The Canberra Times

Get crafty this ChristmasAdvertising Feature

FESTIVE FUN: Advent calendars can come in an array of styles, shapes and sizes. Get creative this Christmas and create your own. Photo: Shutterstock

It seems everyone is a little time-poor at Christmas.

The to-do list seems never-ending between buying and wrapping presents, preparing your Christmas feast, organising the logistics around travel dates, and juggling the different social events of the holiday season.

Plus, dare I forget, there are also kids who are usually on school break by then and need to be entertained.

The answer: Christmas crafts.

While some people may screw their nose up at the idea of getting creative, they may change their mind with this list of five Christmas craft activities, as they are both cute and functional.

They are also quick and easy to organise, yet still fun enough for adults to complete.

1. Christmas ornaments

You can create Christmas ornaments out of almost anything - paper, cardboard, pinecones, doilies, pasta, popsicles, and twigs, to name a few. As long as you have a piece of string at the ready to attach it to the tree, you will be laughing. Or you could even buy cheap baubles with the string already attached and decorate them yourselves with paint, sequins and glitter.

2. Stockings

Create personalised stockings for your entire family. Find some old fabric or visit your local fabric store and cut out two stocking shapes precisely the same size. Kids can glue the two pieces of fabric together around the hemline while adults should be capable of sewing - hand or machine, it's your choice - them together. And remember, don't make your stocking too big - or do. But remember, the bigger the stocking, the more gifts it will take to fill it.

Get crafty this Christmas

3. Advent calendar

Who doesn't love an advent calendar? And what a simple idea you can create at home, and the best bit is that your calendar can be as classy or dowdy as you like. Find yourself a nice long branch from out in the backyard at home and tie 25 brown paper bags to it with hidden gems inside, as pictured left. Perhaps you want something more traditional - you could make a Santa face with the numbers 1 to 25 listed inside Santa's beard. For every day that passes, you can glue a cotton ball to the corresponding number, and by Christmas day, Santa's beard will be complete.

4. Wrapping paper

Give your kids a roll of butchers paper and let them go wild with paints, textas, pencils, glitter and glue. Once their masterpiece is finished and left long enough to dry, you can roll it up again and use it as wrapping paper for all your Christmas gifts. This project will not only keep your kids busy until Santa arrives, but it'll save you making a last-minute dash to the shop when you realise you have no Christmas wrapping paper at home.

5. Star topper

Have you ever had the honour of putting the star on top of the Christmas tree? If so, you can probably still feel the overwhelming joy it brings. Well, why not take it up a notch this year and top the tree with a star you, or your children, have handmade. All you need is glue and five paint stirring sticks which you can pick up from your local hardware store or, for a more rustic look, five straight sticks collected from under trees all measuring the same size. Glue the sticks together in the shape of a star. If you want to get fancy, you can paint the star and tape clear string lights to it, so it glows at night. You can make smaller versions of this with popsicle sticks and hang them as ornaments in windows, from the mantle or on the tree.