Nargleblast 1st Nov 15, 3:47 PM
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    Homemade Christmas cake done, to be fed weekly on brandy from now on.

    Homemade mincemeat done, to be used in mince pies nearer the time.

    Homemade redcurrant vodka bottled, one small bottle chilling in the fridge, the others will do as presents.

    We already have plenty of Christmas decorations, but last year I went out scavenging offcuts of conifer foliage and draped them around the house. It looked good and smelled beautiful, so I shall do that again this year.

    If you have small children, collect toilet roll tubes and use them to make Nativity figures - shepherds, kings, angels etc. Use coloured tissue or crepe paper and felt pens. Angel wings, faces, sheep all cut out from card and stuck on. Cotton wool glued on the sheep. Sparkly bits for the king outfits. My DD and DS did this when they were little and the finished figures were brought out every Christmas on display.
    One life - your life - live it!
    • VfM4meplse
    • By VfM4meplse 1st Nov 15, 4:12 PM
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    I remember having fun as a child making tree decorations from egg boxes and foil

    "No man is worth, crawling on the earth"- adapted from Bob Crewe and Bob Gaudio

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    • MrsLurcherwalker
    • By MrsLurcherwalker 1st Nov 15, 4:28 PM
    • 13,324 Posts
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    Lovely little soft padded felt hearts to hang on the Christmas tree are so pretty and easy to sew by hand, you can embroider a snowflake on them if you want to add glitz but they're pretty just in red felt and you can make Christmas bunting to hang along the front of a mantle piece with red, white and green scraps of material, and 'bringing in the green' is an age old custom and something we do now rather than use paper/foil decorations, we go out on Christmas eve and get holly, ivy, evergreen, conifer, seed heads, really anything that will look nice and festive, raid the garden for bay and rosemary to make things smell nice and decorate the house with these and white candles in votives/small jars, it looks so pretty and is 'free' for the effort of going and gathering it in.
    Last edited by MrsLurcherwalker; 01-11-2015 at 7:38 PM.
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    • kathrynha
    • By kathrynha 1st Nov 15, 4:33 PM
    • 2,353 Posts
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    Over half of the presents I give are homemade (struggling to make the 3DS XL my daughter wants ). Decorations are homemade, as are cards. All the food is homemade, although I will buy the roll out icing to go on the cake, and the puff pastry for the vol au vents.
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    • pigpen
    • By pigpen 1st Nov 15, 5:27 PM
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    If you are good at crafting there are several skill swap groups on facebook.. I have just negotiated yarn bowls, paper cuts, book folds in return for knitted items and hand dyed yarn... What skills can you trade??? .. hunt me down Yarnbaa .. I'm happy to trade skills and can point you at a group or 2 if you wish.

    Kathrynha.. I'm throwing 2 pink 3DS's XL's at ebay later this month.. got to find and pic them first.. ... you could trade your skills for one.. something like decorating a room.. or clearing a garden.. a days work in trade .. it's not always cash that needs to change hands! and try here.. they aren't much known but I've used them with no problems

    I'm struggling to build a guitar!
    Last edited by pigpen; 01-11-2015 at 5:33 PM.
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    • CAT££
    • By CAT££ 1st Nov 15, 5:37 PM
    • 207 Posts
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    I'm looking for a recipe to make some chutney ready for Christmas. Anybody have any old favourites?
    • sesw75
    • By sesw75 1st Nov 15, 6:22 PM
    • 5 Posts
    • 42 Thanks
    CAT££ Delia has a recipe for Christmas Chutney which is delicious. Its in her Christmas book but is also on her website, if you just put Christmas Chutney into the search tab on her website it beings up the recipe for you x
    • mardatha
    • By mardatha 1st Nov 15, 6:27 PM
    • 15,431 Posts
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    Two years ago I did baskets of jam, shortbread, cake, rocky road, tablet, even handmade chocolates. I added some jellybabies and shop bought sweets and gave them to the grandchildren, who loved them.
    • chella
    • By chella 1st Nov 15, 6:32 PM
    • 275 Posts
    • 1,280 Thanks
    I make homemade candles. I collect pretty jars and vintage tea cups to make them in.

    I also make lovely Christmas crackers, you can really go to town with these and they look so beautiful on the table.

    I still string the popcorn and put in on the treeand tie cinnamon with ribbons, also oranged spiked with cloves look pretty and smell lovely.

    • thriftwizard
    • By thriftwizard 1st Nov 15, 6:33 PM
    • 3,017 Posts
    • 37,476 Thanks
    Have been dying to answer, but spent the afternoon grappling with a busted keyboard.

    We've never done it yet as there are just too many of us, but I have no doubt that a completely home-made Christmas can be done & would be hugely enjoyable! We've always had completely home-made food (including brandy butter) and mostly HM drink - usually ginger beer, elderflower champagne and wine - and largely HM decorations, including a lot of "green" from the garden but also old favourites like paper chains. We started doing this to keep the kids busy & occupied in the dreaded festive run-up, and now they're all grown up they still want to do it. This year's plan for the tree is to decorate mainly with odd bits of junk jewellery - odd glittery ear-rings, broken necklaces etc. - that have come my way in the job-lots I've bought in for my business. HM crackers are a delight - you can tailor the contents, especially the hats, to the recipients and cracker snaps only cost a pound or two. Made with loo roll inners & bits of wrapping paper & saved ribbon, they can be filled with HM sweets & terrible jokes &/or anything else you fancy! The hats are very easy, just scissors, wrapping paper & glue (or sticky tape) and decorated however you choose that will fit inside the roll.

    Presents; the best ones are often home-made. I've done quilts for various of the Offspring over the years, usually when someone's leaving or has just left home. I'm absolutely no expert; straightforward squares in reclaimed fabrics in colours to suit the recipient is about as much as I can manage, but they seem to be loved & well-used. I do hampers of preserves etc. for my wider family; jars of pickles & unusual jams & jellies from garden fruit & foraged goodies like crab apples, for example. Last year DS1 surprised us all with home-made perfumes & aftershaves; they were fantastic! But I know he spent quite a lot on supplies. DD1 makes HM chocolates & fudge for everyone, and hand-bound notebooks from reclaimed paper, card & fabrics. DD2 makes patchwork cushions from scraps & old cushions - and so on & so forth.

    We do also buy stuff & spend money; DS2, for example, doesn't have a lot of time on his hands so will raid the nearest chemist's shop for us all. But most of us haven't got very much cash, & those who have don't want to make the others feel bad about it. So we keep expenditure low (offspring saving up for house deposits etc.) & just make stuff, play games & have a lot of fun instead.

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