Cosy up inside and get creative with these stunning festive craft ideas. We've selected projects that are suitable for the smallest of hands, as well as some that will keep older children absorbed for hours, too...


Cork penguins & snowmen

Penguin hangers

Cover the table with newspaper. Paint corks with white acrylic paint. Leave to dry on the newspaper, then apply a second coat. Once dry, use black and orange permanent markers to draw faces and bodies on your snowmen and penguins. Cut out strips of green felt for scarves and glue into place. Help little ones screw an eyelet screw (the kind you use to hang pictures) into the top of each figure, then thread a stretch of ribbon through each eyelet hook and hang your finished figures from the Christmas tree.

Cookie cutter baubles

Gather together ribbon, festive gingerbread cutters and old Christmas cards or a pack of Christmas scrapbooking paper. Trace the shape of each cutter onto different cards (or sheets of scrapbooking paper) with a pencil, then cut out the shapes. Glue around the edge of each cutter (a hot glue gun or tube of strong glue with a nozzle is easiest for this), then stick the cut-out card in place. Leave to dry. Find a needle with an eye big enough to thread your ribbon through. Use the needle to carefully poke a 1cm horizontal line in the card along the top of each bauble. Thread the needle with a strip of ribbon and pull through the hole of your first bauble, then remove the needle and tie a knot with the ribbon. Repeat with the rest of the baubles, then hang them from your Christmas tree.

Salt dough modelling clay

Salt dough letters

Get the family in the festive spirit by making salt dough letters or simple shapes and figures. To start, heat your oven to its lowest setting and line a baking sheet with baking parchment. Mix 125g plain flour with 150g salt in a large bowl. Add 125ml water and stir until the mixture comes together into a clean ball. Transfer the dough to a floured work surface. Use your hands or cookie cutters to shape the dough into snowmen, Christmas trees, letters or any other designs your children fancy. Arrange the shapes on the lined baking sheet and pop in the oven for 3 hrs, or until solid. Leave to cool, then paint and varnish with craft varnish and a sprinkle of glitter. Read our full guide to making salt dough.

Toy-box table place settings

Toy-box table setting

Raid the kids’ toy box for little plastic animals and toy cars to decorate your Christmas table. Write the names of your friends and family on labels and assign each person a toy. Wrap old raisin packets in scraps of wrapping paper to look like miniature presents, then tie to the top of the cars with twine. Alternatively, top the cars with miniature bottle brush Christmas trees. Make easy Father Christmas hats for the toys from white cupcake cases: draw a solid red circle on each wrapper, leaving about 1cm border at the edge, then fold in half and halve again. Wrap into a cone, glue into shape and stick a little white pompom to the top of each hat, then pop on the toy animals' heads. If you have any corks left over from making cork snowmen (see above), you can make photo name place settings, too: cut a slit in the top of each cork and slide in a name tag and photo of each of your guests.

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Handprinted wrapping paper

Gift wrap

Paint the palms of your child’s hands with red paint and their fingers with white paint, then press onto brown paper to make Father Christmas faces. Leave the designs to dry, then add details with a black marker. As well as handprints, you can also create festive designs with thumbprints: try white thumbprint snowmen (using a black pen to draw on eyes and mouths and coloured marker pens for noses and scarves); black and white thumbprint penguins (using an orange pen for noses); or brown thumbprint Rudolphs (using a red pen for noses and a black pen for eyes and mouths).

Pine cone Christmas trees

Pine cone Christmas tree

Collect pine cones on a wintry walk with the kids. Cover a table with newspaper and spray the cones with metallic silver paint. Cut little stars from card for the top of your pine cone trees and spray these with silver paint, too. Once dry, sit the pine cone trees in little glasses or pots and surround with used matchboxes or raisin packets covered in off-cuts of wrapping paper to look like miniature presents. Use to decorate a shelf or festive dinner table. Alternatively, place in your child's dollhouse so that the dolls have a Christmas tree, too.

Matchbox angel

Matchbox angel

This sleeping angel makes a lovely keepsake or gift. To make the bed, cover a large, empty matchbox in snowflake-patterned wrapping paper and cut out a rectangle of green felt to fit inside the box. To make the angel, paint ¾ of a wooden ice lolly stick with white paint (for her dress), then decorate the top of the stick with yellow paint (for her hair). Use marker pens to draw on eyes and a mouth, then varnish the angel with simple craft varnish. To make her halo, fold a silver foil twist tag (the kind that comes with sandwich bags) around her head and snip away the excess at the back. Cut wings from a scrap of fabric and glue in place. Glue buttons or little wooden decorations in place on your angel, if you like. Find a matchbox-sized bag to hold the finished gift and decorate with ribbon or buttons. Cut out a festive message from a Christmas catalogue or magazine and stick it onto a gift label, then attach to the gift bag.

