How to

6 Budget-friendly Christmas projects that look really expensive

Are you dreaming of a glamorous Christmas? Here are six of our favourite DIY projects that look luxurious and won’t break the bank

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6 Budget-friendly Christmas projects that look really expensive

It all adds up at Christmas time – presents, food, decorations, table settings and so on – and at the end of the day, so much of it ends up in the bin. This year, give your Christmas a homemade touch and take some of the pressure off your bank account with these handcrafted decorations. (Plus, award yourself an extra Christmas halo by seeing how much you can save and reuse for next year!)

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1. Feather wreath 

Time: 15 minutes
Cost: $26

The beauty of a wreath is that it’s Christmassy but also super-versatile. To create this feathered version simply wrap two navy feather boas around a polystyrene ring and secure them
at the back with glue.

How to:
+ Take a 35cm-diameter polystyrene ring and glue one end of the first feather boa to the back.
+ Gently wrap the boa around the wreath and glue at the back.
+ Take the second boa and follow the same process until the ring is completely covered.
+ Tie a length of gold twine or ribbon around your wreath and hang.

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2. Christmas tags

Time: 10 minutes
Cost: $12

Making your own gift tags is an easy way to add a little extra bling to your presents.

How to:
+ Take an A3 sheet of navy cardboard and cut out your tags in either shipping-tag style or star shapes.
+Apply a small spot of PVA or clear glue where you want to add gold foil.
Then place the foil flakes on top of the glue and use a small paint brush to gently press them down.
+ Use a hole punch to create a hole in the tag and thread through gold thread or ribbon.
+ Use a gold pen to write your greeting on the back of the tag.

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3. Fabric gift bags 

Time: 30 minutes
Cost: $25

If you have time and a sewing machine, whip up some luxe fabric gift bags in navy linen and gold-flecked velvet fabric. While the fabric is more costly than wrapping paper, these bags are part of the gift and can be reused by your recipient. They’ll love the effort you’ve gone to!

How to:
+ Select fabric that doesn’t fray easily. Cut out a generous rectangle a little wider than you want your bag to be and twice as long.
+ Fold in half so the patterned side is turned inwards and sew a 1cm seam up the sides.
+ Turn right side out, place your gift inside and tie a ribbon or gold string around the top.

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4. Mini tree decorations 

Time: 5 minutes
Cost: $7

If you don’t have space for a big Christmas tree or are looking at adding a festive touch in another room, a mini tree is ideal for a sideboard or small table. Finding small decorations to suit can be a challenge so think creatively and try making some yourself.

How to:
+ These cute brass mini decorations were made using decorative brass stationery clips.
+ Just add some gold twine and hang on the tree.

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5. Santa sack 

Time: 30 minutes
Cost: $36

Save yourself some cash by making your own velvet Santa sack and finish off with a gold ribbon tie for a luxe look. This sack could also be used as a drawstring bag all year round.

How to:
+ Cut a piece of velvet measuring 110cm x 70cm.
+ Turn over 5cm of fabric at the long edge and sew a seam wide enough for a ribbon to be pulled through. |
+ Fold fabric in half, right sides together. Leaving the ends of the top seam open so you can thread through your ribbon, sew down the unseamed side and along the bottom.
+ Turn bag right way out and thread 1m of gold ribbon through the top seam to create the tie.

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6. Christmas crackers 

Time: 30 minutes
Cost: $30

Create individual crackers for the table – your family and guests will love the thought you put into choosing something just for them.

How to:
+ The key to making these crackers look luxe is the paper – we used a gold mock-croc wrapping paper.
+ Cut the paper into six pieces 32cm x 15cm.
+ Place a cracker tube, toilet roll tube or sections of a wrapping paper tube in the middle of each sheet.
+ Wrap paper around the tube and use double-sided tape to secure.
+ Slot in your customised gift then tie each end of the cracker with a 50cm length of ribbon.

Styling by: Vanessa Nouwens. Photography by: Wendy Fenwick.

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