Gold baubles hanging with ribbon on a gold background

Homemade Christmas crafts

Personalise the festive season with handmade napkins, advent calendars, crackers, wrapping paper and more with our homemade Christmas decorations from Betty Lou Design

Having a DIY Christmas this year? If you’re making your own homemade Christmas gifts (check out our edible gift ideas here), then why not go the extra mile and make your own Christmas crafts, including wrapping paper and homemade gift tags?


We also have ideas to create your own Christmas decorations, from baubles to Christmas centrepieces.

Our homemade Christmas table setting ideas are easy to pull off, with DIY dip dye napkins, cute name placeholders and even hand decorated plates and mugs.

Check out our ideas to create the perfect homemade Christmas…

DIY Christmas decorations

How to make your own homemade baubles

Creating your own baubles is easy. Begin with a set of fill-your-own baubles, then use spray paint to cover the baubles or dip the base in PVA glue (be careful not to seal the join), then roll in some gold leaf. Fill with your favourite treat (we used chocolates from Venchi) and hang on your tree. Why not make our spiced Christmas biscuits recipe to hang on your tree alongside your homemade baubles?

Gold baubles hanging with ribbon on a gold background

How to make your own advent calendar

Make a stylish statement in your home with a hanging advent calendar. You’ll need something to hang everything from – buy a wooden pole from a hardware store, or look in your local woods for a suitable stick. For the 25 parcels we used Kraft brown pillow boxes, but envelopes can work just as well. Decorate with a white paint swoosh and gold spray, and add wooden numbers so you know what day it is. Tie it all together with ribbon – oh, and don’t forget the treats for inside! We have a brilliant recipe for advent biscuits here.

Homemade Advent Calendar

Christmas table setting ideas

How to make Christmas place cards

Create elegant, fragrant place settings by twisting sprigs of rosemary into circular shapes and tying with copper florist wire. Finish with gold ribbon and use all-purpose glue to attach a handwritten name tag on top.

How to make Christmas place cards

How to create Christmas centrepieces

Start collecting any quirky wine or spirit bottles now – they’ll come in handy for the big day. Decorate them with foliage and gold ribbon, and they’ll be transformed into statement candle holders for the table centrepiece. Go for taper candles (you can buy these from any large supermarket and online) for their dramatic height, and don’t be afraid to add your own touch again with some spray-paint action.

Homemade Christmas Centrepieces

How to make your own Christmas crackers

Wrap a cardboard roll (an empty loo roll would work) with crepe or tissue paper – we’ve gone for teal and mint, but any colour will work. Stuff with a small gift and seal each end with gold ribbon in a classic cracker shape. Finish with a handwritten Christmas tag (see how to make your own below).

Turquoise paper Christmas crackers with white tags

How to decorate your own gold charger plates

Charger plates add instant glamour to the Christmas table. Buy ceramic or plastic black charger plates and use gold spray paint to customise. The concentration of spray is down to the pressure you apply on the nozzle. For a scattered star look, press lightly and hold the can at an angle. Have a practice first. To seal, spray with some PlastiKote clear sealant spray paint.

How To Decorate Your Own Gold Charger Plates

How to dip dye Christmas napkins

Start with plain napkins and hand-wash fabric dye (follow the pack instructions on how to set up the dye). Use a brush to apply a line of dye along the bottom edge and then a clean damp brush or sponge to work the dye up each napkin to create an ombre effect – each will be different, which is part of their charm (use rubber gloves – you don’t want stained fingers over Christmas!). Hang to dry overnight, and iron to set the dye. They can be put on a cool wash after use.

Green dye on folded napkins

How to decorate personalised mugs

Fill a large, throwaway container with tepid water. Next, take some nail varnish – we used variations of teals and greens – and swill it through the water with a wooden skewer (about 3 large drops of each will do the trick). Immediately dip a plain white mug in and out before the varnish sets. Leave to dry. If you don’t like the pattern, clean with nail varnish remover and start again. To seal, spray with PlastiKote clear sealant spray paint (mugs not suitable for dishwashers). Here’s a hot chocolate recipe to drink out of your new mug.

Homemade Mugs Decorating

Homemade gift wrapping ideas

How to make your own Christmas wrapping paper

DIY wrapping paper doesn’t need to be complicated – it’s all about having a bit of fun! You just need matte paper and paint. We’ve used poster paint, but acrylic would work too. And we’ve kept it monochrome, but you can choose any colour palette. Dip your paintbrush into the paint and flick away – avoid heavy splats as these will peel off when wrapping. Leave to dry, then finish with twine, homemade gift tags (see below) and a wax seal, if you like.

Homemade Wrapping Paper Ideas For Christmas

Looking for the perfect foodie Christmas gift idea? Here is our Christmas gift guide…

How to make printable Christmas tags

Handmade gift tags are so easy to make and really elevate simple brown or white paper wrapping. Download our designs from below (drag on to your desktop) and print on card, or create your own.


Nicki James is the art editor at O and runs a wedding stationery business, Betty Lou Design. Check out her creations at


olive magazine podcast ep75 – mushrooms, Pakistani cuisine and crafty table decorations for Christmas

We are getting super organised, with our top tips for a crafty Christmas from olive art editor and stationery extraordinaire Nicki James. Nicki’s got loads of advice for handmaking gifts, decorations, table settings and more.