Sewing box Christmas cards

Christmas card

Give the kids a selection of fabric ribbon, fabric off-cuts and buttons and let them make their own cards. Use glue to stick the ribbon and buttons in place. You can make a Christmas angel card using the lolly stick angel from the matchbox craft project above. Alternatively, make mini versions of these cards as gift tags.

Christmas song lyric tapestry

Lyric tapestry

Tweens and teens can make a tapestry of their favourite Christmas song. Start by writing the lyrics on a piece of plain A4-sized cross-stitch canvas with a pencil. Use contrasting colours of cross-stitch cotton thread to sew your design in a simple neat backstitch. Frame your finished embroidery and give as a gift or keep to display on Christmas mantlepiece.

Peg doll & cardboard nativity

Nativity scene

Make nativity scene figures by decorating plain wooden peg dolls with craft paints and marker pens. Varnish with craft varnish and leave to dry. Use a small pile of shredded paper for the manger. Create a backdrop of a stable scene with two sides of a used cardboard box – cut out the shape of a stable from one flap, then cut out a window and door from the same flap. Fold at the box’s natural crease to form a supporting base. Cut out a small piece of baking parchment and tape over the back of the window and door. Place battery-powered fairy lights behind the baking parchment to light up the stable. You can tape the cardboard base in place on a tray or shelf once finished and use the battery pack from the lights (or something else with a bit of weight to it) to prop it up at the back. We added a little glue and white glitter along the roof of our stable for snow, as well as a simple star of Bethlehem.

Citrus candle holders & garland

Citrus candle holders & garland

Cut the tops off three oranges, about two-thirds of the way up, using a small, sharp knife. Working with them one by one, carefully push the knife between the orange peel and the flesh, cutting all the way around until the flesh is loose and can be pulled out (enjoy as a snack or in a smoothie). Scoop out any remaining bits using a dessertspoon, making sure all the flesh and fibres are pulled away, leaving behind the smooth, white pith. Push a small star-shaped biscuit cutter through the orange peel to make a few holes all over and create a pattern – not too many (you want the orange peel to hold its shape). Put a tealight in each orange peel holder and arrange on a table. To make the garland, thread a large needle with some brown string and pull it through the centre of each star-shaped orange peel off-cut. Continue threading until all the off-cuts are used, then cut the string to your desired length. Use the garland to decorate the tree or your Christmas table.

Potato print fabric for gift hampers

Potato print fabric for gift hampers

Lay some old newspaper out on a clean, dry, flat surface. Lay a square piece of ironed cotton fabric (about 80 x 80cm) on top. Cut a potato in half using a small, sharp knife. Use a marker pen to lightly sketch your design onto the cut surface of the potato (we opted for a striped candy cane with one half and a bauble with the other). Carefully cut out the space around your design using the knife. Use some kitchen paper to pat the cut side of the potato dry. With a paintbrush, brush a thin layer of acrylic fabric paint over the design. Press the potato down firmly onto the fabric, making sure not to move it to avoid smudging the design. Apply more paint and repeat to make a pattern. Leave the fabric to dry completely overnight. Once the fabric is dry, iron each side following the manufacturer’s instructions for the paint. Lay the fabric out, printed-side down, and put a filled gift box (about 19 x 19 x 11cm high) in the middle. Tie a flat knot with corners 1 and 2, pulling the knot tightly on the hamper. Then, tie another flat knot with corners 3 and 4 over the previous knot. This will give the pretty effect of a knot with four points.

Veg hero Christmas tree decorations

Veg hero Christmas tree decorations

Veg hero Christmas tree decorations of the vegetable decorations and cut them out. Cut a length of string into three pieces for hanging on your tree. Fold the decorations in half, and apply glue all over the back of them. Lay a piece of string along the crease that was created when folding the decorations, then neatly fold the decorations back together, ensuring the string stays along the crease and is secure. Tie the ends of the string together to make a loop. Leave to dry completely. Trim any rough edges that don’t line up, then use to decorate your tree.

Marshmallow snowflake for hot chocolate


Push a cocktail stick all the way through the equator of a large marshmallow. Repeat with the remaining cocktail sticks, positioning them to create a starburst effect. Push two mini marshmallows onto each exposed stick end to make a snowflake design. Use to garnish mugs of hot chocolate or wrap and gift as part of a hamper.

We'd love to see your creations at home! Tag us @bbcgoodfood and use #bbcgoodfood and we'll share some of our favourites.


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